A trooper employed by the Ohio State Highway Patrol was arrested recently for driving 102 miles per hour. And, in addition to his incredible speed, the off-duty officer was also driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to a report from the Mansfield News-Journal, 39-year-old state trooper Tiffany J. Wilson was stopped by police after midnight while she was driving her personal vehicle on Interstate 71 in Morrow County.
Sources say the posted speed limit on the stretch of road where Wilson was arrested is 65 miles per hour, and according to patrol spokeswoman Lt. Anne Ralston, police pulled Wilson over after receiving “several reckless operation calls … regarding a vehicle going northbound on I-71.”
After she was pulled over, Wilson agreed to take a blood alcohol test and blew a .16, which is twice the legal limit in Ohio.
Wilson received a ticket for speeding in addition to the DUI charge, which is her first drunk driving offense. To add embarrassment to an already negative situation, the officer who wrote the ticket was Wilson’s boss, Lt. Toby Smith.
The police spokesman said that Wilson, who is a resident of Mount Gilead, Ohio, has at least temporarily been relieved of her weapon, identification, card, badge, and uniform, and that Wilson has taken a personal leave.
Soon, however, the trooper’s office will place Wilson on administrative duties, which will keep her out of the field while the police conduct an internal investigation to determine whether Wilson deserves further disciplinary actions.
Of course, even if Wilson escapes disciplinary actions from the trooper’s office and maintains her job, which she has had since 2000, she still has to face the potential consequences of a DUI conviction.
Like most citizens, police officers are also subject to the possible punishments of a DUI offense, which may include a jail sentence, a hefty fine, community service requirements, or the loss of a driver’s license.
An Ohio man was convicted of his twenty-first DUI recently, and with a dramatic statement a judge sentenced him to ten years in prison, representing the maximum term possible in the case.
Forty-five-year old Kevin J. Ante did not comment as the Butler County judge handed him the sentence in Common Pleas Court. According to authorities, they initially knew of 17 of Ante’s DUI offenses. Recently, however, they uncovered four more DUI convictions on his extensive record.
Even Ante’s lawyer, David S. Washington Jr., was surprised at this development. Whatever the final count, Washington agreed, it was far too many DUI convictions.
Ante was only recently released from prison on the same charges of drunk driving. He served a four year sentence, and was picked up for his latest DUI only 90 days after his release.
According to police, Ante even attempted to evade arrest when he was stopped on December 3, 2009. He got about a quarter mile away before they were able to pull him over. Police quickly smelled alcohol and realized that Ante was confused or unresponsive, according to WKRC in Cincinnati, and he was arrested for DUI.
The judge in this latest case, Judge Michael Sage, said that he had never seen such a case in 20 years as a judge and 30 years as a lawyer. Judge Sage made reference to the 2005 DUI that landed Ante the four year sentence.
“You served every day of that,” Sage said as he made his ruling. “I struggle with cases like this,” he continued, “because, in my mind, alcoholism is a disease.” Sage noted, however, that Ante did not use his previous time in prison to address his problems with alcohol.
In making his decision to enforce the maximum sentence, Sage said that he was protecting the public. “You are a ticking time bomb waiting to kill somebody,” he told Ante.
Ante’s 21 drunk driving convictions stem all the way back to his first one in 1982.
Ohio judges violate DUI law
Under a 2004 Ohio law, drivers with multiple DUI convictions who still need to drive under provisional driver’s licenses are required to have special DUI license plates assigned to their vehicles.
The DUI law mandates that judges order the DUI license plates.
Approximately 33,000 drivers in Ohio have five or more DUI convictions, only 8,500 vehicles in the entire state had been issued the special DUI license plates as of the end of last year.
ACLU Says Challenges to Ohio’s No Refusal Law Likely
Under the new Ohio DUI law, drivers who have had two or more DUI convictions can be forced by authorities to submit to a blood or urine test to determine their blood alcohol content.
Previously, the law had required that authorities obtain a search warrant from a judge to test a DUI suspect’s blood or urine in situations where no consent was given.
Civil liberties advocates are speaking out about the new DUI law in Ohio, saying that they believe it is unconstitutional.
Find out more about the debate on this new law.
Utah’s Fruitless New Liquor Law
Utah lawmakers have been at it again. The state already has some of the strangest and strictest liquor sales laws in the country, but apparently legislators still felt that there was some tinkering to be done.
Now Utah has become the first state to ban some fruity alcoholic drink sales.
Read the full article.
Party Bus Driver Playing Police or Parent?
And with this time of the year comes pumpkin carving, sweaters and Homecoming – a quasi-holiday for schools that runs from September to November.
Students can’t wait for festivities, which usually mean an early dismissal for a pep rally, parade, football game and dance.
Maybe you or some of your friends drank after the dance – or maybe even before the dance. You were all underage and alcohol is prohibited on school property, but that was a part of the Homecoming ritual – no big deal.
Except for some teenagers in Highland Park, IL, underage drinking became a big deal.
Read more about the controversey here.
If you feel a need to get pulled over for DUI, do it Waverly, Ohio. The Cincinnati Post recently reported that Waverly Ohio police allow DUI defendants to make a $1,000 donation to the police department in exchange for a plea bargain allowing them keep their driver’s licenses.
The Post reports that more than one-third of DUI cases in Waverly were dismissed last year. Motorists, who typically face three or more days in jail and lengthy license suspensions were allowed to make the donation and plead to a lesser charge.
Some DUI suspects with four or five prior DUI convictions were allowed back on the road with no jail time and no loss of driving privileges. In some cases, the convictions were not even reported to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, a violation of state law.
The paper said the bargaining away DUI charges for donations raised more than $91,000 for the “drug law fund” since 2001. The money went to buy fire arms and radio equipment, according to Waverly police officials.
An Anderson Township, Ohio man got a ride home from his son. Greg Greene was pulled over at about 2:30 am the other night.
It turned out Greg was only 15-years old. His passenger was his father who was drunk. Greene had been at an undisclosed bar with his son.
Rather than getting a DUI, he had his son drive home. Now he’s in even more trouble.
Greene is charged with drug possession, endangering children, possession of open flask and a misdemeanor drug abuse charge.
It was a nice try to do the right thing, but an Ohio man was still arrested for DUI.
Jeremy Clary had been golfing and drinking all day, but had to get to a friend’s wedding eight miles from the golf course. Believing that he was too intoxicated to drive his truck, he borrowed a golf cart instead.
When arrested, on the way back to the golf course, he reportedly had a blood alcohol level (BAC) of more than twice the legal limit for DUI in Ohio. A video shown on television shows him almost falling down during field sobriety tests.
Clary said he thought it was safer because the cart could go no faster than 10 mph.
Two Wayne County, Ohio judges are issuing search warrants for drivers suspected of DUI who refuse to submit to breath tests.
Municipal Judge Stuart Miller said the warrants are aimed at repeat DUI offenders because first time offenders typically consent to a breathalyzer test. Miller said he wants to cut down on the number of jury trials required for people who refuse a breath test.
Ohio is one of the leading states for excessive repeat DUI offenders, with over 38,000 drivers with five or more convictions for DUI. Ohio has criminals with more than 20 DUI convictions.
Judges can order blood drawn from drivers because Ohio is an implied-consent state, meaning that all drivers consent to a search of their blood, breath or urine when they apply for a drivers license.
An Elyria Ohio woman, driving with 3 children, was arrested and charged with DUI. She told police that her car had broken down with a dead battery. The car was found straddling the middle of the highway with no hazard lights on. Police say the driver’s breath smelled of alcohol and she failed several field sobriety tests. She refused submit to a urine test to determine her concentration of alcohol (BAC).
The woman home with a passenger and three children, ages 3 to 5. She was arrested and charged with DUI and three counts of endangering children. The children were released from the Elyria police station to an aunt. County Children Services have been notified of the incident.
Compared to 2005, Ohio saw a hundred fewer DUI deaths in 2006. The Ohio State Highway Patrol announced that fatal crashes due to DUI in Ohio fell to 1,209 in 2006, down from 1,320 in 2005. While deaths decreased, the number of DUI arrests rose by 972 in 2006.
Regarding fatal DUI accidents, an Ohio State Trooper said that “people just feel it’s not going to happen to them, and it happens to everybody else.”
Cleveland Brown’s running back, Reuben Droughns, was acquitted of DUI by a ten person-jury in Medina, Ohio Municipal Court. He had been arrested for DUI and performed a breath test showing a BAC of 0.08. He and his wife disputed a trooper’s testimony that Droughns was weaving and Droughns testified he was unfamiliar with the speed limit in the area. Droughns said he drank three cocktails at a Halloween party that night. Of course, Droughns is a large man, and having an experienced DUI attorney helps.
A 43 year old Kent Ohio man, already known as one of the worst drunk drivers in Ohio, was arrested for DUI again, for the 16th time. He was arrested after his vehicle was found stuck on a concrete barricade at the railroad tracks near a bridge that was under repair. He had apparently attempted to drive around the construction and had become stuck. The driver was charged with DUI, driving under suspension, and illegal license plates. He refused to take a blood-alcohol test. He pleaded not guilty in municipal court and remained in jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond.
The driver has not had a valid driver’s license since 1991 and has been convicted 15 previous times of drunk driving. Courts have suspended his right to drive 30 times. He had been released from state prison only three months before this most recent arrest. Surprisingly, 25 people in Ohio have been convicted of DUI at least 16 times as of December 2005. Two are tied with 19 DUI convictions.