Archive for ◊ December, 2010 ◊

• Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

The Washington Redskins say defensive lineman Joe Joseph has expressed remorse for his arrest on charges of  DUI and that the team will withhold further comment until the matter is resolved through the courts.

The Redskins released a two-sentence statement Tuesday on Joseph’s arrest. On Monday, less than 24 hours after making his NFL debut, Joseph was arrested in Loudoun County and charged with  DUI.

The Redskins’ statement says Joseph is “very remorseful for what happened” as well as the embarrassment he caused his family and the Redskins.

Joseph, 25, joined the Redskins’ practice squad Dec. 15 and was promoted to the main roster on Saturday.

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

The California Highway Patrol arrested five people suspected of  DUI in Monterey County over the Christmas weekend, officials announced today.

The number of arrests during the maximum enforcement holiday weekend is down from last year’s when 14  DUI drivers were arrested on county roads.

The CHP said it will conduct a similar holiday enforcement effort over the New Year’s weekend, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday and continues through Sunday.

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On January 1, 2011, a new DUI law goes into effect in Tennessee. It will require convicted DUI offenders who had a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle in order to have a restricted driver’s license.

Ignition interlocks require the driver to blow into a device to detect any alcohol use. If it detects alcohol the engine will not start.

“This little in car probation will make sure you are not driving while you have alcohol in your system,” said Laura Dial, the executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Tennessee.

The organization does support the use of ignition interlock devices.

MADD did not support the Tennessee law in its current form. Leaders feel it does not meet the group’s goals.

“Which is to mandate is to mandate ignition interlocks for all convicted DUI offenders,” explained Dial.

The Tennessee law does not require the ignition device unless a convicted offender had a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher.

MADD said that high BAC has not proven effective in other states.

“There have not been any states that have a significant reduction in alcohol related fatalities after passing that sort of law and there are a few states that have passed those high BAC laws,” said Dial.

According to MADD, after New Mexico and Arizona put all-offender laws in place for anyone convicted of DUI, alcohol-related fatalities dropped by 30 percent.

That type of reduction in Tennessee would prevent approximately 100 alcohol-related fatalities in the Volunteer State.

“That does not even count the number of injuries we could prevent,” said Dial.

The ignition locks will also be required if a minor was in your car at the time of the offense; you were involved in an alcohol-related wreck; or you violate the implied consent law.

DUI fines will be increased to cover the cost of installing, monitoring and removing the ignition devices from vehicles.

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

OCEAN CITY — The 23-year-old Selbyville woman who drove drunk and crashed her car into a bayside Ocean City canal will serve no jail time, receiving 18 months of probation instead.

Taylor Cole Vanderhook said in court that she was sincerely sorry for her behavior, and pledged to get clean.

“I have learned alcoholism is an addiction I suffer from,” she said.

She faced charges of negligent driving, failure to provide identification, driving while impaired, driving under the influence and attempting to bribe a public official. She agreed to plead guilty to DUI in exchange for all other charges being dropped.

Ocean City District Court Judge R. Patrick Hayman said the 31 days Vanderhook spent at a Pennsylvania rehab facility immediately following the accident would serve her better than the usual 10-day jail sentence he gives repeat offenders. Her first DUI arrest was in 2007.

Vanderhook drove her Toyota Corolla into a 54th Street canal at about 2 a.m. Nov. 15. Her blood-alcohol concentration was later measured at .19, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Pam Correa.

Police said she surely would have drowned if Chris Sullivan, manager at the adjacent Yang’s Palace Chinese restaurant, had not pulled her from the sinking vehicle.
After several attempts to get her out, Sullivan eventually stood on the trunk of the floating car, used a wooden block to crack open the rear windshield and yanked Vanderhook by her armpits to safety.

For that, Police Chief Bernadette DiPino presented Sullivan with a certificate for outstanding service at a Dec. 20 Town Council meeting.

“In our job, we often see citizens running in the opposite direction,” she said. “… I consider him a hero.”

In the canal, police found Vanderhook’s car under 3 feet of water. A police dive team confirmed that nobody else was inside.

Judge Hayman’s mouth fell open as the prosecutor described Vanderhook’s reaction to her rescue — “Look at what you did to my car!” she allegedly told Sullivan — and her subsequent behavior with police.

In police reports read aloud in court, Vanderhook was described as being “completely oblivious to the situation” and “did not seem to understand” she was surrounded by police officers and paramedics. She could not stand up straight and staggered through DUI tests, police said.

After her arrest, while being transported to the police station, she told an officer she’d pay him to let her go. She offered increasing amounts up to $200, police said — and for that, they charged her with attempting to bribe a public official.

But in court, Correa said the bribery charge would not be pressed, citing Vanderhook’s extreme intoxication at the time as the reason.

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, December 29th, 2010–112601814.html

Local law enforcement say the winter holiday DUI crackdown resulted in a significant number of DUI arrests and there is still four days left in the campaign.

From Friday December 17 through Sunday December 27, different agencies throughout San Luis Obispo County arrested 38 people for DUI.

During the same time last year authorities made 48 DUI arrests.

Local law enforcement officials want to remind you they will be out in full force during the busy New Years weekend throughout the Tri-Counties looking for drunk drivers.

Pismo Beach Officials are conducting a DUI check point tonight as well as extra patrols throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Authorities want to remind you to report drunk drivers by calling 911

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

With many police departments targeting drunken drivers during the holiday season, a restaurant trade association has called for an end to sobriety checkpoints.

Calling the checkpoints “ineffective” because they result in, on average, about three DUI arrests out of every 1,000 drivers stopped, the American Beverage Institute is urging law enforcement officials to employ only roving patrols, in which police cruise the streets looking for erratic drivers.

Police officials throughout New Jersey agree roving patrols are a good tool, but say checkpoints are valuable, too, even if most drivers who are stopped aren’t charged.

Checkpoints “harass responsible adults who have been drinking moderately prior to driving,” said Sarah Longwell, managing director of the beverage institute, which represents 8,000 restaurants.

Roving patrols, on the other hand, target the real problem — “hard-core alcohol abusers,” she said. On average, only one-third of 1 percent of people stopped at checkpoints are arrested for DUI, said Longwell, who added that roving patrols are 10 times more effective.

“Why would you waste taxpayer dollars to put a lot of police officers in one spot to stop drivers who aren’t guilty of anything?” Longwell said. “If people feel like they’re going to get yanked out of their car to stand in the cold and recite the alphabet, they’re not going to have even one drink.”

Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Nicholas Sewitch, who has been handling alcohol-related vehicular homicide cases for 20 years, said “a good highway safety program” utilizes both checkpoints and roving patrols.

“In terms of deterrence and education, checkpoints are the best,” Sewitch said. “Roving patrols are excellent, too, in terms of bang for your buck and removing drunk drivers from the road.”

Some 115 of the state’s approximately 500 police departments have received $5,000 federal grants for drunken-driving enforcement between Dec. 6 and Jan. 2. Most will use the money on roving patrols, said Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety, because that amount “is not enough to do checkpoints.”

Checkpoints typically employ about five officers, officials said, while two or three officers in separate cruisers can be used for roving patrols.

Poedubicky acknowledged that checkpoints result in a low number of arrests. But, he said, they are used as a deterrent and are an educational device. It’s all part of a two-pronged, “balanced approach” to stop drunken driving, he said.

The total number of DUI arrests in New Jersey last year was 27,838, a 3 percent drop from the previous year’s 28,705.

Poedubicky said the nature of a town may determine which method is more successful.

Roving patrols would work better in a large but sparsely populated area, he said. Checkpoints could be more effective in a small community with many highways, such as the 2½-square-mile Elmwood Park in Bergen County, which is crossed by the Garden State Parkway along with Routes 80, 46 and 4.

A seven-hour checkpoint last Saturday night on Route 46 west in Elmwood Park yielded 215 arrests, including eight for DUI and 12 for drug possession, Police Chief Don Ingrasselino said.

Checkpoints are “very effective,” the chief said, while roving patrols are “hit or miss.”

Roselle Park Police Chief Paul Morrison, on the other hand, is a strong advocate of roving patrols.

“Checkpoints are on main roads and people are aware of that,” Morrison said. “With roving patrols, we can roam the less-used roads, which people would probably opt to use if they had been drinking.”

The division of Highway Traffic Safety has awarded separate federal grants to four counties — Atlantic, Camden, Middlesex and Ocean — for sobriety checkpoints. The largest grant, $74,000 to Atlantic, will pay to stop “folks coming home late at night from Atlantic City,” Poedubicky said.

In Middlesex, the $43,000 grant will fund DUI checkpoints in areas where there have been a significant number of driving-while-intoxicated arrests over the years, said Sewitch.

Category: Criminal
• Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Law enforcement agencies in the “Avoid the 13″ don’t-drink-and-drive campaign announced today that the number of DUI arrests is about 25 percent lower this year than last.

“That’s a good thing,” said Santa Clara County sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Sung, whose office oversees the grant funding for the campaign. “Our DUI awareness campaign is working. People are getting the message.”

From Friday morning to midnight today, 15 police agencies in Santa Clara County arrested 131 people on suspicion of driving under the influence, compared with 167 in 2009, Sung said.

There were three weekend fatal collisions in the South Bay and Peninsula over the weekend, but Sung said they aren’t being described as DUI-related.

Category: Criminal
• Sunday, December 26th, 2010

The Sonoma County DUI Task Force made 23 DUI-related arrests since Friday, including the arrest of a 19-time DUI suspect, according to the Petaluma Police Department.

About 25 police officers served warrants on DUI suspects and arrested 19-time DUI offender William Beall for a probation violation, police said.

Officers went to the 65-year-old’s Santa Rosa home to see if Beall was complying with the terms of his probation, which says that he can’t drink or possess alcohol, and that he is subject to search and seizure by law enforcement, police said.

Officers discovered Beall violated his probation by having alcohol at home. He was arrested and booked into Sonoma County Jail without bail, police said.

Beall was the only one in violation of his probation out of 12 DUI offenders, police said.

During the operation, Task Force members made 76 traffic stops Saturday night, police said.

DUI crashes through Saturday night remain at only two involving injuries, police said.

Category: Criminal
• Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Starting at 11 p.m. Thursday, troopers with ├DUI Patrol┝ magnets on their cars began searching the U.S. 15/I-270 corridor between Rt. 85 to Rt. 26 for impaired drivers. That stretch of road was chosen by police because of its high frequency of alcohol-related crashes and DUI arrests, according to a Maryland State Police press release.

Category: Criminal
• Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Tis’ the season for holiday cheer and time spent with family and friends, but it’s also a time when traffic fatalities on Georgia highways and roads increase.

According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), now through New Year’s is one of the most dangerous times to be traveling across the state and country and DUI is the top reason.

The numbers reveal the frightening reality.

Last December in Georgia, 753 people died in crashes involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Over the Christmas travel period (Christmas Eve to midnight the following Sunday) in 2008, there were 24 deaths, 868 injuries and 3,325 crashes.

That’s why Operation Zero Tolerance holiday enforcement crackdown is underway through Jan. 2. The campaign is a joint effort between the GOHS and hundreds of highway safety partners aimed at keeping Georgia highways and roads safe for travelers during the holiday season. This is the fifth consecutive Christmas season thousands of traffic enforcement officers band together, statewide, under the national “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” DUI enforcement campaign.

“Our message is clear,” said Director Bob Dallas of the GOHS. “No matter who you are, what you drive or where you drive it, when you’re caught driving impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses. No exceptions.”

As you’re driving about during this Christmas weekend you’ll probably notice many DUI checkpoints and increased patrols in your area. The campaign is not about making more revenue; it’s about getting more drivers’ attention and saving more lives, according to the GOHS.

If you plan to celebrate and party, follow these simple tips to stay alive and out of jail:

Ask someone to be the designated driver for you or your group.

Plan to take a taxi or make arrangements to spend the night.

“So remember, whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk!” said Dallas. “Get a designated driver. Don’t let 2010 end in an arrest or even worse for you.”

Category: Criminal
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