Archive for ◊ June, 2011 ◊

• Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Starting your car is no longer a three step process for first time DUI offenders in the state of Kansas.

“Our interlock device takes about two seconds to analyze a test, once it has it will say pass and you will be able to start your vehicle,” said Josh Schmeidler.

This handheld gadget is known as an “interlock device”. It determines your blood alcohol level. DUI , point zero five (.05) and above and your engine will not run.

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Authorities throughout Los Angeles County are reminding motorists that they will be out in full force this Independence Day weekend in search of DUI drivers.

California Highway Patrol and police officers from a host of agencies that make up the Avoid the 100 Los Angeles County East DUI Task Force will be setting up checkpoints and fielding extra patrols with the goal of reducing drunken-driving related crashes and injuries Friday through Monday,

Glendora Police Department Senior Community Service Officer and task-force co-coordinator Wendy Brewer said in a written statement.

Upcoming DUI checkpoints include ones in Glendora, Monterey Park, Pasadena and Santa Fe Springs on Friday, as well as ones Saturday in Pomona and Baldwin Park, authorities said.

Through July 4, police agencies throughout the region will also be sending extra officers out on patrol to look for drunken drivers.

Funding for the Avoid program is provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Law Enforcement cracking down on drunk drivers)…A major DUI crackdown is scheduled for the 4th of July Weekend.

The California Highway Patrol begins its Maximum Enforcement Program at 6:00 Friday evening. In addition, the Avoid the 8 Imperial County Task Force will be in the communities. El Centro Police Chief McGinely says the Fourth of July is a time most Americans spend celebrating with family and friends, but he says, it is also one of the year’s deadliest times on the roadways. El Centro is a member of the Avoid the 8. The Task Force will be out in full force this holiday weekend, cracking down on impaired drivers with an aggressive DUI enforcement blitz to include sobriety/drivers license Checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols. The enforcement campaign begins Friday evening and will continue through Monday night. Saturation Patrols will deploy in Calexico, El Centro, Brawley, Westmorland and Calipatria. Imperial County Sheriff’s deputies will also participate in the crackdown. The Avoid Campaign is funded through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

A New Port Richey man was arrested and accused of DUI and other offenses after the truck he was driving struck and severely injured a 19-year-old bicyclist Tuesday night.

Russell Smith, 62, was driving a silver 2010 Toyota Tundra west on Marine Parkway across U.S. 19 when the truck struck the bicyclist, according to New Port Richey Police. The bicyclist was riding south in the crosswalk on the west side of Marine Parkway, police stated.

The bicyclist was transported by Bayflite to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was last listed in serious condition.

The New Port Richey Police Department did not release the victim’s name Wednesday because his next-of-kin had not been notified.

Smith provided false identification after the crash, according to police.

Smith has been charged with DUI; DUI causing serious bodily injury; driving with a suspended, revoked or canceled license and causing serious bodily injury; providing false information during a crash investigation; and failure to surrender a suspended, revoked or canceled driver’s license.

The crash is still under investigation, and more charges may be pending.

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. – A New Port Richey man is facing a string of charges following a DUI crash Tuesday night that left a 19-year-old bicyclist badly injured.

Police say Russell Steven Smith, 62, was crossing U.S. 19 on Marine Parkway in his Toyota Tundra when he hit the bicyclist, who was in a crosswalk.

The victim, who has not been identified, was taken by medical helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg where he was last listed in serious condition.

According to a police statement, Smith lied to officers during the crash investigation.

He was subsequently arrested. He faces five charges including Driving Under the Influence, DUI with Serious Bodily Injury, Driving While License Suspended/Revoked/Canceled and Causing Serious Bodily Injury, Providing False Information During Crash Investigation and Failure to Surrender Suspended/Revoked/Canceled Driver’s License.

More charges may be filed, police said.

Category: Criminal
• Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

LAWRENCEVILLE — A Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputy was charged with DUI over the weekend, after reportedly driving in “a circle” on the interstate and registering a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.

A Gwinnett County police officer was alerted to Robinson’s GMC Denali after a caller reported seeing it “conduct a circle in the middle of the road on (Interstate 85) north of Pleasant Hill Road,” according to an incident report obtained by the Daily Post.

The responding officer caught up with the vehicle being driven by Robinson on Ga. Highway 316 near Fence Road, as it was traveling just 30 miles per hour in the 55 mph zone. According to reports, Robinson’s SUV straddled both lanes on the highway before making a “very wide turn” onto Fence Road.

Upon being stopped, Robinson — a deputy sheriff assigned to Gwinnett County Jail since 2009 — had “very bloodshot and glazed” eyes and a “very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” coming from his body, the officer wrote.

Despite Robinson’s assertions that he had only “one beer two hours ago,” he was asked to perform field sobriety evaluations.

“He replied, ‘Come on man,’” the officer wrote. “I replied, ‘If you really work for Gwinnett County, you know how we operate. There ain’t no, ‘Come on, man’ in Gwinnett County.”

According to reports, Robinson failed separate eye, balance and walking tests. At one point, “he stated again that he worked for the sheriff’s department and that he was ‘just trying to make it home.’”

An on-site Alco-Sensor test registered Robinson’s BAC at .158. Another breath test later administered at a police precinct showed .167. The legal limit for drivers is .08.

Jail records show Robinson was booked into Gwinnett County Jail on charges of DUI and failure to maintain lane at 6:13 a.m. Sunday. He was released on $1,564 bond 90 minutes later.

Sheriff’s department spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais said Robinson has been placed “in a non-law enforcement capacity pending an internal investigation.”

Category: Criminal
• Friday, June 24th, 2011

BOISE — Police arrested a man for DUI they say drove away during a traffic stop, leading police on a chase.

At about 2 a.m. Friday, police say they pulled over Jack Bidigare, 59, for driving out of his lane while making a turn. Officers report he refused to get out of the vehicle when officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside.

That is when officers say Bidigare put the vehicle into gear, and took off. Police chased him eastbound on Fairview Avenue, and then north on Liberty Street. The suspect pulled into a driveway where police were able to arrest him.

During a search, police found about 7.3 grams of marijuana.

Because Bidigare has already been convicted of a DUI, his new DUI charge is a felony. He is also charged with fleeing or eluding police, and possession of a controlled substance.

Category: Criminal
• Friday, June 24th, 2011

A new statewide law changing punishments for DUI will go into effect July 1.

Defense attorney Brian Leininger said that there are two major changes to the law. Under the new law, all DUI offenders will be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for a year. The offender will bear all costs associated with the ignition interlock device.

Another change includes how far the state can look into an offender’s background. Previously, the state would look at a person’s entire record. After the law goes into effect, the state can only go back as far as 2001. Nothing before that will be used against an offender.

Jay Norton, an attorney from Kansas City, said if a driver tests as having blood alcohol content between .08 and .15, he or she will be required to serve a 30-day suspension of license, followed by 180 days or six months of driving with an ignition interlock.

Ignition interlocks may be mandated for other sentences, including: open container, minor in possession/consumption and habitual violator statute. Those convicted of any of these will have to serve 45 days of the suspension first, then the Department of Revenue will reinstate the license and they will use the interlock.

Bill Larzalere, the University’s chief litigation attorney, said that this is actually a good thing. Under the present law, if you have been convicted of a DUI, your license is suspended for a year and you can’t operate a vehicle at all. Under the new law, one can drive as long as they have the ignition interlock device, he said.

Interlock devices are sold through private companies. has a different installation price for each state. For Kansas, the installation fee and first-month lease is $123 and after that, $73 a month. There is a $35 fee to uninstall your device. One year using the device would cost $961.

“If you do get pulled over, if you’re really drunk and have prior offense, I would tell them not to take the breath test,” he said.

A huge change in the bill is that state DUI records are being expunged — or swept clean — after 10 years, Larzalere said.

Norton said DUI convictions and diversions before July 1, 2001, do not count as previous convictions.

Larzalere said that he would advise students to not drink and drive at all but if they find themselves in the situation, to not incriminate themselves. The less that’s in the report the less they have to convict you, he said.

“Don’t say I’ve only had two beers,” Larzalere said.

When you are pulled over, the police can’t make students take the field sobriety test, Lazalere said. He would encourage students not take the field test. However, refusing the Breathalyzer is a crime.

If they have not said anything, did not take a field DUI test, etc. the officer has no report on them besides that he pulled them over for whatever reason. Take the Breathalyzer at the station; however, the police officer is required to give you two forms to read and sign.

“Students who came in they were using the old forms, and if they used the old forms and not the new ones then that breath test isn’t valid,” Larzalere said.

The forms are called DC27 and DC70. When students fill out the DC27 they have 10 days to request a hearing.

Leininger said that if students do get pulled over and they are a first time offender, the best thing to do is to not be rude or belligerent.

Category: Criminal
• Friday, June 24th, 2011

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – June 24, 2011 (WPVI) — A state lawmaker from eastern Pennsylvania has been charged with DUI driving. 

Democratic Rep. Joseph Brennan was arrested outside his Bethlehem district office Wednesday afternoon.

Brennan said in a statement Thursday that he had returned to Bethlehem from Harrisburg after the House finished its business for the day. He says he drank alcohol and then headed to the office to answer constituent emails and letters. That’s when he was pulled over for DUI .

He says he’s had a “long and personal struggle with alcohol” throughout his adult life. Brennan apologized to his family and constituents for what he calls a “serious mistake.”

Brennan has represented his district in Lehigh and Northampton counties since 2007.

Category: Criminal
• Friday, June 24th, 2011

I should admit that after watching four full episodes of Franklin & Bash, I can’t say with any certainty which is Franklin and which is Bash. It would take just a quick trip to Google for me to work this out, and for a moment before writing this recap I almost did just that, but when I gave it some thought I decided that this not my failing as a viewer but rather the show’s failing.

Franklin and Bash don’t register as individuals. The title seems to promise that we’ll be, on some level, concerned with the social and professional relationship between these two characters. Perhaps one is conscientious and uptight, the other smooth and laid back? No, nothing of the sort. Franklin and Bash are defined not in contrast with one another but a single entity, contrasted against the soulless and corrupt world of the big law firm in which they find themselves. As a result, the two are virtually interchangeable and I won’t treat them as distinct. Instead I’ll do the honest thing and refer to them using the names by which I know them… Tall One and Short One.

This week, the two receive a visit from their old buddy Danny, against whom Short One has an irrational grudge. Danny’s been charged with assault after backing up a friend in a fight at a strip club. Tall One takes on Danny’s case, thinking (correctly) that it will allow him to spend a bit of time with Janie, his ex who works in the DA’s office. Tall One’s pleading with Janie helps him get the assault charges dropped, but a DUI charge is added when it comes out that that Danny had been drinking just before driving a golf cart to the scene of the crime, and a breathalyzer confirms that he was over the limit. Danny is desperate to keep his license, because despite seeming like a tool up to this point, we now learn he lives with his grandmother and plays chauffeur for her elderly friends, and he can’t bear to leave them in the lurch.

Meanwhile, Short One is relegated to a B-plot for much of the episode, working on a high profile divorce case. The firm is representing Myra Paxton, whose husband Rick allegedly violated the infidelity clause in their prenup. Experienced senior partners Hanna and Karp are handling this case together, but their own bitter romantic history keeps causing problems, and their client, who still loves her husband, thinks they’re being too aggressive against Rick and would prefer to resolve the matter without getting to vicious. So Short One steps in to keep them under control (Short One, we are reminded, slept with Hanna a couple weeks back). After investigating Rick’s purported mistress, Short One learns that there was no affair, and concludes (correctly) that the only reason Rick won’t deny it is to avoid admitting that he can’t get an erection.

Back in the A-Plot, Tall One wants to demonstrate that Danny couldn’t have been drunk because the drive was so short that the alcohol wouldn’t have hit his system until well after he had arrived at the club. To make sure the jury gets the point, Tall One has Short One shotgun a couple of beers. Two breathalyzer tests prove his point: it takes fifteen minutes for his blood alcohol content to rise above the legal limit.

Unfortunately, this renders Short One unable to drive, so when he gets an urgent call regarding his own case, Tall One has to drive back to the office to attend to it. And with Tall One missing from court, Short One has to make his closing argument while DUI . Predictably, he wins the jury over, by arguing that Danny is a decent guy. The case has been won, and the grudge shelved. Meanwhile, Tall One keeps Hanna and Karp’s personal baggage out of the negotiation room by physically preventing them from entering, leaving Myra and Rick to resolve their differences peacefully.

Like the episodes that preceded it, “Bro-Bono” is fast paced and full of interesting courtroom twists, with enough energy and zingy one-liners to keep it amusing. A subplot featuring the introverted shut-in Pindar, who becomes romantically involved with a much older friend of Danny’s grandmother, goes on too long but is good for a couple of laughs. And while there’s nothing particularly original about Franklin & Bash’s constant taunting of their stick-in-the-mud nemesis Karp, it’s occasionally good for a few chuckles. I do think this episode suffered from a dearth of Malcolm McDowell, whose unsubtle eccentricity has generally been a welcome presence in episodes past.

But while it was somewhat amusing, the episode really just highlights the interchangeability of Franklin and Bash. They’re not so much two characters as a single character that can exchange jibes with itself and be in two places at once, and it barely even matters which one is in which place, as demonstrated by the “change partners!” mentality in the last act of this episode. In a show with better characterization this would have been incredibly hard to do well, but in Franklin and Bash it works without a hitch. One of them just happens to have a grudge against Danny, and the other just happens to have feelings for the assistant DA, but other than that it matters very little who takes which case. Being built around two non-characters is one of the reasons the show doesn’t really stand out from anything else on television, and why so far it’s just a moderately amusing piece of summer fluff.

Category: Criminal
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