Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
State, local and county police have made more than 18,000 arrests for driving under the influence on Lower Hudson Valley roads since 2002, yet some drivers still insist on getting behind the wheel after knocking back a few drinks.
Although the number of arrests appears staggering, police agencies throughout Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties remain undaunted in their year-round efforts to get drunken and drugged drivers off the roads.
"You would think that people would get it by now, that our enforcement is not going away," said state police Lt. Douglas Larkin of Troop K in Westchester. "If you're going to drink, do it at home, designate a driver or hire a taxi. We're not saying there's anything wrong with drinking - just drinking and driving."
A statewide effort targeting intoxicated drivers began June 29 and continues through today to coincide with the July 4 holiday and summer vacations. "The Fourth of July holiday is the second deadliest holiday period in terms of impaired driving. Only New Year's is greater," said Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano. "This type of enforcement saves lives and reduces the number of alcohol-related injuries as well."
Since 2002, DWI arrests have been on the rise in all three counties, save for a couple of years when the numbers went down slightly.
"It's always a priority for the state police to look for DWIs," said Capt. Steven Nevins of Troop F in Rockland. "You find that a lot of fatal accidents involve people driving while intoxicated."
In 2002, police in Rockland made 641 arrests. By 2006, there were 996. Putnam had 295 DWI arrests in 2002. It was up to 397 last year. In 2002, police in Westchester charged 2,338 motorists with DWI. Last year, the number was 2,515.
"For whatever reason, some people aren't getting the message," Larkin said. "If you're still out there drinking and driving, we're going to make sure you get the message."
Westchester STOP-DWI Coordinator Tom Meyer said county police will team with local departments this summer to find and arrest drunken drivers.
"Everyone has a cell phone these days. If you've had too much to drink, call a cab," Meyer said.
Police employ a variety of methods to combat drunken driving. These include fixed sites - where they set up a DWI checkpoint at a specific location - and saturation patrols, in which extra officers are put on the roads to search specifically for intoxicated motorists.
Most drunken-driving arrests are made in the evening and overnight, police said, and most drunken drivers implicate themselves by their inability to drive safely.
"The simple fact is that if you're driving drunk, you're not going to keep the car between the lines," Larkin said. "That's when you'll get pulled over."
Trooper Greg Kalarchian, who works the overnight shift in northern Westchester and was among the leaders in DWI arrests by troopers last year in the county, said many drunken drivers make it easy for police.
"Most DWI arrests come from (traffic) stops. They cross the double-yellow line, they weave, or they got stopped for speeding," Kalarchian said.
Kent Police Officer Raymond Beauchesne is always among the leaders of DWI arrests each year in Putnam County. Beauchesne's success in getting drunken drivers off the road is the result of simple observation: If he sees a car weaving, failing to signal a turn or crossing the double-yellow line, he pulls it over.
"He's a very aggressive officer when it comes to DWIs," Kent police Lt. Alex Divernieri said.
Once the driver rolls down the window, Kalarchian said, it's easy to tell if he or she has been drinking.
"The first thing that hits you is the odor of alcohol -it's so obvious," he said. "I've had a few drivers who know they've been drinking and try to play it down, but the odor on their breath gives them away."
Larkin said the worst aspect of drunken driving is having to respond to the accidents, or worse - having to inform a parent that a son or daughter has been killed in a DWI-related crash.
Despite the increased police efforts and advertising campaigns, some people will continue to break the law, said defense lawyer Glen P. Malia of Cortlandt.
"From my observations, there are two different types of DWI defendants," Malia said."There are those who have made the mistake and will never make it again. It's not a stigma but a personal embarrassment, the entire arrest. ... The other defendants are those who have a drinking problem and are likely to recommit."
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
WHEATON, Illinois (AP) -- The daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision after pleading guilty to drunken driving.
Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, of Wheaton, Illinois, on Wednesday accepted a plea agreement under which prosecutors dropped four other charges including endangering the life of a child and failure to secure a child younger than 8 in a child-restraint system.
She was arrested February 12 while driving away from a fast-food restaurant in Wheaton, 20 miles west of Chicago. Three of her children were inside her 1996 Ford van when someone called police to report a suspected intoxicated driver, authorities have said.
Banaszewski didn't contest the automatic six-month suspension of her driver's license for refusing to take a breath test.
A DuPage County judge also sentenced her to 140 hours of public service and to attend counseling sessions, according to Paul Darrah, a spokesman for the DuPage County state's attorney's office.
Banaszewski's attorney, Donald Ramsell, said the plea agreement was fair to both sides.
Scalia, who began serving on the Supreme Court in 1986, has nine children.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Missouri Revised StatutesChapter 577 Public Safety Offenses Section 577.020 August 28, 2006
577.020. 1. Any person who operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways of this state shall be deemed to have given consent to, subject to the provisions of sections 577.019 to 577.041, a chemical test or tests of the person's breath, blood, saliva or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of the person's blood pursuant to the following circumstances:
(1) If the person is arrested for any offense arising out of acts which the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe were committed while the person was driving a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated or drugged condition; or
(2) If the person is under the age of twenty-one, has been stopped by a law enforcement officer, and the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that such person was driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of two-hundredths of one percent or more by weight; or
(3) If the person is under the age of twenty-one, has been stopped by a law enforcement officer, and the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that such person has committed a violation of the traffic laws of the state, or any political subdivision of the state, and such officer has reasonable grounds to believe, after making such stop, that such person has a blood alcohol content of two-hundredths of one percent or greater;
(4) If the person is under the age of twenty-one, has been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint or roadblock and the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that such person has a blood alcohol content of two-hundredths of one percent or greater;
(5) If the person, while operating a motor vehicle, has been involved in a motor vehicle collision which resulted in a fatality or a readily apparent serious physical injury as defined in section 565.002, RSMo, or has been arrested as evidenced by the issuance of a uniform traffic ticket for the violation of any state law or county or municipal ordinance with the exception of equipment violations contained in chapter 306, RSMo, or similar provisions contained in county or municipal ordinances; or
(6) If the person, while operating a motor vehicle, has been involved in a motor vehicle collision which resulted in a fatality or serious physical injury as defined in section 565.002, RSMo.
The test shall be administered at the direction of the law enforcement officer whenever the person has been arrested or stopped for any reason.
2. The implied consent to submit to the chemical tests listed in subsection 1 of this section shall be limited to not more than two such tests arising from the same arrest, incident or charge.
3. Chemical analysis of the person's breath, blood, saliva, or urine to be considered valid pursuant to the provisions of sections 577.019 to 577.041 shall be performed according to methods approved by the state department of health and senior services by licensed medical personnel or by a person possessing a valid permit issued by the state department of health and senior services for this purpose.
4. The state department of health and senior services shall approve satisfactory techniques, devices, equipment, or methods to be considered valid pursuant to the provisions of sections 577.019 to 577.041 and shall establish standards to ascertain the qualifications and competence of individuals to conduct analyses and to issue permits which shall be subject to termination or revocation by the state department of health and senior services.
5. The person tested may have a physician, or a qualified technician, chemist, registered nurse, or other qualified person at the choosing and expense of the person to be tested, administer a test in addition to any administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer. The failure or inability to obtain an additional test by a person shall not preclude the admission of evidence relating to the test taken at the direction of a law enforcement officer.
6. Upon the request of the person who is tested, full information concerning the test shall be made available to such person. Full information is limited to the following:
(1) The type of test administered and the procedures followed;
(2) The time of the collection of the blood or breath sample or urine analyzed;
(3) The numerical results of the test indicating the alcohol content of the blood and breath and urine;
(4) The type and status of any permit which was held by the person who performed the test;
(5) If the test was administered by means of a breath-testing instrument, the date of performance of the most recent required maintenance of such instrument.
Full information does not include manuals, schematics, or software of the instrument used to test the person or any other material that is not in the actual possession of the state. Additionally, full information does not include information in the possession of the manufacturer of the test instrument.
7. Any person given a chemical test of the person's breath pursuant to subsection 1 of this section or a field sobriety test may be videotaped during any such test at the direction of the law enforcement officer. Any such video recording made during the chemical test pursuant to this subsection or a field sobriety test shall be admissible as evidence at either any trial of such person for either a violation of any state law or county or municipal ordinance, or any license revocation or suspension proceeding pursuant to the provisions of chapter 302, RSMo.(L. 1977 S.B. 60, A.L. 1982 S.B. 513, A.L. 1983 S.B. 318 & 135, A.L. 1996 H.B. 1169 & 1271 merged with S.B. 722, A.L. 1998 S.B. 634, A.L. 2001 H.B. 144 & 46, A.L. 2006 S.B. 872, et al.)
(1985) The arrested person does not have a choice of which statutory test to take. If a choice were allowed, the person could avoid taking the test by choosing one which was unavailable. Kiso v. King (A.), 691 S.W.2d 374.
(1987) Department of Health rules on approved methods and techniques for chemical analysis of blood alcohol relate to evidence, are procedural and may be applied retrospectively. State v. Kummer, 741 S.W.2d 285 (Mo.App.E.D.).
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Why do we continue to tolerate drunks who drive, crash and kill people?
Drunken driving is a huge problem in Ohio. For every 10 cars that drive past you, one is likely to be driven by someone convicted of driving under the influence.
After a run of fatalities at the hands of repeat offenders, the General Assembly is belatedly taking action.
Last week, the Ohio Senate unanimously passed a bill requiring Ohioans with multiple drunken-driving convictions to take breath tests when stopped by police, and to wear bracelets to monitor alcohol levels through their sweat.
Blood-alcohol tests would be mandatory for anyone with two or more DUI convictions.
The measure moves to the House, which likely will consider a proposal that would require anyone convicted of drunken driving to install an ignition-locking device. The device won't allow the car to start if the driver has been drinking.
While they are at it, legislators should close the loophole that ties judges' hands when it comes to repeat offenders. A man in Cincinnati only got six months in jail for his eighth DUI in 30 years because of the time gaps between his convictions.
It's impossible to eliminate drunken driving entirely. But tougher laws and greater vigilance among us all can reduce the number of intoxicated drivers - and the deaths they inevitably cause.
|Post a Commen|
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
'Breath-test machines' considered for all DUI convictions - ABC15.com: Phoenix, Arizona News, Weather, Radar, Breaking News, Traffic and Web Cams
Monday, April 16, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
A San Francisco woman is dead and a man has been arrested after what police are calling a drunken driving crash in the Sunset District early today.
The solo vehicle crash occurred around 2:30 a.m. as a black Honda was turning onto eastbound Lincoln Way from southbound Great Highway and crashed into the center divide on Lincoln Way, said police Sgt. Steve Mannina.
A female passenger, identified by the Medical Examiner's office as Janice Kim, 28, was transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Another passenger, a 29-year-old man from San Francisco, was also taken to the hospital with injuries, Mannina said. He did not know the extent of the man's injuries or his current condition.
The driver, whose name is not being released, was also taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was treated for injuries and released. Police arrested him on charges of felony driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter, Mannina said.
Mannina said the driver was wearing his seatbelt, but police are unsure whether the two passengers, both of whom were in the backseat, were belted in.
Investigators are also unsure how fast the car was going when it crashed, he said.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Tests differ in DUI arrest of police chief's daughter due to inaccurate breath tests- Phoenix, Arizona
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Official's wife gets usual DUI sentence - Orlando Sentinel : Lake County News Official's wife gets usual DUI sentence - Orlando Sentinel : Lake County News
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
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