Alabama Man Steals Ambulance to Avoid DUI

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Matthew Todd

An Alabama man led police on a pursuit, and escaped, after being arrested for a DUI. 24-year-old Matthew Todd was arrested for a DUI, and was then taken to an area hospital for the injuries he sustained during the first crash. While waiting for a hospital room, Todd convinced the hospital workers to allow him to go outside for a cigarette. Once he was outside, he abandoned the cigarette and hopped into an already running ambulance in front of the hospital.

Todd was unable to get the ambulance very far, so he entered a nearby barn and attempted to saddle two horses. When his second plan didn’t pan out, he stole an SUV and tried to drive home. Instead, he crashed the SUV, totaling it in the process. After that he found an additional car, and this time was able to drive himself home.

The next morning, Todd returned to the emergency room to have his wounds from the first crash tended to. Hospital employees recognized him as ‘the man who tried to steal their ambulance,’ and called the authorities. Todd was arrested again for his DUI, and is now also charged with his series of getaway attempts. He is going to need a very good DUI attorney to help him try to avoid jail.

Dauphin County Throws Out Breathalyzer Tests in DUI

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Earlier this month, a Dauphin County judge ruled that breathalyzer tests cannot be used to prosecute the state’s highest level of DUI impairment. The ruling stems from a challenge that was filed by Pennsylvania attorney Justin McShane, on behalf of his client Jason Schildt. Schildt was charged with the highest level DUI after a crash in 2010.

Judge Lawrence F. Clark, Jr. ruled that blood-alcohol readings that are over .15, on the much-used Intoxilyzer 5000EN, cannot be trusted. The results are seen as high questionable because the machines are not properly calibrated to give accurate readings on any level. Also, the calibration performed does not follow state protocol.

The Pennsylvania District Attorney’s office has asked the Supreme Court to overturn this ruling, but in the meantime Schildt and almost 20 other highest level DUI cases have been overturned. Currently the ruling is only for Dauphin County, but in bringing it to the Supreme Court opens up the possibility that many more cases will be overturned. McShane contests that the ruling calls thousands of DUI convictions, in the state of Pennsylvania, into question. He states that almost 13,000 highest level DUIs were issued in 2011, and about 70% of those convictions relied heavily on breathalyzer tests.

Currently in the state of Pennsylvania, a highest level DUI, with a blood alcohol level of .16 or higher, faces a number of penalties. Those penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, no less than 72 hours in jail, license suspension, and up to 150 hours of community service.

Wisconsin Police Officer Issued DUI

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A police officer in Racine, Wisconsin was caught in a DUI checkpoint, along with 25 other suspected drunken driving offenders. Officer Keino Turner was stopped around 8:30 p.m. and registered a .16 BAC, twice the state limit.

The officer was issued a citation for his first drunken driving offense, and citations for having a blood alcohol level over .15, and for deviating from his designated lane. The city police department was notified that he was stopped by the Milwaukee Sheriff’s Department. The officer has been removed active patrol and placed on administrative duty until Racine Police can confirm additional details.

Wisconsin DUI penalties can include a fine of up $655, and a license revocation for six to nine months.

Crocs Co-Founder Get DUI, Blames Taylor Swift

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George Boedecker .jpg

Crocs cofounder George Boedecker Jr. has pleaded guilty to a DUI charge from August of 2012. When he was arrested he tried to tell police he had not been driving the car, he was simply a passenger, and his girlfriend, country music superstar Taylor Swift, had been driving.

Police arrived at the scene after witnesses reported a man sleeping behind the wheel of a running Porsche. When police and paramedics arrived, Boedecker exited the vehicle, which was parked partly on the sidewalk. He told officers that he was taking a nap after leaving a benefit event earlier. He then told them his girlfriend had been driving, but they started arguing and she left.

When police asked him who his girlfriend was he told them she was a “really famous country singer,” and then asked them if they knew who Taylor Swift was. Throughout the arrest process Boedecker was uncooperative and shouted several expletives at officers. At one point he even told officers he would become medieval, and that the officers now had an enemy for life.

Boedecker has been sentenced to 2 years probation, which includes 30 days of in-home detention, along with other stringent restrictions. In Colorado, the maximum punishment for a DUI is a one year in jail, a $1000 fine, 96 hours of community service, and alcohol education course, and up to 86 hours of alcohol therapy.

NJ Woman Arrested for DWI Wearing Only a Leather Jacket

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DWI NJ

Catherine Giaquinto, a 36-year-old Sparta, New Jersey resident, was arrested for a DWI. Police were called after reports of someone driving into a wall and the driving away. Giaquinto was found driving nearby with damage to her car that was consistent with that report.

When she was pulled over officers noticed she was only wearing an unzipped leather jacket. Giaquinto told officers she had no recollection of the accident, and did not know where she was going. According to officers, she was slurring her words and was incoherent, at times. One officer, noticing clothing in her car, asked her to get dressed and step out of her vehicle. After 10 minutes, she emerged from her vehicle with her dress on – inside out and backwards.

Giaquinto was unable to stand for her field sobriety test, so she was arrested. Currently, she is charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to a breath test, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, careless driving, failure to wear a seatbelt, and documentation violation.

According to New Jersey DWI laws, Giaquinto faces fines, jail time, and driver’s license consequences, if convicted of driving while intoxicated. The other charges will, no doubt, add more penalties.

Pennsylvania Representative Found Guilty of DUI

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Pennsylvania State Representative Cherelle Parker was found guilty of drinking and driving, charges that stem from a 2011 arrest. You might remember Parker, her case was originally thrown out but it turned out she and the judge were friends on Facebook.

Parker was arrested in April of 2011, when she was found driving the wrong way on a one way street. Police pulled Parker over and submitted a breathalyzer test. Parker recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.16 percent, twice the legal limit in the state of Pennsylvania.

Parker has been sentenced to up to 6 months in county jail and the loss of her license for one year. Her sentence has been delayed as she is expected to appeal to the Superior Court.

Idaho DUI Suspect is a Familiar Face

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Meridian Police responded to a call from a liquor store about a customer who appeared to be intoxicated. When they got there, they found Karen Ann Hansen sitting in her running vehicle. She failed several field sobriety tests, before police took her to the local hospital for a blood test. Hansen was then booked on charges of a felony DUI.

This is Hansen’s third DUI in the last 12 months. She was arrested and charged with a DUI in January and September of 2012, and pled guilty to both. Hansen was serving two years probation, and was driving on a suspended license. She will likely be charged with a probation violation and driving without a license.

In Idaho, state laws say it is a felony DUI if it is received within 5 years of the first offense, OR within 10 years of a prior felony DUI. The penalty for a felony DUI includes up to $5,000 fine, and 30 days to 5 years behind bars.

Redding, Set, Go! Grant Helps Anti-DUI Campaign

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The California Office of Traffic awarded $35,000 to the Redding Police Department to assist with an anti-DUI program. The $35,000 will mostly go to DUI Checkpoints to help prevent deaths and injuries caused by drivers under the influence.

The grant stems from the success of the ‘Avoid the Six’ campaign that Shasta County implemented over the holiday season. Multiple DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoints were scheduled locally, county- and statewide, from December 14th through January 1st.

DUI arrests were down from 71 arrests in 2011, to 50 in 2012, during the campaign. The grant will help continue the program through the year.

The task force was composed of the Redding Police Department, Anderson Police Department, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, Shasta County Probation Department, Shasta County Marshal’s Office, and CHP. They called the task force ’Avoid the Six’ because motorists could avoid being arrested by planning for a safe ride home.

California DUI laws hold a penalty of up to 6 months in jail, $1,000 fine, and your license suspended for 6 months.

Is Blood Test a Violation of the 4th Amendment?

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Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the Missouri vs. McNeely case to determine whether or not motorists can be forced into a blood test without either consent or a warrant.

In 2010, Tyler McNeely was arrested for drunk driving. McNeely refused a breath test, and the arresting officer, instead of taking McNeely to the drunk-tank, drove to the nearest hospital. McNeely was forced to take a blood test.

There was little doubt that there was enough to get a warrant, McNeely failed several field sobriety tests, and the officer reported that McNeely was unsteady on his feet, and was slurring his speech.

The ACLU, representing Tyler McNeely, says this blood test was a violation of McNeely’s 4th Amendment right.

Currently, over half of the United States have a ban on blood tests without consent and/or a warrant. The state of Missouri can suspend a drivers’ license for a year if he or she refuses a breath or blood test. There is only a 30-day suspension if you have no priors, consent to the test, and are found impaired.

‘Criminal Minds’ Star Thomas Gibson Arrested for DUI in Los Angeles

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Image via CBS Thomas Gibson DUI

Actor Thomas Gibson was arrested for a DUI in LA early Sunday morning after driving through a barricade the city set up for a half-marathon.

Thomas Gibson currently stars on Criminal Minds and he is most known for starring on the TV sitcom, Dharma and Greg.

This weekend, downtown LA held a marathon that resulted in a lot of roadblocks and traffic jams. Thomas Gibson drove through a barricaded area and police stopped him. After the cops pulled the actor over, Thomas Gibson was suspected to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested. Gibson was released on a $15,000 bond.

The consequences for a DUI in Los Angeles can include possible jail time and the installation of an ignition interlock device. Gibson may have to face additional charges for disrupting the marathon and potentially endangering pedestrians, but nothing has been published regarding other offenses as of yet.