Washington Councilman Takes DUI Plea Deal

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A City Councilman in Tacoma, Washington who was accused of driving under the influence will be able to avoid a criminal record with a plea deal. Kitsap County prosecutors agreed to the deal that will allow him to avoid the criminal record as long as he stays out of trouble, and follows other guidelines of the plea deal for the next two years.

Ryan Mello, the Tacoma City Councilman, must adhere to the following stipulations for this plea deal: maintain a valid driver’s license and insurance, attend a DUI victim’s panel, seek chemical dependency treatment, avoid drinking and driving and complete a six-hour defensive driving course. Mello must also pay $900 in fees.

The deal is fairly standard for a first time offender, like Mello, who’s blood alcohol level was near the legal limit at the time of his arrest. According to court records, Mello has already complied with most of the conditions set forth. Mello was arrested in January, after making a series of lane changes. He admitted to having a rum and Coke, and a glass of wine.

Snow Leads to DUI Conviction

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January27,2011DrivingWithLicensePlateCoveredBySnowAndStickersInBackWindow

 

A DUI conviction that followed an arrest in January of 2011, was upheld in Montana last week. Mark Haldane, a Montana resident, was arrested after a police officer stopped him because snow was obstructing his view of the license plate. All of the license and registration information on the car was current, as it had just been purchased a few days earlier. After approaching the vehicle, the officer noticed that Haldane was intoxicated.

After his conviction in February of 2012, Haldane filed an appeal saying the officer had no cause for pulling him over, and that the snow covering the license plate was not sufficient. The Montana Supreme Court disagreed with Haldane, saying state law allows for the seizure of a private citizen based on merely a partial obstruction.

The Supreme Court did order for a new sentence after finding that the district court had handed down the highest penalty. He was originally sentenced to six months in jail, and ordering fines of $935. While this appeal did not vacate his conviction entirely, at least he was able to get his punishment lessened.

Phony DUI Arrests at Heart of State Trooper Lawsuit

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A Utah State Trooper is facing a lawsuit after 10 years of record setting arrest numbers. Lisa Steed built a reputation as an excellent officer, with a flair for finding drunken motorists. One supervisor even referred to it as an uncanny ability.

As it turns out, those abilities may not have been so much uncanny, as they were unrealistic. Steed and her former superiors are facing a lawsuit that alleges she filed falsified DUI reports. Those she arrested have said the arrests were disruptive and costly.

One man, Michael Choate, was stopped because he was wearing a Halloween costume, and Steed arrested him even though three breathalyzers showed no evidence of alcohol in his system. Choate took four days off of work to fight his DUI charges. They were ultimately dismissed, but he spent $3,800 on DUI attorneys in the process.

Steed was added to the DUI squad in 2009, and she garnered 400 DUI arrests that year. Those arrests were thought to be a state record, until recent allegations, and were more than double the previous DUI arrest record. Her arrests came into question in 2010 when Sgt. Rob Nixon noted that most of her arrests were on signs of impairment of drugs. A bulk of those arrests had no signs of impairing drugs in their systems.

Those listed on the lawsuit want the entire agency removed from their positions and held responsible for the damages Steed caused.

Officer Resigns After DUI Misconduct

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A trooper from Yakima, Washington has submitted his letter of resignation after an investigation that focused on his lies, sex, and misconduct on the job. Investigators say that Travis Lamb had sex with a woman just three hours after he booked her into jail for a DUI.

The investigation determined that Lamb had not broken any laws, but had violated the official misconduct statue. The woman he had arrested earlier that day, told investigators that he showed up in his patrol car and in his uniform. Lamb was not on duty at the time, but he was on call.

Lamb said the woman acted out of jealousy after he told her he wasn’t interested in pursuing a relationship with her. The investigators decided the woman’s story was more credible, because Lamb resigned, but no charges were ever filed. Lamb admitted that resigning from his ‘dream job’ was the hardest thing he had ever done.

It is believed that this investigation had no impact on the woman’s Washington DUI case.

Tennessee Man Collects a Dozen DUIs

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Anthony McGowan

Anthony McGowan of Nashville, Tennessee, was arrested Tuesday morning for a DUI after dropping a child off at school. Police pulled him over after noticing his expired plates, and that’s when they noticed his slurred speech, and that he smelled of alcohol.

McGowan admitted to having several drinks that morning, and then told police he had just dropped a child off at school. He consented to a field sobriety test, before informing police that was on disability for back pain, and was taking his depression medication, as well as Celebrex, which is a pain medication.

McGowan’s license was revoked for being a habitual offender, any offense after four is considered habitual. . He has had eight DUI convictions since 1989, but also has three other DUI arrests, not including the arrest this week. He was taken into custody and charged with another DUI, and his bail was set at $70,000.

According to Tennessee law, penalties are substantially worse after the second offense, and can include forfeiture of the vehicle used. Any offense after the third is classified as a felony.

State Troopers Broadcast DUI Arrests on Twitter

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Washington State Troopers were so concerned about the number of DUI arrests they made this weekend; they took to Twitter to broadcast their frustrations, and try to deter people from driving under the influence. Over 55 offenders were arrested this Presidents’ Day weekend in the state of Washington.

One woman in particular was incredibly lucky, according to state troopers. Her car was airborne, following a crash on a rural road, and landed among the trees. She was trapped for hours before anyone realized her car was stuck.

“Apparently this driver is a hard learner. It’s not her first DUI. … Use a designated driver, take a taxi, call a friend, make another choice.” State Trooper Guy Gill posted on twitter following the arrest of the 29-year-old woman.

Another Washington resident was arrested after officers found him driving the wrong direction on Highway 101. That driver thought he was on a different freeway in a different part of the state.

Holiday weekends are often a time for get-togethers, barbecuing and having a few drinks. If you’re going to partake in the good times, don’t drink and drive. Take the time to plan ahead for a designated driver, or use a taxi for your drive home. DUIs are expensive, whether you fight them yourself or hire a DUI defense attorney.

Husband and Wife Arrested for DUI on Same Night

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A Connecticut woman was arrested Saturday night on suspicion of a DUI, when she arrived at Hamden police headquarters to pick up her husband who had been arrested for a DUI.

April Cassidy, a 32-year old Connecticut resident was arrested after she appeared intoxicated at the front desk of the police station. Cassidy was at headquarters because she was bailing her husband, 33-year-old Edwin Velez III, out of jail. Velez had been arrested a few hours earlier for a DUI.

Upon further investigation, police found Cassidy’s pickup truck parked in several spots reserved for police vehicles. The truck was littered with empty beer cans and wine bottles. Her husband was arrested earlier in the evening after police found his car crashed into a snow bank. The car was empty, but the engine was still running. Officers found him at his home nearby, and Velez failed a sobriety test, with his BAC almost three times the legal limit.

Both husband and wife have been charged with DUI, and will appear in a Connecticut court room on February 22. Velez is also being charged with risk of injury to a minor, the couple’s five-year-old daughter was in the car with him when he crashed into the snow bank.

Colorado University Student Arrested for DUI after Police Chase

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Jennifer Greer (Photo: Boulder Police Department)

Jennifer Greer, a 22-year-old Colorado University student, was arrested Monday morning after leading police on a chase that ended in a crash on the U.S. 36. Greer is suspected of driving drunk, and she has been arrested two previous times for DUI.

A campus police officer tried to wave her down when he saw her driving on the sidewalk with two flat tires. She continued driving, and the officer followed the tire tracks in the snow on the ground. The officer noticed she had been driving on the lawn as well.

Another police officer saw Greer a short time later and attempted to pull her over. Greer refused to stop and sped up to 60 mph on the eastbound 36. The officer, at that point, decided to cease his pursuit because of poor weather conditions and public safety concerns, according to the campus police spokesperson Ryan Huff.

Within seconds, the officer saw Greer’s car had lost a tire and collided with the median on the highway. Greer was not injured during the collision. The officer then arrested and charged Greer with felony vehicular eluding, driving under the influence, and several other traffic violations.

Colorado DUIs currently face a maximum punishment of one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, 96 hours of public service, and an alcohol education course, along with other punishments. The DUI offender must also abstain from alcohol for a year.

Florida Man Arrested for DUI Inside Wal-Mart

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Police in Brooksville, Florida say a man they arrested Sunday night was driving under the influence inside a local Wal-Mart. Employees at store called the police to report the incident. Police arrived to find Timothy Carr operating a motorized shopping cart while consuming and alcoholic beverage he took from a Wal-Mart shelf. Carr was also bumping into shelves and knocking items onto the floor.

When police approached him, Carr admitted that he did not have money to pay for the beverage he had taken from the shelf. Carr was arrested, and it was discovered that he had two prior convictions for retail theft. He is being held on $2,150 bond at the Hernando County Jail.

This is not the first time someone has been arrested for operating a motorized form of transportation. In 2012, a man was arrested for driving a Zamboni while intoxicated. Also, in 2009, an Ohio man was arrested for driving a motorized bar stool. In Minnesota though, a man was convicted of a DUI while he was riding his Segway, but that decision was recently overturned. If you need help fighting a DUI, a lawyer who specializes in DUIs can help you with your case!

Designated Driver Arrested for DUI

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Ram Ride an ASCSU Program

Most people assume that when they have a designated driver, they’ll have a safe ride home. Well, at Colorado State University, where the Associated Students run a designated driver program called RamRide, one of those designated drivers has been arrested for a DUI.

The Rocky Mountain Collegian has reported that campus police arrested the driver around 2 a.m. Friday morning. Only the driver and an additional volunteer were in the car at the time of the arrest. The driver faces charges of speeding, driving under the influence of liquor, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The driver is a student at Colorado State University.

The RamRide website says it provides “safe, non-judgmental rides for Colorado State University’s students with the goal of improving the safety of the Fort Collins community.” It is always best to plan ahead for a designated driver, but be sure your designated driver is being safe also. In Colorado, the driver faces a maximum punishment of one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, 96 hours of public service, among other penalties.