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Entries in Drunk Driving (21)

Saturday
Jul062013

Six Drivers in Seven-Car Pileup Charged with DUI’s

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) – Six Drivers have been charged with driving under the influence after a multi-car wreck in metro Atlanta early Friday morning.

The wreck started with a man who was walking on Interstate 75, according to police officer Danielle Rosa.  “A pedestrian was in the roadway,” Rosa said. “He was struck by another vehicle, which kind of caused a domino effect with the other vehicles being involved in the accident.”

By the time it was all over, seven vehicles had crashed. When police arrived at the scene, they found that almost every driver – six out of the seven drivers involved in the wreck – were driving while under the influence.

The pedestrian in the road was hospitalized and later charged with being in the roadway.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb282013

Ohio Bartender Fired After Calling Police on Drunken Driver

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SHELBY, Ohio) -- A bartender in Shelby, Ohio, claims she was fired over what local police say was the right thing to do.

Twyla DeVito had been a bartender at the American Legion Post in Shelby for almost a year when she called and reported to police that a regular bar patron and a board member of the American Legion had gotten into his car after appearing drunk and drove away.

“There was no cab, I couldn’t give him a ride home and I was working,” she said.

So she called police, who found the patron driving with a blood alcohol level more than twice the legal limit, according to Shelby Police Chief Charles Roub.

The patron was issued a citation for operating a vehicle under the influence, according to a police report.

Two days later, DeVito received a call from her commander telling her she was fired.

“He called me and said that I was bad for business,” she said. “[He said], ‘This is nothing personal, this is all business, but I am going to have to fire you.’”

“My commander said I didn’t follow protocol, but there was no protocol,” she added.

An attempt to reach the American Legion Post in Shelby, Ohio, for comment by telephone was unsuccessful.

According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there is not a law that requires a bartender to report a drunk driver.

“I support what she did,” said Roub. “We encourage people to report crimes, we encourage people to report drunk driving and, as a police officer, that helps me do my job.”

DeVito said she does not regret calling police.

“If he had gotten in a wreck that would have been on me, because I was on my shift,” said DeVito. “It was in a lose-lose situation. I choose to possibly save a life.”

“I just want people to understand [that] bartenders are in a catch [22],” DeVito said. “I can cut you off but you are still getting in your car and you’re still drunk. The whole point is being missed. You are still in a car drunk and driving.”

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec142012

Drunk Driving Incidents Declining, Says DOT

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- States are making progress on reducing drunk driving incidents.

In 27 states there were declines in the number of deaths blamed on drunk driving last year, according to a report from the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. New York, Texas, South Carolina, and Tennessee had the biggest reductions.

There were still nearly 10,000 people killed in drunk driving crashes IN 2011, so the Department of Transportation is starting a holiday crackdown. Transportation officials remind partiers to designate a sober driver or arrange a safe ride home and keep drunk people from getting behind the wheel.

"The holiday season can be an especially dangerous time on our nation's roadways due to drunk drivers -- that's why law enforcement officers will be out in full force," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Our message is simple: drive sober or get pulled over."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep062012

Drunk Driver Pocket-Dials 911, Leading to Own Arrest

Doug Menuez/Thinkstock(TACOMA, Wash.) -- A 47-year-old man in Tacoma, Wash. mistakenly pocket-dialed 911 not once but twice while driving drunk in what police said was a suspected stolen car. They soon caught up with him and arrested him.

Police are not releasing his name until he is charged, but say he is homeless.

The first 911 call came at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday.  Police said their dispatcher heard a screaming woman in the background and a man telling her to stop. According to Tacoma police, the call was traced to a street where officers saw a car run a red light.

Police tried to pull the car over. The driver did stop momentarily, and the woman passenger got out of the car and ran. The man then drove away, with police in pursuit.

Police say the suspect eventually stopped the car and ran on foot. A police dog on the scene was unsuccessful in finding the man. The vehicle, registered in Vancouver, Wash., allegedly contained several shaved keys, which led police to believe it was stolen.

“The vehicle is registered in Vancouver, but belongs to a woman who goes to school in Tacoma,” said Mark Fulghum, public information officer for the Tacoma Police Department. He said she did not even know her car was gone until police woke her up to tell her what happened.

At approximately 7 a.m. Wednesday, the same cellphone dialed 911 again, leading police to trace the call a second time. When they arrived, they say they found an intoxicated couple sitting inside a different vehicle than the one that ran the red light the night before.

The man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and violating a no-contact order, but only booked for the no-contact order, which had been issued after a complaint by the woman with whom he had been riding.  She was arrested as well on outstanding warrants.

Police said the man did not realize that his phone had dialed 911 either time, but according to Fulghum, the cellphone contract was not active and the phone could only dial emergency numbers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

Missouri Party Host Blamed in Teen's Fatal Drunk Accident

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- On Halloween 2009, as Kenneth Blake, 19, was driving himself home from a party at which he had gotten drunk, he hit another car, killing Laura Reynolds, 16.  Nearly three years later, a Missouri judge is considering whether the party's host, Sandra Triebel, 46, should be tried on a charge of second-degree involuntary manslaughter for serving Blake drinks.

The state has never convicted an alcohol provider in connection with fatal drunk driving accidents, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Baker said.  But she said her office charged Triebel in Reynolds' death because she mixed the drinks herself in her Kansas City home, knew that Blake was a minor when she served him alcohol, and knew that he was intoxicated when he got into his car.  That level of criminal negligence warrants an involuntary manslaughter charge, she said.

"We're not out to get every social host in Missouri, but this is close enough to the line that it merited the charge, merited the prosecution," Baker said.  "When children are under our custody and control, we have a duty of care."

But under Missouri civil law, Triebel cannot be "held liable for the conduct of a third party," no matter how tragic its effect, said Tiffany Leuty, Triebel's public defender.

In a brief she filed before Jackson County Judge Peggy McGraw, Leuty argued that the involuntary manslaughter charge should be thrown out, since Missouri courts have for years ruled that "furnishing alcoholic beverages is not the proximate cause of injuries by intoxicated persons."

In a hearing before McGraw last week, Assistant Prosecutor Janette Rodecap pointed to a 2003 Pennsylvania case in which an appeals court upheld a woman's manslaughter conviction under circumstances similar to Triebel's.  Rodecap acknowledged that the Pennsylvania ruling was not legally relevant to Triebel's case, but argued that it showed the proper way to understand a party host's responsibility in such situations.

McGraw is expected to issue a ruling in the next two weeks on whether to allow the charge.

Triebel also faces charges of providing alcohol to a minor and allowing a minor to drink intoxicating liquor on her property.  Her trial is scheduled for September.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

Pregnant Michigan Woman Accused of Driving Drunk with Baby in Car

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- A pregnant Michigan woman was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of drunk driving with her 10-month-old baby in the car.

Rania Hijazi, who is eight months pregnant, was arrested by Southfield police after she crashed her vehicle into a street sign around 3:30 a.m. Memorial Day, ABC News station WXYZ-TV reported.  There were no reports of injuries to Hijazi or her baby.

Police say Hijazi, 37, failed field sobriety tests and registered a 0.14 blood-alcohol level with preliminary breath tests. She was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired and child endangerment.

In court Tuesday, Hijazi asked for a court-appointed attorney even though her husband is employed.  Her bond has been set at $25,000 and a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May222012

Man with Zebra, Parrot in Front Seat Charged with DUI

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DUBUQUE, Iowa) -- Police in Dubuque, Iowa, responded to an unusual call this week: reports of a zebra and a parrot in the front seat of a truck parked outside a bar. The striped animal and his fine feathered friend were there to keep their owner company, but weren’t allowed in the bar.

Jerald Reiter, 55, told police the zebra and maccaw parrot enjoy going for rides in his truck, so he brought them to the bar, which he says usually allows animals inside, ABC affiliate KCRG-TV reports.

When the motley crew got to the bar, they were told because food was being served, the animals wouldn’t be allowed inside. Bar owners told KCRG no animals are ever allowed inside.

When officers arrived on the scene, they stopped Reiter in the parking as he was driving his truck away. Field sobriety tests found he had a blood alcohol level of .14, nearly twice the legal limit, according to police.

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His girlfriend, Vickie Teters, told KCRB the animals are like their children, and do everything with them.

“They love going for rides. They’re just a part of the family,” Teters said. “They were not left alone in the car, not even a second.”

Reiter also disputes the drunk driving charge, saying he realized he was too drunk to drive, and was about to let a passenger take the wheel when he was arrested.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May012012

Wis. Mother and Son Killed in Different Auto Accidents

Thinkstock/Getty Images(WEST ALLIS, Wis.) -- Two unrelated car accidents claimed the lives of a mother and her son early Sunday morning in West Allis, Wis.

Mary Moore, 45, was struck by a car, while lying in the street at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning. According to a report by the medical examiner, a witness behind the car that struck Moore initially thought the first car had gone over a speed bump.   But when the witness got closer, they realized that a woman was lying in the roadway. Moore was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, authorities said. The driver who struck her was arrested a few hours later, according to police. The driver had left the scene.

Approximately four hours after Moore was struck, her son, Thomas Olson, 22, was killed as he was being driven to the hospital. Olson was riding as a passenger in his girlfriend’s SUV, when the driver lost control of the vehicle, hit three parked cars and flipped over, according to a report by the medical examiner.  Olsen was ejected from the vehicle and later succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. His fellow passengers suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Police say alcohol may have been a factor in both of the fatal crashes. The person driving Olson to the hospital was arrested for a DUI after the accident.

West Allis Police Department Deputy Chief Charles Padgett told ABC News that although Moore had been drinking, it was unclear how much alcohol she had consumed. The driver who allegedly struck her was also seen at a local tavern prior to the accident, but Padgett said police are not pursuing alcohol-related charges in that case at this time, he said.

The two fatal accidents happened within just two miles of each other under circumstances Padgett called “unusual and rare.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr202012

Polo Tycoon John Goodman in $46 Million Settlement for DUI Death

Palm Beach Sheriff's Office(PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Convicted polo tycoon John Goodman agreed to a $46 million settlement with the parents of 23-year-old Scott Wilson who died in a drunken driving accident perpetrated by Goodman, according to court documents.

Lili and William Wilson, Scott Wilson's parents, will each receive $23 million in the settlement, the same age their son was when he was killed.

All parties involved had previously been tight-lipped about the settlement amount in the civil suit over the crash after Goodman adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend to help protect his estate in the civil suit.

The amount was disclosed in a motion for bond filed Wednesday.

The attorneys filed the motion in hopes of being able to get Goodman out of prison pending his appeal and the outcome of his motion for a new trial. Earlier this week, Goodman's attorneys filed a motion for a new trial based on alleged juror misconduct.

A Florida jury found Goodman guilty of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in March. He could face up to 30 years in prison when sentenced April 30.

Goodman's Bentley slammed into Scott Wilson's Hyundai and sent it into a nearby canal in Wellington, Fla., in February 2010. Wilson, a 23-year-old engineering graduate, was strapped into the driver's seat and drowned.

The multi-millionaire founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach claimed his $200,000 car malfunctioned and lurched forward. He has also denied being drunk at the time of the crash that killed Wilson, although other testimony has contradicted him and his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit three hours after the crash.

Attorneys for both Lili and William Wilson did not respond to ABC News requests for comment Friday.

But Christian Searcy, Lili Wilson's attorney, told the Palm Beach Post that the money did not come from Goodman's fortune, but, rather, from insurance companies. He also noted that $6 million of the settlement came from The Player's Club, the restaurant where Goodman had been drinking before the crash.

The motion filed Monday in a Palm Beach County court, asked for a new trial or for Goodman's convictions to be overturned.

In the motion, an alternate juror reported the alleged instances of misconduct to Goodman's lawyers, saying "it was clear" to her the jurors had made up their minds before the end of the trial.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr162012

Polo Tycoon's Lawyer Alleges Juror Misconduct in John Goodman Conviction

Hemera/Thinkstock(PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Attorneys for convicted polo tycoon John Goodman filed a motion Monday for a new trial based on alleged juror misconduct, according to documents obtained by ABC News.

An alternate juror reported the alleged instances of misconduct to Goodman's lawyers, saying "it was clear" to her the jurors had made up their minds before the end of the trial.

A Florida jury found Goodman guilty of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in March. He could face up to 30 years in prison when sentenced April 30.

Goodman's Bentley slammed into Scott Wilson's Hyundai and sent it into a nearby canal in Wellington, Fla., in February 2010. Wilson, a 23-year-old engineering graduate, was strapped into the driver's seat and drowned.

The multi-millionaire founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach claimed his $200,000 car malfunctioned and lurched forward. He has also denied being drunk at the time of the crash that killed Wilson, although other testimony has contradicted him and his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit three hours after the crash.

The motion, filed Monday in a Palm Beach County court, asks for a new trial or for Goodman's convictions to be overturned.

"The defendant bases these requests on several strains of jury misconduct that were recently reported to counsel, unsolicited, by an alternate juror," according to the motion.

The defense claims that jurors "repeatedly disobeyed their oaths and instructions from the court" in several ways, including by discussing evidence before the end of the case, by making derogatory comments about Goodman's wealth throughout the trial, and by ignoring instructions about not reading media coverage of the case.

It was allegedly an alternate juror that called the court at the end of March, "wishing to report the various forms of misconduct she had witnessed during the trial," the motion said.

When the court did not respond, the motion stated, the alternate juror called the office of Goodman's attorneys and told them of the alleged misconduct.

Defense attorney Roy Black's office said they have no comment at this time: "The motion speaks for itself."

Goodman has already settled a civil suit over the crash after adopting his 42-year-old girlfriend to help protect his estate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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