September 2, 2015

Looking at the Frequency of U.S. DUI Offenses

We see many campaigns designed to curb drunk driving. These are often associated with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The advocacy group has been lobbying across the country for tougher drunk driving penalties and a reduced legal limit for alcohol consumption for drivers.

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It was MADD that initially pushed the national limit of 0.08 grams of ethanol (drinking alcohol) per hundred milliliters of blood. They way they did this was to get Congress to connect highway funding to a state’s decision to lower its respective legal limits to 0.08. This was also how MADD was able to get Congress to push for a national standard drinking age of 21, when it was previously 18 or even lower in some places.

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August 30, 2015

Birmingham Officials Want Uber to Help Curb DUI Arrests

Officials in Birmingham are hoping the ride-sharing company Uber - and others like it - could help reduce the number of DUI arrests, crashes and related injuries and deaths in the city.
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For those who have not been to a city where Uber is currently operating, a brief description of how the service works might be helpful. People can download an app the Uber company has created for their smartphones. Once you have an Uber account, you can add one or more credit cards into the system, so it is ready to use when needed.

When a person wants a ride home or to any other location, they can load the app and request a ride. The person usually has a choice of whether they want a traditional “black car” luxury sedan, like ones generally taken to the airport, a taxicab, or an UberX, which is late model privately-owned vehicle being driven by a person who has signed on to drive with Uber. Basically, when you request a ride, all nearby drivers have an opportunity to agree to pick you up and take you to your destination. The company handles all payments, including a tip, and you do not have to have any money in your pocket to pay the driver.

Additionally, every rider gets an opportunity to rate all drivers, and their vehicles must be new and clean. The price of the Uber ride is dependent upon traffic, how many people are using the system at one time and the type of vehicle a person requests. For example, a luxury SUV will cost more than an economy sedan.

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August 30, 2015

Alabama Man Arrested for Fatal DUI Accident

Drunk driving arrests that involve serious personal injury or death are punished more severely than DUI offenses in which there was no accident. While the conduct is the same - a person gets behind the wheel when intoxicated - the end result can have a serious effect on which criminal offenses are charged.

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August 26, 2015

NFL Linebacker Aldon Smith Arrested for DUI, Hit-and-Run

While there have been several articles in recent news about college football players who have been arrested for DUI, the National Football League (NFL) is certainly not immune to the problem. It seems there is more going on than inflated footballs and domestic violence allegations, according to a recent news article from AL.com.

nightime-stadium-1563902.jpgAuthorities say San Francisco 49ers’ linebacker Aldon Smith was recently arrested for DUI and hit-and-run. The alleged offense occurred in Santa Clara, California and police were not officially saying what happened. Following this alleged incident, the San Francisco 49ers released Smith, and the team issued a statement saying that, while Smith is no longer a part of their team, they offer their continued support and concern for his health and well-being.

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August 22, 2015

Alabama Football Player Discusses Recent DUI Arrest

To say college football is very popular in Alabama would be an understatement. Many residents live to watch and cheer for their beloved University of Alabama Crimson Tide. So when one of their star players gets arrested multiple times for driving under the influence (DUI), it's big news.

football-game-1-1558128.jpgAccording to a recent news article from the Anniston Star, Geno Matias-Smith discussed his second arrest for drunk driving and how it has affected his life and his team. Last March was when his second DUI arrest occurred. Following this arrest, Matias-Smith said he knew he had to get his life back on track and earn back the trust of his teammates and the coaching staff.

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August 14, 2015

Buffalo Sabres Ryan O’Reilly Charged with DWI

According to a recent news article from Sports Illustrated, Ryan O’Reilly, a center for the Buffalo Sabres in the National Hockey League (NHL), was recently charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI).

hockey-1-1251091.jpgThis DUI arrest occurred in Canada when O’Reilly was allegedly driving under the influence (DUI) of intoxicating alcohol in the Ontario Provence. The provincial police also charged him with fleeing the scene of an accident (hit-and-run). The DUI crash allegedly occurred around 4 a.m. when his pickup truck crashed into a commercial building. The business into which he allegedly crashed was a Tim Horton’s. Tim Horton’s is a doughnut and coffee chain, popular in Canada, that is beginning to open more stores in the United States.

Authorities say O’Reilly was arrested following a single-vehicle crash, after which he and an unknown number of occupants fled the scene of the accident on foot. Provincial police caught up with him on a nearby street. Provincial police say they gave him a breath test and determined he was over the legal limit of 0.08 grams of ethanol per hundred milliliters of blood.

Earlier this month, prior to his arrest, O’Reilly was acquired by the Buffalo Sabres from his previous team, the Colorado Avalanche, as part of a seven-year contract valued at $52 Million.

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July 26, 2015

Controversial Campaign Against Drunk Driving Halted

There are tried and true anti-drunk driving campaigns and slogans we see year after year. For example, most of us have heard the slogans like “drive hammered, get nailed” or “sober or slammer” and other similar sounding messages the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has created over the years to raise public awareness. You have also probably the seen the billboard featuring a suspect blowing into a roadside breath test (RBT) saying “you just blew $10,000” in reference to the cost of getting a drunk driving conviction.

bar.jpgHowever, from time-to-time, a state agency or non-profit tries to come up with a new campaign to convince people to stop drinking and driving. Sometimes, things do not go according to plan. According to a recent news article from WSMV, one anti-drunk driving campaign proved to be too controversial and had to be suspended.

This taxpayer-funded anti-drunk driving campaign based in Nashville, Tennessee has caused people to become upset. The campaign involved creating bar coasters and signs for bar and nightclub bathrooms. They contain messages about “buying a drink for a marginally good looking girl.” On the back of the coaster, it warns the reader that if he would do this, his judgment is impaired and so is his driving.

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July 26, 2015

Jefferson County Man Charged in Wife's Death in DUI

A drunk driving arrest involving a fatal accent is a situation in which nobody would ever choose to be. While many people think they might get arrested for DUI if they have had one too many drinks at the bar before getting behind the wheel, most people aren’t thinking about being involved in an accident. They certainly aren’t thinking about being involved in a fatal traffic accident.

hand-cuffs-12754-m.jpgAccording to a recent news article from AL.com, a husband has just been charged in connection with his wife’s death as result of an alleged drunk driving traffic accident in Jefferson County, Alabama. Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies were notified of a suspicion of drunk driving early one morning. When they arrived on the scene, they found a 27-year-old man walking in the road.

When deputies approached the man, he allegedly told them he was just involved in a car accident. He also is said to have told them his wife was trapped in his car following the accident. When the deputies located suspect’s car, they found it had rolled completely over and was resting upside down with its roof on the ground. Suspect’s wife was found in the back seat and was already dead by the time authorities arrived. It should be noted, this was not an SUV, as we typically see in rollover accidents, but instead it was a 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which has a relatively low center of gravity.

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July 26, 2015

Drunk Driving Suspect Found Naked on Barn Roof

Most drunk driving arrests do not even make local news in cities such as Birmingham, and they certainly do not make the national news. However, some drunk driving arrests involve a set of circumstances that are somewhat more interesting than others, and these are the kinds of DUI arrests that make national news.barn.jpg

According to a recent news article from the New York Post, authorities allegedly caught up with a drunk driving suspect when he was completely naked and on the roof a barn.

Pennsylvania State Police troopers say suspect was allegedly driving drunk when he was involved a motor vehicle crash. Specifically, troopers say the 20-year-old suspect lost control of his vehicle due to being intoxicated and crashed into a speed limit sign. After crashing into the speed limit sign, he then crashed into a mailbox on the side of the road, according to police. At this point, he allegedly kept driving on the road shoulder until he lost control of the car again and crashed into a large embankment and could no longer drive his vehicle.

Once the car was damaged to the point where it was no longer drivable, troopers allege suspect fled from his car on foot. When authorities found his disabled car and suspected he had fled on foot, they began searching the nearby area. It did not take long for them to find the suspect, and, when they did, they found him naked on the roof of a nearby barn. When troopers arrived at the barn, the man soon fell off the roof, and they placed him under arrest without further incident. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and a number of other criminal traffic charges as result of allegedly leaving the scene of a collision and driving off the road.

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November 30, 2014

Breathalyzer App Calls Uber For Impaired Users

When out drinking for a night, it can be difficult to track how much alcohol you have consumed. It may also be difficult to know when you shouldn’t get behind the wheel.

Certain breathalyzer apps have purported to help drivers in Alabama and nationwide better understand when they are over the legal limit to prevent DUI or drinking related accidents. Now a new breathalyzer app takes an extra step by contacting Uber, the ride service provider, once it detects a user is over the legal blood-alcohol limit.

The company known as “Breathometer” has introduced a new device that informs drivers of how drunk they are, and hails a ride from Uber when the user is legally drunk.

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According to reports, the device is called “Breeze,” and has the ability to test the blood alcohol level of a user, similar to other breathalyzer apps. The application goes a step further to help drivers make better decisions, by not getting behind the wheel. The “Breeze” app is connected to a mobile app, via Bluetooth, and has the ability to test blood-alcohol content (BAC). It can provide an estimated time frame before the driver’s BAC will return to zero. The app links to the Uber app, which allows users to quickly find a local ride. The app also gives users the option of phoning a friend or other nearby cab company. Users report the app is easy to use and returns results quickly.

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November 30, 2014

Breathalyzers and the Potential for Violation of Civil Liberties

While you may know you have some rights during a police stop, do you know what your rights are related to a breathalyzer test?

Law enforcement officers must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over and probable cause to search your person or your vehicle. Any unlawful search of your person or your property could amount to the suppression of evidence or the dismissal of your case. What if a cop asks you to take a breathalyzer test? Are your civil liberties at stake?

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The law surrounding breathalyzer tests varies depending on the circumstances. What if you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint? Or if an officer claims he saw you swerve over the median?

The consequences for simply submitting to a breath test can be severe, even if the breathalyzer tests show the driver's blood-alcohol content was under the legal limit of 0.08 percent. For example, some instances, students have been penalized by their university because of an arrest, even if not convicted. In some cases, a driver can still be arrested if the BAC was under the legal limit, so long as the officer has probable cause to suspect that whatever was consumed resulted in impairment.

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November 26, 2014

Study: Majority of Heavy Drinkers in U.S. Are Not Alcoholics

Visit your neighborhood bar or attend a local sporting event and you are likely to see a very common American past-time — alcohol consumption. In Alabama and nationwide, Americans like to drink. Whether your drink of choice is wine, beer, or a cocktail, consuming alcohol is more common than not.

But is heavy drinking in the U.S. a problem?

According to a recent study discussed on Alabama Public Radio, many Americans are heavy drinkers. Yet, the majority of those drinkers are not alcoholics. Researchers believe with some behavioral therapies, these drinkers can get back on track, without requiring complete abstinence.

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Historically, there has been a presumption there are only two kinds of drinkers: moderate drinkers who may enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, and alcoholics, who get black-out drunk as soon as they take a sip.

New research suggests the majority of drinkers in the U.S. fall somewhere in between. Based on a new study published in Preventing Chronic Disease, the majority of adults who drink will drink a few alcoholic beverages during the week and even more on the weekends. An analysis of the study compared to recommended servings, means that at least 1 in 3 American adults is considered a heavy or excessive drinker.

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