Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Truck crash leads to drug bust

In Jefferson City a truck plunged over an embankment and several types of drugs were discovered. The driver and passenger allegedly had meth, marijuana, xanax and valium pills. This might make a suspicious person wonder if the bad driving may have been caused by the ingestion of some of those drugs, but it does not appear from the story in the Morristown Citizen Tribune that a drugged driving evaluation was conducted.

Cookeville man arrested for stealing cousin medications

Below is a sad, but somewhat humorous story from the Cookeville Herald Citizen. The gentleman arrested is presumed innocent by the Court's, but not by his cousin! Someone was transported to the hospital when the cousin confronted and a "disturbance" followed. Check it out at:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Unwanted kisses bill passes House

House bill 1577 creating a class A misdemeanor for unwanted kisses of a minor for the purpose of sexual arousal by an authority figure passed in the House by a vote of 94-2 and will now be considered by the Senate. Read it at:

Bond revocation bill passes House

A bill to clarify that a Court may revoke a bail bond for new violations passed in the House 96-0 and now goes on to the Senate for consideration. The bill states:

If after the defendant is released upon personal recognizance, an unsecured personal appearance bond, or any other bond approved by the court, the defendant violates a condition of release, is charged with an offense committed during the defendant's release, or engages in conduct which results in the obstruction of the orderly and expeditious progress of the trial or other proceedings, then the court may revoke and terminate the defendant’s bond and order him held without bail pending trial or without release during trial.

MSN Money: The $$$ cost of DUI

The MSN money network published an article about the financial cost of DUI and quoted Knoxville attorney, Steve Oberman. They estimate the cost at $10,000 a pop. Maybe some people will call a $40 taxi instead after reading about it. See it at:

Bond law and Transdermal monitoring ankle bracelets.

The Tennessee bond law has been noticed and the Memphis Judicial system response has been noticed in the news. Read about it at:

Driver arrested for new DUI 5 days after bonding out.

A Franklin woman has been arrested four times this year for DUI. Her latest episode happened 5 days after she bonded out. Channel 2 News picked up on it and ran the story linked below.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Clarksville woman charged with vehicular homicide

Thomas J. Hennessey IV, 31 was killed when the driver of the car in which he rode hit a guardrail, overcorrected, flipped and hit a tree. The driver, a 43 year old Clarksville woman was arrested for vehicular homicide by intoxication.
It appears the last three vehicular homicide charges in the State involved a female driver. Three cases...a coincidence or a trend?
Follow this tragic tale at:

Dyersburg woman charged with vehicular homicide

Bo Gardner, 49, was found after he had been run over by a driver who left the scene. A dyersburg woman had been charged with vehicular homicide, DUI andleaving the scene. Her bond was set at $500,000.
Follow this tragic tale at:

Impaired driver kills sleeping man

An eastern Tennessee woman has been charged with vehicular homicide after police say she lost control of a truck, which crashed through an apartment and killed a man sleeping inside. The 71 year old victim, Glenn Smith, was crushed in his bed. The 24 year old female driver suffered minor injuries and was arrested with a $100,000 bail. Follow the tragic tale at:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gastric Bypass surgery and alcohol

After a person has gastric bypass surgery, the effect of alcohol is greatly increased. There are medical reasons for it outlined in the article linked below. Basically people who slammed a glass of wine before surgery had the expected .02 BAC level. Six months after the surgery the average for the same glass of wine was .08. In other words one glass after the surgery can result in producing a per se DUI. Be aware!

18 years for vehicular homicide & others in Clarksville

Jamey Ray Christy of Cunningham, Tennessee has received an 18 year sentence in Clarksville. He drove his car over 100 mph and slammed into his wife to force her off the road and kill her. He did so while he had a child in his car.
Christy was originally charged with murder, but evidence of previous domestic violence events, which would have supported pre-meditation was largely suppressed.
Read about this case at:

3rd offender drunk at his sentencing hearing

This guy injured his 12 year old son during his crime. Then he shows up for the sentencing hearing and has a .16 BAC on a court ordered breath test. The sentencing has now been delayed. He told his alcohol counselor that he planned to drink more than normal the night before his sentencing. I guess that makes it a pre-meditated event!
Read about it in the Lawrence, Kansas paper:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day and your heart

As on any other day, please don't drink and drive.
Be aware that excessive alcohol intake can cause problems for all muscles including your heart. In the spirit of St. Patrick below is a link to the Irish Heart Foundation that includes information that may be helpful. For those who have nasty heart palpilitations, they can be triggered by excessive alcohol intake!
Here is an excerpt from our Irish friends:
Alcohol and Heart Conditions
There are a large number of individuals who regularly attend their doctor for the management of their high blood pressure but are totally unaware that their alcohol consumption is the main problem. They end up requiring many medicines which are unnecessary and possibly harmful. In many instances, simply stopping alcohol consumption will correct high blood pressure.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DUI Driver thinks it is 1989

The Kingsport Times News reports that a driver plowed through yards and thought he was in the year 1989. Read about this adventure at:

1989: George H.W.Bush was President. The Eastern Bloc fell as Solidarity and Lech Walesa came to power. The Exxon Valdez crashed in Alaska, when the drunken pilot over-corrected during a very wide turn. The Tiananmen Square massacre occurred in Beijing and a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in Australia killed 13 people and was big news. It is definitely not 1989 any more!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Driver's Licenses are coming soon

New, safer Driver's Licenses are coming soon. Read about it at:

Department of Safety and Homeland Security to Issue New Driver Licenses, ID Cards | TN.gov Newsroom

Legislative Update

House Bill 1899 passed in the House Judiciary Committee adding more synthetic cabinoids to those currently banned. The law as passed by the committee is available at:

The law includes the Bath Salts that have been produced for consumption, not for a bath!
The Sponsor is freshman Representative Antonio Parkinson from Memphis.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hard Core Drinking Drivers

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Hard Core Drinking Drivers are responsible for more than 70% of alcohol related traffic deaths. A Hard core drinking driver is a person with a BAC greater than .15 or a repeat DUI offender. According to one study Hard Core Drinking Drivers make up less than 1% of the population.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leaving the Scene

The Tennessean reports that a Gallatin man fled the scene of his DUI crash. He left behind his stepdaughter, who was seriously injured and would pass away within about an hour. He has been charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Leaving the Scene.
Representative Tony Shipley filed earlier in the Legislative Session a bill that would make driving under the influence with a child in the car a Class E felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days and a fine of $1,000.
Driving under the influence is a risky, thoughtless and dangerous thing to do. To endanger a child by driving under the influence is beyond comprehension. See the Shipley bill at:
Please keep the 8 year victim, Alesis Thompson, and her schoolmates, friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Kentucky genius steals ambulance to get a ride home

Sometimes in classes we ask officers what's the dumbest thing you ever saw an impaired driver do? We hear some interesting answers, which confirm that alcohol effects judgement. A Kentucky gentleman decided on Friday night that he should steal an ambulance that was stopped at the Emergency Room of a Hazard hospital, because he needed a ride home. Anyone question alcohol effects judgement?
Read about the Kentucky gentleman, who is presumed innocent at:

"Triple drunk" on bond reoffends and t-bones

The Chattanoogan reports that a man was released on house arrest after being "triple drunk", which I suspect means he had a .24 B.A.C. The Court was assured that due to prostate cancer, he would not drive again. The driver proved that the person who vouched for him was wrong. He was arrested again and this time was given a transdermal monitoring device pending his multiple charges. This is the type of situation addressed by the Legislature last year dealing with people on bond for DUI, who commit another DUI.

Splashing sobriety?

Whenever an Appellate decision begins with: "This case relates to a high-speed chase that ended with the Defendant jumping off a bridge", you know you are in for a treat. State v Mooneyham Jr. involved a DUI 4th offense felony and evading arrest felony for a multiple range offender who was driving with a revoked license. (Suprise, suprise, suprise.)

Mooneyham ended up with a 12 year prison sentence. Comically, the defense questioned the DUI evidence. Maybe, according to the defense, his disoriented condition and indications of impairment were caused by his "fall" from the bridge.

His decision to dive 25 feet off a bridge after deciding to drive over 100 mph might have been an indication of alcohol impaired judgement. The Court affirmed his conviction, found he was dangerous due to multiple prior DUI's and his conduct during these offenses and gave him consecutive maximum sentences.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Montana woman guilty in Childress death

Fred Childress spent much of his time opposing the use of red light cameras in Oak Ridge. To enjoy life he rode his BMW motorcycle. He took a journey out west and tragically was struck and killed on the last leg of his trip after touring Glacier National Park. The woman who killed him had been drinking and went around a curve too fast. She has now pled guilty in Federal Court to involuntary manslaughter. Childress leaves behind a widow and many friends in Oak Ridge. I hope he gets to ride through heavenly skies, where there are no political issues and where there is plenty of room for every bike.
Read about Mr. Childress and the plea at:

Does Supreme Ct Decision mean math chaos?

The Tennessee Supreme Court has released a new decision, State v Cooper. The case involves sentencing.
First the Court ruled that 2 convictions for one act of DUI should not happen. Cooper pled guilty to both DUI theories, over .08 and driving impaired. She committed one DUI and got 2 convictions. The Court remanded to fix that error.
The Trial Court ruled that Cooper serve 11/29 at 100% and that after 90 days she could apply for a furlough to leave jail and complete treatment. If she did not apply for the furlough, she would continue to serve. The Supreme Court remanded that sentence and informed the Courts to change their ways.
The decision seems to say she could not be furloughed or probated or placed on work release, if ordered to serve 100%. It sounds like the Court would have to sentence her to serve the percentage of 11/29 that equals 90 days. I think that is 24.7%
The sentence would then look like: 11 months 29 days suspended after service of 24.7% with the Defendant to attend treatment as a condition of probation. If she fails to attend and gets caught, she would then face a violation of probation charge.
The net effect is she gets out whether or not she intends to seek treatment, but then may face ramifications if anyone discovers she does not comply with the requirement.
Read the decision at:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Congratulations Trooper Class 311

44 cadets are now troopers after 18 weeks and 852 classroom hours of training. The new troopers will now receive in service training for 12 weeks. To see the 44 graduates and their assignments, go to:Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Class 311

To read comments to the graduates by Governor Haslam and Commissioner Gibbons, go to:

Lane found guilty of reckless Vehicular homicide in Chattanooga

The 26 year old man who struck and killed and left the scene has been found not guilty of Vehicular Homicide by Intoxication and DUI, but guilty of reckless vehicular homicide.
Jeremy Lane had finished work in the early morning hours at Chattanooga Billiards Club. Employees of the club testified he had been drinking and smoking pot. There was no blood test in the case. The victim was a wife and mother or two on her way to work.

Ross Sentenced. Story tonight on WSMV

Danny Ross is going back to the pokey for 3 years. Ross was convicted of three counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication in 1993 and was released in 2004. Since he was released he has collected three more DUI convictions. He will be featured tonight on News Channel 4 in Nashville on WSMV.

Read about it at:

Too close and Too fast

On VietNam Veterans Blvd at 7:00 a.m. on March 4th, 2011 the driver of the white car was speeding along at about 85 mph and getting within a couple feet of the cars in front of him. This type of driving, while not unusual, leads to frequent horrendous crashes. This guy and all who drive like him should plan on a short life expectancy or prison time when they kill someone. I hope he wasn't in a hurry to get to the gym and get fit.
I have a new slogan for our advertisements: "Don't drive like your britches are on fire and you are trying to reach a water bucket!" Think it will work?

8 years for Vehicular Homicide affirmed

Dennis Bizzoco wanted alternative sentencing instead of the 8 year prison sentence the Court had given him after a sentencing hearing. He had hit a mailbox while driving his Mitsubishi Montero with three passengers. He then over corrected and slammed into a vehicle driven by Jerry Martin. Bizzoco was speeding and had a Blood alcohol level of .17 and had marijuana in his bloodstream.
Mr. Martin and Brandon Bodifer perished. May they rest in peace. Kera Bowman and Heather Brownfield were seriously injured. May they quickly heal.
The Court affirmed the prison sentence. It also ruled that the DUI conviction had to be merged into the convictions for vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. Bizzoco will be eligible for parole after serving 30% of his sentence less good time credits that can add up to 16 days a month. In Tennessee 8 years can mean serving as little as 15 months or as much as 8 years.
The case is at:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

7 years for 6th DUI offender

Joseph Borger was sentenced to 7 years after pleading guilty to his 6th DUI and to violating the Habitual Motor Vehicle offender law. For each felony he receiver 3 1/2 years to be served consecutively. His sentences were affirmed in a decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals filed February 28th. Read about it at:

NHTSA Manual may not be used for cross examination

In a decision posted on March 3rd, the CCA ruled that the NHTSA manual may not be used to cross examine an officer in a DUI Trial. The Court stated,

"Defense counsel may only use a manual to formulate questions for cross-examination; counsel may not use it to impeach the officer. To subject a “lay” witness, whose testimony by definition is based only upon facts observed, not about opinions or inferences, to cross-examination based upon a “learned treatise” in the same fashion an expert is subjected to cross-examination would be improper. See Cohen, et al., Tennessee Law of Evidence, § 7.01[4][a] ."

Read the State v Blair decision at:

100% service for DUI conviction affirmed

In State v Hubbard, a March 3rd decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals, a sentence of 11 months 29 days in jail with 100% service was affirmed. Additional penalties that caused the sentence to last longer than 11/29 were reversed.
Read the decision at:

Former Judge burped 78 times to avoid breath test

George Korpita, 50, a former Municipal Judge in New Jersey was convicted and his conviction was affirmed for his 2nd DUI. He was also convicted for an implied consent violation after the police officer quit trying to get a sample after the former Judge burped 78 times. He quit burping when the officer charged him with refusal to test.
This guy is not a credit to his profession. Hopefully the Bar Association will consider taking action against his license to practice law.
Read about it at:


Snorting Bath Salts

A Tennessee mother is facing charges in Kentucky for allegedly leaving her 2 year old child wandering in a highway median after snorting synthetic drugs marketed as bath salts. Doesn't it seem like any company producing these drugs and marketing them in this way needs to be sued for every penny they have made? How could they justify what they have done?
The Tennessee woman has entered a plea of not guilty. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, her children have been removed by the State. Read about it at:

Reducing Hardcore Drunk Driving

Kudos to the Century Council and Harvard University for a new collaborative effort to find ways to reduce repeat DUI offenses. Many repeat offenders have major metal illness problems as well as alcohol and drug addictions. Harvard and the Council are teaming up to study how the Courts can better assess the nature of the problem and address it. Read about these efforts and the problems the study will attempt to address at:

Wyoming Legislature votes to repeal Implied Consent law

The Senate and House in Wyoming have passed a law to repeal it's 50 year old implied consent law. It is going to the Governor for his signature. Read about it at: