Friday, October 28, 2011

Keep Halloween Safe

Please be extremely careful this weekend and Monday as our trick or treaters are out in force. The Department of Safety and Homeland Security has a great message concerning safety this holiday. Read about it at:

Not every child is careful. They are excited and full of candy. They can run out into a roadway in an instant. This is not a weekend for taking risks in a car. If you party, find a sober driver to get you home.

Cocke County election commissioner ordered to weal alcohol monitoring devise

A Cocke County election commissioner facing a vehicular homicide charge for killing a 21 year old Vermont woman was ordered to install an ignition interlock in his vehicle. Twice the devise detected alcohol. At a hearing the son and wife claimed to have been the ones who caused the devise to detect alcohol. The Judge has now ordered that the commissioner, Dan Ford, 72, wear a transdermal alcohol monitoring devise and abstain from alcohol pending his trial.
Read about the situation in the Knoxville News Sentinel at:

Iowa Supreme Court upholds passenger accomplice liability

In Iowa Orlando Rodriguez pumped the gas and his brother Santos waited behind the wheel of his SUV. They planned to steal the gas. Santos sped off as Orlando hopped into the truck. Both had been smoking dope. The SUV ran over and killed Bruce Mundy.
Orlando Rodriguez was convicted of vehicular homicide by recklessness as an accomplice.
Ironically Santos had been found incompetent to stand trial due to brain damage.

Read about the decision at:

Glad to be in Tennessee?

A Washington State driver had a .31 BAC level and a prior DUI six years ago. He killed another driver when he slammed into her vehicle in a parking lot and pushed it 58 feet. Before he killed Meghan Stivers, 26, he crashed into other cars and he seriously injured another man.
The driver, Randy Sedy, 45, admitted drinking one beer and a fifth of vodka. He pled guilty to vehicular homicide by intoxication, leaving the scene and 3rd degree assault and is facing a maximum penalty of 4 1/2 years. Sedy would have faced 15-25 here for the aggravated vehicular homicide alone.
Read about it at:

Stop the Texts. New NHTSA/Adcouncil effort to save lives.

According to a national survey conducted by the Ad Council, eighty-two percent of young adult drivers (16-24) have read a standard text message while driving. Young adults live in a connected world where multitasking is the norm. They feel pressure to remain in constant contact, even when behind the wheel. This manifests in the car where young adults recognize that texting and driving is dangerous, but do it anyway. This new PSA campaign conveys to young adult drivers that texting while driving isn’t multitasking, it’s essentially driving blind. By taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, you are making the road less safe for you, your passengers and other drivers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Interesting article about implied consent violations

In the "Tennessee Report" an article uses the apparent implied consent violation by State Representative Todd as a starting point to discuss implied consent and DUI. There are quotes in the article by the new president of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Rich McKinney, Commissioner Gibbons and our own Guy Jones.
Read it at:

Monday, October 24, 2011

IRISH lower BAC limit to .05!

Who would have imagined that the Irish would take the lead in lowering the BAC level for DUI to .05, which is in line with the recommendation of the American Medical Association. Read about it at:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Michigan drunk forces 9 year old daughter to drive

You have to watch this video to believe it. A drunken father forced his 9 year daughter to take him to the store at 3 a.m. on a weeknight. I wonder how she is doing in school today.
See the video (after an ad) on ABC NEWS at:

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Supreme Court decision concerning traffic stop

The Supreme Court has affirmed a conviciton and released a new and interesting decision in a carjacking, robbery and attempted first degree murder case. The defendants argued that officers lacked reasonable suspicion, citing Binnette and Williams, to stop the car and later search it and the house of the thugs. The thugs had committed their heinous crimes the night before and had left the stolen car at the Bledsoe Creek boat dock in Sumner County. Relations of the victim found it and alerted the police. There were several officers there when the thugs did a drive by and looked shocked.
"Detective Tarlecky could see the driver and passenger, who were African-American males, and he testified that “their eyes opened as big as saucers when they saw us and the vehicle just jerked back off on to . . . the roadway.” He stated that the turn back on the road “was a startled movement. They had looked down and saw us and they abruptly turned back . . . It caught our attention the way they did it.” The white Crown Victoria continued across the Bledsoe Creek bridge, then turned into a church parking lot, turned around, and slowly drove back by the boat dock area again. Detective Tarlecky got in his vehicle, activated its emergency lights, and initiated a stop of the Crown Victoria."
The Court ruled that: "In the present case, the officers had reasonable suspicion to make a brief investigatory stop based on these factors: the location (a boat dock area connected to criminal activity in that it contained a car stolen the night before), the fact that the stolen car had not been completely stripped of valuable parts, the abrupt and evasive behavior of the Crown Victoria’s driver, the startled and suspicious demeanor and appearance of the occupants that was directly observed by Detective Tarlecky, and the fact that the occupants matched the general description of the suspects as described by the BOLO dispatch."
Read the entire decision at:

Now race-goers can breath test themselves

In Sydney, Australia, the Caulfield Cup races bring 40,000 people to the racetrack. In order to educate people and stop people from driving away intoxicated two breath test instruments were installed. It cost $2 two dollars for the customer to self-test. More instruments may be installed depending on how it works out.
Read more about it in the Sydney Morning Herald at:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vehicular homicide affirmed

In October, 2008, Rebecca Gaylean crashed into a vehicle killing one person and injury two others. This week her conviction and an 11 year sentence was affirmed. Read the case at:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10th offender in the news

Fox 17 News in Nashville did a nice job of raising awareness about hardcore drinking drivers with a story about a recent arrest of a 10th offender. William Lamberth and I were interviewed. See it at:

State Representative arrested for DUI

Read about the arrest of a Tennessee State Representative Tuesday night at:

This defendant and all others are presumed innocent, unless proven guilty. It is disturbing that a Representative would be in the news in this way. It is also disturbing that he refused a breath test. It will be interesting to see any fall-out on the Hill.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How fast would you drive for a toothbrush?

In Kingsport a 23 year old male ran from a Wal Mart after shoplifting a toothbrush and some tools. He is accused of speeding away passing cars on the shoulder while going close to 100 mph.
Must be an amazing toothbrush.
Read the full article in the Kingsport Times News at:

Friday, October 7, 2011

New passed out drunk decision

The Defendant was in a turn lane with his car in park. A citizen had called in that a driver was sleeping in the turn lane. The officer arrived. It took several attempts to wake the drunk, who could not answer why he was sleeping in the turn lane. The officer reached into the car to turn off the ignition and placed the keys on the hood of the car.
The defendant argued he was seized without reasonable suspicion and that he should have been Mirandized once the officer took the keys. He lost.
First, the officer seized the defendant while performing his community care-taking function. Second the keys/Miranda issue was not dispositive and was not proper for appeal.
Read the case at:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

376,000 E.R. visits due to marijuana in 2009

The nations drug czar sent a letter to Memphis Rep. Cohen correcting him concerning his view that marijuana be legalized. The czar, R. Gil Kerlikowske noted the marijuana use by young people leads to lower academic performance, fatal drugged-driving accidents and visits to hospital emergency rooms. He said the Department of Human Services reported 376,000 ER visits related to marijuana use in 2009.
Read the complete article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal at: