Monday, July 30, 2012

Disturbing news of Nashville

Nashville has the third highest death rate for young drivers of all cities in America. Let's hope city leaders will respond. Read the disturbing report at:

Nashville young traffic deaths 3rd highest in U.S. | The Tennessean |

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nationwide Raid on Synthetic Drug Labs

This is some great news: The Feds went after and arrested suppliers and are cracking down on shipment routes. Read it here at:

Nationwide raids on synthetic drug labs lead to 90 arrests, seizure of $36 million - U.S. News

Tennessee legislation praised on bath salt front

Yesterday we had another webinar about synthetic drugs. Today in the Tennessean we see another article about this evil crime. Tennessee is praised for it's analogue law. The nation is behind our State again....

America gets high, legally, thanks to 'bath salts' | The Tennessean |

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July fatal crashes

The Titan program has recorded 38 crashes with fatalities in July. This is not all, but the number entered in the computer program. These resulted in 42 fatalities and 36 injuries. The red dots on the Tennessee map depict their locations.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July fatalities are down. Let's finish the month well!

Fatalities on the roads are still up compared to last year, but thanks to a good enforcement, good advertising, a No Refusal weekend, good laws and thoughtful, caring people, they are down by 9 so far this month. We have lost 52 of our friends and families this month. May they rest in peace.

Wear a seat belt, drive sober and defensively, slow down and put the phone in the glove compartment until you stop!

Kenny Britt and professional athletes

So what's the big deal about Kenny Britt? He joins thousands of other idiots in proving that alcohol will make you stupid. Drinking impairs judgment. Judgment is necessary to make responsible decisions. People must have a plan for getting home if they are going out to consume alcohol. What makes the Britt story different is simply that he is a millionaire and did not spend the cash to call a cab. It isn't like he did not have money to pay for transportation.
He should not be judged differently, because of his profession. There are a lot more professional athletes who make good decisions and protect themselves and the public. This guy did something dumb and dangerous and should be convicted if guilty in the same way as  thousands of others who commit this thoughtless, selfish crime.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Great to have Dr. Citek and Dr. Ferslew visit

For all who attended training at Fall Creek Falls this week, here is a little video for the memory bank.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Congress passes, Obama signs ban of bath salts and synthetic drugs

The Feds have now joined numerous States, Counties and Cities in banning synthetic drugs. See the article from a New York news channel:

Schumer's bill for federal ban on bath salts signed into law by President | NBC-WKTV News Channel 2 - Utica News, Weather, Sports - | Local News

Class picture

Class picture from our seminar at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Today is a day on which we focus on Toxicology issues causing impaired driving by alcohol, drugs and synthetic drugs.

Boating Under the Influence Tests

The Southern California Research Institute has validated Boating under the influence standardized tests, which can be performed on a boat without transporting a boater to land to test the person.
To learn about the standardized tests watch the 8 minute video and you can go to the link to read the validation study.
Go to:
NASBLA - Operation DryWater 2012

Motorcycle fatalities are up 22%

A story in the Tennessean describes the latest motorcycle fatality. Andre Vaughn, a 54 year old biker died when he was unable to avoid an SUV, which allegedly turned in front of him.  Andre was our 78th motorcycle victim this year. The investigation and charging decision is still pending against the driver of the SUV. Read the story at:
Nashville police identify motorcyclist killed | The Tennessean |

Please look twice before pulling out at an intersection!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Crashes in 2012 in Tennessee

90,798 Total crashes so far!
22,137 with injuries;
469 with a fatality;
68,192 with property damage;
32,089 Total Injuries;
513 Total fatalities.

Slow down, Drive Sober and Hang up the phone and texting devise.

Who's going to die in a crash?

While culling through data on TITAN, I discovered a statistic I thought was surprising.
When we had recorded 506 fatalities,
71   (13%) were under 25;
60   (11%)were between 25 and 35;
71   (13%) were between 35-45;
108 (21%) were 45-55;
94   (18%)   were 55-65;
58   (11%)  were 65-75;
44   (08%) were 75 +

Oxycontin users are switching to heroin

The manufacturers of oxycontin changed the formula for the drug to prevent misuse. What's a drug addict going to do? Switch drugs. Apparently the drug of choice is now heroin and the numbers are troubling. Read about a study from researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. The study was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Friday, July 13, 2012

No Refusal Weekend---A Life Saving Event

The numbers are in. The most important number is ZERO. In the 5 counties participating through the Dept of Safety event, there were no traffic fatalities over the 4th of July period. That's ZERO.
In the State there were 17 fatalities, eight of which were alcohol related.

During the enforcement period there were 45 DUI arrests and test results in all 45 cases. There were 10 search warrants issued. Results were obtained by consent in the other 35 cases.

The ultimate goal of the enforcement was to protect the public. It appears to have worked better than anyone could have imagined! Thanks to all who participated.

‘No Refusal’ claims 2 local DUI arrests

The Cleveland Daily Banner report on the No Refusal weekend:

‘No Refusal’ claims 2 local DUI arrests: Two DUI arrests were made during the weekend and a July 4 holiday blitz where the Tennessee Highway Patrol and local law enforcement performed the state’s first-ever “No Refusal” operation. Five co...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

DUI DNA leads to murder charge

Here is a costly DUI! After pleading guilty in Missouri this offender had to give a DNA sample for the DNA databank. Turns out his DNA was linked to an unsolved murder. The lesson is pretty simple. Don't drive drunk if you have a murder in your background......or any other time.
DWI leads to Missouri man's arrest in cold case killing | Fox News

Friday, July 6, 2012

Maynardville DUI driver injures 5 including her kids

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports a woman in Maynardville has been charged with DUI and other charges after crossing into oncoming traffic and crashing into another car. Her children were not in child restraint devices. Five people were injured. This was not in a No Refusal county. Read about it at:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Can repeat offenders be stopped?

Natalie Alund of the Knoxville News Sentinel researched and wrote a series of articles about DUI issues. The link below includes the series finale. Thank you for you the outstanding effort Ms. Alund.

Repeat DUI offenders: Can they be stopped? » Knoxville News Sentinel

Jury Awards Multi-Million Dollar Verdict To DUI Victim

Go to the link to see the story about this verdict. Jessica still deals with her injuries. The driver has been released from prison. Let's hope he wins the lottery and she gets every dime.

Jury Awards Multi-Million Dollar Verdict To DUI Victim: Jessica Volz moved to Nashville Friday, three days after a Chattanooga jury awarded the drunk driving victim $9.25 million for a 2008 drunk driving wreck.

Mid-State man arrested for 15th DUI - WKRN, Nashville News, Nashville Weather and Sports

Mid-State man arrested for 15th DUI - WKRN, Nashville News, Nashville Weather and Sports

This story includes an interview with defense attorney David Raybin, who comments that there is no law to hold people who reoffend over and over again for long periods of time.

WZTV FOX 17 :: Newsroom - Top Stories - Agencies Target Impaired Drivers in a Way They Never Have Before

WZTV FOX 17 :: Newsroom - Top Stories - Agencies Target Impaired Drivers in a Way They Never Have Before

This story focuses on Warren County, which has had 11 fatal crashes already this year.

Knoxville No Refusal Effort

Area law enforcement to implement new law in 'No Refusal Weekend' » Knoxville News Sentinel

Police plan ‘No Refusal’ enforcement in Maury Co. | Columbia Daily Herald

Police plan ‘No Refusal’ enforcement in Maury Co. | Columbia Daily Herald

'No Refusal' Campaign Kicks Off Tuesday

'No Refusal' Campaign Kicks Off Tuesday: Tennessee law enforcement officials are intensifying their crackdown on drunken driving with the state's first-ever "no refusal" campaign.

Here is the channel 5 coverage

State enforces 'No refusal' campaign over holiday weekend

State enforces 'No refusal' campaign over holiday weekend: The enforcement period begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, and will continue through Midnight, Sunday, July 8.

This is the channel 2 coverage.

'No refusal' campaign targets drivers suspected of DUI

'No refusal' campaign targets drivers suspected of DUI: Tennessee law enforcement officials are intensifying their crackdown on drunken driving with the state's first-ever "no refusal" campaign. (7/2/12)br /

Monday, July 2, 2012

No Refusal 4th of July.

Five counties in Tennessee will participate in the first No Refusal campaign in this State beginning at 6:00 pm on Tuesday. They include Davidson, Maury, Bradley, Anderson and Warren counties. This is the first "No Refusal" weekend in Tennessee, but they are common in other States. This effort was made possible by the passage of a new law promoted by the District Attorneys General permitting Judges to issue search warrants in DUI cases in Tennessee. The sponsors of the law were Representative Tony Shipley and Senator Doug Overbey. The bottom line is offenders arrested for DUI will have their blood tested, if they refuse a breath or blood test, if the Judge decides their is probable cause to believe such a blood test would result in the discovery of evidence proving guilt. The tests would be conducted by someone authorized to draw blood listed in TCA 55-10-406. The best way to avoid a blood test and a conviction is to drive sober or not at all!

Read more at:
Department of Safety & Homeland Security, Local & State Officials Announce New “No Refusal” Enforcement | Newsroom

Vacation is over and the Appellate Courts kept working

This TSRP took two weeks off and enjoyed being at home and away from the computer. During the break the Courts kept issuing opinions, so here is my humble attempt to catch up:

State v Vandergriff issued June 28th:
Mr. Vandergriff was stopped in the middle of a 2 lane highway. A deputy had to slam on his brakes to keep from hitting him. The deputy did not suspect a crime, but thought the pick up truck was broken down. He activated his blue lights, so that other cars would not slam into his patrol car or Vandergriff. The conviction was upheld. The defendant argued the deputy activated his blue lights without reasonable suspicion. He did just that. The Court stated:
"To expect this officer to nearly slam into a parked car on a public roadway after dark with moderate traffic in the area - and not allow him to stop and investigate following the activation of his blue lights for safety reasons - is not logical. Indeed, to not take that action could result in a violation of the officer’s caretaking duty to other motorists to ensure their safety on the roadway."
Read about it at:

State v Gaddis issue June 25th

Mr. Gaddis was in a crash in which the investigating trooper concluded that he pulled out in front of a pick-up truck and was struck from the side. he had a BAC over .20 and was a second time offender.
Gaddis claimed at trial that an ex girlfriend had pushed him into the intersection from behind. The jury rejected the defense and his conviction was affirmed. 
Read the case at:

State v Young, issued June 22nd

Mr. Young refused to perform standardized field sobriety tests and refused to take a blood test. Then he argued that the State did not have enough evidence to convict, because all the State had was the observations made by the officer and a video showing some bad driving. The driving included a u-turn and a wide turn in which he veered into a ditch. He had slurred speech, was disoriented and took over a minute to get his license from his wallet. The Court stated, 
"We note that this court has consistently held that an arresting officer’s testimony alone is sufficient to support a defendant’s conviction for DUI."
Read the case at:

I think that catches me up on the decisions of the Court of Criminal Appeals. Now, it is time to read the new Federal Transportation Act passed last week.