Man 14 Years Late For His Drugged Driving Charge In Florida

drugged driving charge in FloridaYou’d assume someone convicted of a crime and handed a jail sentence would stick around and work their way through the penalty handed to them by the judge. That’s usually the way it goes, but it doesn’t always happen that way. One man in West Palm Beach is an example of this – he skipped town for 14 years on a Florida drugged driving charge.

In May of 2000, the man ran a red light in a Ford F-150 and crashed into a Nissan Quest driven by a married mother of two. He was high on the drug GHB at the time. The crash was so violent that a witness said the car seat was pushed toward the back of the van, and she died of her injuries.

The man was convicted on a drugged driving charge in Florida in 2001, but he didn’t take the sentence seriously. When he was ordered to show up for his jail sentence in March of 2003, he never showed up.

He appealed the conviction in Palm Beach County court, and when that appeal failed he cut off his ankle bracelet and fled to the Bahamas.

He did spend time in custody in the Bahamas relating to the charges in Florida, and after he exhausted all of his appeals and was ordered to be extradited, he was picked up and sent back to the USA. Now he’s facing two failure-to-appear charges in Palm Beach County, and it seems unlikely he’ll be able to walk away again.

A DUI is considered driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, so a drugged driving crash like this one comes with the same fines, penalties, and in this case, jail time, as a drunk driving crash. He may have cut and ran from the consequences, but just like time doesn’t heal all wounds, time also doesn’t clear your record when you’ve killed someone due to drugged driving.

Budweiser And Lyft Partner So You Aren’t Arrested For Drunk Driving

arrested for drunk driving There are a lot of different reasons why people make the decision to drive drunk. Alcohol may give someone a false sense of courage and they may feel invincible, as though they getting arrested for drunk driving is something that only happens to other people. Or, they might drink and drive because they just don’t care about drunk driving laws and the penalties that come with them.

But a large majority of people say they drink and drive because they don’t have any other way home, and faced with the prospect of taking a bus or expensive cab, they decide to take their chances and drive. That decision ends in tragedy more often than you think, and that’s why Budweiser and Lyft have partnered up again to tackle the problem of drunk driving.

Budweiser has re-launched their popular “Give a Damn. Don’t Drive Drunk” campaign, and they’d like to see people drink responsibly and still get home safely by offering a deal on Lyft rides. Lyft, a ride sharing company, will provide rides every weekend for the rest of the 2017 on weekends and holidays, and the rides will be offered in several states including Texas, Colorado, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

If you’d like to plan your ride home and avoid getting arrested for drunk driving yourself, all you have to do is login to Facebook or Instagram each Thursday by two pm and obtain a ride code. That ride code will give you a $20 credit on Lyft, $10 each for two one-way rides, and you can use your coupon between five pm and five am Thursday to Saturday.

You might not want to make a plan for a ride home a few days ahead of time, but it’s the best way for you, your friends, and for anyone on the road with you to stay safe as the we all head into the busy holiday season.

The Battle Against Drugged Driving Is On In Every State

drugged driving Although a few states have legalized marijuana, the battle against drugged driving is still in the early stage. Unlike drunk driving,  drugged driving is hard to detect and may be even harder to prosecute. One reason why is that there is no defined testing device like a breathalyzer to use to test suspected drugged drivers.

What’s not hard to detect is that there are too many drugged drivers on the roads. One reason is that some myths that used to be used to justify drunk driving have been adopted by drug users.

It’s OK to drive while high

Unless you live in a remote area with no Internet, television, or radio access, you know that drunk driving is illegal in every state. Yes, it’s legal to drink alcohol, but it’s not legal to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel of your car.

What you might not realize is that it’s also illegal to drive after you’ve smoked marijuana, and the very same laws that apply to you if you’re under the influence of alcohol will apply if you’re under the influence of marijuana.

 Police can’t tell if I’m under the influence of drugs

It’s not as easy as pulling out a breathalyzer, but police can definitely tell if you’re under the influence of drugs like marijuana. While state legislators were in the process of legalization, police were in the process of training to detect drugged drivers, and there are more and more members of the police force in every state that have taken the training or are in the process of taking the training to stop drugged driving.

Buzzed and drugged driving is OK, just as long as I’m not too high or too drunk

Just like there’s no safe amount of alcohol you can drink before driving, there’s no safe amount of marijuana you can consume either. One of the reasons why Utah changed the legal blood alcohol limit to .05 instead of the standard .08 is because legislators know that having any amount of alcohol in your blood stream is dangerous. Even one glass of wine or beer can affect your hand eye coordination, vision, and motor skills.

The same rule applies for marijuana use, and even if you don’t hit the legal THC limit of 5 nanograms, you still could be affected enough that you shouldn’t be driving a vehicle.

Legalization of marijuana will most likely come to all states, and that’s why myths like these need to be busted long before drugged drivers clog the roads. Just like fighting back against drunk driving, it’s going to be public education that really works to stop these drivers.

Stopped For DUI: Not Drinking, But Still a DUI For Tiger Woods

stopped for dui tiger woodsEveryone knows how dangerous drinking and driving is, and yet people still do it every day. Celebrities are no exception, even though when they are stopped for DUI they know it will turn into a circus really quickly.

Tiger Woods is the latest celebrity stopped for DUI in Florida, and if the general public models their own behavior after avidly watching the actions of famous people, he’s a good example for everyone that you can be arrested for DUI without taking a sip of alcohol.

Woods was found asleep in his vehicle on the side of a highway in Jupiter, Florida. The dashcam video of the arrest shows that when police approached, he was extremely confused about where he was and his speech was slurred. Police asked him to perform field sobriety tests and he attempted to comply, but he struggled. He also stated he was coming from LA and heading to Orange County, but he was in Florida.

He was cooperative when asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, and when he blew his result was negative for alcohol. If he wasn’t drinking, why was he arrested for suspicion of drunk driving? There’s a few reasons.

You can be stopped for DUI if you’re under the influence of drugs

DUI isn’t just for alcohol; you can be arrested for DUI if you’re under the influence of recreational and prescription drugs. In Wood’s case, having drugs in his system rendered him too impaired to drive.

You can be arrested if you’re in physical control of the car

The vehicle doesn’t have to be actually moving for someone who is impaired to be arrested for DUI. If, like Tiger Woods, the keys are in the ignition and you’re behind the wheel, you can be arrested for DUI because you had physical control of the vehicle while impaired.

Just like any celebrity stopped for DUI, it’s going to take a while for the firestorm over Woods’ impaired charge to die down. Whether he’s officially convicted and is required to pay the fines and penalties of a Florida drunk driver is still up in the air, but it’s safe to say he’s one person who’s learned how easy it is to be arrested for driving under the influence.

Impaired Driving Case In California Exposes The Myth Of The Coffee DUI

impaired driving california It’s not every day that an impaired driving case becomes really popular new online, but one such case in California has been making the rounds lately for one reason and one reason only: the offender was charged with driving under the influence of caffeine.

It might sound hard to believe but it’s true. A man named Joseph Schwab from California was driving in August of last year and was pulled over by a police officer because he believed that Schwab was driving under the influence. Oddly enough, his breathalyzer test came in at zero, and that means he had absolutely no alcohol in his system.

Because his breathalyzer test revealed no alcohol the police officer believed he was driving while impaired thanks to drugs, so they asked him to come back to the jail and they drew a blood sample. After screening for every kind of drug, the only substance found in Schwab’s system was caffeine.

Although you’d think that was the end of Schwab’s time with the police, something unexpected happened: despite a breathalyzer test and blood evidence showing nothing but caffeine in his system, police charged him with impaired driving anyway. They’ve stated that they did so because of his reckless driving and overall attitude when stopped.

If you have a hard time believing someone could end up fighting an impaired driving case because of something as simple as coffee, you’re not alone. The case traveled it’s way around social media and caused an uproar, mostly because people normally associate impaired driving with alcohol or drugs and not a hot beverage millions of people start their day with.

In a possible response to the backlash, prosecutors have dropped the impaired driving case against Schwab and have announced they no longer believe they can prove that he was driving under the influence.

Breathalyzer technology may have made it simple to charge drunk drivers, but this case just goes to show that it’s not as easy to charge a drugged driver. For law enforcement it’s probably better to be safe than let a possible impaired driving case slip through, and charging him until they discover whether or not he was actually under the influence was the best course of action.

Now that the case has been dropped, Americans can resume drinking coffee as normal.

Up North They Use Nickelback Music To Stop Drunk Drivers

PEI drunk driversIf there’s one thing more Canadian than Tim Hortons, hockey, or toques, it’s Nickelback. The band from British Columbia hit it big a few years ago with hits in Canada and the USA, and although that cements their place in Canadian history, it doesn’t mean everyone loves them.

In Canada it’s so accepted to hate on Nickelback that one police officer in the province of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I) borrowed an idea from a Minnesota detachment and decided to punish drunk drivers by playing the band’s music.

Kensington, P.E.I police posted on Facebook that if and when they stop drunk drivers, those drivers would be subject to a criminal charge of impaired driving, fines, driver’s license suspension, and to really punish them, force them to listen to Nickelback in the back of the squad car on the way to the jail. The post went not to say that there was no point in ruining a perfectly good unopened copy of the band’s music, so please don’t drink and drive.

Kensington police weren’t the first officers to threaten drunk drivers with bad music. The Minnesota police detachment they borrowed the idea from offered to blast One Direction for their drunk drivers, and people both in Minnesota and online loved the idea. It was retweeted on Twitter thousands of times over a 24 hour period.

Turns out Canadians didn’t think the Nickelback version was as funny, and neither did Nickelback themselves.  They asked that the threat be removed from the Facebook page and the Kensington police department issued an apology to the band for citing their music as punishment for drunk drivers.

Although they landed in hot water, you can’t fault P.E.I police for trying to stop drunk drivers. At the end of the day they did succeed in getting people talking about drunk driving, and from the sounds of it, no one was actually forced to listen to the band’s music because a drunk driving charge.

Discovered: A Link Between Drinking Energy Drinks And Drunk Driving

energy drinks link drunk driving

Image from Consumer Reports

Everyone knows by now that energy drinks aren’t the safest beverage option. These highly caffeinated drinks give people a boost of energy in the form of a mix of chemicals and a lot of sugar, and the caffeinated alcoholic drinks are even worse. They mix alcohol, a depressant, with an energy drink packed with caffeine, and the results have been disastrous.

The Food and Drug Administration came out with warnings against these beverages way back in 2010, but people are still tipping back thousands upon thousands of cans every day.What the FDA was mainly concerned about was how college students were becoming so drunk because of these caffeinated alcoholic drinks that they were blacking out or becoming poisoned by alcohol. That’s a significant worry, but another of the dangers the FDA may not have known about has come to light after the completion of a six year research study.

The study focused on caffeinated beverages, otherwise known as energy drinks, not the alcohol caffeinated drinks. Researchers followed 1,000 college students over six years and discovered that there was a link between how many energy drinks someone would drink and whether or not they were more likely to drive drunk. It turns out that the more they consumed,  the more likely the subjects were to drive drunk.

Although the data suggests a link, researchers don’t have an answer as to why that link exists. One thought was that it could be because the person drinking energy drinks was using them after a hangover so they’re still mixing whatever alcohol is in their bloodstream with the drink. Or, as it was also suggested, they could just be the type of people who wouldn’t think twice about driving drunk in the first place.

Whatever the reason for the link between the two, the chemicals and high caffeine content alone should make you think twice about tipping one back every day. Now that there are additional risks on the table, you may really want to rethink your next energy drink.

What is The Interstate Driver’s License Compact?

Interstate driver’s license compactWhen you’re 16 years old and you’re attempting to get your driver’s license, you know just how valuable that piece of paper is. It means freedom, and although most drivers would do anything to protect that freedom to drive, there are a lot of people who ignore the rules and regulations of having a driver’s license.

When you accept a driver’s license in your state, you accept the conditions behind it. In addition to speeding beyond the speed limit, drinking and driving is one condition people break every single day. Because of that, each state needs to keep track of who has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or who has had their license suspended. That way a person won’t have their license suspended in one state and be able to just cruise over to another and get another license.

To keep track, most states participate in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. The compact is a contract in which participating states agree to honor each other’s suspension requirements. That means if you’ve been arrested and convicted in any participating state, that suspension and conviction will stand in other states as well.

Conditions must be met in order for another state to honor the license suspension in your state. In very basic terms, those conditions may be that both states have similar DUI laws, your DUI conviction may have to be similar to one you’d receive in your new state, and law enforcement must have dealt similarly with your DUI in both states as well.

Unfortunately not all states are part of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, so there are opportunities for DUI offenders to slip through the cracks. Thankfully it’s not an easy loophole to jump through, because most license regulations require that you establish residency and have an address before you obtain a new license.

The Interstate Driver’s License Compact is another way the US can work together to fight drunk driving. To see if your state participates, visit the National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC).

What Is A Hardcore Drunk Driver?

hardcore drunk driverWhat do you think of when you hear the term hardcore drunk driver? Different people would probably have different definitions. They might think it’s someone who binge drinks and habitually gets behind the wheel, or a person who just has a really cavalier attitude about drinking and driving.

It may seem like hardcore drunk driver is another casual term to describe someone who drinks and drives, but it’s actually a definition used by lawmakers, lawyers, and law enforcement. Hardcore drunk drivers, also known as hard core drinking drivers, are those offenders who are convicted with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.15 percent or are a repeat offender who was charged with two or more drunk driving convictions over the past ten years.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, hardcore drunk drivers are usually male between the ages of 25-45. They’re also chronic offenders who drink and drive more often than they’re caught. The NHTSA estimates that these offenders are only stopped once every 88 times they drink and drive.

Hardcore drunk drivers are also most associated with fatal alcohol-related crashes. These drivers are actually involved in more than 70% of alcohol-related crashes on the road, and that’s why it’s vital that police have a strong presence on the roads at all times and continually set up checkpoints.

Lawmakers should also focus on all offender ignition interlock laws, because although a hardcore offender could decide it’s no big deal to drive with a suspended driver’s license, they won’t be able to get the car out of the driveway if they have an ignition interlock installed.

Every state deals with its hardcore drunk drivers in different ways, but if all states got got on the same page and really cracked down on these offenders, they could make a real dent in the US’s drunk driving problem.

Crazy Drunk Driving Sentences From Around The World

crazy drunk driving sentencesThere really isn’t anything to laugh about when it comes to US drunk driving sentences. Some states require jail time, others long term driver’s license suspension, and 26 states now require a first time offender to use an ignition interlock for six months to one year.

Drunk driving itself isn’t funny, but other countries have passed down some truly crazy drunk driving sentences that would definitely make Americans do a double take.

Ireland

One Irish farmer was given a reprieve on his drunk driving sentence so he could have time to find a wife. It sounds odd, but after a bachelor farmer living in an isolated part of Ireland was arrested for drunk driving, the judge handed down a driving ban. Instead of enforcing the ban, the judge recognized that if he stopped the man from driving, he would have to sell off his livestock and he’d be unable to get around at all.

That’s why the judge decided to put off sentencing until December, he then directed the man to attend a matchmaker festival. It was the hope of the judge that the man could find a ‘nice woman’ to drive him around while he’s banned from driving.

Malaysia

In Malaysia it’s not just drunk drivers who are sentenced; their spouses could also be on the hook. Even if your spouse wasn’t present at the time of your arrest, he or she could also be liable for drunk driving charges. It’s just one way the country wants to make sure everyone knows that drunk driving impacts everyone.

Turkey

If you’re stopped for drunk driving in Turkey, you could be taken all the way out of the city and left to walk back. Even better, the police officer will follow behind you in his or her vehicle.

These crazy drunk driving sentences can make you scratch your head, but the bottom line is that if you don’t want to receive a sentence of any type, don’t drink and drive.

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