There Were Quite A Few Strange DUIs In September

strange DUIsA lot can happen when you mix alcohol and driving, and over the past month there have been quite a few strange DUIs recorded on police blotters that really make you wonder what that driver was thinking.

A DWI street sweeper joy ride

What are the odds that someone would look at a street sweeper and decide it’s the perfect vehicle to take for a joyride? Unfortunately, one drunk driver in Raleigh, North Carolina made that decision and his fun ride ended in felony charge.

The man jumped on board the street sweeper when the driver was emptying trash cans at a local mall. He drove it around the mall parking lot, smashing into another vehicle, and was only stopped when he ran it over a median. The $50,000 vehicle was damaged and he was charged with felony larceny, DWI, and hit and run.

Shenanigans are great, but not when you’re driving

When you spot someone wearing a t-shirt that says “Beer + Beer = Shenanigans,” you know there’s a strong likelihood that their entire evening could easily go off the rails. That’s exactly what happened to the wearer of such a t-shirt in Sterling, Connecticut.

The man was pulled over by police after they saw him driving into the sidewalk with his vehicle, and he failed sobriety tests, had marijuana in his possession, and had a 12-inch machete in his car. He received a host of charges including operating under the influence of alcohol (OUI) and now has a court date. For his sake, let’s hope he chooses another t-shirt for his day in court.

Assault is no laughing matter; neither is drunk driving

Domestic assault isn’t anything to joke about, and after a St.Cloud, Minnesota woman called in a complaint about a domestic assault early one morning, police were on the scene quickly. They discovered that no such assault had taken place, and the woman who called it in was actually a drunk driver.

When police arrived and talked to her, she appeared to be under the influence. She said she’d had an argument with her husband and drove her vehicle home. Although she did exhibit injuries on her face, it turns out that she had fallen while she was walking and hurt her eye. Once she submitted to a breathalyzer test she blew double the legal limit, so police charged her with DWI.

These are just three examples of strange DUIs in September. Although each had a different ending, the main takeaway for everyone should be one thing: you can avoid your own strange DUI by handing the keys to a sober driver if you’ve been drinking.

 

Friday fallout: How Much Damage Can A Suspected Drunk Driver Do?

suspected drunk driverIf you’ve ever spotted what you suspect is a drunk driver and you are wondering whether or not to call that person in, you’ve probably also speculated as to what could happen if you don’t. When people are weighing the pros and cons of “bothering” law enforcement over someone who might not even be drunk, they often wonder just how much damage that suspected drunk driver could do if they don’t call.

If a few recent DUI cases are any indicator, the short answer is quite a bit. In what seems like minutes a suspected drunk driver can crash several times, and you can take the case of a woman in Greenville, North Carolina as an example: she caused two crashes within hours, and the damage adds up to thousands of dollars.

Her first crash happened when she rear ended the vehicle in front of her. Instead of stopping to see if the person she hit was injured, she kept driving. The damage to that vehicle was approximately $500.

friday-falloutWhat does a drunk driver do when they aren’t stopped for one crash and can keep on driving? Crash again, of course.  This time she crashed head on into a car, and she managed to leave the scene there too. Thankfully no one was injured, but the damage to the truck she hit is approximately $20,000 and the damage to her own vehicle is approximately $5,000.

When she was finally arrested police found she was three times the legal limit of .08, and she received multiple charges for her the crashes and for driving under the influence in North Carolina.

That’s $25,000 in damages, all in the space of a few hours, and that’s why every state should have an all offender ignition interlock law. With an interlock on her vehicle she wouldn’t have been able to start the car if she was under the influence, and keeping that car in the driveway would have saved a few drivers a lot of stress, and money, that day.

The Friday Fallout: Every Friday Guardian Interlock will bring you a unique drunk driving case that demonstrates the impact, or fallout, of drunk driving.

No, This Graduation Crash Wasn’t Due To Teen Drunk Driving

teen drunk driving Prom, graduation, and year end parties: given everything that goes on in May and June every year, it’s no surprise that the end of the school year is a peak time for teen drunk driving.

High schools have been doing their part to fight back against teen drunk driving. Most schools have a zero tolerance policy in place, and many now use breathalyzers to stop teens from drinking at school events.

But sometimes it’s not teen drunk drivers that school administrators need to worry about during big events: it’s the teachers themselves. That’s what happened in Catawba County, North Carolina during the Bunker Hill High School graduation. Instead of a teenager drinking too much, it was the assistant principal, and he was arrested in the parking lot right when the grad was taking place.

Police pulled him over after he crashed into 2 parked cars, and although it was only 4:00 pm in the afternoon, when he blew into a breathalyzer he had a .16 blood alcohol concentration (BAC); double the legal limit.

Most teachers are good role models for teens, but not this teacher. But this could be a teachable moment for the teens at the grad, because the penalties he receives may be a good incentive for any teen to stay sober behind the wheel. In North Carolina a first drunk driving offense may result in that offender spending anywhere from 1 day to 2 years in jail. He or she will pay up to $4,000 in fines, and, as is the case with this offender, if they have a BAC of 0.15 or higher, he or she will be required to install an ignition interlock when his driver’s license suspension is up.

Thankfully no one was hurt that day. Although it probably put a bit of a damper on graduation, there’s always a bright side: maybe the timing of this arrest stopped any teens who would have been tempted to drink and drive after their graduation.

Friday Fallout: How Much Will A Drunk Driving Charge Cost?

How much will a drunk driving charge costHow much will a drunk driving charge cost? If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in your state, you might be considering how much of a hit your bank account is going to take.

Unfortunately, there’s really no way to know exactly how much your drunk driving charge will cost you personally until you get in front of a judge, but a recent case in North Carolina suggests it might add up to a huge number.

A twenty-two-year-old man went to court for his DUI charge after he crashed into two people on an Interstate, and he was given a great plea deal. The actual DUI charge was dropped so it wouldn’t appear on his record, and he was only given supervised probation.

friday-falloutSo no DUI charge, no jail time, no problem, right? Wrong. He actually wasn’t able to walk away free and clear because he was ordered to pay almost $600,000 in restitution to cover the medical bills of the people he hit.

Some states may require a drunk driver to pay restitution to his or her victims if they’re convicted of DUI or DWI, so it’s not unheard of that he’d have to pay but the price tag in this case is definitely high.

Restitution really brings up the costs of a DUI, but in any drunk driving charge there are other fines and penalties to consider including:

There’s no one-size-fits-all for how much will a drunk driving charge cost you, but these are things you might want to take into consideration the next time you’re tempted to drink and drive. Anything can happen when you’re under the influence of alcohol, and you don’t want to be the person to injure someone and receive a six hundred thousand dollar bill.

The Friday Fallout: Every Friday Guardian Interlock will bring you a unique drunk driving case that demonstrates the impact, or fallout, of drunk driving.

DWI Flags Symbolize Drunk Drivers In North Carolina

drunk drivers in North CarolinaStopping drunk drivers in North Carolina has been a long-standing problem, and getting the anti-drunk driving message out is a constant struggle for organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). But one organization is taking a unique approach that they hope can fly in the face of drivers everywhere, and it involves around three thousand waving flags.

Charlotte, North Carolina is home of Mecklenburg County, and in Mecklenburg County is Randolph Road. When you drive down Randolph Road this April, you’ll be greeted with 3,093 flags that will wave in the wind and bring awareness to the problem of stopping drunk drivers in North Carolina.

The flags were placed by Anuvia, an alcohol treatment center. Why that specific number of flags? It represents the exact number of people charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) last year in Mecklenburg County. Thankfully that number is down 18% from the year before, otherwise drivers would be seeing 3,765 flags waving.

Along with bringing awareness to the difficulty of stopping drunk drivers in North Carolina, the flags should also be a reminder of the drunk driving penalties in the state. North Carolina penalizes drivers based on “levels.” The judge makes the decision on what level you’ll be penalized at by assessing your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest, what your current driving record is, and what the circumstances of your DWI are.

Depending on the situation you could receive jail time, stiff fines, and you may be required to install an ignition interlock if you’d like to reinstate your driver’s license privileges while your license is suspended.

Anuvia is taking a unique approach to stopping drunk drivers in North Carolina, and that’s exactly what’s needed when you’re trying to fight back again drunk driving. If you see the flags, be sure to honk in support of ending drunk driving.

North Carolina Campaign Nabs 601 Drunk Drivers In One Weekend

601-drunk-drivers-arrested-booze-it-or-lose-itIt might have been that Halloween fell on a Saturday night, or maybe it was just a lot of Halloween revelers were out enjoying the scary night, but a recent BOO-ze It & Lose It campaign in North Carolina netted a lot of drunk drivers.

The campaign was in partnership with almost 400 state and local law enforcement agencies, and when the dust settled there were 601 driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests made during the period of October 30 to November 1st. In all there were 1,553 checkpoints and officers involved also issued a whopping 16,456 traffic and criminal tickets.

In addition to the checkpoints, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reached out on social media to remind people not to drink and drive. It’s called ‘Don’t Drink and Drive. You’re Smarter Than That,’ and it is designed to remind people that drinking and driving is easily avoided if you call in a designated driver or a ride service.

Because of the BOO-ze It & Lose It campaign, a lot of drunk drivers are now facing North Carolina’s DWI penalties. There are five levels of penalties in the state, with level 5 being the least severe. Jail time for a level 5 offender is only 24 hours, while jail time for a level 1A offender is at least 12 months. Offenders will see a drivers license suspension of at least 6 months to 1 year, but an ignition interlock is not required for a first time conviction.

If the roads were that busy with North Carolina drunk drivers on Halloween, it’s hard to imagine how the week leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve will be. No matter where you live, whether it’s in North Carolina or anywhere else in the United States, if you don’t feel as though you’ll make the right choice to not drink and drive, do yourself a favor: make sure you have a designated driver set up before you leave for the night.

Police Officers Can And Will Be Charged With DWI

police-officer-dwiIt’s summer, and there are a lot of drunk drivers getting stopped on the roads. Police are busy setting up checkpoints and watching the highways for drunk drivers, and in a lot of areas arrests are at record highs. But sometimes, police officers have to make an arrest that hits a little closer to home than they’d normally like.

Police officers can be charged with driving while impaired (DWI) too, and that’s exactly what happened after a North Carolina officer crashed into a truck just three hours into his shift. The officer in question has been a member of the force since 1988, and while in uniform and driving a marked cruiser, he struck the rear end of a truck. At the scene, he was given a drug and alcohol assessment and his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .09.

The officer has been put on administrative leave without pay, and he may be penalized according to North Carolina DWI laws. If he’s charged for a first offense he’ll receive a minimum jail time of 24 hours, fines up to $200, and a drivers license suspension of 6 months to one year. Although he would not be required to install an ignition interlock device if he is a first time offender, second offenders are required by North Carolina law to install one.

When a regular person is arrested for DWI, it can make the police blotter or, in the event of a crash, could be broadcast in a few spots online or in newspapers. If an officer of the law is arrested for DWI, it makes news and reaches a wider demographic. That’s because he or she has a responsibility to uphold the law.

No one can get away with drinking and driving, not even the police, so if you’ve had a few to drink, hand the keys over to someone else.

Jaw Dropping Sign Promotes Drinking And Driving

drink and driveThere are certain things you can encounter during the day that are so surprising you really have to say, “What the…” when you hear about them, and that’s the reaction a sign at a local bar in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina is getting locally and on the Internet.

Outside of the Red Fox Lounge hung a sign that said, “If U Drink & Drive, Drink Here First!” Not surprisingly, people were shocked when they saw it, and a number of them contacted North Carolina’s Eyewitness News. They in turn contacted the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control about the sign and a warning was immediately issued to the owner of the bar. Turns out, it’s actually illegal to have a sign like that in North Carolina. Not only is it irresponsible, it promotes unsafe driving practices and that’s a big no-no according to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Does the owner think he did anything wrong? It turns out he thought he was promoting safe driving. After he taped over the sign following his warning, he told Eyewitness News that he would rather have customers drinking at his establishment where he could monitor how much they drank than other places where they don’t.

He’s lucky all he had to do was tape over the sign. By encouraging people to drink at his bar before driving, he could be held liable for any driving under the influence (DUI) related crash his patrons may be involved in. According to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, it’s illegal for bartenders and retail clerks to knowingly sell alcohol to an intoxicated person, and if there was a crash, he could be held responsible. There have been several bars in New Mexico that were fined and had their license suspended for that very reason.

The bar owner might not think he was encouraging drinking and driving, but the sign really does speak for itself. What would you think if you saw this sign in your area?

Image from Fox8.com

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