Lynn Haven, Fla. – A former prosecutor was arrested for the fourth time on DUI charges.
Richard Albritton III, was arrested by Lynn Haven Police earlier this week and appeared before a judge Thursday afternoon.
Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet ordered Albritton to sign up for a pre-trial release program. Under the terms of the program, there will be zero tolerance for alcohol consumption.
Albritton has never been convicted of DUI but he has been convicted of lesser charges stemming from DUI arrests.
However, according to court records in New York City Albritton is also currently facing a felony charge for “criminal possession of a firearm.”
In 2015 his license to practice law was suspended for 60 days by the Florida Bar.
That suspension came from a 2012 arrest for driving under the influence, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to documents obtained from the Bar Albritton accepted a new driver’s license even though he knew his license had been suspended. Albritton also signed a statement saying that his driving privileges had not been revoked.
A former Cal State Fullerton police officer was charged Thursday with driving under the influence while on duty on the campus.
Thomas Henry Higgs, 59, is facing misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, court records show.
Prosecutors allege that Higgs showed “objective signs of intoxication” during a briefing at the college police department at about 8 p.m. on May 7, 2018. They also allege that he drove a marked patrol car around the campus with a blood alcohol content of .09 percent.
Higgs’ fellow officers notified their command staff, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Higgs was arrested that night, cited, released and driven home by another employee, Cal State Fullerton police Capt. Scot Willey said.
Willey confirmed that Higgs is no longer employed by the department. The captain said the department supported the OCDA investigation and the decision to file charges, but declined to comment further due to the ongoing court case.
Higgs worked for the Cal State Fullerton Police Department for 27 years, rising to the rank of sergeant, Willey said.
Prosecutors on Thursday sent Higgs a letter outlining the charges he is facing and ordering him to appear in court for an arraignment on Aug. 2.
If convicted, Higgs faces up to six months in county jail.
GALION – A Crawford County corrections officer was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated, aggravated menacing and having weapons under disability, according to court documents.
Jason Tupps, a more-than-20-year employee with Crawford County, was arrested July 9 in Galion according to documents from the Galion Police Department.
According to the dispatch activity blotter from Galion police, Tupps reported a woman rammed his vehicle and tried to run away. He reported holding her at gun point.
According to court documents, Tupps refused to take a DUI test.
“Officer Tupps is not guilty of the charges against him,” said Tupps’ lawyer Adam Stone. “We have serious questions about the manner in which this case was handled by the Galion Police Department and are investigating those issues presently.”
Tupps will be back in court for a scheduled appearance July 24.
The airboat that crashed last year in the Everglades, killing recent University of Miami graduate Elizabeth Goldenberg. Prosecutors this week decided they could not criminally charge the craft’s skipper. Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office
A veteran airboat captain had a high level of marijuana in his blood when his boat flipped in the Everglades, hurling tourists into the swamp and drowning a recent University of Miami graduate pinned under the craft.
But nearly a year after the crash, prosecutors this week ruled out charging Steve George Gagne with any crime, including boating under the influence.
The reason: Witnesses said Gagne showed no signs of being high before the crash that killed 22-year-old Elizabeth Goldenberg, according to a newly released report by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. But the concentration of THC, the active compound in marijuana, in his blood was nearly triple what would have gotten him arrested in states where marijuana use is legal such as Colorado or Washington.
Florida has no such law and the case underscores the unsettled standards surrounding use of marijuana. Even as more states legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use, there is no consensus — in the law, science or medicine — on how best to measure whether someone is stoned while behind the wheel of a boat or a car.
The Effects of Drunk Driving and How It Can Land You in Trouble with the Law
Disclaimer: The information below is meant to provide a background on the effects of driving under the influence of alcohol and how it can put you in a legal dilemma. All written in this article isn’t supposed to replace any sort of legal advice. If you’ve recently found yourself in trouble with the law for drunk driving, you would want to contact a lawyer who can help you with your case and ensure that your legal rights are protected despite what you did.
Some people find it rather easy to refuse to drink any sort of alcohol. Regardless if they’re hanging out with friends in some bar, visiting someone else’s home, or attending a party held in their workplace, they’re happy to socialize without drinking. However, like most other people, you might tend to give in easily when faced with the same situation, especially with the common reasoning that you’re only drinking occasionally anyway. So, perhaps a single bottle turns into three, then another one until you’ve drunk more than you should. But whereas walking yourself home while drunk is already bad enough, driving while drunk is worse as you have both yourself and your vehicle to steer right. Thus, you would want to understand the effects of drunk driving and how it can land you in trouble with the law.
What Are Some of the Effects of Drunk Driving?
When you’re driving, your eyes, hands, feet, and brain are working to ensure that you’re operating your vehicle correctly and safely so that you can reach to your destination all in one piece. However, when you’re driving under the influence of alcohol, you’re bound to experience any of the following negative effects that can put you in harm’s way:
● Slow reflexes.
● Blurry or impaired vision.
● Decreased tracking ability.
● Shortened attention span.
● Tendency to make irrational decisions.
● Lessened eye-limb coordination.
How Can Drunk Driving Land You in Trouble with the Law?
Whatever the exact name that they use for the offense itself, every state has laws that prohibit anyone of legal drinking age to drive while under the influence of alcohol. As the act of drunk driving itself is a criminal offense with serious penalties, you might want to know the following things that could happen to put you in trouble with the law if ever you find yourself committing it:
1. Your driver’s license would get suspended temporarily.
Law enforcement officers can usually spot if you’re drunk driving while on the road. To further check if they’re right in passing judgment on you, they’d ask you to pull over the side of the road and undergo a blood alcohol test where they measure the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream – otherwise known as BAC or blood alcohol concentration. If the percentage of your BAC is equal to or greater than 0.08%, your driver’s license would be suspended for a certain number of days or even years before you can claim it back.
● If you had been charged with a DUI – or driving under the influence (of alcohol) – before or you refused to take a blood alcohol test, your driver’s license would be suspended longer than the minimum time allowed per state.
● Depending on where you committed your drunk driving offense, your driver’s license can even get revoked permanently if you’ve been charged with DUI for the third time.
2. You can get yourself prison time in some states.
Whereas some states would let you off the hook if it’s your first time to commit a drunk driving offense, others take it so seriously that they’d make you spend a few days or weeks in jail.
● If you’ve injured another person or even killed them as a result of your drunk driving, you would find yourself serving more than a few days or weeks in prison and charged with vehicular manslaughter.
● In case you commit drunk driving again after some time, you can face up to several years of incarceration.
3. You can still have a DUI charge filed against you even if you didn’t submit yourself to a blood alcohol test.
As there might be instances when a law enforcement officer failed to or didn’t correctly administer the necessary blood alcohol test to determine whether you’ll be charged with a DUI after you’ve been found drunk driving, a state prosecutor can turn to other evidence gathered against you instead.
● Since most roads come equipped with closed-circuit surveillance cameras, they can record if you’re driving erratically which can indicate that you’re doing it while under the influence of alcohol.
● Aside from a blood alcohol test, a law enforcement officer can also make you undergo a field sobriety test where they can ask you to walk in a straight line. Failing to do so can lead to you being charged with DUI as well.
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the occasional drink of alcohol, you would want to abstain from it if you brought your vehicle along with you on your way to a place or occasion where it’s served. That’s because even a single bottle or glass of alcohol can negatively affect your driving skills and get you in deep trouble if you attempt to steer your vehicle while under its influence as drunk driving is against the law in all states. In case you find yourself in trouble with the law after having committed drunk driving, you should start calling a DUI attorney as soon as possible who can assist you in evaluating your case and weighing your legal options. Better yet, if you really can’t resist drinking alcohol, you might want to leave your vehicle at home and take a cab or bus instead so that you don’t have to drive while drunk.
Dolly Allen loves to help those in need and aspires to one day become a career or nursing student. She loves to write about health and has written for places for many health related websites. She enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Alcohol and Drink Driving: What It Really Does To Your Mind
Alcohol and driving is not a good combination. In fact, driving while drinking or driving after consuming alcohol is punishable by law. Drinking after consuming alcohol not only poses a danger to yourself, but in the case of a DUI collision, it also puts the public’s safety in danger as well.
This article will tell you what alcohol does to your mind and how it can affect your driving.
What Alcohol Does To Your Mind?
Even a small amount of alcohol in your body can affect your mind and your body. Because of that, your ability to drive will be affected. Know that operating a vehicle requires your concentrate, quick reaction times, and good judgments all the time to avoid an accident. Alcohol can affect these skills though which could put yourself and others in possible danger.
Here’s what alcohol does to your mind and how it affects your driving skills.
1. Lack of coordination
Drinking alcohol heavily can affect your motor skills like your eye, hand and foot coordination, all of which are essential for safe driving. Without these essential coordination skills, your ability to avoid an impending accident or harmful situation is significantly reduced. It’s important to know the signs of lack coordination in an individual like swaying, trouble walking straight, and inability to stand straight. For people who are heavily intoxicated by alcohol, they may even have a hard time getting inside the car and finding its ignition.
2. Poor judgment
Your brain is responsible for how you judge certain situations, but this could be affected if you have alcohol in your blood. The ability to make good decisions while driving a car is essential. For instance, you need to make a clear decision as to what you should do if another vehicle cuts you off. Proper judgment is what will keep you alert and be aware of your surroundings while driving.
3. Loss of focus or concentration
Even a small amount of alcohol can reduce your ability to concentrate or focus. Driving requires full attention especially in keeping your car in a lane, controlling your speed, and being aware of the other vehicles around you. Your chances of being in an accident will increase if you lose concentration while behind the wheel.
4. Slow response time
Alcohol can reduce your response time. Good response time is essential for avoiding accidents while on the road. If alcohol is in your blood, you won’t be able to brake at appropriate times to avoid an impending accident. For instance, if the car in front of you suddenly stops, it takes time for your brain to process the situation causing you to react slowly as to what should you do to avoid the accident.
5. Decreased vision
Too much alcohol can leave you visually impaired. You may have noticed after drinking that your vision becomes blurry. This can affect your ability to drive, as you are no longer able to judge the distance of your car and other vehicles on the road. Also, your peripheral vision is also decreased. You don’t get to see everything clearly when looking straight ahead on the road.
If you experience any of these after consuming alcohol, it’s better for you to call a taxi or have someone to drive your car instead. It’s not worth putting yourself and the other’s safety in danger.
How Blood Alcohol Content Affects Your Driving
Driving with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% is considered to be drunk driving and is a criminal offense. But even after one drink, alcohol can start to affect your senses, so it makes sense never to drink if you are planning on driving.
Here’s how various blood alcohol content levels can affect your driving:
● 0.02% – Your emotions, inhibitions, and judgment start to be affected which results in excessive talking and increased relaxation. You’ll also feel a slight increase in your body temperature and may experience mood swings.
● 0.05% – Your reaction times will be reduced. A person with BAC level of 0.05% will have lack of coordination, lack of alertness, reduced ability to identify fast-moving objects, exaggerated behavior, and increased lack of judgment although these signs may never be very obvious.
● 0.08% – You start to lose your speed control, your body coordination becomes worse, and you have a hard time concentrating on the road. It takes time for your brain to process what you see on the road.
● 0.10% – Your speech becomes slurred, your reaction time and judgment is very poor. You have a hard time controlling the vehicle.
● 0.15% – You begin to vomit and stumble most of the time. Your ability to drive is extremely affected.
The consequences of drinking and driving are not worth it. They can hurt your relationships, your social life, and your career. Not to mention that you may end up in prison for quite some time if you are arrested. So think again before you grab a wheel after consuming alcohol.
Jean Clark is a professional writer and loves anything to do with law in business or in the public. She is family oriented, and she loves spending her free time with her family.
Scott Freitag — the director of Salt Lake City’s 911 dispatch center director until he was fired last week for allegedly driving drunk while in a government vehicle — was formally charged on Tuesday.
Freitag, 38, of Layton, was charged in Davis County Justice Court with class B misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol, class C misdemeanor open container/drinking alcohol in a vehicle, and class B misdemeanor carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol.
Police said Tuesday that Freitag had a gun in the center consol of his car.
Court documents do not specify the basis for the dangerous weapon charge.
Matthew Rojas, spokesman for the Salt Lake City mayor’s office, said last week that a review of Freitag’s schedule indicates that he was on the clock at the time of the arrest — 1:25 p.m. on Jan. 3 — though he added that Freitag’s schedule is somewhat fluid, due to occasional long days.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski said in a news release announcing the firing: “There is no acceptable reason for anyone to put innocent lives in danger by getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, especially an individual leading a critical public safety agency.
“While I am angry and disappointed in Scott’s behavior, I do hope he gets help to address his problems, and that he finds the support of loved ones that he needs at this time.”
On Jan. 3, a Centerville Police Department sergeant saw the Salt Lake City Corporation vehicle entering the southbound Interstate 15 Kaysville on-ramp and noticed that the vehicle was driven erratically, according to a Centerville police news release.
Freitag was pulled over and failed field sobriety tests. He registered a 0.214 percent blood alcohol content during a breathalyzer test, the release said, and the officer found an open mixed drink in the center console of the vehicle.
Utah’s legal blood-alcohol-content limit for driving is 0.08 percent. It is scheduled to change to 0.05 percent on Dec. 30.
Freitag was cited and released, police said.
Freitag has been a member of the Layton City Council since 2007. He has been elected to the seat three times, and his current term ends in 2019. Freitag is the council’s liaison to the police and fire departments and to the Legislature.
More than 45 million Americans will travel by car over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA predicts, and a new study suggests that about one out of five of those behind the wheel will have taken a prescription drug that could impair their driving.
On top of that, many of them aren’t aware of the risk.
The study authors used data from the most recent National Roadside Survey (NRS), conducted in 2013-2014 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to determine what proportion of drivers had been warned that the medication their doctor prescribed could impair their performance. Data were collected from randomly selected drivers at 60 different U.S. locations.
Drivers 16 and older were eligible to participate in the voluntary, anonymous survey about alcohol and drug use. Those who agreed to be surveyed were also asked to provide a breath sample to measure alcohol content and a saliva sample for drug testing.
The 2013-2014 NRS was the second to ask drivers about drug use but the first to ask whether the drug had been prescribed for them and, if so, whether they’d been warned that it could impair their driving. Those who reported taking a prescribed, potentially impairing medication within the previous two days were then asked if they had been warned that it could affect their driving.
These are the categories of potentially impairing prescription drugs covered by the survey and some examples of them:
Antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin).
Methadone and buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone), opioids that are used in medication-assisted treatment of substance use disorders.
Morphine or codeine, which are prescription opioids for pain.
Other prescription opioids (OxyContin and Vicodin), also used to treat pain.
Benzodiazepines, which are tranquilizers (Xanax and Valium).
Muscle relaxants (Soma and Flexeril).
Sleep aids (Ambien and Lunesta).
ADHD medications (Ritalin, Aderall and Concerta).
Other amphetamines (Benzadrine and Dexedrine).
Prescription diet pills (Tenuate and phentermine).
Except for the last three types of drugs, the medications on this list could impair drivers by sedating them. Experimental studies have shown that certain tranquilizers have a substantially higher risk of impairment than alcohol and that opioids have a risk comparable to that of alcohol, the researchers write.
On the other hand, ADHD medications and other amphetamines as well as prescription diet pills are stimulants, which can influence attention, aggressiveness and risk-taking, the study authors write. You likely won’t fall asleep behind the wheel if you take a stimulant, but you could end up taking unnecessary risks while driving.
A total of 7,405 drivers answered the prescription drug questions on the NRS, and 19.7% of them reported taking a potentially impairing prescription drug within the previous two days. Of those who had, four out of five of them, or 78.2%, to be exact, said the drug had been prescribed for them, so there had been an opportunity for a physician or a pharmacist to talk about the risk of impaired driving.
There are DUI checkpoints all over the state of Delaware, but sometimes understanding their frequency can be difficult to understand. Each state’s frequency is different than one another because of their state laws.ARE DUI CHECKPOINTS CONDUCTED IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE?Yes they are conducted in the state of Delaware.WHAT IS THE FREQUENCY OF THE DUI CHECKPOINTS IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE?DUI checkpoints in the state of Delaware are conducted monthly January to June; Weekly July through December.WHO UPHOLDS THE LAWFULNESS OF THESE DUI CHECKPOINTS?In the state of Delaware, it is upheld under the state law and federal Constitution.HOW DOES A DUI CHECKPOINT WORK IN DELAWARE?When you first approach the DUI checkpoint, an officer will approach your car and is to clearly address his name, and what they are currently doing.The officer will most likely use his flashlight to check your eyes, to see if he sees any hints towards you being intoxicated.The DUI checkpoint uses something called a neutral formula, so the officers at the checkpoint have to treat each driver the same, and cannot randomly stop other cars in the surrounding area.All safety precautions (proper lighting, warning signs, signals, and the clarity of the of the official vehicles) are taken to ensure the quality of the checkpoint stop.Law enforcement has to make sure that the checkpoint goes as smoothly as possible, so they are not holding you up any longer than need be.An officer cannot search your vehicle without having a probable cause, or your permission.If the officer believes you are intoxicated, he/she can ask you to take the breathalyzer test.If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, the officer can still arrest you under probable cause, or ask you to perform a set field sobriety exercises.While DUI checkpoints seem like they may be a waste of time, they help keep safety on the roads.
In Colorado, it’s legal to smell like marijuana while driving and to have paraphernalia in the car. It’s even legal to have marijuana in the car as long as the weed’s in a sealed container away from the driver.
But it’s illegal to drive impaired from cannabis, just like it’s illegal to drive drunk. And the number of deaths due to car crashes involving marijuana is rising, says Sam Cole, a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
“It’s still small compared to all the other reasons we’re seeing for fatalities out there,” he says. In 2016, 51 people died in crashes that involved drivers whose blood tested contained a certain level of active THC. That’s 8 percent of all crash fatalities in 2016. “The data indicates it’s a growing problem.” And CDOT has allocated almost a million dollars, all from marijuana tax revenue, to educate the public about the danger of driving while high.
And yet, confirming that someone has actually been driving while impaired by marijuana is remarkably tricky. But that doesn’t stop Colorado lawyer Chris Halsor from teaching law enforcement officers to recognize the signs of marijuana impairment.
“It’s a brave new world,” he says to a room full of Colorado State Patrol officers. There are now more dispensaries in the state than there are Starbucks coffee shops, he tells the students as they learn how to correctly perform roadside sobriety tests.
To complicate matters, as CDOT’s Sam Cole notes, “the only roadside device that’s allowed to be used, by statute, is an alcohol device.” It’s largely up to officers to determine on the side of the road if a person is impaired from pot.
As part of the training, Halsor assigned the officers to go shopping at local dispensaries, so they could get a sense of what pot products are out there. Then, a group of volunteers arrived, introduced themselves to the officers, and promptly proceeded to an RV parked in the hotel parking lot where, as payment for their participation, they could legally consume as much pot as they wanted from a plastic tub of edibles, vape pens, joints and other pot products.
When the volunteers returned to the hotel, the officers tested them on a number of measures meant to distinguish the impaired from the sober.
How many quarters are in $1.75? A person who’s impaired might take a while to figure it out.
Walk nine paces, touching toe to heel, along a line, then return. Someone who’s impaired might forget the instructions or have trouble balancing.
Follow a pen with your eyes as an officer moves it around your face. An impaired person’s eyes often show something called “horizontal gaze nystagmus,” in which the eyes jerk when they move to the side. When the pen moves toward the nose, an impaired person’s eyes often show “lack of convergence” — their eyes can’t cross in sync, drifting or shifting around rather than converging on the tip of the nose.
The usefulness of many of these tests are backed up by scientific evidence, but the methods don’t always apply to everyone equally. And they are all subject to — even dependent upon — an officer’s observations, biases, and interpretation.
Indeed, one of the volunteer’s results were clear-cut. “She’d be going to jail,” said Rich Armstrong, an officer with Colorado State Patrol, and the others all agreed. But the other three were not.
Officers disagreed about the second woman, who did well on some parts of the tests and poorly on others. “It was a tough one,” said Trooper Tom Davis, also with CSP.
“Yeah, this is one of those subjective areas,” said Rich Armstrong.
The officers determined that, in real life, they would not have arrested the two male volunteers for impairment, even though the male volunteers had consumed a comparable amount of cannabis to the female volunteers.
Enter the scientists. At the Boulder branch of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nestled among buildings that house atomic clocks and giant lasers, there is a group of researchers dedicated to forensic science. And right now, a few them are all about pot. Measuring it precisely, of course.
Chemical engineer Tara Lovestead is working hard to lay the groundwork for a pot breathalyzer. As federal employees, she and her colleagues can’t actually develop commercial breath tests, but they’re doing the nitty gritty basic research like measuring the fundamental physical properties of THC. The findings could help companies and researchers create reliable devices that correlate chemicals in a person’s breath to their level of impairment.
From Lovestead’s point of view, the current system for determining marijuana impairment relies too much on an officer’s interpretation. “It’s too subjective. I’m not comfortable with that. The public, I don’t think, is comfortable with that,” she says.
At least two companies are working on devices, including Cannabix Technologies and Hound Labs, but they’re still in the testing phase. And though officers in California are already using a marijuana detection device called the Drager DrugTest 5000, it does not detect a person’s level of impairment — only the presence of THC in their saliva.
Often, when officers deem an erratic or dangerous driver to be impaired from marijuana, they bring the driver in for a blood test. According to state law, if a milliliter of the person’s blood contains more than 5 nanograms of active THC, the person can be “presumed” to be impaired. But researchers have shown that the 5-nanogram limit can be misleading, possibly incriminating someone who last smoked days before driving, and possibly missing someone who just consumed cannabis.
“It’s a very challenging problem and a lot of work needs to be done,” says Lovestead, whose research group previously worked on technology that could sample tiny amounts of chemicals in the air to detect things like explosives or buried bodies.
While scientists and companies chip away at developing marijuana breath tests, Sam Cole at CDOT is exploring another big question: what’s behind Colorado’s rise in crash fatalities involving marijuana.
“The 64 million dollar question is: Is it because of legalization?” he says. Data on crash fatalities and marijuana is spotty before 2013. So the answer, Cole says, is unclear.