A man accused of trafficking in carfentanil in Red Deer will have a preliminary hearing next February.Carfentanil was found in a mixture of drugs seized by Red Deer RCMP in March, making it the first known seizure of the deadly opioid in the Red Deer area.The drugs that tested positive for carfentanil, fentanyl and caffeine were seized during an investigation of two Red Deer residences.RCMP said that carfentanil is 100 times more toxic than fentanyl. Its only legal use is to sedate large animals.Police said fentanyl and carfentanil are inexpensive when compared to drugs such as cocaine and heroin, which is incentive for drug dealers to mix or substitute it in order to increase their profit margins.Kim Proctor, 38, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of a weapon obtained by crime and possession of property obtained by crime.A preliminary hearing is held to determine if there is enough evidence to send a case to trial. It is often used to test the strength of a Crown prosecutor’s case. Proctor’s hearing is set for Feb. 9, 2018.
Depending on where you live, it’s known by many different abbreviations — DUI, DWI, OWI — but they are all short for driving (or operating a motor vehicle) while impaired or intoxicated.
Whatever the language, when most people hear these references, they probably first think of someone who has had too much alcohol to drink and then got behind the wheel.
For decades, police and highway safety officials and many other groups have gotten the word out about the dangers of drinking and driving.
Indeed, most people likely know that the legal limit for blood alcohol content while driving in Michigan (and most of the United States) is 0.08 percent. Likewise, they also probably have a pretty good idea about how much alcohol is in various drinks and the notion that the body generally can metabolize about one standard drink per hour.
Despite this, driving under the influence of alcohol remains a very common offense in the court system.
However, there is another section of the “driving under the influence” law that gets far less attention — driving under the influence of drugs. More specifically, in addition to alcohol, the law forbids driving under the influence of “controlled substance, or other intoxicating substance.”
Often when someone does think of “drugged driving,” he or she likely conjures up an image of a someone strung out on methamphetamine or heroin getting behind the wheel.
While that scenario does happen, local law enforcement officials say in recent years the more common scenario is people getting behind the wheel who are impaired by one or more prescription drugs.
In some cases, it could be someone with a long-standing prescription drug abuse problem, in other instances, it could be someone who was just recently prescribed some painkillers for a recent injury or surgery.
Understanding the law
While most people understand the 0.08 percent alcohol limit, there are other ways you can run afoul of the driving under the influence law:
First, even if your blood alcohol content is less than 0.08, you still could be charged with driving while intoxicated or visibly impaired. The police and, ultimately the prosecutor, would just need to show that you had consumed alcohol and that because of it, your “ability to operate a motor vehicle in a normal manner was substantially lessened,” or your “ability to operate the motor vehicle is visibly impaired.”
These more subjective tests are also what applies to driving under the influence of a controlled substance such as a prescription drug.
Although there is no “bright line” test for prescription controlled substances, there is for illegal drugs, or what’s known as “schedule 1” controlled substances.
For these drugs it is illegal to drive with any amount in your system. The list of schedule 1 controlled substances is very long, but generally, they are the illegal drugs that most people think of, such as heroin or methamphetamine.
For prescription drugs, such as some well known painkillers that contain oxycodone, and many more it’s not automatically illegal to drive after you’ve taken them, but also, just because you have a prescription for a drug, doesn’t mean you are OK to drive after taking it either, Emmet County Prosecuting Attorney James Linderman said.
And it’s not just painkillers that can be an issue.
Other drugs the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists among drugs that could in cause problems with driving to include:
— Prescription drugs for anxiety
— Some antidepressants
— Products containing codeine
— Some cold remedies and allergy products
— Sleeping pills
— Some diet pills, “stay awake” drugs, and other medications with stimulants (e.g. caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine)
Linderman noted that combining these substances with each other, or with other substances such as alcohol or inhalants, can make it even more difficult to estimate the effects on a person’s ability to drive.
“It’s very subjective to begin with, and it varies widely from person to person,” Linderman said. “With an aging population and poly-substance abusers, it can become very difficult.”
Petoskey Department of Public Safety Director Matthew Breed said his officers are seeing more and more instances of people driving under the influence of prescription drugs.
In fact, he said just within the last week one of his public safety officers arrested a man on suspicion of driving under the influence of prescription drugs.
Breed said the incident involved dispatchers at 911 receiving multiple reports of a person driving very badly, who then went off the road twice and was involved in at least one crash. Breed said the man reported that he had taken two prescriptions, and that he was clearly under the influence of them.
He said one tool that has become available for officers is a new type of training that differs slightly from the standard field sobriety tests. The test is known as advanced roadside impaired driving enforcement.
“We’ve seen a significant uptick in the amount of people for are operating under the influence of prescription drugs,” Breed said. “It’s a more significant problem than people realize.”
Breed also said it can be very difficult for people — especially those who are new to taking a particular prescription — to know if its safe for them to drive.
So, what is the best advice for someone taking something that might affect their ability to drive?
First, Breed said, pay attention to warning labels that come on your prescriptions.
“If that label says it may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery, be careful,” he said. “Different people process those chemicals differently.”
Linderman also noted, “You better take the medications as prescribed, too.”
Breed added, “If you feel any type of effect after taking a medication, good judgement would dictate that you don’t drive.”
He noted that research shows that without any effects of drugs or alcohol, it typically takes a person about 3/4 of a second to perceive something while driving and another 3/4 of a second to take action.
He noted that in 1.5 seconds a vehicle traveling at 55 mph travels about 120 feet, and anything that adds to that response time could have tragic consequences.
Hendrix Caje Johnston was driving through Ranchos de Taos on Monday (July 3) when members of New Mexico State Police pulled him over for allegedly speeding and crossing traffic lines. He was initially only charged with DWI, but after a search warrant approved for the driver’s vehicle led to the alleged discovery of narcotics, multiple felony charges were added to Johnston’s rap sheet.
The suspect, whom police have identified as a Taos County resident, was stopped by a state police officer around 4 p.m. while traveling along State Road 68. According to a state police press release, Johnston, 25, “did not pull over immediately” and traveled a short distance before stopping at the side of the road. The release, however, did not specify whether Johnston was confused as to whether his was the vehicle the officer intended to pull over or whether he was in an unsafe area to comply when given the command.
When the officer approached the vehicle, he stated that he could smell a “strong odor” of marijuana that seemed to be coming from within the suspect’s vehicle. Johnston’s eyes were allegedly “red” and he appeared “sluggish,” according to the arresting officer. The suspect admitted to having consumed marijuana, but said that he did so only the day before. He also allegedly admitted to having marijuana inside the vehicle.
He then agreed to take a sobriety test, leading the officer to determine that “Mr. Johnston appeared to be impaired and unable to safely operate the vehicle.” He was immedietely arrested for DWI.
Upon further inspection, the officer said they could see drug paraphernalia in the console of the suspect’s vehicle, which was then towed to the New Mexico State Police office in Taos. A request for a search warrant was approved, leading officers to allegedly discover “containers and bags consistent with the trafficking of narcotics, as well as scales, devices commonly used for the production of narcotics, and other drug paraphernalia.” Police also claimed to have located heroin and methamphetamine, leading to additional drug possession charges – both felonies.
Public Information Officer Elizabeth Armijo stated that officers had performed initial field tests on the suspected narcotics with drug testing kits, “thus giving [probable] cause for those charges,” she said. The drugs, however, have not been submitted to the State Crime Lab for “further, specific testing,” she said.
While the initial tests may have provided probable cause to levy the charges, a failure to send drugs to the lab in a “timely manner” may lead to charges being dismissed. Such was the result in one of Johnston prior cases from 2016. Just this year, the fourth-degree felony drug possession charge stemming from the case was dropped “on the grounds that the drugs in this matter were not sent to the State Crime Lab in a timely fashion,” according to court records. The decision on the matter came less than one month ago: June 14. Prior to the charge, Johnston’s record included only relatively minor traffic violations, according to New Mexico court records.
In many states, cannabis DUI laws are treated like alcohol DUI laws.But a cannabis DUI and an alcohol DUI should be treated differently for many reasons. One example of their difference is how THC and alcohol levels are metabolized. THC stays in the body for weeks after consuming while alcohol is purged in several hours. Yet the highs last about the same amount of time.Getting pulled over weeks after smoking results in drivers getting charged with a DUI. That’s because it’s difficult for cops to determine how recently a driver smoked a bowl. Traditional sobriety tests don’t correspond to cannabis effects either. For example, a stoned driver can stand on one leg while a drunk driver cannot.Scott Leist was a Seattle police officer, and a defense attorney for the Washington Traffic Defense. Leist agrees that Washington’s Cannabis DUI laws are a problem. In Washington, there is a .08 limit for alcohol and THC, but THC is nothing like alcohol.Leist said, “some studies suggest that driving with moderate levels of THC in one’s system can actually improve driving performance.” There is simply no good science about what determines impaired driving with weed and what doesn’t.THC doesn’t metabolize quickly and completely like alcohol.Leist found that alcohol can metabolize quickly, meaning that it is easy to test when the last time alcohol was consumed. Marijuana is different because a person can consume weed and be impaired for a few hours. But THC stays in the system long after the consumption and high phase.How quickly and completely THC metabolizes depends on a few factors. Namely; how it was consumed and when, how often the person consumes, and the potency of the substance. Small amounts of THC can be found days or even weeks after consumption. At the other end, a heavy consumer can test over the 5ng/mL limit long after they are sober.Alcohol has more exact prediction than weed. What is the marijuana equivalent of two beers? How much THC at what age and weight will get a person to 5ng/mL levels? How fast does THC wear off for each person? Nobody knows the answers to these questions because cannabis research is hampered by federal scheduling. Alcohol has no scheduling restrictions to prevent accurate studies so much more research is available.There are no accurate field sobriety tests for THC intoxication.Police Officers don’t have a lot of experience or training for marijuana DUI detection’s. Smell alone is not a good clue for recent intoxication. Physical signs like red eyes is not enough to prove that a person is THC impaired.There are a variety of reasons a driver might experience the ‘signs of THC intoxication’. A person crying or struggling with allergies causes red eyes. Fatigue can also reproduce the short-term memory issues associated with weed.The best method cops have available is a warrant granted blood test. But blood tests don’t reveal when the last time the driver consumed weed. Unlike alcohol, there is no way to check if a person has had too much THC. There is no breathalyzer that would reveal THC impairment. A person can’t give themselves a field sobriety test like the alcohol tests.Abby McLean drove sober and received a DUI.Northglen, Colorado resident Abby McLean went through a DUI roadside checkpoint on her way home. She is 30, had nothing to drink or smoke that night and had no worries. When the cop walked up to her car he saw that she had blood shot eyes and smelled weed in the car.The cop pulled out his handcuffs to arrests McLean when she exclaimed that she was on her way home to her children. McLean was forced to take a blood test which tested positive for THC intoxication. Her blood test was 5 times over the legal limit. She didn’t go to jail that night but she did go to court. It was a hung jury, but McLean settled for a lesser punishment.Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at New York University. Kleiman said, “you can be positive for THC a week after the last time you used cannabis. Not subjectively impaired at all, not impaired at all by any objective measure, but still positive.”It didn’t matter that McLean hadn’t smoked at all that night. If she smoked a week ago, she still got a cannabis DUI. Denver, Colorado’s District Attorney Mitch Morrissey says that Colorado won’t completely throw out the THC blood test. He then explained how it gives courts an extra piece of evidence during trials.How to travel with cannabis in the car.Scientists at UCSD are researching a new generation of cannabis field sobriety tests. One of these tests is called critical tracking. A person moves their finger around a square on a tablet to measure time distortion, because time can slow down when a person is high.
Juan Eduardo Garcia was booked in the Hidalgo County jail on the afternoon of July 4 on one count of driving while intoxicated and one count of possession of a controlled substance.
He was released later that day on a $7,500 personal recognizance bond, jail records state.
Garcia was stopped by Edinburg Police around 8:50 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Jackson and Trenton Roads.
During the traffic stop Garcia admitted he made a mistake running the red light and had one beer earlier in the day, according to the criminal complaint.
The officer noted that Garcia showed signs of intoxication such as “red blood watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol.”
Garcia refused to submit to a blood-alcohol level test.
The officer also discovered what appeared to be a white powdery substance on a dollar bill inside his wallet, an allegation Garcia denies.
“I don’t believe they have any substance,” Garcia said in a telephone interview Thursday. “The prescription will hold up.”
The 41-year-old attorney did not elaborate on what the prescription was, however, the substance, which weighed 1 gram, later tested for cocaine, the complaint states.
Garcia has been a licensed lawyer in Texas since 2005 and specializes in criminal defense.
“I’m a little bit disappointed on this whole issue,” he said.
If convicted of the most serious charge, possession of a controlled substance, Garcia faces between two to 10 years in prison.
Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada became the fifth state in the U.S. with stores selling marijuana for recreational purposes, opening a market early Saturday that is eventually expected to outpace any other in the nation thanks to the millions of tourists who flock to Las Vegas.People began purchasing marijuana shortly after midnight, just months after voters approved legalization in November and marking the fastest turnaround from the ballot box to retail sales in the country.Hundreds of people lined up at Essence Cannabis Dispensary on the Las Vegas Strip. People were excited and well-behaved as a lone security guard looked on. A valet was available to park the cars of customers.A cheer erupted when the doors opened.Those 21 and older with a valid ID can buy up to an ounce of pot. Tourists are expected to make nearly two of every three recreational pot purchases in Nevada, but people can only use the drug in a private home.It remains illegal to light up in public areas, including the Las Vegas Strip, casinos, bars, restaurants, parks, convention centers and concert halls — places frequently visited by tourists. Violators face a $600 fine.And driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal.Despite the limits on where people can get high and restrictions on where the industry can advertise, dispensaries worked furiously to prepare for the launch. They stamped labels on pot products, stocked up their shelves, added security and checkout stations, and announced specials.Desert Grown Farms hired about 60 additional employees. Workers in scrubs, hair nets and surgical masks slapped stickers on sealed jars this week as others checked on marijuana plants or carefully weighed buds.“It would be a good problem to have if I couldn’t meet my demand,” said CEO Armen Yemenidjian, whose Desert Grown Farms owns the only dispensary that is selling recreational pot on the Las Vegas Strip, across the street from the Stratosphere hotel.Some dispensaries took to social media to spread the word or tried to draw in buyers with special events. Some planned to give away free marijuana to their first 100 customers or throw parties with barbecues and food trucks later in the afternoon.Some facilities are in strip malls, while others, in stereotypical Las Vegas fashion, are in neighborhoods shared by strip clubs.Nevada joins Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in allowing adults to buy the drug that’s still banned by the federal government.
HART COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) — A high-speed chase through parts of three Kentucky counties ended with a Louisville woman’s arrest.Police say they had to use stop sticks to force Sharon Buckland, 52, to come to a stop after she reportedly drove more than 100 miles-per-hour and nearly hit several vehicles in downtown Elizabethtown – putting officers lives in danger.After speeding through Meade and Hardin Counties Buckland was arrested in Hart County early Sunday morning.Her charges include fleeing and evading police, first-degree wanton endangerment, reckless driving, speeding in exceess of 100 miles-per-hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone, and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.Police say Buckland admitted to taking Hydrocodone and Xanax.One citation says she apologized for her alleged actions.Another citation says Buckland told police her father told her to “drive it like you stole it.”Police said Buckland drove without her headlights illuminated during the pursuit, which happened between 12:30 and 1:15 a.m. on Sunday.
Former reality TV star also doesn’t want the man who was killed in the incident referred to as a “victim”Tim Kenneally | June 16, 2017 @ 5:22 PMBuchanan County Sheriff’s DepartmentThere will be no drunk talk in the case against “Bachelor” alum Chris Soules. At least if he has his way.Soules, who was arrested and charged with leaving the scene where a death occurred in Iowa earlier this year, has filed a motion asking to suppress any alcohol-related evidence in the case against him.The motion reasons that the evidence should be suppressed because Soules tested negative for drugs or alcohol.ADVERTISINGAlso Read:Chris Soules Pleads Not Guilty to Leaving Scene of Fatal Accident“Any evidence, testimony, reference, or argument that, on the night in question, Mr. Soules: 1) purchased alcohol, 2) consumed alcohol, 2) drove while impaired, or 3) had beer cans in or around his vehicle” are inadmissible, the motion contends. “According to a report issued by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation’s (DCI) Criminalistics Laboratory, Mr. Soules’ specimens were negative for drugs and alcohol. The DCI conducted thorough toxicology testing on two separate samples – his urine and blood – and conclusively determined no detectable amounts of alcohol or drugs were in either specimen.”Soules was arrested at his home near Arlington, Iowa, following a fatal crash that left 66-year-old Kenneth Eugene Mosher dead. The former reality TV star was taken into custody after the pickup truck he was driving rear-ended a John Deere tractor, according to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office.In a May filing, Buchanan County, Iowa, attorney Shawn M. Harden said that Soules bought alcohol at a convenience store prior to the crash, ABC News reports.Also Read:’Bachelor’ Alum Chris Soules Formally Charged in Fatal CrashHarden also alleged that the reality TV veteran had “empty and partially consumed open” alcoholic beverages “located in and around his vehicle.”Friday’s motion also asked that Mosher not be identified as a “victim” in the case.“The State has not charged Mr. Soules with any crime asserting he is criminally responsible for the death of the decedent. Thus, it is wholly improper for the State or any witness to refer to the decedent as a ‘victim’ since such a reference inaccurately characterizes the events relevant to the instant charge and would not have any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of this action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence and is more prejudicial than probative, will cause confusion of the issues and will mislead the jury as finders of fact,” the motion reads.Also Read:’Bachelor’ Alum Chris Soules Bought Alcohol Shortly Before Fatal Car Crash, Prosecutor SaysPreviously, Soules filed a motion to dismiss, contending that he satisfied the Iowa code governing conduct in such instances.According to court papers filed by the former reality TV star in Iowa district court, Soules — who gained notoriety as “Prince Farming” on the reality series — “unhesitatingly identified himself and his role in the accident” in a 911 call and “tried his utmost to resuscitate” Mosher.“Mr. Soules described the location of the accident and communicated with dispatch for approximately 5 minutes and 45 seconds while help was en route,” the court papers read. “The evidence will further show that emergency responders arrived on the scene shortly after Mr. Soules concluded his 911 call. Mr. Soules remained on the scene with those emergency responders for several more minutes before returning to his home.”Also Read:Former ‘Bachelor’ Chris Soules’ New Attorneys Say He ‘Acted Reasonably’ Following Deadly Car CrashSoules has pleaded not guilty.
After eight years, a pair of trials where he was twice found not guilty, and a trip to Canada’s highest court, an Ottawa construction worker accused of driving while impaired by marijuana has pleaded guilty to nothing more than a traffic offence.It’s the end of a long legal saga for Carson Bingley that started with erratic driving on Merivale Road in May 2009 and led to a Supreme Court decision that streamlined drugged-driving trials, just as the country moves toward legalizing marijuana by next July.On Monday, the 36-year-old pleaded guilty to careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act and was given a $1,000 fine and one-year driving prohibition. Court heard he swerved through traffic, drove in an opposite lane, then hit a parked car in a nearby lot.Bingley was criminally charged with driving while drug-impaired after allegedly failing a roadside sobriety test administered by a specially trained and certified police officer known as a “drug recognition expert” or DRE.MORE: With marijuana legalization, a new problem sprouts: How to test for high driversHe was taken to the police station, where he then underwent a 12-part evaluation for drug impairment that measures things like physical co-ordination, eye movement, blood pressure, pupil size and muscle tone. The evaluation, used across North America and Europe, was added to the Criminal Code in 2008 by the then-Conservative government.The results of Bingley’s evaluation — coupled with his admission that he had used marijuana hours earlier and taken two Xanax — led the DRE to conclude he was impaired by marijuana.But as Bingley’s experience has shown, proving cases of impairment by drugs can be difficult. Unlike alcohol, there are no approved roadside screening devices to determine precise levels of drugs in one’s system. Nor are there currently any legal limits on how much of a drug is too much to drive a car.In April, the federal government proposed new offences as part of Bill C-46 that will make it a crime to drive with more than two nanograms of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, per millilitre of blood. The legislation will also authorize police to use oral fluid drug screeners at the roadside to determine whether drugs are present in the saliva of a driver they suspect has been using drugs. However, prosecutions will still rely on the evaluation by a DRE at a police station or the taking of a blood sample.Outside of court on Monday, Bingley insists he wasn’t impaired by drugs, which motivated him to keep fighting the charges for as long as he has. Bingley said many of his friends told him he should give up and just plead guilty.Bingley believes his experience illustrates the need for reliable tests to prove someone’s impairment.“By no means do I think people should be out there driving drunk or under the influence. I have a son, I have a family. I don’t want to see someone get hurt,” said Bingley, who has a dated conviction for possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. “If they have that law, they need to have the proper instrument to calculate that with. You have to have the right instrument.”But Bingley’s lawyer, Trevor Brown, said he doesn’t believe the Crown’s decision to resolve Bingley’s case with a plea to a traffic offence is an indictment of the drugged-driving testing regime.“It probably says more about how you can successfully prosecute a case eight years later,” said Brown.In an emailed statement, the Ontario attorney general’s ministry said the Crown carefully considered the public interest in proceeding with a third trial given the history of the case and Bingley’s current circumstances.“Plea agreements are about achieving just and appropriate resolutions in criminal matters while ensuring the effective and efficient use of valuable court resources,” the ministry said.Since being charged in 2009, Bingley’s moved up from his job as an apprentice labourer to a construction supervisor. Bingley’s also the proud father of a one-and-a-half year old, he said.Eight years of court dates and being in constant legal limbo have been an emotional roller-coaster, said Bingley. He estimates the legal fight has cost him tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and lost wages.However, Bingley’s lawyer said he remains concerned about the reliability of a DRE’s evidence given the “weaknesses and frailties” that were exposed during Bingley’s two trials.In both trials, the successful appeals of the not-guilty verdicts turned on issues surrounding whether a DRE was an expert witness. In the first trial, the judge accepted the evidence of the DRE as a “lay” opinion, but found there was a reasonable doubt as to Bingley’s guilt and acquitted him. At the second trial, the judge didn’t recognize the DRE
Greeley police arrested a parolee and a habitual traffic offender after he was seen driving erratically and running a stop sign in downtown Greeley on Thursday night.According to a release from Greeley police, an officer stopped Antonio Rodriguez Jr., 64, in the 1300 block of 7th Avenue about 9:15 p.m.After he was arrested, police found “an amount of suspected illicit controlled substance and a large amount of cash … on his person,” the release stated.Rodriguez was booked into Weld County Jail on suspicion of felony charges of possession/distribution of a controlled substance and parole violation and misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence, being a habitual traffic offender and a stop sign violation.