Now that the 2015 Washington State legislative session is under way. The annual what can we do to make DUI laws tougher here in Washington State has begin. The latest example is a proposed bill that would make a fourth offense DUI a felony. Currently under Washington law a felony DUI law charge applies if a driver has been convicted of a DUI four times within the past decade, essentially making a fifth offense DUI a felony. This legislation was proposed last year, and the year before, and the year before it seems. And it always comes back to the same thing. Money. Like all things it always comes back to money. Regardless of how you feel about DUIs, and by now means do I condone drinking and driving. But the cost of new legislation and implementing the laws means more in some cases than the idea. Would making a fourth offense DUI a felony be a good idea. Of course it would. Despite being a DUI Attorney in Seattle, if a driver doesn’t learn their lesson by the third time then chances are nothing is going to help them. At least that is my opinion. Perhaps facing a lengthier jail sentence would cause a multiple repeat DUI offender to reconsider their choices. The problem with this legislation is how will the bill be implemented financially. It is not as simple as saying okay your fourth DUI is now a felony. There are costs that need to be factored. Probation, jail, and monitoring fees are just a few off the top of my head. If you’re interested in an article about this new legislation here you go. I would be surprised if this bill passed. Again not because it is not a good idea, but we still don’t have any money here in Washington State.
Richmond-Burton High School football coach Patrick Elder won’t be on the sideline this season after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, but for now still has his job as athletic director, school officials said Friday.
Superintendent Tom Lind said Elder, 44, was not placed on leave at the McHenry County school after he was arrested and charged with DUI on July 15, but he will not be coaching. Lind declined further comment on Elder’s job status.
A Spring Grove police officer spotted Elder’s vehicle swerving and crossing the center line of Illinois Highway 173 just east of Clark Road, according to Spring Grove police Chief Thomas Sanders.
The officer reported a strong smell of alcohol on Elder’s breath and said he was slurring his speech and had red eyes. The officer said Elder, a Spring Grove resident, was unable to keep his balance during the field sobriety test and would not to take a breathalyzer test.
Elder posted $100 and his driver’s license and bonded out of Spring Grove jail. He is set to appear in McHenry County court Aug. 14.
According to local authorities and court records, Elder was convicted of DUI in 1992 and 1995 in downstate McLean County. For the 1995 conviction, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 24 months of probation.
McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said a third DUI conviction could bring a penalty ranging from probation to a maximum of seven years in prison.
The Illinois secretary of state’s office said Elder’s license will be suspended for a year for not doing the breathalyzer. If he is convicted of DUI, he could lose it for a decade.
Lind said Elder has been with the district for 11 years and would have gone through a background check when he was hired. But Lind, who is in his first year as superintendent, said he didn’t know what that check revealed or how the district weighed that information.
Richmond-Burton High School is located in Richmond, a town just south of the Wisconsin border.
Scientists Still Seek A Reliable DUI Test For MarijuanaListen· 5:245:24QueueDownloadEmbedTranscriptFacebookTwitterGoogle+EmailJuly 30, 20177:14 AM ETHeard on All Things ConsideredRAE ELLEN BICHELLAlthough consuming cannabis is legal in Colorado and several other states, driving while under the influence of the drug is not.Nick Pedersen/Getty ImagesThis spring, 16 state patrol officers from Colorado and Wyoming took a couple days off their usual work schedule to do something special. They assembled in a hotel conference room in Denver. As instructed, they wore street clothes for their first assignment: going shopping at nearby marijuana dispensaries.”It’s a brave new world,” said instructor Chris Halsor, referring to the years since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana.There are now more marijuana dispensaries in Colorado than there are Starbucks shops, said Halsor, a Denver lawyer and former prosecutor. And though consuming cannabis is legal across the state, driving under its influence is not.The cops in that conference room, with their buzz cuts and Mountain Dew, are all part of the force charged with keeping the roads safe. But first, they needed a formal pot education — to learn how to identify various marijuana products and paraphernalia when they pull over a driver they suspect is under the influence.Here’s the rub: Despite the increasingly legal use of cannabis in many states, cops still don’t have the equivalent of a reliable alcohol breathalyzer or blood test — a chemically based way of estimating what the drug is doing in the brain. Though a blood test exists that can detect some of marijuana’s components, there is no widely accepted, standardized amount in the breath or blood that gives police or courts or anyone else a good sense of who is impaired.Yessenia Hinojos, a budtender at a Denver cannabis dispensary called The Green Solution, describes marijuana strains to A.J. Tarantino (left) and Philip Gurley. Both men are officers with Colorado State Patrol.Rae Ellen Bichell/NPRA number of scientists nationally are working hard to create just such a chemical test and standard — something to replace the behavioral indicators that cops have to base their judgments on now.”We like to know the human error and the limitations of the human opinion,” said Tara Lovestead, a chemical engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo., who is working on setting standards for what a marijuana detection test might require.It’s actually really hard for Lovestead to do this kind of research because she works in a federal lab; federally, cannabis is considered a Schedule 1 substance, “a drug with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” So even though Lovestead is in Colorado, getting hold of a sample for research purposes is just as hard as getting hold of heroin.”We cannot use the stuff down the street,” she said.Aside from being a bureaucratic mess, coming up with a standardized blood or breath test is also a really tricky chemistry problem because of the properties of the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.In states like Colorado, there is a THC blood test that law enforcement can use to show “presumed” impairment. If a person has more than 5 nanograms of delta-9-THC per milliliter of blood, a court or jury can infer that they are impaired, according to Colorado law (this is called “permissible inference” in legalese).SHOTS – HEALTH NEWSHigh On The Highway: Scientists Try To Build A Marijuana Breath TestBut Lovestead and others maintain that, scientifically speaking, that cutoff doesn’t actually mean anything.”We just don’t know whether or not that means they’re still intoxicated, or impaired or not,” she said. “There’s no quantitative measure that could stand up in a court of law.”Turns out it can be a lot harder to chemically determine from a blood or breath test that someone is high than to determine from such a test that they’re drunk.Ethanol, the chemical in alcoholic drinks that dulls thinking and reflexes is small and dissolves in water. Because humans are mostly water, it gets distributed fairly quickly and easily throughout the body and is usually cleared within a matter of hours. But THC, the main chemical in cannabis that produces some of the same symptoms, dissolves in fat. That means the length of time it lingers in the body can differ from person to person even more than alcohol — influenced by things like gender, amount of body fat, frequency of use, and the method and type of cannabis product consumed.In one study, researchers had 30 frequent marijuana users stay at a research facility for a month without any access to drugs of any sort and repeatedly tested their blood for evidence of cannabis.”And it shocked everyone, including ourselves, that we could measure, in some of these individuals, THC in the blood for 30 days,” says Marilyn Huestis, a toxicologist with the University of Maryland S
Nashville’s News Chanel Five reported yesterday of one Tennessee judge’s unusual method to reduce one’s jail sentence. White County Tennessee General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield entered a standing court order granting 30 days of jail credit to those serving jail sentences. The catch to getting the jail credit is to agree to have a vasectomy or the have a birth control device implanted.It strikes me as an extreme abuse of judicial power. Judges in Tennessee determine the jail sentence if no plea bargain is entered into. The court holds the keys to the jail cell once a sentence is imposed. It puts the court in an unfair bargaining position. Everybody in jail wants out of jail. To force one to have themselves robbed of their ability to reproduce is a practice that should not be tolerated. To his credit, the local District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway agrees. Here is his statement from the report. District Attorney Bryant Dunaway, who oversees prosecution of cases in White County is worried the program may be unethical and possibly illegal.“It’s concerning to me, my office doesn’t support this order,” Dunaway said.“It’s comprehensible that an 18-year-old gets this done, it can’t get reversed and then that impacts the rest of their life,” he added.The American Civil Liberties Union also took a position.”Offering a so-called ‘choice’ between jail time and coerced contraception or sterilization is unconstitutional. Such a choice violates the fundamental constitutional right to reproductive autonomy and bodily integrity by interfering with the intimate decision of whether and when to have a child, imposing an intrusive medical procedure on individuals who are not in a position to reject it. Judges play an important role in our community – overseeing individuals’ childbearing capacity should not be part of that role.”In Davidson County Tennessee, it is common to work out a probation violation case on the condition that the defendant will enter a drug or alcohol program and be released upon the condition that they complete the program. This is completely different than court sanctioned sterilization. While the court’s actions may be well intended, it is simply wrong. No Tennessee law sanctions this type of conduct by the courts to reduce jail time.I suggest we watch this story and see how it develops.
A Yankee walks into a bar in Alabama and orders a cosmopolitan. The bartender looks at the man and says, “You’re not from ’round here are ya?””No” replies the man, “I’m from New Hampshire.” The bartender looks at him and says, “Well what do you do in New Hampshire?””I’m a taxidermist,” says the man. The bartender looks bewildered, so the man explains, “I mount dead animals.”The bartender stands back and hollers to the whole bar, “It’s OK, boys! He’s one of us!”
Roscoe D. Cooper III, a member of the Henrico County School Board, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated early Saturday.
According to Sgt. Stephan Vick with Virginia State Police, Cooper, 43, was stopped just before 1 a.m. on westbound Interstate 64 just west of the Gaskins Road exit.
He was then arrested and transported to Henrico County Jail, where he posted bail at 4:30 a.m.
State police declined to release Cooper’s blood alcohol content.
Cooper, who represents the Fairfield District, was elected to the board in 2015 after winning a recount by 42 votes. He currently serves as vice chairman of the board.
“Board members are aware of Mr. Cooper’s personal situation,” said Beverly Cocke, School Board chairwoman, in a statement. “We’ll be better able to respond once more details are available. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Cooper family at this time.”
Cooper did not immediately respond to attempts to reach him.
A Richmond native, Cooper has been pastor at Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church in Henrico since 2003. He holds a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy and a master’s degree in divinity from Virginia Union University, along with a doctorate in divinity from Richmond Virginia Seminary.
A hearing date has not yet been set, according to online records.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – An elderly person is in the hospital after being hit by a car in Springfield Saturday night.
Springfield Police Sergeant John Delaney told 22News, police were called to the intersection of State and Oak Streets at 9 p.m. Saturday night for a pedestrian accident. When they arrived, they found a 70-year-old pedestrian who had been hit by a car. The driver sped off after the accident.
The victim was taken to Baystate Medical Center with serious injuries to their head and stomach area.
Police later found and arrested the driver, who was identified as 47-year-old Clinton Taylor from Springfield. He is being charged with operating under the influence and leaving a pedestrian accident.
Lesser included offense laws can play a significant role for the defense in a Texas criminal case. However, they can also be used by the prosecuting attorney to secure an advantage at trial. If you’ve been charged with a crime, the key to success with lesser included offenses is proper strategy, which requires an in-depth, meticulous understanding of how the law works. An experienced Collin County lawyer can tell you more about the application of these laws to your unique situation, but it’s helpful to review the basics and recognize the potential advantages.Lesser Included Offense Under Texas LawAccording to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a lesser included offense is one that:Can be proved by the same facts, or less than all of the same facts, that would prove the crime actually charged by the prosecution;Is only different from the crime charged, in that it involves a less serious injury or risk of injury to the person, property, or public interest;Is different from the crime charged, in that it involves a less blameworthy mental state of mind; OR,Bears the characteristics of an attempt to commit the crime charged or an otherwise included crime.EXAMPLEA common scenario used to describe the concept of lesser included offenses is the crime of strangulation, which falls under Assaultive Offenses in the Texas Penal Code. Assault is knowingly causing or threatening to cause bodily injury to another person, and it’s a Class A Misdemeanor.Choking someone is a type of assault; however, there’s the added element that it involves stopping the airflow of another person. The assault crime of strangulation is elevated to a Third-Degree Felony.Based upon this example, assault would be a lesser included offense to strangulation. It can be proved by less than all of the same facts because, for assault, it’s not necessary to establish that the defendant stopped the airflow of another person.Implications of a Lesser Included Offense at TrialThe Texas statute on lesser included offenses can be part of an effective strategy in defending your rights in a criminal case. Ultimately, your goal is to get the option of a lesser included offense before the jury when they go to deliberate.Not a Separate Charge: When a lesser included offense is an option in your case, it will not come as a separate charge. Only a judge can order the jury to consider whether to convict you for a crime that’s not part of the official charges against you, and he or she would do so through jury instructions.How Jury Instructions Work in Texas: When the prosecutor has presented the evidence against you and you have presented all facts and arguments for your defense, the jury will deliberate about the case. However, they receive instructions from the judge before heading off to discuss your guilt or innocence, such as the essential elements of the crime.Prosecuting and defense attorneys submit their requests for jury instructions; if they’re approved by the judge, the jury is required to adhere to them when making a decision.Getting the Lesser Included Offense Before the Jury: A specific instruction on a lesser included offense is necessary to ensure the jury considers this as an option; otherwise, the jury will only consider the crime that’s described in the official charges.In general, a defendant has the right to a jury instruction on lesser included offenses if the evidence would allow the jury to reasonably find him or her guilty of the lesser offense – but NOT guilty of the greater offense.Texas courts have held that anything more than a “scintilla” of evidence may be sufficient to include a jury instruction on lesser included offenses. There may be grounds for appeal if a judge declines to include the instruction, because the refusal to allow the jury to consider a lesser offense harms the defendant’s case.