Sally Struthers Charged with DUI in Maine

Sally Struthers Charged with DUI in Maine
Ogunquit Police Department
Mug shot of actress Sally Struthers who was arrested for alleged drunken driving in Maine.

Alas, this isn’t the kind of head shot Sally Struthers likes posing for.

The “All in the Family” and “Gilmore Girls” star was busted for alleged drunken driving in Ogunquit, Maine, early Wednesday.

The Ogunquit Police Department tells E! News that the 65-year-old actress was collared on suspicion of operating under the influence after being pulled over on U.S. Route 1 around 12:20 a.m.

Struthers was taken into custody and transported to a nearby police station, where she was booked and released after posting a $160 bail.

The two-time Emmy winner and noted children’s activist faces a $500 fine and a 90-day suspension, but there’s no risk of jail time. Her arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 13.

Struthers has been in southern Maine appearing in the stage musical 9 to 5, which runs through Saturday at the Ogunquit Playhouse.

Source: Sally Struthers Charged with DUI in Maine – NBC4 Washington

Canada Might Soon Make It Legal To Be Drunk And Go Canoeing

Image: Shutterstock

In Canada it’s currently illegal to paddle a canoe and be drunk at the same time. Doing so can leave you subject to the country’s strict drunk-driving laws, which can mean fines, driving license suspensions, and vehicle impoundment. But wait! According to the National Post, paddling a canoe while smashed might soon not be a crime at all.

The crux of the issue is whether drunk people should be prosecuted for a crime that, on land, would not be a crime, since being drunk while operating a non-motorized vehicle on land (like a bicycle) is not a crime, while being drunk while operating any kind of vessel on water is, including those, like canoes, that you power solely with your muscles.

Some advice, before we continue: Don’t canoe while drunk. Or do anything, really. Take a nap.

From National Post:

The impaired driving legislation now before Parliament changes the definition of a vessel so that it “does not include a vessel that is propelled exclusively by means of muscular power.” The legislation could still be amended before it becomes law.

[…]

John Gullick, chair of the CSBC, argued that the comparison with biking is wrong.

“The only person who gets hurt is the person riding the bicycle. Well, in the case of muscular or human-powered vessels, there can be far many more numbers of people in the vessel, and it also affects people around the vessel. First responders, people who are searching for people who get lost or get in trouble.”

The committee later heard from Greg Yost, a justice department counsel for criminal law matters. He said the intention of criminal impaired driving laws is to target those who are endangering the public, and that drunk canoeists who cause a death could still be charged under other criminal sections, such as negligence.

The debate was spurred in part by a rash of cases in Ontario, where authorities have been cracking down on drunk paddlers.

In 2011, a Waterloo canoeist who’d allegedly been drinking and paddling on Belwood Lake had his driver’s licence suspended for 90 days, leaving him unable to drive his pregnant wife to the hospital for medical checkups (though he could have still paddled her there, as canoes don’t need a licence).

That same year, a 57-year-old man was charged with operating a pedal boat under the influence near Sault Ste. Marie, and also had his licence suspended.

The charges were dropped in both cases after prosecutors decided there was no reasonable chance of conviction.

The proposed legislation is also intended to clear up ambiguity in the current law, which makes it hard for drunk-paddling charges like these to hold up in court. Think before you drink. Or don’t drink at all. Or don’t go outdoors. Just stay inside. Nothing bad can happen there.

Source: Canada Might Soon Make It Legal To Be Drunk And Go Canoeing

Convictions Overturned for Driver Who Inhaled Dust Remover | Minnesota News | US News

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed the impaired driving convictions of a woman who was found slumped over in her car on three occasions after allegedly inhaling from a can of dust remover.

The chemical in the can — 1,1-Difluoroethane, or DFE — was found in the woman’s system, and she was convicted of three counts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a hazardous substance. But the Supreme Court overturned her convictions because DFE is not listed as a hazardous substance under Minnesota’s driving-while-impaired statute.

“We acknowledge that based on our holding today, a driver dangerously intoxicated by DFE is not criminally liable under the plain language of the current DWI statutes,” Justice Natalie Hudson wrote for the majority. She said it’s up to the Legislature to refine the law.

DFE is found in refrigerated-based propellant cans, commonly sold under the brand name Dust-Off, that are used to clean computer keyboards and electronics. Each time the woman, Chantel Lynn Carson, was found in her car — slumped over, passed out, slurring and with bloodshot eyes — she had one or more of those cans with her.

In arguing that her convictions should be upheld, the state said that while Minnesota’s occupational safety and health rule on hazardous substances does not specifically list DFE, the rule also says it “does not include all hazardous substances and will not always be current.”

The rule also includes a list of “characteristics” that would make a substance hazardous. The state argued that DFE has many of those characteristics and falls into that category.

But the Supreme Court disagreed, saying the statute plainly says that the types of hazardous substances that can lead to a driving-while-impaired conviction are limited to those specifically listed.

Justice Anne McKeig dissented, saying DFE has the characteristics of a hazardous substance even though it’s not mentioned by name.

“Under the court’s interpretation of the statute, Minnesotans may inhale Dust-Off and then drive at their pleasure while endangering their fellow citizens,” she wrote. “This impunity cannot be what the Legislature intended.”

Carson’s attorney, Lydia Villalva Lijo, said in a statement that the decision was great news for her client.

“She continues to work hard every day to contribute in positive ways to her community and to keep her life on track,” she said. “It has been a hard road and we should encourage her progress.” 

Westminster police say BPD officer using SWAT vehicle may have been drunk

A veteran Baltimore City SWAT officer is under investigation after an argument over kneeling for the national anthem led to an encounter with police in Carroll County, the WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team has learned.

The argument — and suspicion that the city police officer was impaired while on call and using an SUV carrying SWAT guns — took place just after midnight Saturday in Westminster, according to police.

Westminster police were called to a Denny’s restaurant for disorderly customers. Customers were reported to be arguing over NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, police said.

In the parking lot, Westminster police encountered a customer identified as Bryant Russell. In a report, an officer wrote, “I detected a moderate odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from his person and exhaled breath. Further, I noticed his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. His speech was slurred as he talked.”

Police had been told the group had been drinking at a wedding before going to Denny’s.

Russell responded, according to the reports, “He was a Baltimore City police officer. You’re not going to intimidate me or threaten me.”

Westminster police were concerned Russell was going to drive.

“I advised if I observed him operating the vehicle, he would be placed under arrest for driving under the influence, at which time he replied, ‘Don’t threaten me,’ and again advised he was an officer,” according to the Westminster police officer’s report.

The vehicle Russell was using wasn’t his personal car but a black SUV owned by the Police Department and used by SWAT officers.

In their report, police said, “Russell advised there are ‘guns in the vehicle,’ and that he was on call, and could drive the vehicle anywhere in the state,” the report said.

A Baltimore Police Department policy governs the use of so-called take home vehicles: They are to be used only for official duties and responsibilities, and officers who have them can’t exhibit conduct that discredits BPD.

Westminster police did not arrest Russell. They did not see him drive. The officers were sent to another call. When they returned to Denny’s, Russell and the SUV were gone.

Baltimore police SWAT SUV© Provided by Hearst Television, Inc. Baltimore police SWAT SUVA spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department said the incident is under investigation by Internal Affairs.

Russell is not on any type of suspension. It is not known how the city-owned SUV was taken from the parking lot at Denny’s after Westminster police left.

Source: Westminster police say BPD officer using SWAT vehicle may have been drunk