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Officers worked to keep Arizona’s waterways safe as part of Operation Dry Water

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PHOENIX — Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) officers made contact with hundreds of boaters the weekend before the Fourth of July as part of Operation Dry Water, a national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on sober boating.

Alcohol is a top contributing factor in recreational boater deaths, and the initiative’s goal is to increase safety on Arizona’s lakes and rivers, and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries.

This year’s weekend of enhanced enforcement took place June 29 to July 1, in advance of the Fourth of July, which fell on a Wednesday. During that time, AZGFD officers stopped 81 boats and discussed safe boating with 366 people. Three arrests were made for operating watercraft under the influence, and 13 citations were written for issues like not having a sufficient number of life jackets or an expired boat registration. In addition, officers issued 46 warnings.

The patrols took place at Lake Havasu and Lake Pleasant with 32 AZGFD officers participating in the effort.

“Operation Dry Water is an important initiative because it promotes safety, not only on Arizona’s waterways but also lakes and rivers nationwide,” said Tim Baumgarten, AZGFD’s boating law administrator. “Anything that brings attention to the important issue of designating a sober operator is a good investment of the department’s time and resources.”

AZGFD has been participating in Operation Dry Water since the initiative began in 2009. AZGFD partners with local agencies on the effort, which is coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and U.S. Coast Guard.

Although the legal limit for operating a boat in Arizona is .08 blood-alcohol content, an operator is in violation of the law and may be prosecuted for operating a watercraft while impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol and/or drugs.

When hailed by an officer on the water, the process is similar to being pulled over while driving a vehicle. Here’s what to expect:

  • The operator must stop his or her boat immediately and allow the officer to pull up alongside it.
  • The officer will ask to see the boat registration, and the operator should be prepared to demonstrate that the required safety gear is available.
  • There must be a serviceable, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket available for each person on board, and children 12 and under must be wearing a life jacket.
  • Boats 16 feet in length and longer are required to have a Type IV throwable flotation device on board that’s easily accessible.
  • The operator also must be able to present the required number of fire extinguishers, which depends on the boat’s features like having an inboard engine or permanently installed fuel tanks.
  • Officers will ask the operator if he or she has had any alcoholic beverages that day and will follow up with additional questions as needed.

“Our officers are committed to increasing safety on Arizona’s waterways in an effort to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries that occur each year,” Baumgarten said. “The goal is ensure that everyone has a great day on the water and returns home safely.”

For more information on boating safety or to sign up for a boating education course, visit www.azgfd.gov/boating.

NY Gov. pardons illegal immigrants facing deportation for crimes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo pardoned several illegal immigrants Monday in order to help them avoid deportation.

The New York Democrat, who is up for re-election this year, pardoned seven people who had minor criminal convictions, ranging from petty larceny to drug possession, his office said.

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And with the pardons, Cuomo didn’t miss the opportunity to take a dig at the Trump administration and its “zero-tolerance” immigration policies that left thousands of minors separated from their families after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

“At a time when President Trump and the Federal government are waging a war on our immigrant communities, New York stands firm in our belief that our diversity is our greatest strength,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“While President Trump engages in policies that rip children out of the arms of their mothers and tries to ramp up the deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division, we will protect our immigrant communities,” Cuomo continued. “With the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, New York will always stand against the hate coming out of Washington and instead serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for all.”

CUOMO CLAIMS HE’S ‘UNDOCUMENTED,’ CHALLENGES OFFICIALS TO DEPORT HIM

Cuomo pardoned seven illegal immigrants who had minor criminal convictions.  (AP)

The separation of minors from their parents was swiftly and harshly criticized by many on both sides of the aisle. After the national outrage, Trump signed an executive order in June allowing families to remain together in detention. The administration is still working on reuniting those who have been separated; nearly 1,200 were reunited by this week.

According to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency, a 2017 executive order from Trump expanded the agency’s focus to include removing immigrants who have been convicted or charged with a criminal offense, among other things.

Frank Barker, 43, was among those pardoned Monday, according to the governor’s office. He was convicted for criminal possession of stolen property and controlled substances and identity theft which stemmed from a drug addiction.

Also pardoned are: Jose Rafael Cruz, 53, who was convicted of a sale of a controlled substance; Ludames De La Cruz, 53, who was convicted for an attempted sale of a controlled substance; Elpidio Rodriguez, 57, who was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated; Tamar Samuda, 35, who was convicted nearly two decades ago for low-level assault and petit larceny; Marino Soto, 43, who was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance; and Carlos Suarez, 41, who was convicted for petit larceny.

Cuomo faces a primary challenger in Cynthia Nixon, an actress and progressive activist who has been credited with pushing the governor to the left in the race.

During the campaign, Nixon has called for the abolishment of ICE. Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Nixon, told Newsday that while Cuomo’s pardoning was good, Nixon would do more to “end the deportation pipeline” by allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro’s campaign accused Cuomo of political grandstanding with the pardons.

“Everything Andrew Cuomo does is for his own political benefit, regardless of whether it’s right, wrong or dangerous to the public,” spokeswoman Katherine Delgado told Newsday. “In this case, it’s all about trying to out-liberal Cynthia Nixon for the September primary.”

Cuomo has pardoned 34 people since taking office, according to a news release.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/24/new-york-gov-cuomo-pardons-illegal-immigrants-facing-deportation-for-crimes.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+%28Internal+-+Politics+-+Text%29&utm_content=Yahoo+Search+Results

Designated driver faces impaired driving charge

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio — Drunken driving, Obsorn Road: Shortly before 1 a.m. July 14, an officer suspected that a driver was impaired and stopped his Subaru on Osborn west of Forest Drive.

In addition to the driver, there were three passengers in the car.

The driver, who stated that he was the designated driver, failed sobriety tests and was arrested for operating a vehicle while impaired. The three passengers were released at the scene.

The 25-year old Cleveland man was processed at the station before being released on personal bond to a sober adult.

The Bay Village Police Department noted in a press release that designated drivers should abstain from alcohol.

Argument, Knickerbocker Road: A resident called police at about 9:50 p.m. July 11 to report that a man and woman were having a verbal argument.

The caller stated that at one point, the woman had been on the hood of the vehicle involved.

When officers arrived, they found a 23-year old Westlake man and a 21-year North Royalton woman standing next to a silver Audi. They both agreed that there had been some yelling related to their recent breakup. The woman claimed that her ex-boyfriend had slapped her and bitten her thumb, according to police. When he had tried to leave, she had gotten onto the hood of the Audi in order to detain him.

Officers found no evidence of physical injury. Pictures and information for a report are to be forwarded to the prosecutor, according to police.

Impaired driving, Winsor Drive: Officers responded at about 1:50 p.m. July 12 to the area of Winsor and Bayview for a report of a verbal dispute.

The caller stated that it was between the occupants of two vehicles last seen heading east on Winsor toward Bassett. The first arriving officer found a Mercedes stopped on Bassett near Foote.

As the officer positioned his patrol car behind the Mercedes, he saw the driver and two passengers exit the vehicle and begin pushing it into a driveway. Other officers pulled up to assist, and as they approached the driver, he took off running.

Police eventually found him hiding in a brush area behind a home on Applewood. When asked why he ran, the 30-year from Ravenna said it was because he was driving under suspension. He also had warrants from two separate law enforcement agencies, according to police.

While police processed the man at the station for operating a vehicle while impaired and other charges, the man asked officers numerous times to take off their badges so he could fight them, according to police. He was held for video arraignment with Rocky River Municipal Court.

https://www.cleveland.com/bay-village/index.ssf/2018/07/designated_driver_faces_impair.html

Mom who let daughter drive from her lap sentenced to jail

SHEBOYGAN – A Sheboygan woman will spend 40 days in jail after prosecutors accused her this year of letting her 12-year-old daughter drive an SUV from her lap on the Interstate after drinking with her coworkers.

Amanda Jean Hauke, 41, was also given probation and ordered to pay fines after she pleaded no-contest recently to two child neglect charges and a charge of first-offense operating while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle, all misdemeanors.

Police often need the public’s assistance to solve crimes. If you can help, please contact the appropriate agency. Wochit

Sheboygan County sheriff’s officials stopped the SUV in March after a witness reported watching a juvenile drive along Interstate 43. When officers pulled the vehicle over, Hauke was behind the wheel, though the 12-year-old girl in the back seat told deputies she’d operated the vehicle from her mother’s lap. Hauke also later said she’d let her daughter do so.

Hauke told officials she’d had several glasses of wine with a coworker earlier that afternoon. A preliminary breath test indicated her blood alcohol level was 0.126, higher than the 0.08 legal limit for driving, and a subsequent blood test gave a reading of 0.112 percent, prosecutors noted in charging documents earlier this year.

Sheboygan County Judge L. Edward Stengel sentenced Hauke to jail and ordered an alcohol assessment on the OWI charge. The state is expected to revoke her license for 14 months, and Hauke was ordered to pay fines and other court costs related to the charge.

The judge stayed a jail sentence on the child neglect charges, imposing instead two years of probation, during which Hauke can’t have alcohol or be at bars.

Stengel also dismissed a misdemeanor for first-offense operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration with a minor in the vehicle, and approved a deferred conviction agreement on the most serious charge: a felony for second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Drinking Beer, Toking Up and Driving With Adams County Deputies

An Adams County sheriff's deputy conducts a roadside test after a driver tackled the driving course.

An Adams County sheriff’s deputy conducts a roadside test after a driver tackled the driving course.

It’s never a good idea to smoke weed in front of a police officer, let alone get behind the wheel right after — but that’s exactly what people were doing with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, July 16.

During this truly unique event, Adams County sheriff’s deputies invited participants to drink beers, smoke joints and then test their driving skills in order to determine how impaired they really were. The challenge was the brainchild of cannabis consulting firm Dacorum Strategies, which partnered with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Lyft and Colorado NORML to raise awareness about driving while impaired.

Drivers were split into three groups, with one designated for cannabis consumption, one for alcohol, and another for texting while driving. Each driver smoked a joint or drank a pot-infused soda with ten milligrams of THC, or had a beer, or texted while driving with a driving instructor, while observers counted the number of cones hit by their cars. After the cannabis and alcohol users were done with each round of driving, an Adams County sheriff’s deputy conducted a roadside impairment test.

“I think there are a lot of myths about what marijuana impairment looks like and what it does behind the wheel,” says Adams County Sheriff Michael McIntosh. “It’s an education process, and it doesn’t matter what side of the legalization argument you’re on. For law enforcement, it’s our job to ensure the safety of our community.”

The sale of recreational cannabis has been legal in Colorado for over four years, but state and local law enforcement agencies continue to struggle with how to identify drivers who are impaired from cannabis use. Because cannabis can’t be measured through saliva or breath, as alcohol can be, cannabis DUI charges strongly depend on subjective roadside testing.

McIntosh considers alcohol and cannabis consumption major safety risks for Colorado drivers. While he says he believes that texting while driving is even more dangerous, the sheriff also thinks that new consumption methods and the potency of legal cannabis products have created big misconceptions about the safety of driving while stoned. Even worse, most of the drivers who are pulled over in Adams County for texting, drinking or consuming cannabis tend to be mixing one violation with another, according to McIntosh.

“It’s all pretty fascinating to find out, as we’re still in this experimental stage,” McIntosh explains. “People are a little freaked out that the cops are hanging out with people as they smoke or drink beer and then drive — but they’re not as afraid as they used to be. It’s easier to talk about it now.”

Dacorum Strategies founder Todd Mitchem says he was motivated to organize an event like this after the Colorado Department of Transportation released a study in April that said nearly 70 percent of cannabis users admitted to driving while high in the past year. Mitchem enlisted the help of his friends at My 420 Tours — a cannabis tourism company that drives buses for social cannabis consumption — to enroll a handful of driving guinea pigs, while Lyft provided free rides home for the alcohol and cannabis users after the event was over.

According to Mitchem, the texting drivers performed the worst on the course, hitting the most cones while driving. They were followed by cannabis users, then alcohol drinkers. But Mitchem also points out that cannabis users passed most of their initial roadside impairment tests by sheriff deputies, while alcohol users routinely failed them despite having performing better on the driving course.

“People were a little bit more nervous while driving on the cannabis side. They were slower to respond to directions in the car from [the instructor]. They’d be confused about where exactly they were going. People didn’t feel impaired, but they clearly were, even though most of them passed roadside tests,” Mitchem says. “The alcohol drivers would pass the course part of the test, but when it was time for the field sobriety test, they’d be obliterated.”

Alcohol users were more confident and tended to drive faster, he notes, while cannabis users were “overly focused” for much of the time. “People were either stoned or drunk. It was just ludicrous — as we expected,” he concludes. “I think a lot of the marijuana folks were kind of in denial about how impaired they were. If you’re a tourist or a brand-new consumer, that risk is just not worth it.”

http://www.westword.com/content/printView/10548792