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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.

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.”

Woman accused of biting officer while being detained for DWI

Bryan woman accused of biting officer while being detained for DWI

A Bryan woman was arrested early Thursday after being accused of biting a police officer while being detainedon a driving while intoxicated charge.

College Station police said 22-year-old Amaya Ochoa was pulled over near the intersection of Nagle Street and University Drive in College Station around 3 a.m.

She became belligerent as she was being arrested, authorities said, and bit an officer who was attempting to hold her head in an effort to prevent her from hurting herself, according to a police report.

She bit the officer two more times as she was being restrained, officials said.

Ochoa is charged with driving while intoxicated and assault of a public servant.

Assault of a public servant is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Driving while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000.

Ochoa remained in the Brazos County Jail on Thursday evening. Bail had not been set.

Attorney accused of driving drunk with loaded gun, Ambien


A veteran defense attorney was arrested Thursday night after several residents called police to report a Mercedes with two flat tires was “swerving in and out of traffic lanes” on Kingston Pike, records show.

Attorney Tommy K. Hindman, 71, is charged with driving under the influence, possession of a loaded handgun while under the influence, simple possession of the sedative Ambien, and violation of the state’s implied consent law for refusing a breathalyzer.

Two flats and ‘swerving’

Knoxville Police Department Officer Bradley Heath wrote in an arrest warrant that several motorists began calling the E-911 center around 6 p.m. Thursday to report “that a silver Mercedes was traveling west on Kingston Pike with two flat tires on the passenger side, swerving in and out of traffic lanes and going extremely slow.”

The car — with Hindman behind the wheel — eventually stopped in the parking lot of a business in the 7200 block of Kingston Pike, and that’s where Heath found him, according to the warrants.

“I made contact with the defendant who was standing outside of a silver Mercedes in which the two passenger tires were flat,” Heath wrote. “When asked, he stated he had driven the vehicle to this location. The defendant was observed to have slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and was very unsteady on his feet.”

Heath wrote that Hindman “refused to perform any field sobriety testing and refused to submit to any breath or blood chemical testing.”

The officer found “a small plastic baggie in his right pants pocket, which contained one (Ambien) pill,” the warrant stated. “An inventory search of the vehicle revealed a loaded Glock 43 handgun in the glove box.”

The warrant does not state whether Hindman has a handgun carry permit.

Witness: ‘Unsteady and stumbling’

A witness — identified in the warrant as James Warner — told Heath he was traveling behind the Mercedes on Kingston Pike.

“Warner stated that Hindman’s front passenger tire was flat at this time and that the rear passenger tire popped as they were passing … Wesley Drive,” Heath wrote. “Hindman continued to drive and drifted out of the right lane of traffic several times until he pulled into the parking lot …

“At this time, Warner saw Hindman step out of the vehicle and observed that he was unsteady on his feet and was stumbling as he was trying to make a phone call,” Heath continued.

Hindman is set to appear for arraignment on the charges July 26.

This is not Hindman’s first brush with the law.

He was caught in 1988 by the Tennessee Highway Patrol with a 16-year-old girl, drugs and nude photos of that girl in his car. Prosecutors determined the photos were taken at a hotel in Gatlinburg and, in September 1989, Hindman pleaded guilty in Sevier County Circuit Court to using a minor for obscene purposes.

He was spared a jail term and later regained his law license. In the decades since, Hindman has handled a slew of high-profile criminal cases in Knox and surrounding counties.