Canada’s Liberal government goes ‘bold’ and ‘risky’ by legalization of marijuana: The Liberal government – as promised during the 215 election campaign – is moving ahead with legalizing recreational marijuana use for those 18 and older.It’s being called a “bold and risky social experiment” by many and would include tough laws against illicit dealers and those who break them.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said legalizing pot is the best way to keep the drug from being used by younger, impressionable children.The law change would become effective in July of next year and end the prohibition on marijuana use that Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said has been an “abject failure.”Police forces are spending billions of dollars and countless resources dealing with drug use while dealers are profiting by up to $8 billion a year, he said.Liberal politician Bill Blair, former Toronto police chief, said this will promote the “safe, socially responsible use” of marijuana while at the same time rigidly enforcing impaired driving whether by drugs or alcohol.The Conservative party called the legalization a bad idea while the socialist New Democrats wanted it sooner.
Trial rescheduled for Charles Pickett Jr. in fatal bicycle crash: Charles Pickett Jr. appears in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court for a motion hearing Thursday, March 16, 2017. Pickett’s trial is expected to begin April 25 in Judge Paul J. Bridenstine’s courtroom. Pickett faces five counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, five counts of second-degree murder and four counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury in the June 7, 2016 crash. He could face up to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. (Mark Bugnaski/MLive.com) (Mark Bugnaski)People in the courtroom watch as Charles Pickett Jr. appears in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court for a motion hearing Thursday, March 16, 2017, Judge Paul J. Bridenstine’s courtroom. (Mark Bugnaski/MLive.com)CLOSEMore share options:By Emily Monacelli | firstname.lastname@example.org CLOSEFollow on TwitterKALAMAZOO, MI — The trial has been rescheduled for Charles Pickett Jr., a Battle Creek man accused of driving drugged and plowing into a group of bicyclists in Kalamazoo County, killing five and injuring four.Pickett’s trial is expected to start with jury selection Sept. 18 and opening statements Sept. 19 in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge Paul J. Bridenstine’s courtroom, according to court documents. His trial had been scheduled for jury selection on April 24 and opening statements April 25.A settlement conference is scheduled for Sept. 15.Pickett’s defense attorney Alan Koenig in March filed a notice to use the insanity defense in Pickett’s case. He has been ordered to undergo an evaluation for criminal responsibility at the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ypsilanti, which has caused a delay in the case.Pickett, 50, faces five counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, five counts of second-degree murder and four counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury in the June 7, 2016 crash on North Westnedge Avenue in Cooper Township. He could face up to life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder.Several witnesses testified at Pickett’s preliminary examination in November they saw Pickett driving erratically, and a Kalamazoo Township police officer who was at the scene said he was “completely out of it” after the crash, was slurring words and seemed under the influence of something.Police say Pickett crashed his pickup truck into the nine bicyclists who were out for ride as part of the “Chain Gang” bicycle group. Pickett’s girlfriend told police he downed handfuls of pain pills and muscle relaxers before getting behind the wheel. Several witnesses testified at Pickett’s November preliminary examination they saw him driving erratically before the crash.Pickett was found competent to stand trial in August 2016 and ordered to stand trial in November.Meanwhile, Bridenstine also will decide whether a previous DUI arrest of Pickett can be used as evidence at trial. He was arrested for operating under the influence in Rhea County, Tenn., in February 2011, but the charges were later dropped.Killed in the crash north of Kalamazoo were: Debra Ann Bradley , 53, of Augusta; Melissa Ann Fevig Hughes , 42, of Kalamazoo; Fred Anton “Tony” Nelson , 73, of Kalamazoo; Lorenz John “Larry” Paulik , 74, of Kalamazoo and Suzanne Joan Sippel , 56, of Augusta.The four seriously injured were Paul Douglas Gobble, 47 of Richland, Sheila Diane Jeske, 53, of Richland, Jennifer Lynn Johnson, 40 of Kalamazoo and Paul Lewis Runnels, 65, of Richland.
Driver wearing ‘Hold my beer’ shirt arrested for DUIBy Fox 61 Published April 11, 2017Facebook Twitter Email PrintHarrison Wootton.A man arrested for driving under the influence early Monday after an accident, had his mug shot taken while he was wearing a t-shirt that said “Hold my beer and watch this.”
UNC fraternity, students added to lawsuit in wrong-way DWI crash Civil lawsuits claim a UNC-Chapel Hill fraternity “had a history of allowing and encouraging underage drinking and drug use” and continued to buy and provide alcohol to underage members after a wrong-way DWI wreck killed three people in 2015.Chandler Kania, a Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity member from Asheboro, was sentenced in October to 16 years in prison for three counts of involuntary manslaughter, misdemeanor reckless driving and driving while impaired in the July 19, 2015, drunk-driving crash. 1 of 3 Darlene McGeeKania was 20 and a UNC sophomore at the time of the crash.Three people – Darlene McGee, Felecia Harris King and King’s 6-year-old granddaughter, Jahnice Beard – were killed when Kania’s Jeep hit their car as he drove the wrong way on Interstate 85/40 west of Hillsborough. King’s daughter Jahniaha King, who is now 11, was seriously injured.Family members of the victims filed lawsuits in 2015 against Kania, his parents, and two bars, La Residence and He’s Not Here, accused of selling Kania alcohol before the crash. Court testimony also showed that Kania drank alcohol at an off-campus party and was smoking marijuana hours before the crash.Kania’s parents and He’s Not Here have settled their lawsuits, which were sealed by a court order until the remaining cases are resolved or a Superior Court judge orders them unsealed, according to court documents.Orange County Superior Court Judge Carl Fox granted motions March 29 to amend the lawsuits. The motions added the Delta Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity on UNC’s campus, eight members and officers of the fraternity’s Executive Board, the fraternity’s Alumni Board, an older fraternity member who provided the driver’s license that Kania used to buy alcohol, and four UNC students who provided alcohol to Kania before the wreck.
Under current law, a person who commits a third DUI offense must spend a minimum of 60 days in jail. On the fourth offense, they may only face probation and never see the inside of a jail cell.
If this bill passes, anyone who commits a fourth or subsequent DUI offense will be in jail for a minimum of 90 days.
“Really surprising and shocking and horrifying that we would find someone with their fourth or fifth offense would actually serve no jail time at all in this state,” said bill sponsor Representative Lori Saine.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) connects with survivors of DUI related incidents. The organization believe this bill would advocate for the victims.”
“We worked with several families victims who had been affected by repeat drunk drivers and their main question was why wasn’t something more done,” said MADD State Executive Director Fran Lanzer. “There would be accountability for people especially those who continue to drive drunk or impaired.”
Sponsors introduced the bill in March. It will go before representatives again on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Sentences have ranged from no jail or prison up to 16 years in prison so far.
Jamestown motorist charged with driving under influence of marijuana: State police Monday accused a Jamestown man of driving while impaired by drugs after troopers smelled marijuana coming from his car.Brandon Dailey, 23, was additionally charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle because his license was suspended, police said.Dailey was pulled over on Route 60 for a traffic violation. While speaking to Dailey, troopers smelled marijuana emanating from inside his vehicle. A marijuana smoking device was located inside the vehicle and Dailey was placed under arrest after failing several sobriety field tests. Dailey was transported to the State Police barracks in Jamestown where he was evaluated by a Chautauqua County drug recognition expert who determined that Dailey was under the influence of marijuana, as well as an unspecified central nervous system depressant.Dailey was issued tickets, released and scheduled to appear in April in Ellicott Town Court.
Man Facing Charges After Driving Lawn Tractor While Intoxicated With Small Boy As Passenger: Shortly after 9:00 p.m., officers received an anonymous complaint regarding a male driving a lawn tractor on the road near the Parkland area. Police were also advised that the male was holding his young son on his lap and that he was driving on and off the roadway. Officers headed to the area and noted a garden tractor leave the roadway and proceed south on the sidewalk along Park Street. When the Police vehicle pulled up to the garden tractor and activated the emergency lights to stop it, the driver was observed throwing a beer onto the ground, and also that he was holding a small boy. The driver identified himself and stated he was coming from the bar. He had difficulty standing and speaking, but was cooperative with officers. A search of his person produced three unopened cans of beer. He was placed under arrest for impaired driving and transported to the police office. Breath testing produced two readings of 150mg/%. Investigation also revealed that his driver’s licence was under suspension. The man, age 41 and resident of Winkler, faces charges of Impaired Driving, Driving over .08, Driving while Disqualified, and Unlawful Transportation of Liquor in a Motor Vehicle. He was released to his wife who signed a release form accepting responsibility for him.