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Proof of Driving

I got a dui.  I crashed my car. Cops showed up later, I was outside of the vehicle, and refused the breathalizer test do they have enough evidence to convict me of the dui.

The prosecution can make a case based on circumstancial evidence. The jury would have to decide if is has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Woman arrested after pursuit


Woman arrested after evading police

An area woman has been arrested and charges are pending after she allegedly attempted to evade police Saturday afternoon in Farmington.

Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said at 4:30 p.m. Saturday dispatchers received a call about a possibly impaired driver in the area of Eagle Mart, located off Karsch Boulevard.

“When the officer arrived at the scene he saw a silver Ford Mustang matching the description given to dispatch,” Baker said. “The officer got out of her vehicle and attempted to make contact with the female who was driving.”

Baker said the woman made some kind of comment to the officer and then began to slowly pull back onto Karsch Boulevard.

“The officer got back into her car and while she was doing so, the driver of the Ford Mustang started driving eastbound,” said Baker. “She then began doing circles in the middle of Karsch Boulevard. The driver then drove in reverse in the eastbound lanes of Karsch.”

Baker said the driver of the Mustang spun the car around in a 180-degree turn and headed west on Karsch at a high rate of speed. He added she reportedly ran a stoplight at Karsch and Washington and continued westbound passing Potosi Street.

“Evidently it was a green light at Potosi and Karsch and then she made a left turn onto Walton Drive, running the red light,” Baker said. “She then continued south on Walton Drive and then made a right turn into the Walmart parking lot approaching the grocery side doors.”

The chief said she reportedly stopped the car, exited and took off running toward the center of the parking lot. A foot chase ensued and the officer were able to subdue her in the parking lot, placing her under arrest.

“She was taken to the St. Francois County Jail and will be charged with failing to obey a traffic control device two times, failure to drive in a single lane and driving while intoxicated (by) drugs,” Baker said. “She will also be charged with careless and imprudent driving, resisting arrest by fleeing, property damage in the second degree, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, driving while suspended and assault on a law enforcement officer.”

The chief said the report was sent to the prosecutor for review of the charges. He added officers were scraped up and bruised from the scuffle while taking her into custody. Additionally, he said, at one point while she was driving she swerved in an attempt to hit a patrol car.

“When I first heard it I was thinking at 4 or 5 p.m. on Karsch Boulevard … Saturdays are less congested than during the week,” Baker said. “It could have been bad with people coming home from work. You just don’t see that every day.”

Her name is not being released at this time pending the filing of formal changes.

Virginia Senate Republicans kill bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana

Republicans on a Senate committee Monday killed a bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana by changing the punishment from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil penalty.

The Virginia ACLU and a representative of the Northam administration both backed Senate Bill 111 from Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, and the bill was opposed by the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys.

The vote to defeat the bill was party line, with nine Republicans on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee voting to kill it and six Democrats voting for the bill. Republicans in the House had already killed a similar measure from Del. Steve Heretick, D-Portsmouth.


Advocates for marijuana reform had hoped that this would be a year for change following a Virginia State Crime Commission study, which found that police in Virginia made 133,256 arrests in the past 10 years for marijuana possession. Eighty-four percent of those were for a first offense.

But after advocating decriminalization, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City, flipped positions, saying he changed his mind because a decriminalization bill would not survive House committee.

The Senate courts committee unanimously passed Norment’s Senate Bill 954, a measure that allows someone charged with first-offense marijuana possession to have the charge expunged.

Norment’s bill now goes to the Senate Finance Committee. Virginia State Police would create a new database of people who were beneficiaries of the new law, which would be accessible to prosecutors and the court system.

Norment told the committee he was trying to be practical.

“There are always those enthusiasts who want to lambaste you for having no guts,” he said.

Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the Virginia ACLU, said her group supports legalization of marijuana. She supported Ebbin’s bill and opposed Norment’s, calling it “the illusion of progress.”

She said marijuana arrests disproportionately affect blacks and that many people would not have the money to pay an expungement fee under Norment’s bill.

As far as costs of enforcing marijuana as a crime, she said, Norment’s bill “probably increases the cost by setting up new systems and data management systems that don’t currently exist.”

Jae K. Davenport, deputy secretary of public safety and homeland security under Gov. Ralph Northam, said the administration backs decriminalization and Ebbin’s bill.

David Ledbetter, Waynesboro commonwealth’s attorney, spoke on behalf of the prosecutors’ association. He said decriminalization would lead to more people driving while impaired by marijuana, would lead to increased use by adolescents and an increase of ingestion by toddlers.

“It’s an issue that isn’t going away,” said Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham. “We’re going to be talking about it for a long time.”

Senators voting for decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana: Creigh Deeds, D-Bath; John Edwards, D-Roanoke; Janet Howell, D-Fairfax; Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth; Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City; and Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax.

Senators voting against decriminalization: Ben Chafin, R-Russell; Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover; Norment; Obenshain; Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg; Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania; Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County; Richard Stuart, R-Stafford; and Glen Sturtevant, R-Richmond.

National booze group targets Utah governor

National booze group targets Utah governor and other ‘impaired’ older drivers to show ‘how silly’ Utah’s strict DUI law is

Drunken driving • Full-page ads to feature Herbert, lawmakers.

A national alcohol lobbying group continues its assault on Utah’s strict, new drunken-driving law, this time with a full-page newspaper advertisement suggesting that senior citizens — including Gov. Gary Herbert and some state lawmakers — are a bigger risk than consumers who have had a cocktail before getting behind the wheel.

The advertisement, paid for by the American Beverage Institute (ABI), asks in a satirical headline “Too Impaired to Drive?” and suggests that drivers 65 and older “are more impaired ANY TIME they drive” than consumers with a blood-alcohol content of 0.05.

Earlier this year, Utah lowered its blood-alcohol content limit for DUI from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent, becoming the first state in the country to adopt the stricter standard.

“Our point is to illustrate how silly the law is,” Sarah Longwell, ABI’s managing director said in a telephone interview. “It’s absurd that you would keep people over 65 from driving and it’s absurd that a person who has had one drink and a low level of impairment would be put in jail.”

The advertisements, to be published Thursday in The Salt Lake Tribune, include photographs of the governor and 10 Utah lawmakers who are 65 and older.

“If Utah legislators believe drivers at .05 should go to jail, should those over 65 be arrested for DWO (Driving While Older)?” the ad asks.

The ABI said it used research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make its claims.

Almost anything increases the risk of a car accident, even something as simple as listening to the radio, Longwell said. “In fact, a driver who is talking on a hands-free cellphone or who slept a several hours fewer than usual the night before is more impaired than a driver at the former DUI arrest level of .08.”

Utah needs to put traffic-safety threats into perspective and apply finite resources to problems backed up by logic, Longwell said. “That way we can actually make Utah’s roads safer.”

Because the law doesn’t take effect until Dec. 30, 2018, Longwell said the ABI will continue to push for full repeal. It also is hoping the issue, being lobbied actively by the National Transportation Safety Board, doesn’t get proposed in other states.

“We don’t want bad ideas to spread,” she said.

Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, who sponsored HB155 and doesn’t see the law being repealed, is surprised by the continued push from the ABI.

“It’s not going to affect Utah policy,” he said, calling the advertising campaign ”pandering” and “fear mongering.”

“It’s an attempt to make people think that this is bad policy,” he said. “But the data is on our side that show it is a good policy.”

He said there is significant research that shows older drivers self regulate — they don’t drive at night, they don’t drive on highways or in bad weather. They also tend not to drink and drive.

“We know you can’t prevent people from getting older,” he said. “But you can prevent people from drinking and driving.”

The new ad is the latest strike in ABI’s war against the new state drunken-driving law.

Since the Utah law was passed and signed by the governor, the group has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars placing full-page ads in Idaho and Nevada newspapers as well as USA Today.

The group also launched a petition drive urging repeal of the law. To date more than 15,000 people have signed it.

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Deputy charged with DWI after crashing into parked tractor-trailer


— A Durham deputy was charged with driving while impaired following a crash Monday afternoon.

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy Ryan LaDuke, 34, backed into a parked tractor-trailer at the intersection of Geer Street and Midland Terrace at about 2 p.m.

Another Durham County sheriff’s deputy responded to the crash and determined LaDuke was driving while impaired.

Authorities said LaDuke was driving a Durham County Sheriff’s Office vehicle at the time of the crash.

LaDuke, who has been with the department since January 2012, has been placed on administrative leave without pay, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.