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Man held for allegedly smashing in door of city home in a rage

PITTSFIELD — A city man already facing charges has had his bail revoked after allegedly starting to “act crazy out of nowhere” last weekend, damaging a car, kicking in a locked door and smashing a cellphone.

Zachary W. Love, 23, faces multiple new charges in addition to charges on two open cases, which include credit card larceny and operating under the influence, from June and July, respectively.

Responding to a report of a breaking and entering in progress on John Street about 1:38 am. Saturday, police encountered a witness who said Love had kicked in the door of the apartment and was still inside.

The door showed signs of forced entry, police said.

Police spoke to Love, who insisted nothing was going on and said the damage from the door was from a previous break-in.

Another witness told police that a group including Love had a few drinks earlier and had come back to John Street to hang out.

That witness said when the group pulled up to the house, Love began having a “crazy attitude” and accusing a woman in the group, with whom he’d had a relationship, of having received photos from another man, police said. He began hitting the outside of the car with his fists, leaving dents.

Once inside the house, Love allegedly took a woman’s cellphone and went outside with it, removed its SIM card and smashed it. It was at that point, witnesses said Love was locked out of the house, prompting him to kick in the door to get back inside.When police attempted to take Love into custody, he allegedly resisted and thrashed around to avoid being handcuffed.

He pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday to three counts of vandalizing property and one count each of felony nighttime breaking and entering, larceny under $250, assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest

Judge Paul Smyth then revoked Love’s bail on charges of operating under the influence, unlicensed operation and threatening to commit a crime July. He set a nominal bail of $50 on the new charges.

He is due back in court on Nov. 28 for a pretrial hearing.

A Florida woman rode her horse on a highway drunk, police say.

 She was charged with a DUI

Polk County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Donna Byrne Thursday for riding a horse while drunk. (Courtesy of Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

Nothing’s unusual in Florida, a sheriff department spokesman said Friday. But some things — like a woman arrested this week for allegedly riding a horse while drunk down a busy highway — are still surprising.

Around 3 p.m. Thursday, a passer-by saw Donna Byrne, 53, on the horse looking confused and possibly in danger and notified officers, according to her arrest affidavit. Sheriff’s officers found Byrne on Combee Road near North Crystal Road in Lakeland, about 35 miles east of Tampa. She smelled of alcohol and had red watery eyes. When she dismounted from the horse, she staggered from side to side.

Byrne had ridden the horse for a 10 to 15-mile stretch from Polk City, said Brian Bruchey, a spokesman for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Byrne is being charged with driving under the influence while operating a vehicle — which in her case was a horse equipped with a saddle and bridle. She is also charged with animal neglect for putting the horse in danger of being injured or killed.

“We haven’t had a horse DUI that I’m aware of. We’ve had incidents of bicycle DUIs and motorcycle DUIs, so this was a different kind of thing.”

Donna Byrne, 53, is charged with a DUI for riding her horse drunk on a Florida highway. She also faces a count of animal neglect. (Courtesy of Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

Whether an intoxicated person on horseback can be charged with a DUI or DWI varies from state to state.

In 1993, an appellate court in California ruled in People vs. Fong that people riding animals on the highway are subject to the same rules as the drivers of automobiles, meaning people must ride their animals at a reasonably safe speed and avoid reckless behavior.

The issue was a hot topic in Montana in 2011, when the state’s department of transportation aired an advertisement featuring a horse picking up its owner after a night of drinking at the bar. In Montana, horseback riders can’t be arrested for driving under the influence, because state law’s criteria for a vehicle in a DUI excludes devices moved by “animal power.”

Several criminal defense lawyers in Florida interviewed by The Post are skeptical of whether the DUI charge will hold up in Florida court. Thomas Grajek, a Tampa attorney who specializes in DUI cases, said he thinks Byrne can’t be charged with a DUI because Florida law states that people riding animals on roadways or shoulders are treated as pedestrians, and are not subject to the same rules as automobile drivers. Grajek said that, if anything, someone riding a horse drunk might be charged with disorderly conduct, similarly to a publicly intoxicated pedestrian.

Officers arrested Byrne after conducting a sobriety test, during which Byrne registered blood-alcohol levels of .157 and .161, twice the state’s legal limit of .08. The horse was taken to the Polk County Sheriff’s Animal Control livestock facility, officers said.

“The road she was stopped on was a very busy road,” Bruchey said. “Of course, if somebody hit the horse, then that person would be in danger. And (Byrne) was a danger to herself.”

The Polk County State Attorney’s office could not be immediately reached for comment. Bruchey, the sheriff’s department spokesman, said the officer who arrested Byrne thought he had sufficient probable cause to consider the horse a vehicle.

“I can tell you it’s going to be interesting if (the DUI charge) goes through,” Bruchey said. “The way sheriffs look at it, the woman put a saddle and bridle on this horse and was riding it to get from point A to point B. For all intents and purposes, we look at that as a vehicle.”

Byrne’s criminal history includes five felony and ten misdemeanor charges, consisting of cruelty to animals, drug possession, probation violation and criminal traffic, officers said. She could not be reached for comment.

Police to begin roadside drug testing pilot program Nov. 8

(WXYZ) – In an effort to combat the dangers of drugged driving, five Michigan counties will participate in a one-year oral fluid roadside drug testing pilot program by Michigan State Police.

The counties include Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties.

The Preliminary Oral Fluid Analysis pilot program will establish policies for the administration of roadside drug testing to determine whether an individual is operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance.

Over the last several years, Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs. In 2016, there were 236 drug-involved traffic fatalities.

“Motorists under the influence of drugs pose a risk to themselves and others on the road,” said MSP Director Col. Kriste Etue. “With drugged driving on the rise, law enforcement officers need an effective tool to assist in making these determinations during a traffic stop.”

The counties were chosen based on criteria including number of impaired driving crashed, impaired drivers arrested and trained Drug Recognition Experts in the county.

Under the pilot program, a DRE may require a person to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis to detect the presence of a controlled substance in the person’s body if they suspect the driver is impaired by drugs.

Refusal to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis upon lawful demand of a police officer is a civil infraction.

http://www.wxyz.com/news/michigan-state-police-to-begin-roadside-drug-testing-pilot-program-nov-8

Rapper Fetty Wap charged with drag racing, DWI on Gowanus Expressway

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) — Rapper Fetty Wap was arrested for racing another vehicle on the Gowanus Expressway early Friday, police say.The rapper, whose real name is Willie Maxwell, was spotted by police driving a black 2012 Mercedes CLS AMG westbound on the highway at a high rate of speed just after 1 a.m.He was clearly racing another vehicle near Hamilton Avenue, according to investigators.When Fetty was pulled over, police say he handed the officer a suspended New Jersey driver’s license.The officer noticed signs of intoxication and gave the rapper a field sobriety test, where he blew a .09.He failed another sobriety test at the precinct.He was charged with reckless endangerment, illegal speed contest, operating a motor vehicle with .08, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, motor vehicle license violation. unsafe lane change, following too close, illegal signal, driving while alcohol impaired, and four counts of a speed violation.He was charged and will be arraigned in Downtown Brooklyn later Friday

Source: Rapper Fetty Wap charged with drag racing, DWI on Gowanus Expressway | abc7ny.com

Many prescription drug users not aware of driving-related risks

A large portion of patients taking prescription drugs that could affect driving may not be aware they could potentially be driving impaired, according to research in the November issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Nearly 20 percent of people in the study reported recent use of a prescription medication with the potential for impairment, but not all said they were aware that the medication could affect their driving, despite the potential for receiving warnings from their doctor, their pharmacist, or the medication label itself.

The percentages of those who said they had received a warning from one of those sources varied by type of medication: 86 percent for sedatives, 85 percent for narcotics, 58 percent for stimulants, and 63 percent for antidepressants.

In the report, researchers used data from the 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey, which asked drivers randomly selected at 60 sites across the United States questions about drug use, including prescription drugs. A total of 7,405 drivers completed the prescription drug portion of the survey.

Although it is unclear if the study participants actually received the warnings, or if they did receive the warnings but didn’t retain the information, the authors say this scenario is in need of further research.

“We were very surprised that our study was the first we could find on this topic,” says lead researcher Robin Pollini, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. “It’s a pretty understudied area, and prescription drugs are a growing concern.”

In this study, the type of medication in question was also related to drivers’ perceptions about their impairment risk. They were most likely to think that sleep aids were the most likely to affect safe driving, followed by morphine/codeine, other amphetamines, and muscle relaxants. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications were viewed as least likely to affect driving risk. Sleep aids were also viewed as the most likely to cause an accident or result in criminal charges, and ADHD medications were viewed as the least likely.

Pollini says she hopes this research will lead to increased warnings provided by doctors and pharmacists, as well as improved labeling for medications that are likely to impair driving. She says it’s not yet clear what the optimum messaging would be. But she is encouraged by the fact that patients who are prescribed these medications have several points at which they could receive this important information.

“The vast majority of drivers who are recent users of prescription drugs that have the potential for impairment have come into contact with a physician, a pharmacist, and a medication label,” says Pollini. “There’s an opportunity here that’s not being leveraged: to provide people with accurate information about what risks are associated with those drugs. People can then make informed decisions about whether they’re able to drive.”

A related commentary by Benedikt Fischer, Ph.D., of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, and colleagues expresses concern that increased warnings and interventions may be insufficient to reduce the chances of driving while impaired. These authors point to the issue of alcohol-impaired driving to suggest that only deterrence-based measures–such as roadside testing, license suspensions, and increased insurance premiums–have the potential to change behavior.

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To arrange an interview with Robin Pollini, Ph.D., M.P.H., please contact Kimberly Becker at 304.293.1699 or Kimberly.Becker@hsc.wvu.edu.

Pollini, R. A., Waehrer, G., & Kelley-Baker, T. (November 2017). Receipt of warnings regarding potentially impairing prescription medications and associated risk perceptions in a national sample of U.S. drivers. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(6), 805-813. doi:10.15288/jsad.2017.78.805

Fischer, B., Fidalgo, T., & Varatharajan, T. (November 2017). Reflections on Pollini et al. (2017)–Implications for interventions for driving while using psychotropic medications with impairment risk. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(6), 814-816. doi:10.15288/jsad.2017.78.814

The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs is published by the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. It is the oldest substance-related journal published in the United States.

To learn about education and training opportunities for addiction counselors and others at the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, please visit AlcoholStudiesEd.rutgers.edu.

Source: Many prescription drug users not aware of driving-related risks | EurekAlert! Science News