July 1st thru July 7th in the year Two Thousand and Eighteen
Sunday July 7th, 2019Milwaukee man killed in Fond du Lac County crash after hitting trees Saturday night
ELDORADO - A man died after his vehicle went off the road and crashed into trees Saturday night in the town of Eldorado.
Authorities responded to the crash around 8:30 p.m. on County I near Dike Road, according to a Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office news release.
Allen J. Richards, 63, of Milwaukee, was driving southbound when he left the road and hit several small trees. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the statement.
Authorities said he may have had a medical emergency before the vehicle went off the road.
The crash is under investigation.
Friday, July 5th, 2019New Mexico state senator arrested on suspicion of DWI
SANTA FE, N.M.
Police say New Mexico state Sen. Richard Martinez has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and is facing charges following a car crash.
Espanola police say the 66-year-old was arrested Friday night after a collision at an intersection on the city's north side.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Martinez was alone in his SUV at the time of the crash.
He was taken to a hospital for an evaluation before officers booked him into jail.
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It was unclear Sunday if Martinez has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.
Martinez is a former Rio Arriba County magistrate who has held the Democratic Senate District 5 seat for nearly two decades representing parts of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Santa Fe counties.
Thursday, July 4th, 2019>Deputy resigns after arrest on DUI charge, internal affairs report shows
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A Sheriff's Office deputy resigned his job before an internal affairs investigation into his arrest and DUI charge while off-duty could be completed.
John Christopher Green Jr., of Vero Beach, resigned two days after the May 11 arrest made by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers, according to the administrative investigative report dated May 17.
Around 11 p.m. on that rainy Saturday, dispatchers alerted FWC Deputy Michael Ruiz to calls of a reckless, possibly intoxicated, driver of a black Toyota pickup truck, hauling a boat and moving north on 66th Avenue from 37th Street, according to the report.
Ruiz told investigators he spotted Green near 77th Avenue and followed him for about 15 seconds, “during which time the vehicle failed to maintain a lane, and was significantly crossing into oncoming traffic,” and swerving off the road.
The report said Ruiz didn’t know Green and was unaware he was a deputy.
A field sobriety test, captured in a dashcam video, revealed “numerous clues” that led him to determine Green was “driving impaired, beyond (the) legal limit,” Ruiz said.
According to the internal affairs report, Green had a 0.106 blood-alcohol content. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08.
Green was jailed briefly in the Indian River County Jail.
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019Opinion analysis: Court upholds warrantless blood tests for unconscious drunk-driving suspects
Yesterday a divided Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment generally does not bar states from taking a blood sample from an unconscious drunk-driving suspect without a warrant.
The issue came to the Supreme Court in the case of Gerald Mitchell, whom police found six years ago on a beach in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Mitchell was wet, shirtless, covered in sand and slurring his words. Police arrested Mitchell after a preliminary breath test indicated that his blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit. But those test results couldn’t be used in court, and police soon realized that Mitchell was too drunk to do a second breath test, so they took him to the hospital for a blood test instead. Before they arrived at the hospital, Mitchell had passed out. But hospital staff drew blood anyway, obtaining a sample with a blood-alcohol level of 0.222.
Justice Alito with opinion in Mitchell v. Wisconsin (Art Lien)
Mitchell was charged with driving while intoxicated. He fought to keep the results of the blood test from being used against him, arguing that the Fourth Amendment required the police to get a warrant. The state answered that the blood test was constitutional, because of a state law that assumes both consent to a blood test for anyone who drives on Wisconsin’s roads and that an unconscious driver has not withdrawn his consent.
Writing for four justices – Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh and himself – Justice Samuel Alito explained that although the Fourth Amendment generally requires a warrant for a search, there are a variety of exceptions to this rule, including one for “exigent circumstances,” which allows searches without a warrant to “prevent the imminent destruction of evidence.”
The exigent-circumstances exception, Alito continued, will normally allow police to take blood from an unconscious drunk-driving suspect without having to get a warrant. Blood-alcohol limits serve an important purpose, Alito wrote: They “are needed for enforcing laws that save lives.” And they need to be performed promptly, Alito added, because alcohol will disappear from the bloodstream over time. “Evidence is literally disappearing,” he summarized, “by the minute.” When a suspect can’t take a breath test, then the only option is to perform a blood test; indeed, Alito observed, it would be “perverse” if it were harder to do the blood test when someone is unconscious, and therefore even more intoxicated.
Moreover, Alito noted, the fact that the driver is unconscious will create an extra burden on police officers, who likely will have to take the driver to the hospital “not just for the blood test itself but for urgent medical care.” The driver’s condition may create other problems that take up the officers’ time – for example, preserving evidence or directing traffic. Having to deal with all of these issues, Alito posited, would create a “dilemma” for police: “It would force them to choose between prioritizing a warrant application, to the detriment of critical health and safety needs, and delaying the warrant application, and thus the” blood-alcohol test. And although technology has made it possible for police to get a warrant “faster and more easily,” “the time required has shrunk, but it has not disappeared.”
Finally, although yesterday’s decision creates a general rule that police do not need to get a warrant to take a blood sample from an unconscious driver, Alito left open the possibility that, “in an unusual case,” the rule would not apply – for example, if the suspect could show “that his blood would not have been drawn if police had not been seeking” blood-alcohol information, and that police didn’t have any reason to believe that they couldn’t have gotten a warrant. Because Mitchell had not had a chance to meet this standard, Alito concluded, his case would go back to the Wisconsin courts to give him a chance to do so.
Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with Alito on the result, if not his reasoning. Thomas maintained that because alcohol disappears from the blood with time, police should be able to perform a blood test whenever they suspect someone of drunk driving – conscious or not.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, in an opinion that was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Sotomayor criticized the Alito decision as resting on a “false premise” – the idea that police shouldn’t have to choose between getting a warrant for a blood test and dealing with the problems created by a drunk driver. Sotomayor acknowledged that “drunk driving poses significant dangers that Wisconsin and other States must be able to curb,” but she suggested that, under the Fourth Amendment, “the answer is clear: If there is time, get a warrant.”
What’s more, Sotomayor added, Wisconsin cannot rely on the exigent-circumstances exception. Not only has it has never made that argument in the Supreme Court, it has in fact “conceded” that the exception does not justify the blood test in Mitchell’s case.
Justice Neil Gorsuch also dissented. He complained that the justices had granted review to decide whether “Wisconsin drivers impliedly consent to blood alcohol tests thanks to a state statute.” But the Supreme Court didn’t answer that question today, Gorsuch wrote, instead resolving the case on “an entirely different ground.” He would have dismissed the case without deciding it and waited for another case in which the exigent-circumstances exception was squarely presented.
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019Police believe driver was under the influence when he struck, killed man on I-70
PUTNAM COUNTY, Ind. – Indiana State Police believe a driver was under the influence of a controlled substance when he struck and killed a man on I-70 on Monday.
Police say 42-year-old Brian P. Rosano of Brazil, Indiana, struck 66-year-old Freddie L. Smith of Sacramento, California, as he was securing his roadside warning devices after repairs were made to his disabled truck in Putnam County.
Before the crash, investigators say they were notified that Rosano’s van was all over the roadway and troopers were actually en route to try and locate the vehicle.
But, when first responders got to the scene, Smith was pronounced dead and Rosano was transported to the Putnam County Hospital for minor injuries. Rosano submitted to a blood draw for drugs and alcohol. The results showed he was under the influence of a controlled substance, according to police.
Once Rosano is cleared medically, he will be taken into custody and transported to the Putnam County Jail on the following charges:
Possession of paraphernalia
Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance
Operating a motor vehicle while endangerment of others
Possession of syringe needles
Causing death of another person when operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance
Portions of westbound I-70 were closed as crews cleared the scene, but it has since been reopened.
Monday, July 1st, 2019
Special prosecutor to handle OWI case against Brazil officer
A special prosecutor will handle the misdemeanor case pending against a Brazil assistant police chief.
No formal charges had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon against Dennis Archer, 43, of Brazil, who was arrested by state police Saturday morning in Clay County on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Clay County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Zach Clapp said Wednesday a motion requesting a special prosecutor from Vigo County was filed Monday in Clay Superior Court. The court found the appointment of a special prosecutor is necessary to "avoid the appearance of impropriety" due to the close working relationship between Archer and prosecutor's office.
Archer is a 19-year veteran of the Brazil Police Department.
Clapp said Judge Robert Pell has indicated he will keep the case in Clay Superior Court unless a request is made to move the case.
Archer was booked into the Clay County Jail on preliminary charges of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above .08, a Class C misdemeanor, operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, a Class A misdemeanor, and unsafe lane movement.
Whether and which charges are to be filed with the court will be up to the special prosecutor.
Archer posted bond, and Brazil Mayor Bryan Wyndham said Tuesday he has decided Archer will remain with the department and no disciplinary action will be taken.
“Assistant Chief Archer was off duty. He was not in a city vehicle at the time,” Wyndham said. “He is a 19-year veteran of the police department, with a stellar record, so his position goes unchanged.”
Archer was stopped by Trooper Todd Brown near U.S. 40 and West Street in Brazil for unsafe lane movement, according to Indiana State Police. Police said he had a blood alcohol concentration of .09 percent.