Different man was driver in OWI homicide crash that killed man, police say

A man who investigators thought was a passenger actually was the driver of the car that caused a fatal crash on East Washington Avenue on Aug. 8, Madison police said.

Police spokesman Joel DeSpain said police are recommending that Jason A. Natcone, 44, of Oregon, be charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and hit-and-run involving death.

Antoine K. Tempel, 32, of Madison, was arrested after the crash on tentative charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, hit-and-run causing death, third offense OWI and operating while revoked.

Tempel denied being the BMW driver, but investigators determined he was the driver, police said at the time.

However, further investigation concluded that Tempel was a passenger in the BMW and tentative charges against him have been dropped, DeSpain said.PauseCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time0:00Stream TypeLIVELoaded: 0%Progress: 0%0:00Fullscreen00:00Mute

Natcone is in the Dane County Jail for a suspected violation of his state Department of Corrections supervision. According to DOC records, he was last released from prison on extended supervision in March 2018 after serving a sentence for his seventh drunken driving conviction.

The crash happened shortly after 1 a.m. on Aug. 8 on eastbound East Washington Avenue just short of the Yahara River bridge. Witnesses said a BMW convertible was traveling an estimated 80 to 100 mph when it rear-ended a Chevrolet HHR that was driving the speed limit in the middle lane of East Washington, police said.

Frederick Majer, 71, of Chicago, who was driving the compact SUV, was killed in the crash, while his 69-year-old wife was not seriously injured.

Three occupants of the BMW fled on foot after the crash, but Tempel and a female passenger returned “many minutes” later, DeSpain said in a statement at the time.

Tempel suffered a broken shoulder and cuts, while the female passenger suffered minor injuries. The third occupant did not return. https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime-and-courts/different-man-was-driver-in-owi-homicide-crash-that-killed/article_2e424f9a-ab3c-5883-bd6c-b6bd20c82dc5.html#1

Driving while stoned? Marijuana breathalyzers expected to hit the street in 2020

Play VideoDuration -:-Driving high? Police demonstrate swab test to detect impairmentPolice demonstrate the Alere DDS2, a saliva swab test some authorities are using to determine marijuana impairment, in May at the Capitol in Sacramento. 

Drivers suspected of being high on pot may soon face the same type of roadside breath test cops use to catch drunken drivers, as several firms prepare new devices for the street. 

Hound Labs of Oakland expects to have a marijuana breathalyzer ready by the second half of 2020, according to Mike Lynn, a medical doctor and co-founder of Hound Labs. Another firm, SannTekof Canada, also is racing to have a product ready in that timeline.

Both developers also see uses for the devices on job sites to ensure workplace safety.

Convicting drivers who officers believe just finished smoking weed before getting behind the wheel has been problematic for prosecutors and police since marijuana became popular in the 1960s. At the same time, establishing just when a driver smoked the weed has made it difficult for a defense attorney to argue that his client should not be charged, because he smoked the day before. 

THREE-HOUR WINDOW

Hound Labs says its test will show whether a motorist smoked marijuana within a three-hour window before driving. That, Hound Labs’ Lynn asserted, is the time frame when drivers are most impaired. He cited statistics indicating that 14.8 million Americans have used marijuana within an hour of starting a car. 

SannTek’s Noah Debrincat, a nanotechnology engineer from the University of Waterloo in Canada, said his device also can identify a driver who has gotten high within three hours of driving.

Lynn said he expects the Hound Labs device will also be used in the workplace, where employers can ensure that workers are not high on the job, and employees won’t face sanctions if they partied the day before.

Debrincat said there is demand for the breathalyzer in jobs like truck driving and construction, where workers are operating heavy machinery. 

“I actually do see it as benefiting all parties” in the workplace, he said. Presently, most employers rely on urine tests, designed 30 years ago. Those tests can show that an employee smoked weed as much as a month ago, but don’t establish that they are high on a test day. 

Lynn, who also serves as a reserve deputy for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, has worked in Level One trauma centers, and also argues that that the THC tester will make things more fair for both sides. He began work on the tester six years ago.

HOW FIELD TESTS ARE DONE NOW

Without a field test for marijuana, police who make traffic stops in Fresno and most other California cities currently rely heavily on Drug Recognition Officers to check drivers who appear to be impaired but aren’t showing signs of being drunk. The officers undergo special training to spot marijuana users as well as others who have consumed both illegal and legal drugs before driving.

That usually means the driver is taken to a hospital for what police call a “blood draw” to determine what’s in their system. It’s expensive and time-consuming for officers and the driver. 

DRE officers also spend a lot of time in court, where they testify as expert witnesses. 

Debrincat noted that some police agencies now use a swab test to collect saliva samples from drivers in a field test. But he said he doubts that kind of procedure is popular with police in the field.

Developing the breath test has been “amazingly challenging science,” but building a device to do it has grown exponentially more important as more and more jurisdictions legalize both medical and recreational marijuana use, Lynn said.Play VideoDuration -:-How does an officer recognize a stoned driver?

After California’s passage of the Proposition 64 recreational marijuana initiative, authorities are on guard for impaired drivers for alcohol, pot, prescription drugs or all of the above. A Highway Patrol training supervisor explains the challenge By PETER HECHT

CHALLENGES TO BUILDING A POT TESTER

Building the device is difficult because an intoxicating amount of THC in the human body is a billion times less than the amount of alcohol in an impaired driver, Lynn said. 

“We had to completely create the device. It’s like looking for (a certain) 25 grains of sand on a beach a mile long,” Lynn said.

Hound Labs relied extensively on help from the University of California at San Francisco for the research, he added. Assisting was pathologist Dr. Kara Lynch, an expert in looking at small samples of molecules in breath. 

Nanotechnologists like Debrincat are involved in the study and the manipulation of atoms and molecules.

POLICE ‘DON’T WANT TO BE THE FIRST’

Police agencies are still largely on the sidelines in terms of plans to purchase the devices. 

Madera Police Chief Dino Lawson said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach. 

“I think it’s interesting technology, but we don’t want to be the first to jump on it,” he said. “Absolutely, there’s a need for it. I hope they perfect it.”

Janelle Dunham, public information officer for the CHP, said, “The California Highway Patrol is always interested in testing and evaluating new and emerging technology.”Play VideoDuration -:-Marijuana forum: Is there a breathalyzer for marijuana?

During the Modesto Bee’s “Bee Amplified” forum on marijuana, panelists discussed whethere there are safety measures for driving under the influence.
Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/article234714067.html#storylink=cpy

Drunken driver rear-ends DPS vehicle, runs into ATM

SAN ANTONIO – A man is facing driving while intoxicated charges after hitting a DPS trooper’s vehicle from behind and trying to drive away, according to police.

Officers responded to the scene at the corner of East Southcross and Clark streets around 10:45 p.m. Saturday. They say the driver of a pickup truck rear-ended the trooper’s vehicle, then tried to drive away. But instead of getting away, he drove right into a bank ATM.

Police tested the man for driving while intoxicated, and said he showed signs of impairment. He could also face charges for attempting to drive away.

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The DPS trooper was not seriously injured in the crash. https://www.ksat.com/news/drunk-driver-rear-ends-dps-vehicle-runs-into-atm

Dump truck driver who crashed into NJ home now facing charges

A dump truck driver is facing charges in connection with a crash in New Jersey.Tuesday, September 10, 2019 7:37PMSOUTH BRUNSWICK, New Jersey — Authorities say a Pennsylvania man who was driving a dump truck that crashed into a New Jersey home last month had not slept in 32 hours before the crash and was under the influence of drugs.

South Brunswick police say Donald Epps is charged with endangerment, driving under the influence and numerous motor vehicle charges. It wasn’t known Tuesday if the 55-year-old Morrisville man has retained an attorney.

Authorities say Epps drove into the home around 4:20 a.m. on Aug. 14. He was seriously injured and had to be extricated from the vehicle, but three people sleeping inside the home were not hurt.

Authorities say Epps was high on cocaine and fentanyl at the time of the crash.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 3. https://abc7ny.com/authorities-dump-truck-was-high-on-drugs-in-crash-into-nj-home/5530128/

Man tells police he’s ‘too fat’ to run from arrest

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An Armstrong County man suspected of driving under the influence Wednesday in New Kensington told police he tried to run away because he was wanted on a warrant, but was “too fat” to get away.

Now, Danial James Hilton Dopson, 31, of Cadogan, faces charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, escape, driving under the influence, drug possession and traffic violations. He remained in Westmoreland County Prison on Thursday after failing to post $50,000 bond.

New Kensington police Officer Jerry Hobeck said he tried to pull Dopson over after he caught him speeding on Seventh Street and Stevenson Boulevard shortly after 9 p.m., according to the criminal complaint filed in the case.

Police said Dopson was traveling up to 49 mph on Seventh, where the speed limit is 25 mph, and up to 59 mph on Stevenson, where the speed limit is 35 mph.

The complaint said Dopson also sped through a gas station parking lot, didn’t stop at a stop sign and struck a center median twice.

Police said Dopson eventually pulled into the Seventh Street Sportsmen’s Club parking lot. He then got out of the car and began walking away with his hands in his pockets, police said.

Hobeck said he drew his gun and told Dopson to get on the ground. Dopson eventually complied. However, as Hobeck went to arrest Dopson, he got up and tried to run, the complaint said.

Hobeck was able to arrest Dopson after a brief struggle. According to the complaint, Dopson had an “overpowering odor of alcoholic beverage emanating off his breath and his speech was slow and slurred.”

Police said they found a glass crack pipe in his pocket.

Dopson allegedly told police, “I tried to run, but I realized I was too fat,” the complaint said.

When police went to check Dopson’s license, they discovered it was under a DUI-related suspension. Police also were informed that Dopson was wanted on warrants out of Westmoreland County.

Dopson submitted to a blood-alcohol test, but the criminal complaint did not list the results.

Hobeck was treated at Allegheny Valley Hospital for injuries he received during the arrest, the complaint said. He suffered cuts and scrapes to his right arm, hand and knee.

A preliminary hearing for Dopson is set for Sept. 26. https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/armstrong-county-man-tells-police-hes-too-fat-to-run-from-arrest/