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Sarasota County Dr. Stephen Ducker, already fired for various forms of poor medical professional behavior, showed up to work barely able to walk and talk last June, according to people at a group home. That night, Ducker would take the first of two DUI arrests in 34 days.
Those are just some of the reasons the Florida Department of Health gives for the emergency restriction order (ERO) slapped on Ducker’s license by the state Surgeon General.
Ducker, 61, has pleaded not guilty to all the DUI charges in each case.
Department of Health records say he has been licensed in Florida since 2013. Those records show a 2016 administrative complaint after his noncompliance ended a contract with the Professionals Resource Network, the state’s monitoring program for impaired physicians.
FIRINGS AND DUI ARREST NO. 1
The Emergency Restriction Order said Florida Mobile Physicians fired Ducker on May 29 after “erratic behavior and numerous complaints from facilities that he was missing visits, failing to return phone calls, not keeping patient notes or following up with patients and behaving aggressively toward facility staff.”
But Ducker still worked with some places, such as Sarasota group home Nanni & Poppi’s Place. On June 15, the ERO says a patient saw Ducker walking unsteadily and heard his speech as slurred. The patient told the owner, who agreed after speaking to Ducker and added he “couldn’t answer the owner’s questions or speak in complete sentences.”
That afternoon, a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrest report says, a witness saw Ducker blow through a red light and stop sign in his Toyota SUV, then crash into a ditch and toss a bottle of pills after getting out of the vehicle. When deputies got to the crash, they noticed the same slurred speech and unsteady walk that the Nanni & Poppi’s people had.
They also noticed the pill bottle was a 90-count prescription for alzaprolam, the generic name for Xanax. Ducker said his doctor prescribed them for him. A deputy pointed out the prescription had him as the prescribing doctor, not the patient with the female name. Ducker said that’s his girlfriend and he must have grabbed her bottle on the way out the door.
The bottle, the deputy noted, was defaced. Ducker couldn’t answer why he or his girlfriend, a nurse, would do that.
Ducker insisted he had only Xanax in his system, which a urine sample showed. Court documents say he blew 0.00 on the breathalyzer at 6:23 p.m. and 6:28 p.m. The measurement for legally drunk is 0.08.
A WALMART PARKING LOT AND DUI ARREST NO. 2
On July 19, a Sarasota County deputy said she was parked at the front of an aisle in the Walmart parking lot in Osprey while working on another case. A delivery truck was parked in front of the supermarket part with its rear lift out, shrinking the space between the vehicles to impassable.
With a closed Walmart and, thus, an empty parking lot to go around them, the deputy said Ducker tried to ease his blue sedan between her cruiser and the truck. The deputy heard a crunch that she presumed was the sedan hitting the truck’s ramp.
Ducker introduced himself by yelling at her, “Why are you parked so close?”
After Ducker parked his car, the deputy said, she stopped him as she walked toward the store, and asked for his driver’s license. He gave her his license and a red credit card, she said. In a conversation featuring his slurred speech, she said she explained the store had shortened hours during the pandemic and was closed.
A second deputy who showed up noticed Ducker swaying as he stood. That deputy noted Ducker kept criticizing the first deputy’s parking choices.
“He, later in the night at the jail, called me a Nazi for enforcing the law and that because he is a doctor, he should be given a ride home,” the second deputy wrote.
Court documents say, Ducker blew a 0.00 and a 0.000, but admitted he’d have Xanax in his system.
The Department of Health ordered Ducker to undergo analysis with Wilson. The ERO says Ducker detailed a substance abuse fight that goes back to 2000, when he was a nurse. He was fired from one job for stealing fetanyl. He’s been monitored by the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN), which monitors impaired nurses for the Board of Nursing, and Professionals Resource Network (PRN), which does the same with doctors for the Board of Medicine.
Ducker admitted taking alprazolam (the generic name for Xanax) on the days of his DUI arrests, but didn’t say he was impaired either when driving or at the group home. He did admit to Wilson that his “opioid use disorder is a ‘dormant volcano.’ ”
Despite this admission, Wilson found that “Ducker’s behavior demonstrates a significantly limited insight, poor judgment and lack of understanding of the chronicity of his disorders.”
Wilson also said Ducker prescribing alprazolam for his girlfriend showed questionable ethics.
“Dr. Wilson expressed concern that Dr. Ducker continues to demonstrate significant victimization, to the point of paranoia, in that he believes IPN, PRN, the Department (of Health), and even Dr. Wilson himself have ulterior motives in restricting his ability to practice.
“Based on the foregoing, Dr. Wilson opined that Dr. Ducker is unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients.” https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article248130665.html
Even before he took office, President Biden made a big splash with his sweeping immigration reform proposal. While headlines focus on a path to citizenship for otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants, it’s important to note the plan’s lackluster efforts on curbing illegal immigration. And while the proposal doesn’t expand the wall on the southern border, Biden hopes to curb illegal immigration by utilizing better technology and infrastructure on the border. Seemingly lost in the proposal is any change in punishments for illegal immigrants who commit other crimes or any way to crack down on the sanctuary jurisdictions that enable them.
Consider the path of destruction caused by just one man who illegally crossed the border and was not deported despite his serious crimes.
In 2007, 16-year-old Tessa Tranchant’s future was alight with promise. Starting at age five, Tessa earned accolades around the country for her skill in Irish dance. In passing years, she became passionate about riding English horses, enjoyed playing guitar, sang the musical score from Rent with gusto, and was an especially accomplished surfer. The all-American teenager seemed destined to fulfill the dreams of her Hispanic, Irish, and European immigrant forebearers.
But on March 30, 2007, as Tessa and her friend, Alison Kunhardt, waited for a traffic light to turn green, a careless drunk driver, who had entered the country illegally years prior, forever snuffed out both girls’ ambitions.
A ticking time bomb
The record of illegal immigrant Alfredo Ramos’s first six years in the United States is full of purposeful omissions.
In a 2017 prison interview, Ramos claimed that he wanted to come clean about his illegal past. He admitted, through a translator, that he breached the U.S. border in a four-day voyage by foot across the desert from the Mexican state of Sonora to Mesa, Arizona.
From the moment his feet touched U.S. soil around 2001, Ramos’s every movement was calculated to evade detection. For years, he succeeded.
In Mesa, he acquired a vehicle. On someone’s advice, possibly from an older brother also residing illegally in the country, Ramos drove to North Carolina, where an organization he has never named sold him the false documents that he would need to work in the U.S.
According to transcripts from Ramos’s manslaughter trial, the illegal immigrant first lived in Florida before moving to Virginia, where a series of police interactions should have put him on federal authorities’ radar.
Between October 2006 and March 30, 2007, the 22-year-old Ramos accumulated three alcohol-related misdemeanor convictions: public drunkenness in Chesapeake, Virginia; a DUI again in Chesapeake, where his blood alcohol concentration level was 0.14%; and public intoxication in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ramos was also convicted of identity theft and a seat belt violation in early 2007. Additionally, he was charged in Chesapeake for driving without a license and having no insurance, but the charges were withdrawn.
In the first incident, on October 29, 2006, a Chesapeake police officer discovered Ramos passed out in the passenger seat of his vehicle, which was parked in a driving lane in a restaurant parking lot. It took the officer nearly five minutes to rouse Ramos, who stumbled out of the vehicle, unzipped his fly, moved to the rear of his car, and began to urinate. After being called to an emergency, the officer returned and charged Ramos with public intoxication.
Just two weeks later, on Nov. 13, 2006, Ramos veered over a double yellow line on a two-lane road. His car headed straight toward the vehicle of a Chesapeake police officer, who utilized a small section of shoulder to swerve and recover before pursuing Ramos. When Ramos finally stopped, he blew a 0.14% BAC, almost double the legal limit of 0.08%. He was charged with a DUI.
On Jan. 19, 2007, citizens called 911 to report Ramos’s erratic driving as he careened over curbs, heading toward heavily trafficked Virginia Beach Boulevard. After Ramos popped both of his front tires, a citizen stopped his vehicle by pulling the keys from his ignition, though Ramos continued attempting to accelerate. While waiting for officers from the Virginia Beach Police Department to arrive, Ramos told the citizen to let him go because he “would not do it again, and he lived right up the street.” When officers arrived, they charged Ramos with public drunkenness.
Ramos’s record was lengthy and included clear warnings that he was a ticking time bomb. But since his record technically included only misdemeanors, a Virginia Beach Police Department “sanctuary policy” enacted in 2005 prohibited the authorities from even asking Ramos about his immigration status.
In February 2007, when Ramos came before a judge to answer to his DUI charge, he was given a 90-day suspended sentence and a $250 fine, was ordered to participate in an alcohol awareness program, and his fake Florida license was suspended. Not being legally licensed had not stopped Ramos from driving before his trial,and the suspension of his fake license had no effect on his behavior.
Ramos, the ticking time bomb, ticked ever closer to an explosion.
According to court documents, Ramos initially denied having consumed alcohol on March 30, 2007. Later, he admitted he had two beers. Finally, he settled on admitting to having four to five beers. As the translator said in his 2017 jailhouse interview, “At that time, he was aware that he was that drunk, but he was much younger, and he felt invincible.”
Ramos sped down Virginia Beach Boulevard at more than 65 mph, at least 20 mph above the posted speed limit. His BAC level hovered at 0.24% — or three times the legal limit.
Ramos was less than two miles away from his residence when he slammed his 1998 Mitsubishi into a 1994 Plymouth Duster stopped at a traffic light. On hearing the explosive crash, residents nearby thought a bomb had gone off.
Inside the Plymouth, Tessa Tranchant and Alison were on their way home from the movies. They had just stopped at a convenience store to buy a pack of gum. As Tessa’s father, Ray, said: “They were just sitting at the light, strapped in their seat belts. They were just doing what they were supposed to be doing.”
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JAY — A woman is accused of operating a vehicle while under the influence and assaulting a police officer, the chief said Friday.
Police Chief Richard Caton IV said Crystal McNeil, 44, kicked a police officer in the chest Thursday afternoon as he tried to put her in the cruiser.
A passerby reported an accident at about 2:51 p.m. at the intersection of Davenport Hill and Morse Hill roads, where a vehicle had gone into a ditch, he said.
A vehicle driven by McNeil was traveling southwest on Morse Hill Road toward Dixfield, and appears to have attempted to turn left on Davenport Hill Road but instead drove into a ditch, Caton said. Jay’s in-house system indicates McNeil lives in Jay, but her license indicates a South Paris address, he said. The vehicle she was driving was registered in Skowhegan.
It appears she attempted to drive the vehicle out of the ditch but was unsuccessful, Caton said. McNeil was not cooperative with officer Dan Demers, and it is believed she was operating under the influence of alcohol, he said.
When Demers tried to put her in the cruiser, she kicked him in the chest, Caton said. She refused medical treatment at the scene. She became ill and Demers drove her to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington to be checked out.Advertisement
McNeil was issued a summons on charges of operating under the influence, assault and refusing to submit to arrest, using physical force against the officer, he said.
She is scheduled to make an initial appearance at a Farmington court in March.
A conviction on each of the charges is punishable by a maximum 364 days in prison. The accident remains under investigation, Caton said. https://www.sunjournal.com/2021/01/15/woman-accused-of-oui-assaulting-to-officer-after-accident-in-jay/
LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. — An intoxicated motorist with two outstanding warrants was arrested Wednesday after attempting to persuade another driver to drag race, not realizing the other driver was a law enforcement officer.
According to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, 26-year-old Jonathon Krueger faces misdemeanor counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
Meanwhile, he also faces charges of failure to appear, public intoxication and criminal mischief associated with the outstanding warrants, the newspaper reported.
The arresting officer, a captain with the sheriff’s office, was reportedly traveling south on U.S. Highway 35 at around 1:15 a.m. when an SUV entered traffic ahead of him, WBND reported.
According to law enforcement reports, the captain passed the SUV, which then passed the captain’s vehicle and slowed down. The driver, identified now as Krueger, revved his engine before accelerating to a speed unsafe for the snowy conditions and then slowing down two more times. Passengers in Krueger’s vehicle told deputies that he was trying to race the captain but did so not realizing the captain was driving a police vehicle, the TV station reported.
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Your town may have a drinking problem.MEN’S HEALTH
WE AT Men’s Health are all for raising a glass (or two) a day—that’s what the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services likes to call moderate drinking.
But in places where the drinks really flow, there resides danger—to the drinker and others.
Our team of researchers analyzed 100 major U. S. cities for their drinking habits. Their analysis took into account stats on underage drinking and the percentage of alcohol-related driving deaths, plus rates of diseases indicating long-term alcohol overuse.
To rank these 100 cities, we used the following methodology (if you’re curious): Excessive drinking (percentage of a city’s population that reports binge or heavy drinking within the past 30 days) accounted for 40 percent of our weighted rankings. Alcohol-impaired driving deaths made up 25 percent, a “health impact” score based on rates of death from alcohol-related illnesses (cirrhosis, chronic liver disease, and alcohol-use disorder) made up 20, and underage drinking (combined rates of alcohol use and binge drinking within the last 30 days among individuals aged 12 to 20) makes up the last 15 percent.
So, yes, we did our due diligence.
America’s Booziest Cities
1. Reno, NV
The Biggest Little City has a big problem. Reno had the worst “health impact” score among the booziest ten cities, meaning that its death rates from alcohol-related illnesses (cirrhosis, chronic liver disease, alcohol-use disorder) were among the highest of the cities analyzed. If you’re obese or you frequently binge-drink (five or more drinks in two hours for men), you’re putting yourself at a greater risk of liver disease.
2. Denver, CO
Denver sits in the number two spot on our booziest list likely because ranks number two for excessive drinking, which includes bingeing or heavy drinking within the last 30 days. With 113 breweries listed in the greater Denver area on Denver Brewery Guide, plus 17 cocktail lounges and martini bars, 12 wineries, and 11 distilleries listed on Denver.org, there’s an excess of choice if you feel like a drink.
3. Billings, MT
Billings ranked second for alcohol driving deaths. In 43 percent of the motor vehicle deaths in Yellowstone county, where Billings sits, alcohol was likely the leading cause of the crash. The national average for alcohol involvement among all driving fatalities is 29 percent, according to a 2020 Traffic Safety Facts report. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that around 29 people die in drunk driving crashes every day in the U.S, which is also about one death every 50 minutes.
4. Milwaukee, WI
Cream City has high numbers of excessive drinking as well as underage alcohol use and binge drinking. And one may actually have an effect on the other. Research shows that a five percent bump in binge drinking among adults in a community corresponds with a 12 percent increase in the chance of underage drinking. Meaning if you’re a parent who binge drinks, your underage kid will be more likely to drink too (compared to parents who don’t binge).
5. Fargo, ND
This city was among those that had the highest number of underage drinkers. Yes, it’s home to the frequently dubbed “party school” North Dakota State University, but the state is fighting the culture with the very thing students fear most: more school. As of 2018, minors charged with possession or consumption of alcohol face an eight-hour course about the health-related dangers of binge drinking, in addition to possible fines and jail time.
6. Madison, WI
Our analysis found that this city had the highest percentage of residents who reported excessive drinking. Binge drinking costs the state of Wisconsin almost $4 billion a year, according to The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Population Health Institute. The city’s scores with underage drinking and driving deaths didn’t help their ranking either. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, with around 1 in 4 of those accidents involving an underage drinker. About 29 percent of Madison’s 12- to 20-year-old’s reported that they’ve drank in the last month, and 36 percent of driving deaths involved alcohol.
7. Portland, ME
Our research revealed that this city had a high number of residents who reported excessive drinking, which is defined as adults who reported binge or heavy drinking in the past 30 days. The CDC estimates that nearly 1 in 6 U.S. adults are considered binge drinkers (consuming about seven drinks per binge), and 1 in 20 are heavy drinkers. In the Forest City, about 1 in 4 reported excessive alcohol consumption.
8. Toledo, OH
PHOTO BY MIKE KLINE (NOTKALVIN)
Toledo makes it to number eight on the list because of the city’s alcohol driving deaths score. Forty percent of its driving deaths involved alcohol (again, the national average is 29 percent). Ohio State Highway Patrol notes that there has been a 31 percent increase in OVI (that’s operating a vehicle impaired) between 2015 and 2019 in the state. The CDC reports that across the U.S., 3 times more men die from impaired driving than women—and in Ohio it’s nearly 4 times.
9. Washington, DC
Excessive drinking and underage drinking scores are what land Washington, DC, in our top 10 booziest cities. According to Addiction Center, college-aged men (18 to 25) are “most likely to binge drink and become alcoholics.” There are hundreds of bars and 18 colleges in the D.C. area, likely contributing to these scores.
10. Charleston, SC
Charleston rounds out the end of our top 10 booziest cities primarily because of its number of binge and heavy drinkers, in addition to their driving deaths number. Binge drinkers who make less than $75,000 a year consume more drinks when they binge, according to the CDC. With the median household income being about $64,000, compared to the U.S. national average of $68,703, that might be a contributing factor to Charleston’s excessive drinking score. Plus, research shows that binge/heavy drinkers account for just over half of alcohol-impaired driving.
11. Omaha, NE
12. Baton Rouge, LA
13. Cleveland, OH
14. New Orleans, LA
15. Boston, MA
16. Lubbock, TX
17. Minneapolis, MN
18. Columbus, OH
19. Lexington, KY
20. Manchester, NH
21. Portland, OR
22. Cincinnati, OH
23. Lincoln, NE
24. Pittsburgh, PA
25. St. Paul, MN
26. Anchorage, AK27. Des Moines, IA
28. Providence, RI
29. Burlington, VT
30. San Diego, CA
31. Stockton, CA
32. Chicago, IL
33. Austin, TX
34. Buffalo, NY
35. Virginia Beach, VA
36. Norfolk, VA
37. Philadelphia, PA
38. Riverside, CA
39. St. Petersburg, FL
40. Sacramento, CA
41. Seattle, WA
42. Aurora, CO
43. Kansas City, MO
44. Colorado Springs, CO
45. San Francisco, CA
46. Houston, TX
47. Bakersfield, CA
48. San Antonio, TX
49. Louisville, KY
50. El Paso, TX
51. Honolulu, HI
52. Anaheim, CA
53. Fort Wayne, IN
54. Albuquerque, NM
55. Jacksonville, FL
56. Tucson, AZ
57. Raleigh, NC
58. Cheyenne, WY
59. Tulsa, OK
60. Tampa, FLA
61. Richmond, VA
62. Las Vegas, NV
63. Bridgeport, CT
64. Plano, TX
65. Wilmington, DE
66. Fresno, CA
67. Charlotte, NC
68. Phoenix, AZ
69. Oakland, CA
70. Sioux Falls, SD
71. Dallas, TX
72. Jersey City, NJ
73. Oklahoma City, OK
74. Boise, ID
75. Los Angeles, CA
76. Detroit, MI
77. Corpus Christi, TX
78. Nashville, TN
79. Greensboro, NC
80. Winston-Salem, NC
81. Indianapolis, IN
82. St. Louis, MO
83. Fort Worth, TX
84. Durham, NC85. Little Rock, AR
86. Chesapeake, VA
87. Charleston, WV
88. Laredo, TX
89. Wichita, KS
90. Baltimore, MD
91. New York City, NY
92. Orlando, FL
93. San Jose, CA
94. Birmingham, AL
95. Atlanta, GA
96. Newark, NJ
97. Salt Lake City, UT
98. Jackson, MS
99. Miami, FL
100. Memphis, TN