Scott Freitag — the director of Salt Lake City’s 911 dispatch center director until he was fired last week for allegedly driving drunk while in a government vehicle — was formally charged on Tuesday.
Freitag, 38, of Layton, was charged in Davis County Justice Court with class B misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol, class C misdemeanor open container/drinking alcohol in a vehicle, and class B misdemeanor carrying a dangerous weapon while under the influence of alcohol.
Police said Tuesday that Freitag had a gun in the center consol of his car.
Court documents do not specify the basis for the dangerous weapon charge.
Matthew Rojas, spokesman for the Salt Lake City mayor’s office, said last week that a review of Freitag’s schedule indicates that he was on the clock at the time of the arrest — 1:25 p.m. on Jan. 3 — though he added that Freitag’s schedule is somewhat fluid, due to occasional long days.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski said in a news release announcing the firing: “There is no acceptable reason for anyone to put innocent lives in danger by getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, especially an individual leading a critical public safety agency.
“While I am angry and disappointed in Scott’s behavior, I do hope he gets help to address his problems, and that he finds the support of loved ones that he needs at this time.”
On Jan. 3, a Centerville Police Department sergeant saw the Salt Lake City Corporation vehicle entering the southbound Interstate 15 Kaysville on-ramp and noticed that the vehicle was driven erratically, according to a Centerville police news release.
Freitag was pulled over and failed field sobriety tests. He registered a 0.214 percent blood alcohol content during a breathalyzer test, the release said, and the officer found an open mixed drink in the center console of the vehicle.
Utah’s legal blood-alcohol-content limit for driving is 0.08 percent. It is scheduled to change to 0.05 percent on Dec. 30.
Freitag was cited and released, police said.
Freitag has been a member of the Layton City Council since 2007. He has been elected to the seat three times, and his current term ends in 2019. Freitag is the council’s liaison to the police and fire departments and to the Legislature.
More than 45 million Americans will travel by car over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA predicts, and a new study suggests that about one out of five of those behind the wheel will have taken a prescription drug that could impair their driving.
On top of that, many of them aren’t aware of the risk.
The study authors used data from the most recent National Roadside Survey (NRS), conducted in 2013-2014 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to determine what proportion of drivers had been warned that the medication their doctor prescribed could impair their performance. Data were collected from randomly selected drivers at 60 different U.S. locations.
Drivers 16 and older were eligible to participate in the voluntary, anonymous survey about alcohol and drug use. Those who agreed to be surveyed were also asked to provide a breath sample to measure alcohol content and a saliva sample for drug testing.
The 2013-2014 NRS was the second to ask drivers about drug use but the first to ask whether the drug had been prescribed for them and, if so, whether they’d been warned that it could impair their driving. Those who reported taking a prescribed, potentially impairing medication within the previous two days were then asked if they had been warned that it could affect their driving.
These are the categories of potentially impairing prescription drugs covered by the survey and some examples of them:
Antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin).
Methadone and buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone), opioids that are used in medication-assisted treatment of substance use disorders.
Morphine or codeine, which are prescription opioids for pain.
Other prescription opioids (OxyContin and Vicodin), also used to treat pain.
Benzodiazepines, which are tranquilizers (Xanax and Valium).
Muscle relaxants (Soma and Flexeril).
Sleep aids (Ambien and Lunesta).
ADHD medications (Ritalin, Aderall and Concerta).
Other amphetamines (Benzadrine and Dexedrine).
Prescription diet pills (Tenuate and phentermine).
Except for the last three types of drugs, the medications on this list could impair drivers by sedating them. Experimental studies have shown that certain tranquilizers have a substantially higher risk of impairment than alcohol and that opioids have a risk comparable to that of alcohol, the researchers write.
On the other hand, ADHD medications and other amphetamines as well as prescription diet pills are stimulants, which can influence attention, aggressiveness and risk-taking, the study authors write. You likely won’t fall asleep behind the wheel if you take a stimulant, but you could end up taking unnecessary risks while driving.
A total of 7,405 drivers answered the prescription drug questions on the NRS, and 19.7% of them reported taking a potentially impairing prescription drug within the previous two days. Of those who had, four out of five of them, or 78.2%, to be exact, said the drug had been prescribed for them, so there had been an opportunity for a physician or a pharmacist to talk about the risk of impaired driving.
There are DUI checkpoints all over the state of Delaware, but sometimes understanding their frequency can be difficult to understand. Each state’s frequency is different than one another because of their state laws.ARE DUI CHECKPOINTS CONDUCTED IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE?Yes they are conducted in the state of Delaware.WHAT IS THE FREQUENCY OF THE DUI CHECKPOINTS IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE?DUI checkpoints in the state of Delaware are conducted monthly January to June; Weekly July through December.WHO UPHOLDS THE LAWFULNESS OF THESE DUI CHECKPOINTS?In the state of Delaware, it is upheld under the state law and federal Constitution.HOW DOES A DUI CHECKPOINT WORK IN DELAWARE?When you first approach the DUI checkpoint, an officer will approach your car and is to clearly address his name, and what they are currently doing.The officer will most likely use his flashlight to check your eyes, to see if he sees any hints towards you being intoxicated.The DUI checkpoint uses something called a neutral formula, so the officers at the checkpoint have to treat each driver the same, and cannot randomly stop other cars in the surrounding area.All safety precautions (proper lighting, warning signs, signals, and the clarity of the of the official vehicles) are taken to ensure the quality of the checkpoint stop.Law enforcement has to make sure that the checkpoint goes as smoothly as possible, so they are not holding you up any longer than need be.An officer cannot search your vehicle without having a probable cause, or your permission.If the officer believes you are intoxicated, he/she can ask you to take the breathalyzer test.If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, the officer can still arrest you under probable cause, or ask you to perform a set field sobriety exercises.While DUI checkpoints seem like they may be a waste of time, they help keep safety on the roads.
In Colorado, it’s legal to smell like marijuana while driving and to have paraphernalia in the car. It’s even legal to have marijuana in the car as long as the weed’s in a sealed container away from the driver.
But it’s illegal to drive impaired from cannabis, just like it’s illegal to drive drunk. And the number of deaths due to car crashes involving marijuana is rising, says Sam Cole, a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
“It’s still small compared to all the other reasons we’re seeing for fatalities out there,” he says. In 2016, 51 people died in crashes that involved drivers whose blood tested contained a certain level of active THC. That’s 8 percent of all crash fatalities in 2016. “The data indicates it’s a growing problem.” And CDOT has allocated almost a million dollars, all from marijuana tax revenue, to educate the public about the danger of driving while high.
And yet, confirming that someone has actually been driving while impaired by marijuana is remarkably tricky. But that doesn’t stop Colorado lawyer Chris Halsor from teaching law enforcement officers to recognize the signs of marijuana impairment.
“It’s a brave new world,” he says to a room full of Colorado State Patrol officers. There are now more dispensaries in the state than there are Starbucks coffee shops, he tells the students as they learn how to correctly perform roadside sobriety tests.
To complicate matters, as CDOT’s Sam Cole notes, “the only roadside device that’s allowed to be used, by statute, is an alcohol device.” It’s largely up to officers to determine on the side of the road if a person is impaired from pot.
As part of the training, Halsor assigned the officers to go shopping at local dispensaries, so they could get a sense of what pot products are out there. Then, a group of volunteers arrived, introduced themselves to the officers, and promptly proceeded to an RV parked in the hotel parking lot where, as payment for their participation, they could legally consume as much pot as they wanted from a plastic tub of edibles, vape pens, joints and other pot products.
When the volunteers returned to the hotel, the officers tested them on a number of measures meant to distinguish the impaired from the sober.
How many quarters are in $1.75? A person who’s impaired might take a while to figure it out.
Walk nine paces, touching toe to heel, along a line, then return. Someone who’s impaired might forget the instructions or have trouble balancing.
Follow a pen with your eyes as an officer moves it around your face. An impaired person’s eyes often show something called “horizontal gaze nystagmus,” in which the eyes jerk when they move to the side. When the pen moves toward the nose, an impaired person’s eyes often show “lack of convergence” — their eyes can’t cross in sync, drifting or shifting around rather than converging on the tip of the nose.
The usefulness of many of these tests are backed up by scientific evidence, but the methods don’t always apply to everyone equally. And they are all subject to — even dependent upon — an officer’s observations, biases, and interpretation.
Indeed, one of the volunteer’s results were clear-cut. “She’d be going to jail,” said Rich Armstrong, an officer with Colorado State Patrol, and the others all agreed. But the other three were not.
Officers disagreed about the second woman, who did well on some parts of the tests and poorly on others. “It was a tough one,” said Trooper Tom Davis, also with CSP.
“Yeah, this is one of those subjective areas,” said Rich Armstrong.
The officers determined that, in real life, they would not have arrested the two male volunteers for impairment, even though the male volunteers had consumed a comparable amount of cannabis to the female volunteers.
Enter the scientists. At the Boulder branch of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nestled among buildings that house atomic clocks and giant lasers, there is a group of researchers dedicated to forensic science. And right now, a few them are all about pot. Measuring it precisely, of course.
Chemical engineer Tara Lovestead is working hard to lay the groundwork for a pot breathalyzer. As federal employees, she and her colleagues can’t actually develop commercial breath tests, but they’re doing the nitty gritty basic research like measuring the fundamental physical properties of THC. The findings could help companies and researchers create reliable devices that correlate chemicals in a person’s breath to their level of impairment.
From Lovestead’s point of view, the current system for determining marijuana impairment relies too much on an officer’s interpretation. “It’s too subjective. I’m not comfortable with that. The public, I don’t think, is comfortable with that,” she says.
At least two companies are working on devices, including Cannabix Technologies and Hound Labs, but they’re still in the testing phase. And though officers in California are already using a marijuana detection device called the Drager DrugTest 5000, it does not detect a person’s level of impairment — only the presence of THC in their saliva.
Often, when officers deem an erratic or dangerous driver to be impaired from marijuana, they bring the driver in for a blood test. According to state law, if a milliliter of the person’s blood contains more than 5 nanograms of active THC, the person can be “presumed” to be impaired. But researchers have shown that the 5-nanogram limit can be misleading, possibly incriminating someone who last smoked days before driving, and possibly missing someone who just consumed cannabis.
“It’s a very challenging problem and a lot of work needs to be done,” says Lovestead, whose research group previously worked on technology that could sample tiny amounts of chemicals in the air to detect things like explosives or buried bodies.
While scientists and companies chip away at developing marijuana breath tests, Sam Cole at CDOT is exploring another big question: what’s behind Colorado’s rise in crash fatalities involving marijuana.
“The 64 million dollar question is: Is it because of legalization?” he says. Data on crash fatalities and marijuana is spotty before 2013. So the answer, Cole says, is unclear.
Once the driver is on the ground, the officer holsters his gun and knees the man in the back before handcuffing him, then punching him in the upper-back.
The arresting officer told the court he noticed the motorist slow his vehicle down as he approached a breath test station on Canberra Avenue, Queanbeyan in January last year.
The officer claimed that after slowing down momentarily, the driver then swerved and turned down a side road.
The driver was stopped in Woods Lane in the ACT.
ACT police arrived a short time later, and the arresting officer told them that the driver returned a positive breath test. The driver was then taken to Woden police station and charged with drink driving.
The driver’s defence lawyer argued the arrest was unlawful because of the officer used excessive force. The lawyer also pointed-out that the officer had failed to advise the driver of the reason for the arrest.
The court also heard that the officer neglected to record information about the nature of the arrest in his incident report, which is a requirement under police guidelines.
ACT Magistrate Margaret Hunter found that the officer’s conduct was uncalled for – particularly his act of pointing the gun at the driver’s face.
The officer said he felt his actions were reasonable. He also claimed to be unaware of the requirement to record information about pulling the gun.
He said he felt scared and threatened because the area was dark, and was concerned there may have been several people in the car.
But the Magistrate noted the road is well-lit, and there had clearly only been one person in the car – as evidenced by the dash cam footage. She said the officer could have handled the situation in several other ways if he was indeed frightened – including remaining in his car, calling for back-up and waiting for other police to arrive.
Her Honour also found that while the Senior Constable claimed he had informed attending police of what had occurred, it was clear from their evidence that he had not mentioned pointing his gun at the driver’s head or kneeing him in the back.
Not Guilty of Drink Driving
The Magistrate ultimately found the driver not guilty of drink driving because the NSW officer’s breathalyser was not an approved device under ACT law, and Canberra police failed to conduct their own breath test at the scene. She ordered that police pay the driver’s legal costs.
NSW Police say they intend to investigate the officer’s conduct.
As a Texas criminal defense attorney I handle many DWI cases. These cases are complicated and require a lot of effort and skill to obtain the best outcome. Some are dismissed, some are reduced to lesser charges, some are resolved with no probation, and some (especially DWI 2nd’s or DWI 3rd’s) involve a probation period. On that probation one of the main problems for my clients is the ignition interlock device.As of right now in Texas, if you are convicted of DWI and your blood alcohol level is .15 or higher you will be required to install one of these devices on any vehicle you drive for at least half the term of any probation. If you are on probation for a second DWI, regardless of your BAC, you must have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle you drive. Many of these devices are made by Draeger or Smart Start and they have to be calibrated frequently to ensure accuracy. The number one reason my clients violate their DWI probation is without a doubt ignition interlock violations.If you are facing a DWI and hope to avoid having an interlock device installed on your vehicle contact the Law Office of Lance Turnbow. In a lot of my cases I can find a way to avoid the interlock requirement and in many cases avoid probation entirely.
If you are pulled over in Oklahoma and accused of drinking and driving, it is likely that you will be asked to participate in various field sobriety tests such as a portable breath test. The majority of the tests that are given are actually even difficult for sober people to complete with 100% accuracy, and are therefore considered to induce a guilty result. Once a field sobriety test is failed, the officer then has probable cause to make the arrest. Refusal of a test may itself result in probable cause for your arrest, but will end up in less strong evidence that could be held against you further down the line.
To answer the question at stake, “can I refuse a portable breath test?” The answer is, not only can you refuse it, but it is actually advised that you refuse it if you have put any alcohol into your system at all. The reason for this is that the test measures your blood alcohol concentration, but not your level of impairment; and impairment levels are different for different people in relation to said blood alcohol concentration. For example, for some people, their level of blood alcohol concentration will be above the legal limit, but they are still not incurring any level of impairment.
If you are arrested, regardless of your refusal or consent, you must clearly state to the police officer that you want an attorney, by doing so, any questioning will have to be postponed until your Oklahoma City DWI attorney is present. According to the Implied Consent Law, prior to your arrest on suspicion of a DUI, you will then be asked to receive a test for the analysis of the alcohol content of your blood. The police officer is required to read you the Implied Consent Warning before your consent and submission to the test. Although, in this case, you do still have the right to refuse the test, but said refusal will result in automatic suspension of your license. This in itself will be of separate offense from any potential DUI charges you may still potentially incur. Even if said blood alcohol test does not result in your favor, an experienced DWI lawyer can still provide you with an adequate defense case.
There are serious consequences to a DUI offense, whether it’s a first offense or a misdemeanor DUI conviction, and the repercussions can affect you for the rest of your life. From jail, to license suspension, to expensive fines and insurance costs, to permanent record implications that can affect your education, or career, and future finances, these are among the many reasons as to why it is so important that you hire a skilled DUI attorney to assist you in your case. If you are looking for a DWI lawyer in Oklahoma City, here at Worden Law, we are confident in our ability to help you fight to the win. Don’t hesitate to contact us today, and let us help you get your life back on track.
Jury found Client Not Guilty of DUI with two prior DUI convictions!After a three day jury trial, my client was found NOT GUILTY of DUI and driving with blood alcohol concentration over .08. There were special allegations of two prior DUI convictions. If found guilty, he could have been subject to 120 days minimum jail and indefinite loss of his driving privileges.The arresting officer testified along with two California Department of Justice experts for the prosecution. Blood alcohol evidence was presented that my client’s BAC was .10, 45 minutes after arrest.A single defense expert and witness testified for the defense. Evidence of a Rising Blood Alcohol was presented. Additionally, the court excluded the evidence of a preliminary alcohol test taken in the field because the peace officer failed to inform my client of his right to refuse the test.The jury reached its verdict in just over one hour of deliberations.
I Am Innocent! Why Should I Hire A Criminal Attorney?
If you are taking prescription drugs, please be aware that you can be charged and convicted of a DUI – and you can even face jail and a suspended license.
If you are using any prescription that causes drowsiness or dizziness, please do NOT drive because you can be charged with a DUI even if you have small amounts of narcotics in your system.
There are even more complications when you drink alcohol while you are taking medication. It is impossible to know what effects the alcohol and medication will have in your system and the consequences of driving after consuming alcohol with medication can turn deadly and you can be charged with a felony DUI if you injure or kill someone as a result of your driving.
The Sixth Amendment gives the right to represent oneself, but that does not mean you should do it.
For a defendant to represent himself, there must be a knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver, giving up the right to an attorney. A defendant must make the request, but the judge is not required to grant the request.
When a defendant chooses self-representation, the court will require a hearing in order to evaluate a person’s competency where the trial judge will ask legal questions to evaluate whether the defendant is competent. The test the judge uses is whether the defendant is intelligently waiving the right to counsel. Even if the judge finds the defendant competent, the court may appoint a standby counsel to assist.
If the defendant exercises his right to self-representation, the defendant cannot later complain that the quality of his defense denied him effective assistance of counsel.
Do I have a Right to a Lawyer?
A defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches when the government initiates adversarial criminal proceedings. Arraignments are the first of many criminal proceedings and thus, the assistance of counsel clause is guaranteed by all defendants in misdemeanor and felony cases.
The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to have an attorney represent him. If the defendant cannot afford an attorney, one must be appointed at the state’s expense. The attorney must give effective assistance, and the representation must be conflict free.
Do I Get a Pick My Own Lawyer?
Most people do not know that if you retain your own attorney, you have a right to choose the attorney. By hiring an attorney that best suits your needs, you will obtain a DUI or criminal lawyer that has experience, knowledge of the law, and will provide you with proactive strategies to obtain the best possible results.
What If There is a Conflict of Interest?
Defendants must also receive conflict free representation. Lawyers have conflict of interests when one client has an interest adverse to those of the other client. The most common example is simultaneous representation. An attorney may not concurrently represent multiple defendants (co-defendants) in a criminal case.
Likewise, an attorney cannot represent a new client when there was previous representation of a witness, victim, or other co-defendants. Lawyers owe a duty of loyalty to their clients and forcing an attorney to jointly represent forces the lawyer to choose between the clients. When there is a conflict of interest, the judge must appoint new counsel that is free from the conflict.
How Do I Know If I Need a Lawyer?
If you do not know if you need legal counsel, the best way to find out is contacting an honest and reputable criminal defense law firm. By contacting an experienced lawyer immediately can help you, especially when you are innocent of the charges against you.
Kyle Gindorff, age 31, of Lake Geneva, performed poorly on standardized field sobriety tests and refused a preliminary breath test.
MILWAUKEE, WI — Tuesday morning, at about 3:50 a.m., deputies responded to a call of a driver slumped over the wheel of his car on the I-43 westbound S. 76th Street off-ramp.
According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s office, Kyle Gindorff, age 31, of Lake Geneva, performed poorly on standardized field sobriety tests and refused a preliminary breath test. He was arrested for Driving Under the Influence-5th offense. Gindorff has a pending DUI-5th offense from May of this year, and if convicted on that prior charge, this arrest will become a DUI-6th offense.
Gindorff’s driver’s license was in revoked status, and he had an open beer in the center console. In addition to the felony DUI-5th and DUI-5th party to a crime charges, he faces felony Bail Jumping, misdemeanor Operating While Revoked, and traffic citations for Parking/Standing where Prohibited and Keep Open Intoxicants in Motor Vehicle.
If convicted of all charges, Gindorff faces potential imprisonment of up to 26 years.