Drunk birds are causing havoc in a Minnesota town. Police say they’ll sober up soon.

Police in Gilbert, Minn., are warning residents about a group of youthful residents unable to handle their alcohol. They’ve been drifting around town looking disoriented, narrowly avoiding getting hit by cars.

But these aren’t teenagers getting drunk. Instead, it’s the local bird population.

“The Gilbert Police Department has received several reports of birds that appear to be ‘under the influence’ flying into windows, cars and acting confused,” Police Chief Ty Techar wrote in a statement Tuesday. An early frost meant that berries had fermented earlier than usual, he explained, and birds were eating them and getting drunk.

Incidents around town involving intoxicated birds appear to be more prevalent than in past years, Techar added, because many have not yet migrated south. “It appears that some birds are getting a little more ‘tipsy’ than normal,” he wrote. “Generally, younger birds’ livers cannot handle the toxins as efficiently as more mature birds.”

He concluded: “There is no need to call law enforcement about these birds as they should sober up within a short period of time.”

A number of Gilbert residents commented on the Facebook post and thanked the police department for explaining why the birds had been acting so strangely. One woman wrote that she had found three dead birds on her deck recently, while another described quickly slamming on her brakes when a bird flew directly into her windshield. “This explains why I have hit 7 birds with my car this week,” commented another.

“I was going to say something . . . but I thought I was crazy!!!” wrote one resident. “This has been happening to me!” She added, “I know this post is a joke . . . but seriously . . . 2 birds dove into my windshield both on the way to work and on the way home . . . I was wondering what was going on.”

Another commenter joked, “There goes the chance of any bird from Northern MN ever being on the Supreme Court.”

The police news release ended with a suggestion that residents of the small northern Minnesota town call if they see “Angry Birds laughing and giggling uncontrollably and appearing to be happy” or “Tweety acting as if 10 feet tall and getting into confrontations with cats.”

Jokes aside, however, birds really can get intoxicated by eating fermented berries. A group of California scientists who performed necropsies on several flocks of cedar waxwings that had collided with hard surfaces found that all of them had recently gorged on overripe berries. “Flying under the influence of ethanol” had led to the birds’ deaths, they concluded in a 2012 study published in theJournal of Ornithology.

Obviously, birds can’t exactly take a breathalyzer test. Matthew Dodder, a self-described “bird guy” with four decades of birding experience who leads classes in Palo Alto, Calif., told The Washington Post that the key giveaway to tell whether birds are drunk is their goofy behavior.

“They’ll be flying kind of erratically,” he said. “We typically see them flying lower than usual through traffic. They’re just careless and they’re not looking for cars or other obstacles.”

Certain bird species, such as robins, cedar waxwings and thrushes, are the most prone to drunken antics since they eat more berries than other species such as warblers and flycatchers that primarily eat insects. And as they prepare to fly south for winter, they may overindulge in an attempt to store up fat for the journey, Dodder said. The birds go from bush to bush trying to find more berries, their balance getting progressively worse.

“They just get sloppy and clumsy,” Dodder said. “They have actually fallen out of trees on occasion.”

In Portland, Ore., the Audubon Society operates what’s essentially a drunk tank for birds. “We get in birds into our Wildlife Care Center in the fall that are drunk on fermenting berries,” Bob Sallinger, the conservation director for the Audubon Society of Portland, wrote in an email. “Sometimes they are picked up after crashing into windows. Others are just found disoriented on the ground. We will hold them in captivity until they sober up and then set them free.”

The same thing happens in Canada’s Yukon Territory, where animal welfare officials will gently place intoxicated birds in small hamster cages until they’re ready to fly again a few hours later.

As humorous as it might sound, binging on berries can be deadly for birds. Portland has seen multiple incidents in the past decade where between 30 and 50 robins have suddenly turned up dead because of suspected alcohol poisoning. In 2011, police were called to investigate the suspicious deaths of 12 blackbirds at an elementary school in Britain, but a necropsy revealed the birds had not been the victims of foul play and instead may have just eaten too many fermented rowan berries.

Because intoxicated birds also have a tendency of smashing into things, the Audubon Society recommends putting decals on windows and other large reflective surfaces. And if you do come across a drunk bird that has survived a collision, Dodder recommends contacting an animal rescue or wildlife rehabilitation center.

“Sometimes, they just need a bit of time in a quiet setting to recover,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Gilbert, police are asking residents to call if they spot Woodstock pushing Snoopy off the doghouse for no apparent reason, Big Bird operating a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner, or the Roadrunner darting in and out of traffic on Main Street. Or, they suggested, any birds making a late-night run to Taco Bell.


Woman charged after police find her passed out in car with children crying in back seat

MASSILLON, Ohio – A Massillon woman has been charged after police say they found her passed out behind the wheel with her two small children in the back seat, according to CantonRep.com.

Diane Triplett, 38, was charged with possession of cocaine, aggravated drug possession, operating a vehicle while impaired and endangering children, police officials confirmed.

According to CantonRep.com, police found two wrappers inside the car that contained drugs. Triplett’s children were crying in the back seat when officers arrived at the car.

Triplett is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday at 8:45 a.m.


Council member sentenced in drunken driving case

CEDAR FALLS – A Cedar Falls City Council member was sentenced to two days in jail — or two days at a community college class — after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

Mark Anthony Miller, 42, pleaded to first-offense operating while intoxicated in Black Hawk County District Court on Friday.

Assistant County Attorney Molly Edwards had sought four days in jail because of Miller’s high blood-alcohol content — he blew a .215 on a breath test, more than twice the legal limit to drive — and the fact he was stopped while driving down the wrong side of the road.

But Judge Brook Jacobsen sided with the defense, sentencing Miller to two days in jail and one year of self probation. Another 88 days in jail were suspended.

Under the sentence, Miller can take part in an operating while intoxicated program through Hawkeye Community College in lieu of jail time, which is a standard option for first-time drunken driving convictions. The class, which costs $450 and is held at a local hotel, usually starts on a Friday night and runs all day Saturday and Sunday.

Miller was also ordered to pay a $1,250 fine, $140 in court costs and a $447 surcharge for a total of $1,837. Half of the fine and surcharges can be waived if he acquires a temporary restricted license and an ignition interlock device.

A University of Northern Iowa police officer pulled over Miller on 18th Street shortly after 1 a.m. June 2.

Miller was elected to the City Council in 2013, serving the city’s First Ward.

UPDATE: Cedar Falls Council member Mark Miller charged with OWI

Moline suspends captains in chief’s OWI case

Two Moline police captains who were with Police Chief John Hitchcock when he was cited for drunk driving in September have been suspended for five days because they did not prevent him from driving while impaired.

Hitchcock was stopped the evening of Sept. 7 by an Iowa State Patrol trooper who clocked him going 90 mph in a 65-mph zone near mile marker 131 on southbound U.S. 61 in Scott County. Hitchcock was taken to the Eldridge Police Department, where a test recorded his blood alcohol content at .201, according to reports.

As a result of the stop, Hitchcock has been cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, first offense, and speeding.

Capt. Trevor Fisk and Capt. Brian Johnson were with Hitchcock at the time of the traffic stop, according to the city.

The captains witnessed the chief drinking and should have stopped him from driving, Doug Maxeiner, Moline city administrator, said Wednesday in a news release.

“I find discipline is warranted for the failure of the captains to act to prevent Hitchcock from operating a motor vehicle while impaired,” he said in the release.

While they did not act when needed during this incident, Fisk and Johnson cooperated during the stop and following the investigation, and were remorseful and forthcoming, Maxeiner said.

“I am confident both Fisk and Johnson will continue to be effective in their leadership roles in the city,” Maxeiner said.

Hitchcock also cooperated during the stop, and there is also no indication he attempted to influence the trooper or the investigation, the release stated.

A ruling on Hitchcock’s status was still pending Wednesday.


Mayor arrested for DWI

Leonard Mayor Steven Bolin was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated following a traffic stop on Saturday night.

Leonard Police Department Chief Brian Meserole said at approximately 5:30 p.m. Saturday, 911 dispatchers received a call of a possible intoxicated driver near the intersection of U.S. Route 69 and East Fannin Street. Leonard Police responded to the scene and conducted a traffic stop of the reported vehicle. Once officers identified Bolin as the driver, Meserole said the investigation was immediately turned over to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“Obviously there’s the conflict of interest — he is our mayor,” Meserole said of why that decision was made. “The best option for the city and the police department was to turn it over to another jurisdiction.”

In a statement provided by text message, DPS Staff Sgt. Mark Tackett said Bolin was allegedly found with an open container in the vehicle and was arrested, without incident, for DWI. It was unclear whether DPS troopers conducted a field sobriety test at the scene, but Meserole said he understood that investigators had taken blood samples from Bolin and were still awaiting the toxicology results Monday morning. Tackett said Bolin was booked into the Fannin County Jail on Saturday, but a representative of the correctional facility said he had posted a $4,000 bond and was released.

A Leonard city employee, who answered the phone, declined to comment Monday, and referred to a statement posted on the city’s website.

“While the events surrounding Mayor Bolin’s momentary indiscretion are unfortunate, the case remains open and, as such, we do not comment on open investigations,” the statement read. “Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”

Bolin was elected as Leonard’s mayor in May 2016 and previously served as a city council member.


Cardi B turns herself into police after apparently ‘ordering attack’ on strip club workers

Cardi B turned herself over to New York City police Monday morning regarding charges stemming from an alleged strip club altercation that occurred on August 29.

The rapper, whose real name is Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, was charged with reckless endangerment and assault, a NYPD spokesperson told The Independent.

The fight reportedly occurred at the Angels Strip Club in Flushing, New York – where the singer’s husband Offset was performing.

© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media LimitedWhile the full details of the incident are not clear, TMZ reported the charges are related to an altercation that occurred after Cardi B reportedly ordered an attack on two bartenders.

Joe Tacopina, the lawyer for the bartenders, called the attacks “vicious” and told People: “Cardi B ordered and committed violent assaults against my clients, and is being called to justice for her crimes. Apparently, she thinks her celebrity status puts her above the law, since she has bragged to multiple people and on social media that she orchestrated these vicious attacks.”

The charges are related to an altercation that occurred after Cardi B reportedly ordered an attack on two bartenders.© GETTY The charges are related to an altercation that occurred after Cardi B reportedly ordered an attack on two bartenders.Cardi B has since been released from the 109th Precinct after she was fingerprinted and had her mugshot taken.

She will appear in court on October 29.

Nicki Minaj was allegedly attacked by fellow rapper Cardi B during a New York Fashion Week party last month.© ASSOCIATED PRESS Nicki Minaj was allegedly attacked by fellow rapper Cardi B during a New York Fashion Week party last month.The rapper previously found herself embroiled in controversy after allegedly attacking fellow rapper Nicki Minaj during a New York Fashion Week party last month.


Are women at a disadvantage in DUI breath testing?

Does the DUI breath test discriminate against women?

Washington DUI lawyer Ziad Youssef, founder of mytrafficman.net, has been researching this topic for several months. What he’s discovered is that the DUI machine that all drivers submit to after being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol should adjust breath results based on factors like sex, height, weight and more, but does not.

“Washington uses the breath test to predict the level of alcohol in someone’s blood, but the breath test instruments do not adjust for physiological differences between people of different sexes or ages, for example,” Youssef says.

Smaller lung capacity can affect results

This is important because in the research article Sex Differences in Respiratory Function, the authors explained the differences they discovered between respiratory systems of men and women, and concluded that statistically, women do have a smaller respiratory system, meaning a smaller lung capacity than men.

And, according to researchers Michael P. Hlastala and Joseph C. Anderson, the smaller lung capacity can have an effect on the results of a breathalyzer test.

Specifically, when the alcohol breath test is being administered, the subject is asked to inhale ambient air and then exhale into the breath test a minimum of 1.5 liters of air. According to the statistics, in order to satisfy the 1.5 liter minimum requirement, a female driver with smaller lung capacity would have to exhale deeper into her lungs than a male driver of the same height, weight and age.

Exaggerated readings possible

Youssef argues that requiring females to blow deeper into their lung capacity than men is unlawful discrimination because, according to the article Physiological Aspects of Breath-Alcohol Measurements, the majority of the alcohol exhaled from the lungs comes from the deeper section of one’s lungs.

“In other words, the closer a person is to reaching the end of their total lung capacity, the more concentrated the results will be, and that means a higher breath test reading will result,” Youssef says.

“Consequently, women are put in greater jeopardy of giving an exaggerated reading.”

Youssef suggests that if the State wants to know what intoxicants are in a driver’s blood, they shouldn’t estimate it from breath, they should justify a warrant to the judge like the 4th Amendment requires and perform a blood test.

Are women at a disadvantage in DUI breath testing?

Lawnmower DWI case to proceed

A court has reinstated DWI charges for a Montegut man accused of driving drunk on a riding lawnmower last year.

Burt Vogel was charged with his second DWI and driving with a suspended license on May 14, 2017, after a state trooper caught him driving a lawnmower on La. 55 while under the influence, prosecutors said.

After failing a field sobriety test, Vogel was taken to the Terrebonne Parish jail, where he submitted to a breath test that indicated a blood-alcohol content of .258 percent, authorities said. The legal limit for blood-alcohol content in Louisiana is .08 percent.

Vogel asked District court Judge David Arceneaux to throw out the charges, contending that a lawnmower does not technically count as a motor vehicle. During a hearing on Sept. 13, 2017, Arceneaux agreed with the defendant and dismissed the charges.

The law defines a DWI as “the operating of any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel or other means of conveyance” while the operator is under the influence.

Prosecutors appealed Arceneaux’s ruling with the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal on Feb. 8, contending the trial court erred in granting the defendant’s request.

The state claimed Vogel was driving the lawnmower to transport himself from one place to another, thus his DWI arrest was in accordance with the law.

In its Sept. 24 ruling, the appellate court sided with prosecutors and reversed Arceneaux’s decision to toss out Vogel’s charges.

“The words ‘motor vehicle,’ ‘aircraft’ and ‘vessel’ refer to inanimate objects of which the operation and control is dependent on the actions of the driver,” the court wrote. “The Traffic Code, itself entitled ‘Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation,’ provides a definition for ‘motor vehicle’ as well as ‘vehicle.’ ‘Motor vehicle,’ in pertinent part, means every vehicle which is self-propelled. ‘Vehicle,’ in pertinent part, means every device by which persons or things may be transported upon a public highway or bridge, except devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

“Considering the plain words of the statute and consistent with the legislative history, we find that the legislature intended to protect the public from the type of actions alleged in this case,” the court continued. “The legislative history implies a legislative concern to regulate the use and operation of any motor vehicle or other means of conveyance and to safeguard the people of this sate from injury or death caused by drivers who operate their self-propelled vehicles while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs.”

Although there may be circumstances where the DWI law does not apply to lawnmowers, Vogel’s case is not one of them, the court said.

Assistant District Attorney Ellen Doskey, who handles appeals for the 32nd Judicial District, said she agreed with the ruling.

“The Court of Appeal said that a riding lawnmower is a motor vehicle when used as a means of conveyance, which is what the statute says,” Doskey said. “You can charge someone with DWI if they’re using a riding lawnmower as a means of conveyance. That’s the bottom line.”

Vogel’s case mirrors a similar pending DWI case in Lafourche Parish.

Brian Cheramie, 59, of Cut Off, was charged with his second DWI about 12:15 a.m. May 19 after deputies saw him swerve into the westbound lane of traffic and travel back to the shoulder while riding a lawnmower on La. 3162, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Lafourche Chief Public Defender Mark Plaisance asked District Court Judge Steven Miller to dismiss Cheramie’s DWI due to some confusion in the legal language regarding what a vehicle actually is.

During a phone interview Monday, Plaisance said he did not feel the appellate court’s recent ruling would affect his case.

“I think in that case the First Circuit came up with a more factual ruling that defined a lawnmower as a vehicle,” Plaisance said. “I’m asking for a ruling of law rather than a ruling of fact. I think the cases are distinguishable from that perspective. The law is still vague. I’m still hopeful and somewhat confident that I can convince the judge.”

Actor Dalip Tahil arrested for drunk driving

Film and television actor Dalip Tahil was arrested for driving under the influence by Khar police in Mumbai. The incident occurred 9 pm when an autorickshaw carrying Jenita Gandhi and her friend Gaurav Chugh was reportedly hit from behind by Tahil’s car.

Dalip Tahil wearing a pink shirt© Provided by ScreenGandhi and Chugh approached the car and asked the driver to step out and realised it was Tahil. “We noted down the number of the car. Meanwhile, Mr. Tahil started arguing and pushed us. Mr. Chugh called the police and a team from Khar police station reached the spot, and took all of us to the station,” Gandhi said in a statement.

Dalip Tahil has been booked for causing injury due to rash and negligent driving under the Indian Penal Code and for driving under the influence of alcohol under the Motor Vehicles Act.


Former Nationals Outfielder Jayson Werth Pleads Guilty to DUI in Arizona

Former outfielder Jayson Werth pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Arizona last week in court, according to Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post.

Werth was sentenced to attend a diversion program, undergo drug and alcohol screening, pay $1,600 in fines and fees and he had his driver’s license suspended.

This all stems from an arrest that took place in April back when Werth was playing at the Mariners spring training facility. Werth was initially charged with driving under the influence, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more and driving without current registration, but the latter two charges were dropped as part of his plea agreement.

In January 2015, Werth pleaded guilty to reckless driving after he was pulled over for going 105 mph in 55-mph zone on I-495 in Virginia. He served a few days in jail for that charge.

A Mariners spokesman told The Post that the team was aware of the arrest when it happened “and took it very seriously.” He added that Werth’s time in Seattle’s minor league system was not affected because of this charge and all decisions regarding Werth playing came down to on-field performance.

Werth retired from baseball in June after a hamstring injury in the minors kept him from getting another shot at the majors with the Mariners. In his 15 years in MLB, Werth was named an All-Star once and won a World Series with the Phillies in 2008. He spent the last seven years of his career with the Nationals after spending four in Philadelphia. Prior to getting a shot with the Phillies in 2007, Werth played 41 games for the Blue Jays between 2002 and 2003 and then played on the Dodgers in 2004 and 2005.