Snowden facing DUI charge

Co-authored 2013 drunk driving legislation

Rogelio V. Solis, AP

State Rep. Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, during floor debate in 2015.

House Pro Tem Greg Snowden, R-Meridian, who was charged with driving under the influence Thursday after refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test, was co-author of legislation dealing with the state’s implied consent laws.

Under the implied consent laws, a law enforcement officer who has “reasonable grounds and probable cause” to believe someone is driving under the influence can require that person to submit to a chemical test. The  person who refuses to  submit to “the chemical test,” such as a breathalyzer, loses his or her license for at least 90 days.

The suspension for not submitting to the test would be in addition to the suspension and penalty that would occur if convicted of driving under the influence.

Snowden, an attorney, told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, which first reported the story, he failed the field sobriety test because of bad knees and did not submit to the chemical test because he had heard lawyers say it was best not to. He said he was not intoxicated but engaged in activity on his cell phone when he collided with another vehicle in his hometown of Meridian.

In 2013, Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, introduced and passed legislation that would give people convicted of a DUI the option of having a device – ignition-interlock device – placed in their vehicle for a period of time rather than having their driver’s license suspended. The device would require the driver to take a breathalyzer before the vehicle would crank.

The bill also made changes to the state’s implied consent law to conform to the new regulations concerning the ignition-interlock device. Snowden was one of several House members to co-sponsor the legislation introduced by Gunn.

Asked if Gunn had any comments on Snowden’s arrest, spokesperson Meg Annison said, the speaker is out of the country, but “We do not have any details at the moment, other than what we are reading and hearing. We take issues like this very seriously.”

Snowden, who holds the No. 2 position in the House, did not response to inquiries Friday.

In 2016, Snowden’s counterpart in the Senate, Pro Tem Terry Burton, R-Newton, was found not guilty of a DUI charge in Scott County. He said cough syrup he took right after a wreck resulted in  a “false positive” being recorded on his breathalyzer test.

In 2014, state Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, pleaded no contest to a DUI charge. With a no contest plea, an accused does not admit guilt but accepts the punishment without going to trial.

Legislators have the opportunity to take part in various social functions – often conducted by lobbyists – where liquor, beer and wine are available.

“We are exposed to more social largess than the average population,” said Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, who said he did not know about the Snowden case. “That is no excuse, just a fact. But some people have more tolerance than others.”

Sen. David Jordan, D-Greenwood, said, “We do get invitations to a lot of activities, especially during the session. You are put in positions where you have to be careful.”


Snowden, facing DUI charge, co-authored 2013 drunk driving legislation

Fact Checker: Beto O’Rourke falsely claimed that he did not try to leave the scene of a DWI

“I did not try to leave the scene of the accident, though driving drunk, which I did, is a terrible mistake for which there is no excuse or justification or defense, and I will not try to provide one.”

–Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, Senate candidate, during a Feb. 21 debate

– – –

During a debate with his rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, O’Rourke was asked point blank about a drunk-driving incident when he was 26 years old: Did he try to leave the scene of the accident? The House Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News had recently obtained the police reports of the incident and reported he had done so.

O’Rourke responded with what appeared to be a well-practiced answer. He flatly denied trying to leave the scene of the accident but added that his drunk driving arrest was a “terrible mistake” and he would not provide an excuse. He then segued into a riff about the importance of second chances.

Cruz, for his part, said he would not discuss the issue but diverted to a discussion of O’Rourke’s sponsorship of resolution in 2009 to debate legalizing narcotics when he was on the El Paso city council. Interestingly, Cruz appeared to try to make his point factcheck-proof; he had earlier earned a “false” from PolitiFact Texas for saying the resolution was to legalize all narcotics, rather than just debate the issue.

O’Rourke’s assertion that he did not try to leave the scene of the accident, however, is disputed by the police records. So that’s worthy of a fact check.

At about 3 a.m. on Sept. 27, 1998, in Anthony, Texas, a suburb 20 miles north of El Paso on the border with New Mexico, police officer Richard Carrera was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident near the Texas 1-mile mark of Interstate-10.

He met with the driver, identified as Robert Francis O’Rourke, and asked him what had happened: “The defendant advised in a slurred speech that he had caused an accident,” Carrera wrote in his complaint charging O’Rourke with driving while intoxicated.

In another report in the records, filed with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Carrera wrote that “defendant was unable to be understood due to slurred speech” and that he had “glossy eyes” and “breath that smelled of an alcohol beverage.” When Carrera asked O’Rourke step out of the vehicle, he “almost fell to the floor” and was repeatedly unable to complete a test of standing on one leg. He “failed by totally losing his balance.”

When O’Rourke blew into a breathalyzer, the results were a Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.136 and 0.134. The legal state limit in Texas at the time was 0.10; a year later, it was lowered to 0.08. With a BAC of between 0.130 and 0.159, a person experiences: “Gross motor impairment and lack of physical control. Blurred vision and major loss of balance. Euphoria is reducing and beginning dysphoria (a state of feeling unwell).” For a male of 190 pounds, O’Rourke’s weight as listed in the police report, that BAC is reached after six drinks.

O’Rourke’s birthday is Sept. 26, so he had this accident the night of his 26th birthday. He listed his occupation as salesman. (He had just moved back to El Paso from New York and was starting an internet service company.)

In his DWI interview, O’Rourke said he had last eaten at 7 p.m. – pasta – and had drunk two beers. He also mentioned that he had a cold earlier.

The accident had been observed by a witness. He told Carrera that O’Rourke, driving a Volvo, had passed him a high rate of speed through a 75 mph zone and then lost control and “struck a truck traveling the same direction.” O’Rourke’s car then crossed the large grassy center median and came to a stop.

“The defendant/driver then attempted to leave the scene,” Carrera reported. “The reporter then turned on his overhead lights to warn oncoming traffic and try to get the defendant to stop.”

Similar information appears in another document, the incident and crime report: “The driver attempted to leave the accident but was stopped by the reporter.”

There are some inconsistencies in the police records – O’Rourke’s Volvo is described as both black and green and he’s traveling either west or east – but the witness who viewed the crash is twice described as saying that O’Rourke tried to leave the scene of the accident. The witness is not identified. We could not locate Carrera for further comment.

The charges were dismissed after O’Rourke, whose father had been a local judge, completed a court-approved diversion program, the Chronicle said.

An O’Rourke campaign spokesman did not respond to emails or text messages.

At The Fact Checker, we place a high value on contemporaneous records. The police reports show not only that O’Rourke was highly intoxicated but that a witness to accident said he tried to leave the scene.

O’Rourke was so drunk that he could barely get out of the car without falling, so perhaps he would not have gotten far – or he was simply confused. Perhaps in his memory, O’Rourke believes he did not try to leave. But, given his BAC level at the time of the accident, O’Rourke’s memory 20 years after the fact is not nearly as credible as the police reports written just hours after the accident.

O’Rourke could have dodged the question during the debate or he could have said his memory is not clear from that night. Instead, he chose to dispute the factual record. We also believe in second chances and O’Rourke should revise his answer if given another opportunity. In the meantime, he earns Four Pinocchios.

Man allegedly drove drunk into utility pole, knocked out power to Yarmouth neighborhood

Christopher Doyle, 48 of Groveland
Christopher Doyle, 48 of Groveland

A 48-year-old man was arrested Sunday for allegedly driving drunk and crashing into a utility pole that fell on top of his car on Route 28 in West Yarmouth, knocking out the power in a nearby neighborhood, police said.

Christopher M. Doyle of Groveland was charged with operating under the influence of liquor, operating a motor vehicle negligently as to endanger, and a marked lanes violation, police said.

A witness who was driving behind Doyle told police Doyle was traveling all over the road on the westbound side, crossing over lanes seven times, Yarmouth Deputy Chief Steven Xiarhos said.

The witness then saw Doyle drive his truck into a utility pole that knocked the power out for an unknown amount of time in a nearby neighborhood, Xiarhos said.

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When Yarmouth officers and firefighters arrived around 1:17 a.m., Doyle was sitting on a fence, uninjured, and his car was pinned down by the fallen pole, Xiarhos said.

Officers smelled alcohol in his breath and made him take several sobriety tests, which he failed, Xiarhos said.

Doyle was immediately placed under arrest in the Yarmouth Police Department.

He was released on personal recognizance after paying a $40 fee, police said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Doyle is expected to be arraigned Monday in Barnstable District Court.

Police say former Bedford law director charged with OVI

Police say former Bedford law director charged with OVI

BEDFORD, Ohio — The former law director of Bedford was arrested Friday night and charged with OVI.

According to a report from Bedford police, an anonymous call was received, reporting a drunk driver in a white Chevy SUV on Broadway.

An officer at Southwick and Broadway spotted a vehicle which matched that description. The report states the officer observed numerous traffic violations including an illegal u-turn which almost caused an accident.

At that time, a traffic stop was initiated.

Police say the driver, Kenneth Schuman, was arrested for OVI and taken to the Bedford jail. According to the report, Schuman provided a breath sample of .235 percent.

He was charged with OVI and other traffic offenses.

Schuman was arrested in 2014 in Twinsburg on an OVI charge.

Drunken driver flees from police 3 times, backs into police car, gets stuck on retaining wall

BARABOO, Wis. – A drunken driver found asleep at the wheel Saturday morning drove away from police three times, backed into a deputy’s patrol vehicle and tried to rock his truck free from a retaining wall, deputies said.

Sauk County sheriff’s deputies responded around 11:10 a.m. to the area of Terrytown and Cornfield roads for a report of a truck doing donuts in a field, according to a release.

Deputies found a vehicle in the yard of a private residence with a driver, 20-year-old Quentin D. Labansky, passed out in the front seat, officials said. When deputies made contact with Labansky, he started to back up and hit one of the patrol vehicles parked in the driveway.

Labansky then drove forward through the yard and sped off, according to the release. Deputies pursued Labansky for a short time until he stopped and appeared to be cooperating with deputies, until he sped off again through the yard of another residence and then onto Terrytown Road.

Deputies terminated the pursuit, but Labansky’s truck was eventually seen in Baraboo, where officers attempted to stop it again, officials said. Labansky drove into a yard in Ridge Street and got hung up on a retaining wall.

Labansky continued to rock the truck, attempting to free it from the retaining wall, according to the release. Officers had to break out both windows and hit Labansky with a Taser to get him to comply.

Labansky was arrested on tentative charges of eluding, OWI with a controlled substance, hit-and-run causing property damage, operating after suspension and operating without insurance. He also faces tentative charges of burglary and theft from an incident not related to the pursuits.

Mizzou basketball’s Mitchell Smith arrested for DWI

COLUMBIA, MO. • Missouri basketball player Mitchell Smith was arrested for driving while intoxicated by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department early Sunday morning, according to the department’s arrest log. Smith, 20, a redshirt sophomore, was arrested at 3:35 a.m. and released on $500 bond. He was also charged with possession of a suspended/revoked license.
mitchell smith mug shot
Missouri  basketball player Mithell Smith. Photo via Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

Smith was pulled over in south Columbia in the 500 block of Old Plank Road, according to a spokesman from the sheriff’s department.

No further information was immediately available.

Mizzou released the following statement: “Per Mizzou Athletics’ department policy, Mitchell has been suspended from team activities for a minimum of one week.” Under Mizzou athletics department policy, an athlete arrested for a first-offense DWI is suspended from team activities for a minimum of one week. The Tigers begin preseason practice this week.

Smith has missed most of the last two seasons while recovering from a knee injury suffered in January 2017. He’s expected to push for playing time this season. The Van Buren, Ark., native joined the program in 2016 under former coach Kim Anderson.

Smith is the second Mizzou basketball player arrested for DWI in the last six months. Former player Jordan Barnett was arrested in March, costing him a chance to play in the Tigers’ final game of the season in the NCAA Tournament.

Car lands on roof of supermarket, driver arrested for DWI

A car ended up on the roof of a Pittsburgh supermarket early Saturday morning.

Police said they responded to a call around 4 a.m. at the Greenfield Giant Eagle.

When they arrived, they found a car on the roof with the driver standing next to it.

Giant Eagle employees were evacuated.

Police said the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and could not negotiate a bend in the road. The driver then struck a curb, went airborne and landed on the roof, police said.

The driver was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Man, 25, charged with DUI for riding Bird scooter on sidewalk in Santa Monica

  • A 25-year-old man was stopped by LAPD West Traffic over the weekend at a DUI checkpoint in Santa Monica 
  • The man was riding on the sidewalk, which is against the law 
  • Bird scooters also state in their user agreement that riders can not be under the influence of alcohol 

Bird scooters have become a growing nuisance on the West Coast and now they are responsible for at least one DUI.

A 25-year-old man was stopped by LAPD West Traffic over the weekend at a DUI checkpoint in Santa Monica.

The man made two obvious mistakes that led to his eventual charges.

A 25-year-old man was stopped by LAPD West Traffic over the weekend at a DUI checkpoint in Santa Monica

A 25-year-old man was stopped by LAPD West Traffic over the weekend at a DUI checkpoint in Santa Monica


First, he was riding on the sidewalk and riders are supposed to ride solely on the street.

Second, his breath also reeked of booze and the man was said to have refused taking a breathalyzer test.

Bird scooters also state in their user agreement that riders can not be under the influence of alcohol

Bird scooters also state in their user agreement that riders can not be under the influence of alcohol


The man was eventually arrested for a misdemeanor DUI after he failed the sobriety test.

Bird’s user agreement does state that riders are not to be operated under the influence of alcohol.

The man’s identity is currently unknown.

Trooper: Drunken Missouri Man Dragged Horse Behind His Truck

Authorities say a drunken southwestern Missouri man badly injured a horse by dragging it behind his pickup truck until he was stopped by angry onlookers.

MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a drunken southwestern Missouri man badly injured a horse by dragging it behind his pickup truck until he was stopped by angry witnesses.

Sasha Martinez told KSPR that she, her daughter and a friend saw the horse tied to the pickup Saturday as it drove down the road next to their Wright County home at 15-20 mph. She said she thought it was odd, but hoped the driver was going to drop the horse off at a nearby home. Martinez said about two hours later, they saw the truck driving down the road going the opposite way. She said her 12-year-old daughter went out to the road and started hollering “Mom, the horse has dropped and he’s dragging her.”

Martinez said the driver wouldn’t stop until she stood in front of his truck and grabbed the grill.

When two Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers arrived, they found several people arguing with a man who was holding a horse with severe road rash injuries over most of its body, trooper J. Piccinino wrote in a probable cause statement. The horse’s bloody hoof prints and the drag marks indicated that it had been dragged and walked up and down the road for about one-half mile.

According to Piccinino’s statement, the truck’s driver, 63-year-old Curtis Campbell, said he was pulling the 15-year-old mare Fox Trotter with his truck to “train her.” When the trooper asked how the horse was injured, Campbell said it had laid down and he was trying to get her to stand up, but he said he didn’t drag the animal. When the trooper asked Campbell a second time how the horse was injured, he said it was hurt in a pasture and continued to deny that he had dragged it, Piccinino wrote.


Campbell, of Mountain Grove, was charged Thursday with animal abuse, driving while intoxicated and failing to register a motor vehicle.

The statement also said Campbell failed two blood-alcohol tests.

Campbell’s attorney, Joseph Passanise, said in a statement that Campbell, known as “Dowe,” has lived in the Wright County area of more than 30 years, has a reputation for being a kind and helpful neighbor and has no prior criminal record.

“This has been an unfortunate incident and (Campbell) is deeply ashamed for bring this kind of attention to himself, family and community,” Passanise said. “Animals have been a big part of his life and he has always treated animals with love and care. He would never intentionally or knowingly cause injury or suffering or fail to provide adequate care to result in substantial harm to an animal.”

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Kinder said the injured horse was taken to a veterinarian in Mountain Grove. A woman who answered the phone there said the clinic could not provide information on the horse’s condition.