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Is an Anonymous Tip Enough for a DUI Stop? Supreme Court Says it is

DUI graphicWashington, D.C. – The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police can pull over a driver for reckless or drunken driving based solely on an anonymous 911 tip without an officer actually witnessing the individual’s driving.

The 5-4 decision by justices can be seen as a victory for some, but as Justice Scalia wrote in his dissenting opinion “All of us on the road, and not just drug dealers, are at risk …”

The case before the Supreme Court centered on a California man who was arrested from possessing thirty pounds of marijuana in 2008 after a traffic stop which he claims violated his Fourth Amendment rights.

On that night, an unidentified woman called 911 to report that a pickup truck sideswiped her and ran her off the road. The caller was able to give a description of the vehicle including the make, model and tag number. That was enough information to locate the vehicle.

Police followed the pickup truck for five minutes before they initiated a stop. It doesn’t appear that during those five minutes the driver was being reckless, but he was pulled over regardless. As officers approached the vehicle they noticed a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the truck. In the search, police found thirty pounds of marijuana and placed the driver, Jose Prado Navarette, under arrest for drug trafficking.

Navarette challenged his arrest and charges because he said police did not have reasonable suspicion to conduct the stop. And police did not have could not identify the 911 caller and have no way to tell if the tip was reliable.

Five of the justices however disagreed with that argument and held that police can stop a […]

By |April 24th, 2014|DUI News|0 Comments|

Arizona Court Says Trace Amount of Marijuana Not Sufficient for DUI Charge

Marijuana PlantMaricopa County, AZ- The Arizona Supreme Court decided in Tuesday that driver who has only a trace amount of marijuana in their system cannot be charged with driving under the influence. A decision which will likely be looked at by other states that have marijuana DUI laws similar to Arizona.

The high court’s ruling overturns a decision by a state Court of Appeals of which said prosecutors have the right to charge a person with driving under the influence even if they have small amounts That ruling meant that a person could be charged with marijuana-DUI even if they were not actually under the influence of the drug.

Prosecutors in the state had warned the 40,000 medical marijuana users in the state to avoid driving or face DUI charges. Pot activists took issue with the warning stating that the law criminalized behavior that Arizona voters said was legal in 2010 when they approved marijuana for medicinal use.

The case before the state Supreme Court centered on a man who was charged with DUI after police found Carboxy-THC in his system. He was charged with DUI under a state law which says it is illegal for a person to drive with any drug metabolites in their system.

A trial judge threw out the charges but the Court of Appeals said DUI laws should be interpreted broadly.

In their opinion, the Arizona Supreme Court focused on the compounds that are present in the marijuana users; one that makes them impaired, Hydroxy-THC, and another which is a metabolized byproduct Carboxy-THC.

The court’s decision contends that the drivers can test positive or Carboxy-THC weeks after the intoxicating psychoactive effects of marijuana have long worn off. Deputy […]

By |April 23rd, 2014|DUI News|0 Comments|

Republican Representative Arrested for DUI after Late Night Taco Bell Run

Florida State Rep. Dane EagleTallahassee, FL- Florida state Representative Dane Eagle (R.-Cape Coral) once said elected officials “should be held to a higher standard.” But now he may have to eat those words since he was arrested for driving under the influence after making a late-night run for the border.

According to reports, Eagle was leaving the Taco Bell on West Tennessee Street  in Tallahassee when he was spotted by a police officer. Eagle started to head west, but made a U-Turn. He began heading east when he ran into a curb in front of Papa John’s, he veered over and ran into a another curb, reported.

After striking the curbs, Eagle continued traveling east and ran a red-light at the Tennessee and Dewey streets.
A Tallahassee officer initiated a stop and noticed that Eagle smelled of alcohol and had blood shot, watery eyes. When asked why he ran the red light Eagle said he thought it was yellow and told the officer he hadn’t had any alcohol beverages that night even though he was swaying as he exited his vehicle. He also blamed the strong odor of alcohol emanating from his SUV on friends who had been in his car earlier that night.

Eagle refused to submit to a breath test and told officers he was fine to drive home. He was later booked into the Leon County Jail.

Eagle’s DUI arrest is a bit ironic considering the fact that he introduced legislation that would require lawmakers, elected officials, judges, school board members and others to submit to drug testing. His bill would force any lawmakers to resign if they refuse to submit to testing, stating, “We […]

By |April 22nd, 2014|DUI News|0 Comments|

Sleeping Teen Killed When DUI Driver Plows into Bedroom

Palmdale, CA- A 16 year-old girl was killed early Sunday morning when a suspected drunken driver plowed into her bedroom.

The incident occurred at 3:50 a.m. and was discovered when a police officer on patrol noticed a van embedded inside an apartment in Palmdale. Residents of the apartment complex had detained the driver and informed the officer that someone could have been in the room when the crash occurred, according to the Los Angeles Times. Witnesses said the driver lived across the street from where the accident occurred.

The officer could not get into the room at first but firefighters who were called to the scene were able to gain entry and found the victim inside. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

“The driver was at a high rate of speed and either tried to turn or lost control, impacted the curb and went into the apartment building,” Sergeant David Sauer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told News 7.

The Los Angeles County Coroner identified the victim as 16 year-old Giselle Mendoza.

Police suspected that the driver, 20 year-old Roberto Rodriquez, was intoxicated at the time of the crash and are waiting for the results of a toxicology test. He is currently being charged with suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, but his charges could change once police receive the results of the chemical test.

Rodriquez also sustained minor injuries in the crash and was taken to a local hospital or treatment.

Several of the units adjacent to the damaged apartment had to be evacuated so building inspectors could determine if it is structurally sound.

Causing a fatal or injurious accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense and it is treated as such […]

By |April 21st, 2014|DUI News|0 Comments|

Woman Sentenced to Eight Years for Drugged Driving Accident

Anti pyschotic 300x200Rogersville, TN- Keila Rose Reed, a Rogersville woman who had been taking a host of prescription drugs before she caused a fatal DUI accident last year has been sentenced to nine years in jail.

Reed, 29, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and aggravated reckless assault in a Hawkins County Court Wednesday, the Times News reported. In addition to the jail sentence, Reed was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and will have her license suspended for 10 years.

On April 9, 2013, Reed was east near Hawkins Count Elementary School when she lost control and veered into oncoming traffic, slamming head-on into a car driven by 80 year-old Lucille L. Melton who had a 9 year-old passenger.

Melton initially survived her injuries, but she died five days later at the Holston Valley Medical Center. Her young passenger suffered serious brain injuries.

Immediately after the accident police has Reed’s blood drawn for chemical testing. According to arresting Officer Mark Cook, Reed, “had slurred speech, and her eyes were dilated.” He said she admitted to taking “some methadone, some ‘Roxies’ and some Lortabs,” prior to the crash.

Her toxicology test report showed her blood to contain oxycodone, methadone, diazepam, nordazepam and alprazolam, according to the New Times.

Cook also told the Times News he believes she was speeding before she crashed into Melton’s vehicle, but he said judging by the impact of the crash she was driving well-above the posted speed limit. “I asked her about the wreck and Ms. Reed told me she didn’t remember what happened,” Cook said.

Reed was initially charged with aggravated assault, but after Melton passed police changed her charges.

Lately, there has been a […]

By |April 18th, 2014|DUI News|0 Comments|