Archive for the ‘DUI News’ Category
David Hatyina, 51, sobbed in court as he apologized to Tony Borcia’s family, but his remorse was not going to prevent the judge from giving him significant jail time. According to the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors in the case asked for the maximum sentence of 14 years.
Hatyina was operating his speed boat under the influence of cocaine and alcohol on July 28th on the Chain O’Lakes when he struck and killed 10 year-old Tony Borcia who was tubing on the lake. He was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol involving death.
Borcia was riding on an inner tube with his 12 year-old sister which was being pulled by a pontoon boat driven by his father when he fell off.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Tony, who was wearing a life-jacket, was bobbing in the water when his father began to turn the pontoon around to pick him up when he saw a large white boat, “flying down the middle of the lake and bearing down on his son,” a news release said.
“Since the time I struck and killed this 10-year-old boy, I can’t eat or sleep … So help me God, I am sorry,” said Hatyina, said at his sentencing hearing, the Tribune reported. “I feel so badly. The pain will never go away.”
Following his criminal trial, prosecutors discovered that Hatyina was convicted of DUI in 1996, but it was wiped from his record after he completed court supervision. He also vowed to never use drugs or alcohol again.
Hatyina’s remorse however was not enough to convince the court to be lenient on him, “I understand your sorrow, regret and remorse, but that does not change your choice to operate a boat under the influence … killing Tony,” Judge Clint Hull said at the sentencing hearing. “It was too late for your family and for the Borcia family.”
Operating any type of “vehicle,” whether it is a boat, car or even a bicycle, under the influence can be dangerous. Alcohol at level can hinder a person’s abilities to operate a vehicle safely. But since people are not known to make the best decisions while under the influence of alcohol, many people chose to boat or drive under the influence.
Even when you make the decision to drive or boat under the influence, you deserve to provide a defense on your behalf. There are numerous mitigating circumstances that accompany a DUI charge and these can be utilized to help a person avoid a conviction or at the least plea for a reduced sentence.
An effective DUI defense requires the assistance of an effective and highly-skilled Chicago DUI attorney. No one should try to navigate the DUI courts on their own and won’t have to if they retain counsel.
Last month, the NTSB came out with the suggestion that the states should lower the legal limit from .08 to .05.
“This is critical because impaired driving remains one of the biggest killers in the United States,” said Deborah Hersman, the NTSB chairman said, according to USA Today. “To make a bold difference will require bold action. But it can be done.”
Hersman believes that lowering the legal limit nationwide could save an estimated 500 lives, annually. Their suggestion to lower the legal limit, which has the approval of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, was also accompanied by the suggestion that first-time DUI offenders be required to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles.
Gov. Branstad said that he would consider the NTSB’s suggestion, but pointed out that the state has made huge strides in making motorists safe from drunken drivers. The legal limit in the state has decreased on more than one occasion; it was first lowered from .13 to .10, and then lowered again to .08 putting the limit on par with all 50 states.
Branstad said in his weekly news conference, “I would want to carefully review that.” He added, “We’ve made significant progress in reducing drunk driving in the state of Iowa. Whether this is an appropriate additional step or not, I think we’ll want to get more information and carefully review and study what kind of impact it’s going to have.”
There are those who are critical of lowering the legal limit, like the American Beverage Institute, who pointed out that the average woman would reach the legal limit of .05 after having just one drink. The ABI also pointed out that the majority of drunk drivers who cause fatal accidents have a BAC above .15.
“This recommendation is ludicrous,” Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, said in a statement to CNN. “Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior.”
While Branstad is reluctant to endorse lowering the legal limit, he recently signed a law that will impact convicted DUI offenders. He signed a bill that would expand law enforcement’s right to collect DNA from criminal offenders.
According to the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, “Current law requires persons with a deferred judgment or conviction for a felony — as well as sexually violent predators and sex offenders — to submit a DNA sample for profiling”
But Gov. Branstad signed a bill that expanded DNA collection to “include people convicted of aggravated misdemeanors including assaults, thefts and multiple drunken driving convictions.
The ACLU is critical of collecting the DNA of people on such a large scale pointing out that DNA testing has a high threshold of error and could lead to false convictions.
If it wasn’t crucial for Iowans to hire a DUI attorney before, its especially crucial now since a conviction for more than one can see your DNA added to a state database.
Woodland, TX- When people go out to a bar or club to drink, if they’re smart, they ask one of their friends to be the designated driver; that one person who promises to abstain from alcohol while everyone else drinks it up. But a new study reveals that close to half of all designated drivers drink before they get behind the wheel.
In the new study, researchers at the University of Gainesville in Florida questioned 1,071 bar goers over a three-month period. Of the all-male participants, 165 were designated drivers, 40 percent of who admitted to having one or more drinks even though they were supposed to remain sober, CBS reported.
The researchers gave blood alcohol tests to the designated drivers at different bars in the area. Sixty-five percent of those tested were responsible and had zero alcohol in their blood. An additional 28 percent had a blood alcohol content was between .02 and .49—the legal limit in the majority of states is .08, though the NTSB would like that to change to .05. The rest, 18 percent had a blood alcohol level of .05 or more.
The average male weighing 150 lbs. can have a BAC of .029 just after one beer, a second drink will put their BAC up to .58, CBS reported.
The author of the study, Adam Barry, explained in a press release that many of the designated drivers may think it is okay to drink because they are getting a buzz, that their driving won’t be affected because they don’t feel the effects of the alcohol. “People do try to use that as a measuring stick,” he says. “But alcohol is insidious.”
Even though people may not be feeling the effects of alcohol, their driving abilities become impaired at a mere .02 BAC.
“While more of the designated drivers didn’t drink than did drink, which is a good thing, you have people being selected because they’re the least drunk, or the least intoxicated or they’ve driven drunk before,” Barry said. “The only real safe option is to completely abstain.”
Barry suggested that designated drivers refrain from drinking at all since having drunken people in vehicle can present become a distraction. “You’ve got roughhousing, unruly passengers, music — so many competing factors on top of your ability to process information and brake and steer effectively,” Barry said.
DUIs in Texas or another state, can be complex and have strict penalties, often calling for a jail time, loss of a driver’s license and costing the offender thousands of dollars, and they could get even tougher. Not only does a DUI cost you money and your freedoms, it stays on your record for the life in Texas.
Ask anyone who has had a DUI, even if you manage to avoid jail, you will have numerous other issues to deal with. After being charged, it’s critical to hire a Woodland DUI attorney to start working on your case immediately. Since DUI attorneys have the experience necessary to build a strong defense they can help you avoid conviction– the only way to keep your record clear.
Surprise, AZ- Let’s get one thing straight the majority of police that patrol the streets are decent folks who are truly interested in keeping the citizens they swore to protect safe, but every once in a while there is one that crosses the line, and that individual’s actions cause people to view the whole lot as jack-booted thugs that want nothing more than to take your freedoms away.
Retired firefighter, Jesse Thornton, 64, recently had the misfortune of running into one of those cops who give others a bad name. Thornton had just finished running some errands and a swim workout at LA Fitness when he was pulled over for crossing the center white line by a Surprise officer around 11 p.m.
Thornton explained to the ABC 15, “He (the officer) walked up and he said ‘I can tell you’re driving DUI by looking in your eyes,’”
Thornton explained to the officer that his eyes were bloodshot because he had just been swimming at LA Fitness, but the cop wasn’t buying his story, insisting Thornton was drunk and informing him that he was going to be given a sobriety test, even though he didn’t exhibit the other signs of intoxication, such as alcohol-laden breath, or slurred speech.
The Surprise officer then asked Thornton to submit to field sobriety test, that’s when he told police he had knee problems–he was due to have surgery just two days after the arrest. Apparently, he did not perform the sobriety tests to the officer’s satisfaction so he was then dragged down to the station for a breathalyzer.
It should be noted that NHTSA has outlined for law enforcement agencies the many reasons why people perform poorly on field sobriety tests and knee problems is among them.
Once at the station Thornton, who was cooperative with police the entire time, blew a 0.00 on a breathalyzer, but the arresting officer was still convinced he was drunk. Not really a vote of confidence for the soundness of the Surprise police department’s breathalyzers.
Despite the results of his breathalyzer, Surprise police were still convinced the retiree was on some intoxicating substance so they called in a drug recognition expert who told Thornton, “I would never have arrested you, you show no signs of impairment.”
That didn’t stop Surprise police though, Thornton was charged with DUI, his car was impounded and police notified the Department of Motor Vehicles and his license was suspended.
His wife had to leave work and pick him and had to shell out close to $5,000 as a result of his unjustified arrest.
Did the Surprise police officers cross the line? Yeah, they did; they really had no “probable cause” to arrest Thornton for driving under the influence, especially after a breathalyzer showed he was stone cold sober and a drug expert confirmed.
Thornton told ABC 15 that since he moved to Surprise from Ohio he had been pulled over ten times and issued four tickets. He says this wasn’t a DUI, it was “driving while black.”
He has since retained an attorney and is suing the city for $500,000.
West Palm Beach, FL- Some motorcyclists by nature are rebels willing to take risks with their own lives and they represent a large majority of drivers who take to the roads when they are drunk. This is a mistake; as a West Palm Beach man has learned after being jailed for injuring one of his passengers in March drunken driving accident.
Lawrence M. Begnoche, 48, and his passenger Lisette Longarzo, 55, were traveling on South Dixie Highway on March 15th when his bike toppled over and struck the back of a car, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Longarzo was thrown from the bike and violently hit the ground, her brain began to bleed, she later fell into coma, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Begnoche, the officers noted was slurring his speech, had glassy eyes and was completely unaware of where he was. In addition to appearing drunk, he had a bag of marijuana tucked into his socks.
Two blood tests revealed that his blood alcohol was between .216 and .215, way, way, way above the state’s legal limit of .08—and the rest of the country’s for that matter unless the NTSB gets their way and lowers it.
Police arrested Begnoche on May 24th for DUI, serious bodily injury to another and possession of marijuana
It’s hard to say why bikers choose to drive drunk, probably for the same reasons that other Begnoche or other drivers do, because they think the alcohol will affect their ability to drive or react in a hazardous situation. But alcohol is a depressant so it slows the many processes of the brain, that combined with a fast bike and decreased inhibitions and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Since there has not been an extensive study of motorcycle accident and DUIs in sometime, well over a decade, we have to use rely on older statistics to show what a rampant problem drinking and driving among motorcyclists. According to an article in Motorcycle magazine, data from 2002 showed that 45 percent of riders involved in a fatal single-vehicle crash were intoxicated. The magazine also noted that at least 36 percent of those riders had a blood alcohol level of .10 or higher.
Don’t be mistaken in thinking that a DUI on a motorcycle is any different than a DUI in a motor vehicle, a vehicle is a vehicle in the eyes of the law—hell, you can even get a DUI on a bicycle. If you get caught you could face jail time, lose your license and pay thousands of dollars in fines.
If you happen to hurt someone else, then you’re really in trouble, DUIs involving injuries or death won’t get you much sympathy in court and is almost a guaranteed to get you some jail time and a possible huge settlement payout to the victim.
A motorcycle DUI doesn’t spell doom, but if you want to continue riding a cycle other than a scooter or a bike you need a DUI attorney.