Archive for January, 2010

…and DUIs on Bicycles

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

A few minutes ago I posted about an arrest yesterday for driving a golf cart under the influence.  Then I stumbled over this news story from the same day:

Man on Bicycle Charged with DUI

Naples, FL.  Jan. 26 — A Tampa man riding a bicycle was charged with driving under the influence after Collier County stopped him in East Naples.

The sheriff’s office reports that 51-year-old Tommy Charles Miller was riding a bike Saturday night without any lights. When deputies stopped him, they reported that his eyes appeared bloodshot, and he smelled like alcohol. Deputies also found two cans of beer in the bike’s front basket.

Miller was arrested and charged with DUI, refusing to submit to a DUI test, having an open alcohol container in public and refusing to sign a citation. He was being held on $7,000 bail.

$7000 bail for riding a bike with a .08% blood-alcohol level?  Must be a dangerous criminal…

Again, not an isolated instance of an over-zealous cop.  For stories of other arrests for DUI on a bicycle, see my posts Felony Bicycle DUI, DUI – on a Foot-High Toy Bike and DUI – While Walking a Bicycle.  


More MADDness…

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

If you ever doubted that MADD's "War on Drunk Driving" was more about alcohol than saving lives…

Man on Golf Cart Arrested for Drunk Driving

Bonifay, FL.  Jan. 26Florida State Troopers were on the scene of a fatal accident on County Road 177 Tuesday afternoon when Jerry Ogburn drove up on a golf cart just to look at the crash. That's not against the law. But driving under the influence is.

Ogburn was arrested for DUI and booked into the Holmes County Jail. Troopers say it's not his first DUI arrest.

Because of Ogburn's drunk driving history, his golf cart was supposed to have an ignition interlock device which would prevent him from starting it if he'd been drinking…

DUI in a golf cart?  Ignition interlock devices on golf carts?

No, this isn't some weird aberration or an over-zealous cop.  This is MADD's prohibition agenda run amok.  See some of my previous posts, including DUI arrests on golf carts, wheelchairs, lawn mowers and — a horse


The New Vigilantes

Monday, January 25th, 2010

So where do we go next in MADD’s hysterical War on Drunk Driving?

Craig’s List DUI Busters

Milwaukee, WI.  Jan. 22 — We’re all fed up with drunk drivers. Some people on the popular website Craigslist have decided they’ve had enough, and they want to put a stop to it. They call themselves the DUI Busters, but some are questioning their controversial tactics…

The so-called "DUI Busters" are trying to put a stop to it, and they’re bragging about their exploits on Craigslist.

The DUI Busters say they hang out in bars looking for people who’ve had too much to drink, trail the unknowing person to their car, then follow them down the road, and call 9-1-1…

Liz Rhode is firmly against drunk driving, but the Waukesha woman says something about staking out bars bothers her. She posted her point on Craigslist: How are they going to prevent the DUI they are following from from running through a red light possibly leading to a fatal collision. why not stop them before they get into the car. That’s is what a good samaritan would do.

Suddenly the debate over the DUI Busters was the hottest controversy on Craigslist.

The fact that FOX 6 was doing a story on DUI Busters even got some of the posters peeved. What really get them riled up were the guidelines on "How to Roll" when you make the 9-1-1 call – "Tell them you’ve been following a driver that’s ’swerving everywhere’, and the clincher being they ‘almost hit a parked car’"

Whether it’s true or not, at least one DUI Buster admits telling 9-1-1, "I lie to the police about the prospective drunk driver hitting a parked car when they didn’t. As long as you’re over the .08 you’re legally intoxicated if you hit a parked car or not.", even though the driver wasn’t actually swerving or hitting anything.

Welcome to the MADDness….


When Does the Insanity End?

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

So you thought the crime of drunk driving required….well, driving?

High court: Asleep at wheel, not driving, enough to get a DWI

Minneapolis, MN.  Jan. 21 — Being drunk and asleep at the wheel of his car while it was parked in his apartment lot with the keys on the console was sufficient evidence to convict a Crookston man of drunken driving, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday.

In a seven-page decision, Justice Alan Page said the jury could reasonably conclude that Daryl Fleck was in "physical control" of his vehicle when arrested.

Fleck’s appellate lawyer, G. Tony Atwal, an assistant state public defender, disagreed with the ruling. "Presumably, if you’re in or about your car, the county attorney could now charge you with a physical control DWI," Atwal said.

In 2007, Fleck was drunk and asleep in his car with the driver’s door open in the assigned parking spot at his apartment building when someone called police. He got his fourth drunken-driving conviction and was sentenced to four years in prison. The state Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction, setting up the appeal to the Supreme Court.

Atwal said he pushed the appeals because there was no indication Fleck had driven; the engine was cold, and the car wouldn’t even start when an officer tried it.

I suppose the next step is to throw people in jail for drunk driving without being drunk.  Oh, right, I forgot, they already can — if the machine says your blood-alcohol level is .08%.


Unveiling…My New Author Website

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Please excuse the blatant self-promotion, but…..

Most of the readers of this blog are aware that I’m the author of two books on DUI laws, procedures and evidence:  Drunk Driving Defense, 6th edition (I wrote the original edition 31 years ago) and California Drunk Driving Defense, 4th edition.  Unrelated to the DUI field, however, I’ve also written ten other books: 

Trail of the Fox (Simon and Schuster)

Handling Criminal Appeals (Thomson West)

To Honor and Obey (William Morrow)

Born to Crime (Greenwood Press)

The D.A. (William Morrow)

Eyewitness Identification (Michie)

A Trial of Generals (Icarus Press)

Scientific Interrogation (Michie)

Setting Sail (Icarus)

Witness Immunity (Charles C. Thomas)

Some of these are legal textbooks for attorneys, others are trade books (true crime, etc.) written for the general public — some of which have had film rights sold. 

My publishers have for some time encouraged me to develop a website devoted to these books.  After considerable procrastination on my part, website designers have finally unveiled the new site, cleverly entitled:  Author Lawrence Taylor.  The site includes content or plot summaries of the 12 books, reviews from book critics, publisher information, biography of the author (yours truly) and, most importantly, where to purchase copies.

I invite you to visit the site….and buy lots of my books!