TLC’s DUI show to return June 28th

TLC’s DUI show will return for its second season June 28th. As you may recall, this show followed Oklahoma patrol officers, with each episode highlighting two DUI arrests, from stop through court resolution.

Here is video from the first episode of the upcoming season: http://embed.5min.com/517382625/

If you search this blog by clicking the tag at the bottom of this post for TLC’s D.U.I. show, you can read my comments about the first season.

Amongst my criticisms of the first season were:

  • the officers were treated like experts; and no one was ever brought on camera to critique the manner in which they did their job or how they determined that someone was under the influence (even though 25% of the defendants depicted were found not guilty, and others were given reduced charges);
  • no lawyers were on the show, to explain the legal process or to raise doubts about the prosecution’s case, or just to provide some context to what was going on; and
  • there was very little discussion about the diseases of alcoholism and drug addiction, and the options for curing it.

I plan to continue to blog my comments about this show when it airs. Stay tuned!

Detroit Lion’s Nick Fairley arrested for DUI

Nick Fairley, the Detroit Lion defensive tackle who so far has been more noteworthy for the things he has done off the field instead of on, had his second arrest of the off-season this Memorial Day Weekend, this time for DUI.  He was previously arrested in April for possession of marijuana.

According to the local Fox affiliate:

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Nick Fairley, a local football star and NFL player, was arrested early Sunday morning for driving under the influence and attempting to elude police.

Alabama State Troopers say Fairley was arrested shortly after 1:00 a.m. Sunday on I-10 near the intersection of Highway 90 in Tillman’s Corner.

According to troopers Fairley initially refused to stop for the emergency lights and sirens.  When he finally pulled over, troopers said Fairley seemed impaired.  The Detroit Lions defensive tackle  is facing several charges including DUI, attempting to elude police, and reckless driving.

It’s his second arrest in less than two months…

Fairley was also arrested on April 3 near the same subdivision.  Investigations said they found marijuana in the vehicle’s ash tray…
Fairley is free on is free on a 17-hundred dollar bond.

He was charged with DUI and attempting to elude police, but troopers also said Fairley was ticketed for reckless driving, no proof of insurance and having an open container.

 

 

Expect DUI checkpoints this weekend

Police Departments throughout the area are planning DUI checkpoints this weekend.  The Illinois State police and many local departments have announced that they will have strong enforcement for Memorial Day weekend.

Here are a three road blocks that I have found, and I am sure that there are several others that are planned elsewhere:

The Chicago police have announced two for this weekend:  Friday night at on the West Side Austin District at 5400 West Madison, starting at 8:00 p.m. through 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning; and Saturday night in the South Side Gresham District (the exact address has not been announced yet) starting at 8:00 p.m. through 4:00 a.m. Saturday.

Gurnee Police will be conducting a roadblock near the Six Flags Great America at 5300 block of Grand Avenue Friday night from 10:00 p.m. until the early morning hours.

Jenna Jameson arrested for DUI after crashing car

TMZ is reporting that porn actress Jenna Jameson was arrested for DUI earlier today after she crashed her vehicle into a light pole.  According to the web site, she performed field sobriety tests for the officers.  She allegedly refused medical treatment, and it is unknown whether she submitted to a breath or blood test.

Of course, Ms. Jameson is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  In fact, this week I obtained a finding of “not guilty” for a client who also crashed into a light pole.  So lets wait until all the evidence is in before making any judgments.

 

Weirdest DUI of the Week

From ABC news:

Police in Dubuque, Iowa, responded to an unusual call this week: reports of a zebra and a parrot in the front seat of a truck parked outside a bar. The striped animal and his fine feathered friend were there to keep their owner company, but weren’t allowed in the bar.

Jerald Reiter, 55, told police the zebra and maccaw parrot enjoy going for rides in his truck, so he brought them to the bar, which he says usually allows animals inside, ABC affiliate KCRG-TV reports.

When the motley crew got to the bar, they were told because food was being served, the animals wouldn’t be allowed inside. Bar owners told KCRG no animals are ever allowed inside.

When officers arrived on the scene, they stopped Reiter in the parking as he was driving his truck away. Field sobriety tests found he had a blood alcohol level of .14, nearly twice the legal limit, according to police.

His girlfriend, Vickie Teters, told KCRB the animals are like their children, and do everything with them.

“They love going for rides. They’re just a part of the family,” Teters said. “They were not left alone in the car, not even a second.”

Reiter also disputes the drunk driving charge, saying he realized he was too drunk to drive, and was about to let a passenger take the wheel when he was arrested.

Watch out for a DUI Roadblock by Six Flags Friday night

From the Lake County News-Sun:

The Gurnee Police Department along with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday officers will be conducting a roadside safety checkpoint Friday on Grand Avenue near Six Flags Great America.

The checkpoint will begin around 10 p.m. in the 5300 block of Grand Avenue and go until the early morning hours of Saturday.

The checkpoint is conducted in an effort to promote seat belt use and to ensure that motorists are operating their motor vehicles in a safe and sober manner. It is part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” campaigns.

American Justice: Study finds 2,000 exonerated defendants in last 23 years

Last week, the Associated Press reported on a new study that claimed that more than 2,000 convicted criminal defendants in the past 23 years have been later exonerated.

WASHINGTON — More than 2,000 people who were falsely convicted of serious crimes have been exonerated in the United States in the past 23 years, according to a new archive compiled at two universities.

There is no official record-keeping system for exonerations of convicted criminals in the country, so academics set one up. The new national registry, or database, painstakingly assembled by the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, is the most complete list of exonerations ever compiled.

The database compiled and analyzed by the researchers contains information on 873 exonerations for which they have the most detailed evidence. The researchers are aware of nearly 1,200 other exonerations, for which they have less data.

They found that those 873 exonerated defendants spent a combined total of more than 10,000 years in prison, an average of more than 11 years each. Nine out of 10 of them are men and half are African-American.

Nearly half of the 873 exonerations were homicide cases, including 101 death sentences. Over one-third of the cases were sexual assaults.

DNA evidence led to exoneration in nearly one-third of the 416 homicides and in nearly two-thirds of the 305 sexual assaults.

Researchers estimate the total number of felony convictions in the United States is nearly a million a year.

Before anyone tells me that “overall, this is a pretty good percentage of correct convictions” keep in mind the following:

1.  These 2,000 exonerations don’t include people who were wrongly convicted but haven’t been able to prove it (yet);

2.  There are likely many more wrongful convictions in lesser felony and misdemeanor cases, but those cases don’t get the same level of scrutiny, especially post-conviction.

3.  While homicide and rape often have DNA evidence which has been used to prove many wrongful convictions; DNA is not (typically) an issue in a wrongful conviction for drugs, DUI, retail theft or battery.

I am reminded of a certain Chicago DUI officer, who used to make over 200 DUI arrests per year, year after year, until it was publicized that he was caught red-handed making up facts to support his arrests, such as imaginary field sobriety tests which hadn’t occurred.  (In the year and a half interim between his being caught by a pair of State’s Attorneys and it being publicized, he continued to make arrests and testify in court.  In one case which I defended during this time period, a State’s Attorney asked the jury “Why would this officer make up evidence?”  I, of course, had not been informed that an investigation was pending).  Not only had hundreds, maybe over a thousand people been found guilty based on his false evidence, but the Cook County State’s Attorney fought to keep those convictions intact.

Based on what I have scene, 2,000 wrongful convictions is just the tip of the iceberg.

UFC Champ Jon “Bones” Jones arrested for DUI after crash

Jon Jones Arrested for DUI
TMZ Exclusive

Jon Bones Jones Arrested for DUI
UFC Light Heavyweight champ Jon “Bones” Jones was arrested early this morning for DUI after he totaled his Bentley in upstate New York … TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Jones was involved in an accident at around 5:00 AM in Binghamton, NY. We’re told the car — which Jones crashed into a pole — was totaled and cops arrested Jones on the scene for DUI.

According to our sources, Jones was taken into custody by Broome County Sheriff and bailed out a few hours later … by his mom. Jones is from nearby Ithaca.

How’s this for irony? Jones filmed a video earlier this year about going through police training — and he did it with the Broome County Sheriff … the same agency that arrested him!

Jones last fought on April 21, defeating Rashad Evans by unanimous decision. His next scheduled fight is on September 1 in Las Vegas against Dan Henderson.

update_bar
Jones’s manager, Malki Kawa, released a statement saying, “I can confirm that Jon Jones was arrested early this morning on suspicion of DUI. While the facts of this situation are still being gathered and situated, First Round Management fully supports Jon, and we are asking for fans and media to respect the privacy of Jon and his family during this time.”

Via text, UFC prez Dana White tells TMZ, “Wow, i guess its not my week is it?”

Illinois legislature passes stricter speeding statute

The Illinois House has passed a new changed to the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code.  Once signed by Governor Quinn, it will prevent a judge from sentencing anyone to supervision if they have speed more than 30 miles an hour over the posted speed limit on a highway or rural area, or 25 miles an hour in an urban area.

Supervision is a type of sentence which essentially continues the case for a period of time, with certain conditions such as paying a fine and not getting any new offenses.  If the person successfully completes the sentence, then the case is discharged without an entry of a conviction.

Speeding more than 30 miles over the posted speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor, and more than 40 miles over is a Class A misdemeanor (by comparison, so is a retail theft under $300, or a DUI).  (By the way, the typical first sentence for retail theft or DUI involve either a diversion program or supervision).  So under the new law, anyone speeding more than 30 miles over the legal limit will become a convicted criminal, with a worse sentence than a thief or drunk driver.

I would like to point out that a high percentage of these speeders are young men, who will now be at risk for losing financial aid or employment opportunities because Illinois has decided to criminalize and harshly punish an offense that virtually every driver has committed.