Michael Turner arrested for DUI after playing in the Monday Night Football game

Atlanta Falcon’s (and Northern Illinois alumnus) Michael Turner set a team record Monday night with his 51st touchdown as the Falcons beat the Denver Broncos.  It was after the game that things took a wrong turn.

Turner was pulled over at 4:00 a.m. for speeding, going 97 in a 55 mile per hour zone, and was asked to perform field sobriety tests after the arresting officer detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.  After the tests, Turner was arrested.  It has not yet been revealed whether he took a breath, blood or urine test to determine his blood alcohol level.

Turner bonded out of Gwinnett County, GA jail after posting bond.

Read more here:  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/falcons-running-back-turner-arrested-for-dui/nSDfk/

Why the Amanda Bynes situation is not funny

Amanda Bynes mugshot, from TMZ.com

Here is a link to a blog post by Carina Adley MacKenzie about why the Amanda Bynes situation is not funny.  I totally agree.

Here is the link: http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2012/09/amanda-bynes-isnt-funny-why-its-time-to-stop-joking-about-drunk-driving-1.html

“All in the Family” star Sally Struthers arrested for OUI

Actress Sally Struthers, best known for her role as Archie Bunker’s daughter Gloria on “All in the Family” and her work with the Christian Children’s Fund, was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol in a resort town in Maine.

According to the Associated Press:

Actress Sally Struthers denies driving drunk in Maine, where she’s appearing in a musical.

Police say Struthers was arrested early Wednesday after being pulled over on U.S. Route 1 in the southern resort town Ogunquit (oh-GUHNG’-kwit). She was charged with criminal operating under the influence and posted $160 bail.

The 65-year-old Struthers is best known for her role as Gloria Stivic in the 1970s TV sitcom “All in the Family” and later for heart-tugging ads seeking money for children’s charities. She has been performing at the Ogunquit Playhouse in the musical “9 to 5.”

A publicist says Struthers denies the charges against her.

Publicist Pamela Sharp said Thursday that Struthers is working and is fine and loves the playhouse and her yearly time in the town.

Michael Madsen arrested for DUI, had 0.21 BAC

From the Associated Press:

Actor Michael Madsen was released from a hospital after being arrested for investigation of drunken driving on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, his attorney said Thursday.

Madsen, 54, best known for the Quentin Tarantino movies “Reservoir Dogs” and “Kill Bill,” had complained of an undisclosed medical problem following his arrest Wednesday and has since been released, said lawyer Perry Wander.

Madsen was arrested after driving erratically in a red Pontiac GTO on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. In a preliminary test, he had a blood alcohol level of 0.21, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Wander said Madsen had been taking prescription drugs that could have resulted in a faulty sobriety test.

“Michael has been on prescription medication that easily could have made him look to be under the influence and caused him to fail the sobriety test,” Wander said.

In March, Madsen was arrested at his Malibu home after what detectives said was a drunken fight with his teenage son, but prosecutors declined to file charges because of a lack of evidence.

Madsen has struggled with alcoholism and has been in and out of rehabilitation centers over the past several years, Wander said.

“His nemesis is white wine,” Wander said. “Obviously he’s going to have to utilize this experience to motivate him to get help. It’s an ongoing battle.”

More updates on the Highland Park tragedy

Update at 5:00 p.m.: Carly Rousso has been charged with felony counts of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in the death of five year old Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento, after toxicology reports suggested that she had been inhaling cleaning fluids before the fatal crash.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

Carly Rousso, 18,  has been charged with one count of reckless homicide and four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound in connection with the crash, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office announced today.

She faces a maximum of 26 years in prison if convicted of all the charges, said Assistant State’s Attorney Ken LaRue.

Rousso surrendered this morning in an appearance before Lake County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Collins, who set her bail at $500,000, according to the news release. She was being booked into the Lake County Jail this afternoon, jail personnel said.

Investigators believe Rousso inhaled the substance just before the crash, LaRue said.

Rousso had been charged with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound while authorities awaited the results of Illinois State Police Crime Laboratory toxicology tests.

The results of those tests indicate Rousso’s blood sample contained the compound Difluoroethane, prosecutors said. The substance in Rousso’s blood matched a cleaning product found in the vehicle she was driving, and prosecutors believe she was impaired before the crash, LaRue said.

This means that she will need to post $50,000 to make bail.

Here are links to two more stories regarding the Labor Day crash in Highland Park:

Update: Bond raised in Highland Park crash case

According to the Chicago Tribune, a Lake County judge has significantly raised Carly Rousso’s bond and placed significant restrictions on her, including a curfew:

A Highland Park teenager was taken into custody this morning after a judge set bail at $50,000 in connection for a Labor Day crash that claimed the life of a 5-year-old girl in the north suburb.

Bond was set by Lake County Circuit Court Judge Joseph R. Waldeck after an attorney representing the city asked for the bond related to a misdemeanor DUI citation issued to the driver, Carly Rousso, 18.

Conditions include a 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. curfew and that she not operate a vehicle or consumer alcohol or other “intoxicating compounds.”
“You understand they are taking you into custody now?” the judge asked Rousso.
“Yes, sir,” Rousso answered.
Her attorney, Doug Zeit, said Rousso takes part in an outpatient drug treatment program five days per week and is attending night classes at the College of Lake County. Her curfew allows her to attend the classes, the judge said.
“She is to be driven by a parent to and from school,” the judge said.

The article also states that the victim’s mother and two brothers had all been released from the hospital last week.

Still no word on (a likely) upgrade to felony charges.

Read the whole story here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-highland-park-teen-taken-into-custody-in-labor-day-crash-20120911,0,2397004.story

Lake County Clerk candidate’s DUI history raises questions

This weekend, the Daily Herald ran an article stating that Rupam Dave, the Democratic Party Candidate for the open seat of Lake County (IL) Clerk of the Circuit Court, has had three DUI arrests (resulting in two guilty pleas, and one dismissal) from 1993 through 2005.  The last DUI occurred during a time that Dave’s driver’s license had been suspended for her second DUI arrest.

According to the article:

Dave said the three DUI arrests were the only times in the past 20 years she consumed alcohol. She said she has never undergone alcohol treatment.

“Those were the only days I have had alcohol since 1993. It isn’t part of our daily or spiritual lives,” she said. “I don’t drink and my family doesn’t consume alcohol. These instances were three distinct situations where something bad was taking place in my life.”

During the first arrest, she was going through a divorce, she said, and she was dealing with a gravely ill family member during the second and third DUI arrests.

“It is something that I regret deeply and something I have personally been working against as a lawyer,” she said. “And, if I’m elected, I would stand up and assist people to try and stop this from happening to them. I would be a spokesman against the issue of drinking and driving.”

This article raises a few questions:

  • A DUI that occurs while a person is already suspended for a prior DUI arrest can be  charged as a felony offense (Aggravated DUI).  Did this happen in Ms. Dave’s case?  If not, why?  If yes, did she plead guilty to a felony or was her case reduced to a misdemeanor as part of a plea bargain?
  • Ms. Dave became an attorney in 1995.  Was the 1993 DUI disclosed to the Illinois Supreme Court prior to her admission in regards to her character and fitness to be an attorney?  What about the 2005 arrests?  Was the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court advised?  It appears from the ARDC’s website that she has no history of discipline, but I am curious if any investigation was taken to safeguard the public by ensuring that she did not have an alcohol problem that would render her incapable of fulfilling her responsibilities as an attorney.
  • It is a standard in Illinois DUI cases that as a part of sentencing, the defendant is  required to undergo mandatory alcohol treatment and education.  Furthermore, proof of that treatment is required by the Secretary of State before he will reinstate a convicted drunk driver’s license.  So something is wrong when Ms. Dave claims she has never undergone alcohol treatment.  Was a special exception made for her on her last DUI?  Did the Secretary of State ignore his own rules to reinstate her?  Or is she not telling the truth?
  • Ms. Dave claims that the only three times that she drank since 1993 were on the three times that she was arrested.  While that is certainly possible — she did explain that there were extenuating circumstances that help explain each arrest — it is hard to square with common sense.  Government statistics indicate that the average DUI arrestee has driven drunk 80 times without being caught for each time nabbed by police.
  • Ms. Dave was not on the primary ballot.  The winner, Cynthia Pruim Haran, dropped out and the Democratic Party selected Ms. Dave.  Now, it is not unheard of for elected officials to get DUIs.  Just this week, a Winnetka trustee was arrested for DUI by Skokie police.  And as I blogged last President’s Day, George W. Bush had at least one DUI and Vice President Cheney had two.  And Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill managed to save western civilization while drinking prodigious amounts of booze. So a DUI or two is not necessarily a disqualification for holding elective office.  I have represented many people who have been able to move on with their lives after a DUI and have successful careers and families.  But it seems strange for me for a party to pick someone with such an arrest history to run for an office, without the benefit of the vetting process that primaries provide.

None of this is to say that Ms. Dave can’t be an excellent Clerk of the Circuit Court.  But I would like to see the media do a better job of getting answers to these questions before Election Day.