Former Quarterback Bernie Kosar arrested for DUI

kosarFrom the Miami Herald:

Former Cleveland Browns and Miami Hurricanes quarterback Bernie Kosar was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Solon, Ohio, early Sunday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

“Kosar was pulled over for speeding on SOM Center Road at 2:42 a.m., and police officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle,” reported, citing a news release from the Solon Police Department. “He took sobriety tests and was then taken to the Solon Police Department without incident.”

The Miami Herald reached Kosar by text at 1 p.m. Sunday and he wrote back, “I am fine.” He said in his text that he was at the Cleveland Browns football game, but released no other information.

The news release described Kosar as the driver of a black Cadillac. It said Kosar posted a $500 bond, and his Bedford Municipal Court date is at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“The Solon Police Department will not release any video of the stop involving Mr. Kosar until the disposition for the case has been finalized,” the release stated.

Woman arrested after caught shooting up while driving

abbyelsnerFrom The Smoking Gun:

A Dayton Police Department officer was driving Friday afternoon when he pulled up next to a vehicle being driven by 25-year-old Abby Elsner.

As detailed in a police report, the cop noticed that Elsner–who had her arms in the air–was sticking herself with a needle. While doing this, she was steering the 2003 Honda Civic with her knees.

“I observed she was holding her right forearm in plain view where there was a hypodermic syringe needle sticking out of her arm,” reported Officer Mark Orick. “With her left hand, she was manipulating the needle into her forearm.”

Upon realizing that Orick was watching her shoot up, Elsner allegedly removed the needle from her arm and tossed it towards her passenger, 36-year-old Shawn Abby (after pulling the car over, the cop spotted Abby stashing the needle in her waistband).

When a subsequent search of the car turned up heroin and drug paraphernalia, Elsner and Abby were arrested for narcotics possession.

Amanda Bynes DUI case moved to mental health court

Amanda Bynes mugshot, from

Amanda Bynes mugshot, from

From the L.A. Times:

At the request of her attorney, Amanda Bynes‘ drunken driving case will be referred to a mental-health court, a judge decided Tuesday.

The troubled actress did not appear in court, but her lawyer argued that Bynes was not capable of understanding the proceedings, according to TMZ, which first reported the news.

“The mental health court will examine Bynes and determine her competency to stand trial,” attorney Richard Hutton told E! News.

Bynes was arrested on suspicion of DUI in West Hollywood in April 2012 after she allegedly clipped the rear corner of a sheriff’s deputy’s cruiser while trying to pass it around 3 a.m. near Robertson and Santa Monica boulevards.

That arrest was part of a series of vehicle-related problems Bynes then encountered before moving to New York, where her odd behavior and odder Twitter blurts initially made her the focus of many a snarky blog post.

Her situation took a darker turn in July after she was put on involuntary psychiatric hold after lighting a small fire in the driveway of a house in Thousand Oaks. What was first a 72-hour hold was extended to two weeks, then 30 days, then reportedly up to a year.

Bynes’ mother has a temporary conservatorship over her daughter with regard to the 27-year-old’s well-being and personal finances.

Bynes’ next scheduled court date in the DUI case is Jan. 7.

Aldon Smith arrested for DUI. Again.

This is not a repeat.  49er Aldon Smith was arrested for DUI for the second time since 2012. 

According to the San Francisco Mercury News:

No one was hurt in the 7 a.m. incident in the Silver Creek area, Sgt. Heather Randol said. Sources said Smith’s car hit a tree.

Smith was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession but was later released after posting $5,250 bail.

Marijuana and pills also were found in the car, sources said. Smith had a blood alcohol level of .15 — nearly twice the legal limit — and didn’t have a prescription for pot, sources said.

Drunk Driver who made YouTube confession confirms my doubts

You probably remember Matthew Cordle, the man who posted his dramatic confession to being drunk behind the wheel when he caused the death of Vincent Canzani.

You may even remember my blog post from last week, when I expressed doubt about his method of confessing as well as his motives.

This week, he plead guilty to the charges. So why do I feel vindicated?

1. He did not plead guilty at his first court hearing. Instead, he plead “not guilty” which meant that the case would be assigned to a different judge. A judge that his attorneys figured would give him a better sentence. Do you remember how in his video Cordle claimed that he wasn’t going to use “high-powered” attorneys?

2. According to this news site, Cordle’s attorney’s are “are weighing whether to seek Cordle’s release on bond before sentencing to allow him to spread his anti-drunken-driving message.” Yes, they are trying to get him out of jail so that he can preach about the evils of drunk driving. This way, he can skip the “going to prison to reflect on his crime” part of the deal. Brilliant!

A Mother shares the story of her daughter who OD from heroin

moakIs there ever a good heroin story?  I don’t think so.

This is an excerpt from Gregory Pratt’s story in the Chicago Tribune.  Read the whole story by clicking the link.

By this time in September, Jackie Olson had hoped her daughter Kaitlyn Moak would be settling into her second year at Illinois State, weathering the usual ups and downs of college life away from home.

In the months before her death from a heroin overdose in June 2012, the New Lenox teen seemed full of plans, talking with friends and family about the year ahead.

But the 18-year-old former choir member at Providence Catholic High School became another casualty of heroin in the suburbs, dying of an overdose just weeks after graduating from the New Lenox school.

“A lot of people think it would never happen to them,” said Olson, who hopes her daughter’s story might help others avoid the drug. “But you’d be surprised who it happens to.”…

Up until the last months of her life, Moak seemed an unlikely victim of heroin’s ravages, said Olson, describing her daughter as a regular, “dorky” teen.

Providence choir director Stacy Eckert remembers Moak as a bright, hardworking student with a great sense of humor. And former classmate Cassidy Glenn recalls Moak volunteering to carry her books when she tore her ACL during a basketball game their junior year…

During the teen’s senior year, close friend Amy Gauger said she noticed changes. Moak began hanging with a new crowd and Gauger said she heard that Moak had tried hard drugs. When she confronted her, Moak said she had everything under control…

In New Lenox’s tight-knit group of young heroin users, Moak met and became friends with another user.

The friend, who asked not to be named, said that the two did not feel they had an addiction and even had “sober Sundays,” when they would play cards, visit the zoo or watch TV.

“I never saw it as a problem just because, at the time, we were not injecting it. We were snorting it. We were going to school during the week and only using on the weekends.

“Neither of us pawned anything,” the friend said, “like your typical addict.”

In the months before Moak’s death, Olson said she regularly drug tested her daughter and searched her belongings, but Moak kept turning up clean. The teen visited colleges and registered at Illinois State, Olson said, while showing up to school every morning and working her job at Subway…

On the night Moak returned home, she traveled to Chicago with a couple of friends and bought heroin, according to police records.

The group met up with a drug dealer off 95th and Halsted streets in Chicago, police said, where Moak paid $90 for some bags of what the teens called “good heroin.” Moak overdosed and died on June 22…

To this day, Olson still struggles with the grief of losing her child, who would have been 19 if she were alive. In the end, Olson said, she thinks her daughter was naive about the drug’s danger and didn’t understand what she was getting herself into.

“She just wanted to get high,” Olson said. “She never thought she would die.”

Attorneys for Highland Park huffing teen challenge DUI law

carlyroussoAccording to the Chicago Tribune, Douglas Zeit, the attorney for Carly Rousso, has challenged the constitutionality of the statutes under which she has been charged, which make it illegal to drive under the influence of an intoxicating compound.  Rousso was alleged to have been under the influence of difluoroethane, by “huffing” the fumes of a cleaning product prior to driving up on the sidewalk, striking and killing Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento.

From the Tribune:

Defense lawyer Douglas Zeit is questioning whether difluoroethane is intoxicating, which he said affects the constitutionality of the charges against Rousso. She is charged with reckless homicide and four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound.

Prosecutor Michael Ori said Zeit must notify the state attorney general about a challenge to the constitutionality of a state law. Ori explained that the judge can either deny the motion or dismiss the charge. If the judge dismisses the charge, there would be an immediate appeal to the Supreme Court.  If the judge were to find it constitutional, the defendant can also appeal, said Ori.

A status date is scheduled Sept. 27, with the trial scheduled Nov. 1.

In order to make his case, Zeit will need to present expert testimony to the court to show that difluorethane is not intoxicating.  A quick search of the internet indicates that this may be hard to prove.  I will be curious to see which expert he uses, and what he or she says.


Reports in 2005 about teens dying after inhaling the chemical difluoroethane from a popular computer-cleaning spray known as Dust-Off called widespread attention to the practice of inhalant abuse. Then, as now, the product Dust-Off itself was not the source of the problem; it is only one example of hundreds of common household products with the potential to be abused by inhalant abusers.

Inhalant abuse (commonly called “huffing”) is the intentional inhalation of chemical vapors to attain a mental “high” or euphoric effect. A wide variety of substances, including many common household products, are abused by inhalers (see list below). The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that the primary population of inhalant abusers (68%) is under 18 years of age. Although inhalant abuse is declining from its peak in the 1990s, it is still a significant problem. In 2011, 7% of eighth graders reported inhalant use, along with 4.5% of 10th graders and 3.2% of 12th graders.

Inhalants produce an effect that may be similar to alcohol intoxication. Initial symptoms described by abusers who were “huffing” include drowsiness [and] lightheadedness…

A Message from Beyond the Grave

elizabeth sleasmanToday, I read the obituary of Elizabeth Sleasman.  What was unique about it is that she wrote most of it herself.

You can click on the link, or read the entirety of her message below (I will assume that she would have wished to see this re-posted as much as possible):

Message from Sue:

I ask that EVERY parent and grandparent show this to their teens, even if they are perfect children. I was a perfect daughter, and my parents never knew I was using and drinking for at least the first five years (age 12 to 17), then only suspected it until the last ten years of my life when I couldn’t hide it any more.

Message to the teens: If you haven’t started – don’t. If you have, quit NOW. Your drinking/drug using friends are not really friends, they will steal from you, use you, and will do anything to get another “fix” – just like me. What starts out as fun for the first year or so, ends up to be a horrible, lonely life. During the last ten years, I never knew from one day to the next where I was going to be, I ate out of garbage cans, begged, and stole. I slept in bushes, doorways, abandoned vehicles, and nearly froze to death in the winter. Most of the time I was high or coming down, and much of that time, did not know what I was saying or doing – I could remember very little of what happened the night before. While using, I thought I was invincible and nothing could ever happen to me – after all, I was the “safest” user out there. I had a little girl who, because of my drinking and drugging was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and other very serious problems. I did not believe this, I believed she was perfect and only a little slow; and of course, it was not my fault – she will need specialized care for the rest of her life – again, not my fault, or so I thought.

You will become a thief and a liar, next you will lose your family, your “real” friends, and eventually your life. I started with Marijuana, and alcohol. It did not take very long for me to be so hooked on hard drugs that I could not have quit if I wanted to. Some of my closest “friends” overdosed and died; I did not quit. The light of my life, my daughter, was taken away – even then, I could not quit.

I entered the Methadone treatment and stopped using, but unfortunately my drinking habit kept on and I started using again. More recently I was admitted to the hospital because I was vomiting blood – my stomach was raw and the lining split because of crystal meth and alcohol. The doctors glued it together, and tried to get me to go to treatment – I said I would do it myself. I have quit now, but I am dead; don’t wait as long as I did, give your life another chance.

Thanks to attorney Scott Gordon for alerting me to this obituary.

Women are catching up to men … in getting DUIs

From today’s Chicago Tribune:

Research shows that while the number of male drivers arrested for DUI has declined since 1995, the number of female drivers arrested has been rising.

In 2011, the latest year for which FBI statistics are available, DUIs by female drivers accounted for nearly 25 percent of all DUI arrests, compared with about 10 percent in the early 1980s.

My client base reflects similar percentages.  My guess for the increase is only that, a guess, and it really isn’t anything different from the guesses that are contained in the article, which are:

  • women today are more likely to go out on their own or to go to bars or restaurants and drink with their friends.  Even in the recent past, when they were going out to a bar, they were more likely to go with a male escort who was usually the driver;
  • women are working more hours which often leads to binge drinking on the one night of the week or month when they can go out and have fun;
  • more restaurants and bars that cater to or are more appealing to women;
  • the reduction in the “legal limit” from 0.10 to 0.08 may have resulted in more female DUIs, because women tend to drink less than men; and
  • the increased use of prescription medications which can affect one’s driving, either when taken alone or in combination with alcohol.

What do you think?


Woman brutalized by FL police during DUI stop charged with assault

christinewestI have embedded below a news story about Christina West, who was stopped for DUI by Tallahassee police.  After having been placed under arrest, she was seated in a squad car.  After she annoyed the officers by repeatedly asking questions, she was asked to exit the squad, and when the petite West squirmed while handcuffs were being placed on her, she was violently slammed on the roadway, resulting in the the picture you see below.

Of course, Ms. West was initially charged with assaulting a police officer, a common tactic by police to gain the upper hand and protect themselves.  The officer even put this in his police report: “West was placed on the ground where she began to thrash and kick wildly. West kicked me in the groin area and kicked officer Schmidt in the leg… West was placed in a thigh lock on the ground as I secured her hands. While handcuffing West’s hands, she continued to violently make attempts to grab for my groin area with her hands.”

The State’s attorney has dismissed the assault charge, but DUI charges are still possible, pending blood test results.