Zombie driver gets two DUI arrests within three hours



A Rochester woman was arrested twice for DWI within the span of three hours.
Gates Police say Catherine Butler, 26, was driving without her headlights on after leaving a Halloween party early Saturday.
Police pulled her over on Buffalo Road, not far from the police department, and determined she was driving drunk. After her arrest, a friend came to pick her up.
Less than three hours later, police say they arrested Butler again for driving drunk. Police say her blood alcohol level was .11 percent the first time and .09 percent the second time.
Both above the legal limit of .08 percent. This wasn’t the first time Butler was arrested for DWI. According to police this was the fourth time Butler has been busted for driving drunk.
“Two prior driving while impaired convictions and 26 years old and she’s still out driving drunk. It’s just hard to understand why people continue to do that and the consequences of continuing to do that,” Gates Police Chief James Vanbrederode says.
Butler did have a valid driver’s license. Her earlier DWI charges were reduced to impaired driving charges allowing her to keep the license.

Read More at: http://www.13wham.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/woman-arrested-dwi-2x-3-hours-17154.shtml

Park Ridge police officer charged with DUI

From the Chicago Tribune (story by Peter Nickeas):

A Park Ridge police officer was charged with driving under the influence after he crashed into a utility pole in the northwest suburb this weekend, police said.

Kevin Ryan, 39, was charged with DUI, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, driving off the roadway, improper lane usage and driving without a seat belt, said Lou Jogmen, deputy police chief.

Ryan hit a pole near Belle Plaine Avenue and Canfield Road about 3:50 a.m. Sunday, police said.

Ryan had worked as a school resource officer at Maine East a few years ago, but most recently worked the day shift as a patrol officer, Chief Frank Kaminski said.

He was given a certificate of appreciation for seven years of dedication and service as the school resource officer, according to a December 2011 newsletter distributed by the police department.

“I’ve put him on administrative leave and we’ll start an internal investigation,” Kaminski said. “I’m extremely disappointed and embarrassed. I expect our officers to be positive role models. These things dishonor our badge and he will be held accountable, and I apologize to the Park Ridge community for his accident.”

Ryan was alone at the time of the accident and no one else was injured, according to Kaminski. The officer refused a breathalyzer test and blood was drawn at a hospital, Kaminski said.

I noticed that the officer refused a breath test.  What does he know that you don’t?

Hello, Officer: Woman dressed as Hello Kitty arrested for DUI


Halloween, which used to be mainly a holiday for young children, has increasingly become associated with drinking and partying. For example, a woman in Maine was arrested for DUI, wearing a Hello Kitty costume.

From WGME:

A traffic stop early Sunday morning in Gorham led to a drunk driving arrest for a Westbrook woman wearing a Hello Kitty costume, according to the Gorham Police Department.

Around 2 a.m. Sunday on Mosher Road, police say they stopped 37-year-old Carrie Gipson for driving in the wrong lane. A post on the police department’s Facebook page said the officer thought he had stopped Hello Kitty, but it was Gipson.

Gipson was arrested for OUI refusal and taken to the Cumberland County Jail.

Former NBA star Mookie Blaylock sentenced to 15 years for vehicular manslaughter


From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

By Steve Visser

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

On Monday, former NBA All-Star Daron “Mookie” Blaylock was sent to prison for killing a woman in a crash on Tara Boulevard…

The 47-year-old former Atlanta Hawk, was sentenced to 15 years but with only three to actually serve in prison for vehicular homicide and other charges in the death of Monica Murphy — a mother of five — in a head-on collision in Clayton County on May 31, 2013.

The fall from NBA standout to prison was one of basketball honors and DUI convictions. Blaylock starred in the NBA All-Star game 20 years ago, had his Oklahoma Sooners jersey retired in honor 2001 and retired a feted player — twice on the NBA’s All-Defense Team — despite a bumpy ending with the Golden State Warriors in 2002.

The negotiated plea came on the day jury selection was to start for his trial, his attorney Amanda Palmer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitutution.

The plea was for seven years in prison and eight on probation but allows for prison sentence to be suspended after three years as long as he completes requirements including: 1,500 hours of community service, treatment for alcoholism, including twice weekly Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, and doesn’t drive for the entire 15 years, Palmer said.

“He has admitted he has a problem with alcohol and he is getting treatment for that,” she said.

The toxicology screens showed no alcohol in Blaylock’s system at the time of the crash, Palmer said. The reckless driving, vehicular homicide charges arose because doctors had told him not to drive because he was prone to seizures attributed to alcoholism, she said. He had been arrested for DUI a month before the crash and he had “several past DUI convictions,” Palmer said.

Blaylock was seriously injured in the wreck and temporarily on life support, but he was released from the hospital days later. After the accident, his lawyers blamed the collision on a blackout caused by a medical condition.. A family member told police Blaylock was under treatment for seizures.

Blaylock has been in treatment at Potter’s House in Jefferson, a long-term residential program for treatment of addiction run by Atlanta Mission. He apologized to Frank Murphy, the husband of the 40-year-old victim, in court before being taken into custody.

“He said something to the effect that the accident had changed him, and I think he was referring to his drinking,” Palmer said. “Mr. Murphy spoke and said he understood it was a negotiated sentence….I can’t say he went so far to let say he was OK with it but I guess he let the court know he didn’t oppose it.”

On the bright side, driver teaches Eisenhower Jr High students a striking lesson about DUI

Jonathan Carlos Hernandez has been charged with aggravated DUI and aggravated fleeing and eluding after he speed off during a traffic stop, lost control of his car and crashed in Eisenhower Junior High School in Hoffman Estates.  His Toyota Scion crashed through the school’s gymnasium.  Fortunately, all this happened on Saturday after midnight, so no one was in the school and no one was hurt.

Two for One: both passenger and driver get DUIs after they switch seats in front of officer

From the Highland Park Patch:

Sudarshan France, 23, of the 2900 block of Gilead Avenue in Zion, was charged with driving under the influence, uninsured motor vehicle, no valid registration and driving while license suspended after being stopped by police near Old Elm Road and Skokie Valley Road at 4 a.m. Oct. 18.

Passenger Cory Rhinehart, 24, of the 38700 block of N. Sheridan Road in Beach Park, was also charged with DUI after being observed switching seats with France. Both France and Rhinehart were released on a personal recognizance bonds with court dates of Nov. 21.

Chicago Police Officer arrested for DUI after driving wrong way on I-57

From the Chicago Tribune:

State troopers responded to the area near I-57 and 111th Street after receiving several calls about a motorist driving the wrong way, authorities said.

The car, a 2010 Black Mitsubishi Outlander, had been traveling northbound in the southbound lanes, police said. The driver, Danny Sevilla, 33, stopped without incident, police said. Sevilla was the only person in the vehicle, police said.

Sevilla was charged with driving under the influence and driving the wrong way, state police said. No injuries were reported.

According to sources and records, Sevilla is a Chicago police officer who was hired in 2008.

In March, 2013, a North Chicago police officer was arrested after driving the wrong way on Lake Shore Drive and crashing into a Jeep, causing the death of two. That officer, Terrell Garrett, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Recommended Listening: Amicus podcast

I just wanted to share a new podcast called Amicus from Slate magazine.  The first episode was just released.

The podcast is hosted by Dahlia Lithwick and will concentrate on the United States Supreme Court.  In the first episode, there is a discussion of the Court’s denial of cert in the gay marriage cases, and a case about that raises the issue of whether an Arkansas prisoner has a religious right to grow a beard 1/2 inch in length.

Here is a link to the podcast on the Slate website, or you can download it in itunes or the other places where you get your podcasts.

Preckwinkle does about-face, parking to remain free at Cook County Courthouses

Four years ago, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced a plan to turn the free parking at the various Cook County Courthouses into pay lots.

In the years since, construction has been done at the various suburban courthouse parking lots, to restrict ingress and egress and to install the beginnings of either actual or automated cashier stands at the entrances.  According to the Daily Herald, the cost of all this construction was $1.9 million.

As someone who usually drives in and out of these courthouses anywhere from 5 to 15 times a week, I was not happy about the prospect of paying around $3,000 a year to continue my law practice.  When I expressed these concerns, I was told that President Preckwinkle’s attitude was that I should just pass the cost along to my clients.

Well, that was not a good solution, because many people who come to court are indigent or barely scraping by.

In addition, it was expected that most court employees would have to pay for parking as well, even though most are not well compensated.  Yet an exception was going to be made for judges, who are the best compensated of anyone who works daily at a courthouse.

Beyond the cost, I was also concerned about the logistics of pay parking.  Making everyone pay on the way in or way out would cause tremendous traffic jams, especially as people get up to the cashier and realize that they don’t have the cash to pay the fee.  This was not comforting to me as an attorney who often is in a rush trying to get from one suburban courthouse to another.

Happily for everyone involved who actually uses the courts, the Daily Herald reports that President Preckwinkle has done an about-face and decided not to implement pay parking.  I wish I could say that this happened due to work from our bar associations, or that President Preckwinkle realized that she was attempting to balance her budget on the backs of the poor, but instead credit goes to the various unions representing court workers who fought against their members having to pay to go to work.

What is not said in the article, but every Cook County resident knows, is that these many of these court employees are political hires, i.e., the political army for President Preckwinkle and the other board members, the ones who are expected to go out and help with re-elections in order to keep their jobs. So I suspect that President Preckwinkle ultimately wasn’t willing to anger her own base and kill her political career for the (relatively) paltry amount that court parking would bring in.

McHenry County Board Chair charged with DUI, takes leave of absence

From the Chicago Tribune:

The chairwoman of the McHenry County Board was charged Friday with driving under the influence of alcohol and said she is taking a leave of absence to check into an alcoholism treatment center…

Hill said she was on her way this afternoon to check into Rosecrance Health Network alcohol and drug treatment center in Rockford and would take a 30-day leave from office.

Hill, a Republican from Woodstock, was stopped for improper lane usage at around 1:40 a.m. on Seminary Avenue in Woodstock, police said.

She failed a field sobriety test and declined a breath test, said Woodstock Police Chief Robert Lowen, adding that Hill was cooperative and did not bring up her office.

She complained of pains and was taken to Centegra Hospital in Woodstock, where she was treated and released. Hill gave a blood sample at the hospital before returning to the police station to complete processing. She was released after posting $100 bond and her driver’s license.