Bears’ Tim Jennings pleads guilty to reckless driving; DUI charge dismissed

jenningsmugChicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings’ attorney worked out a plea agreement to his Gwinnett County, GA DUI case.  Jennings plead guilty to reckless driving, and the DUI charge was dismissed.  He was sentenced to a year of probation, 40 hours of community service, take part in a DUI class and pay fines.

From The Sporting News:

“Mr. Jennings’ DUI case was completely dismissed today due to a lack of evidence to proceed on the DUI,” Jennings’ lawyer Corey E. Yager told WSB in a statement. “The dismissal was provided in the interest of justice and was not a factor in the negotiated plea entered by Mr. Jennings.

“Mr. Jennings (pleaded) guilty to reckless driving due to his high speed. From the inception of this case, Mr. Jennings admitted that he was speeding when encountered by law enforcement. Mr. Jennings steadfastly denied that he was driving while under the influence. Mr. Jennings is looking forward to putting this matter behind him and focusing on his family and his career.”

Jennings was pulled over in Georgia in January for driving 99 mph in a 65 mph speed zone. At the time, he said he was late to a parent-teacher conference. He was charged with DUI, speeding and reckless driving.

More Sporting World DUIs

I know, it has been a whole three days since I last updated you on the latest DUIs from the world of sports.  Why aren’t I keeping up?

Here goes:

Former Illini and Colt quarterback Jack Trudeau was arrested in Zionsville, Indiana for OWI, with a BAC of 0.31, public intoxication and intimidating an officer.

Former NFL running back Jason Snelling was arrested for DUI in Gwinnett, Georgia. He was found stopped in the middle of an intersection.  He has had previous arrests for driving without a license and possession of marijuana. He retired from the Atlanta Falcons in March of 2014.

Northern Illinois wide receiver Skyler Monaghan was arrested for DUI in Michigan after being stopped for speeding 93 mph in a 55 mph zone.  He had a BAC of 0.91.  He was also found to be in possession of a false ID. The false ID can be charged as a felony in Michigan.

This week in Celebrity and Sporting World DUI

There have been so many recent celebrities and athletes arrested for DUI that I decided to do another round-up.  Here they are, in no particular order:

Flavor Flav, best known as one of the members of Public Enemy, was arrested in Nevada for DUI after being stopped for speeding.  He also had a suspended license and an open container of alcohol with him.

Singer Jeremih was arrested for DUI after leaving his birthday party.  According to the gossip sites, the arrest didn’t stop him for too long.  He continued his party as soon as he bonded out.

Robbie Knievel plead guilty to second offense DUI, a misdemeanor in Montana, even though this is allegedly his fourth DUI.  The prosecutors were unable to prove the other two DUIs, which had been expunged or sealed.  He received a six month sentence, all but seven days of which will be suspended, and a six month license suspension.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith was suspended for three games by the NFL for a DUI, which he plead guilty to last April.  This will end his 79 consecutive game streak.

Tennessee Volunteers freshman offensive lineman Charles Mosley, 18 years old, was arrested for DUI after being pulled over for speeding.  “Marijuana residue” was located in his vehicle.

Pittsburgh Panthers defensive end Rori Blair was charged with DUI after he was stopped for speeding 117 miles per hour.  A blood test revealed cannabinoids.

Another Pitt Panther, wide receiver Tyler Boyd, returned to practice after serving a 30 day suspension after his DUI arrest.

Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson was traded to the Houston Rockets after his second DUI arrest within six months.

Seattle Sounders (MLS) midfielder Marco Pappa was arrested for DUI and speeding.

Chicago Police once again protecting their own

Here is a story from the Chicago Sun-Times that ran over the weekend.  See if you can guess the problem with it:

An off-duty Chicago Police officer faces misdemeanor DUI charges after his car struck and critically injured a woman in the Belmont Heights neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

About 1:20 a.m., the 29-year-old woman was crossing the street in the 7500 block of West Belmont when she was hit by a 1997 Mercedes, according to police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala.

The woman, who was in the crosswalk when she was hit, was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood in critical condition, Zala said.

The 40-year-old man at the wheel was identified as a two-year CPD veteran, police said. He was charged with two misdemeanor counts of DUI and cited for failure to exercise care with a pedestrian in the roadway.

The officer has been relieved of police powers pending the outcome of an investigation by the police Major Accidents Investigation Unit. He is due to appear in traffic court Aug. 18.

What is the problem?  Last chance…

The off-duty officer’s name is not provided.  Compare that to another story about a DUI that is a top story on today’s Sun-Times.  Why is a Chicago Police officer’s name withheld?  Would they withhold it if it were you or me?  Of course not (unless you are a police officer).

It is also interesting that the case is currently charged as a misdemeanor.  A DUI that causes great bodily harm is a felony offense.  Perhaps this case will be upgraded once the extend of the pedestrian’s “critical injuries” are better know.  Or maybe this officer got an even bigger break than not getting his name printed online and in the newspaper.

A conservative Federal Appeals Court Judge lists the 12 legal fallacies that have caused over 1,500 false convictions to be overturned since 1989

In a masterful law review article in the Georgetown Law Journal, Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, lists the twelve legal fallacies that he believes are common factors in the more than 1,500 exonerations since 1989.  Judge Kozinski was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and is considered a conservative.

He has spent the last thirty years on the appellate court hearing appeals from people who have been wrongfully convicted.

The twelve fallacies are:

1.    Eyewitnesses are highly reliable;

2.    Fingerprint evidence is foolproof;

3.    Other types of forensic evidence are scientifically proven and therefor infallible;

4.    DNA evidence is infallible;

5.    Human memories are reliable;

6.    Confessions are infallible because innocent people never confess;

7.    Juries follow instructions;

8.    Prosecutors play fair;

9.    The prosecution is at a substantial disadvantage because it must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt;

10.    Police are objective in their investigations;

11.    Guilty pleas are conclusive proof of guilt; and

12.    Long sentences deter crime.

He follows his discussion of each item on this list with the sentence, “What I have listed above are some of the reasons to doubt that our criminal justice system is fundamentally just.”

I cannot do justice to the article, entitled “Criminal Law 2.0” in a blog post.  Please go to http://georgetownlawjournal.org/files/2015/06/Kozinski_Preface.pdf and read it for yourself.

Denver Nuggets’ Ty Lawson arrested for DUI for the second time this year

lawson2From ESPN.com:

Ty Lawson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Los Angeles early Tuesday morning, the Denver Nuggets point guard’s second DUI arrest in less than six months.

California Highway Patrol Officer Jennifer Cassidy says Lawson was driving at a high rate of speed before being pulled over around 2 a.m. local time Tuesday on state Route 101 in Hollywood.

Cassidy says Lawson displayed several signs of intoxication.

Lawson was booked at 3:43 a.m. and released just over five hours later on $5,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 4…

The 27-year-old Lawson also was arrested and charged with DUI in Denver on Jan. 23. He is due in court Friday for the first arrest, although a spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney’s office acknowledged to the Denver Post that Tuesday’s arrest could impact those proceedings.

“Mr. Lawson posted a $1,500 bond in the Denver case earlier this year and is currently on pretrial supervision,” spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough told the Post. “The conditions of his bond include no alcohol consumption and monitored sobriety.”

Lawson has spent his entire six-year career with the Nuggets since being selected by Denver in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft. The 5-foot-11 guard averaged 15.2 points and a career-high 9.6 assists per game last season.

Here is a link to my post from January when he was arrested for his first DUI.

Donovan McNabb arrested for second DUI since December 2013

mcnabbFormer Mt. Carmel and Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb was arrested in Arizona and charged with DUI on June 28th.  It was his second DUI arrest in Arizona since December, 2013.

I’ve consolidated some blog posts from over at ProFootballTalk.com:

Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb served a day in jail in Maricopa County, Arizona last year after being arrested on DUI charges and may be in line for more time in the custody of the state in the near future.

McNabb was arrested just before midnight on June 28 in Gilbert, Arizona and arrested on DUI charges after a traffic accident, according to a statement from the Gilbert Police Department that was provided to Deadspin.

“On 06/28/2015 at approximately 2335 hours, officers responded to a non-injury collision involving two vehicles which occurred just west of the intersection at E Chandler Heights Rd and S Higley Rd in Gilbert, AZ. Subsequent investigation revealed Donovan McNabb (11/25/76) was impaired by alcohol and collided in a rear-end fashion with another vehicle which was stopped at a red traffic signal. Donovan was arrested for DUI at 2358 hours and transported to the Gilbert/Chandler Unified Holding Facility for processing, after which, he was cited and released.”

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/07/07/donovan-mcnabb-arrested-for-dui-in-arizona-again/

It looks like [Donavan McNabb] now faces a minimum sentence of 24 hours, times 90.

The minimum sentence for second-offense DUI in Arizona is 90 days in jail, with a maximum sentence of six months.

The circumstances of the arrest, including McNabb’s blood-alcohol concentration, could increase the penalties. Also, McNabb could mount a successful defense to the new charges, obtaining an acquittal through the legal process.

However it turns out, McNabb didn’t seem too concerned about the situation in the aftermath of the arrest, which happened late on June 28. On June 29, he tweeted a picture of himself holding a new pair of shoes.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/07/07/donovan-mcnabb-faces-minimum-sentence-of-90-days-for-second-dui/

On Tuesday, McNabb addressed the report that he was arrested for a second time in Arizona on DUI charges at the top of the first hour of the program.

“There was a story that was released, and I want everybody to be cognizant of it, because I am very aware of it, handling the matter at this particular point,” McNabb said. “But at this point, I have no further information, and as we continue on with the situation, then we’ll let it handle as it will handle itself.”

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/07/07/mcnabb-makes-statement-about-latest-dui-arrest/

If I am arrested for a DUI, should I take a breath (or blood or urine) test?

Here is another article that I wrote for legal publisher nolo.com, entitled “Should an Illinois DUI Suspect Consent to a Chemical Test?

The full url is http://dui.drivinglaws.org/dui-illinois-consent-chemical-test.htm

What should you do if you are requested to do field sobriety tests?

Here is a link to an article entitled “What are the Strategies for Dealing With Field Sobriety Tests in Illinois” for the legal publishing company Nolo.com.

You will find some useful strategies in case you unfortunately come across this situation some day.

Here is the url:  http://dui.drivinglaws.org/dui-illinois-field-sobriety-test-strategies.htm

Expect DUI roadblocks this Fourth of July Weekend — and not just in the usual spots

drivesoberIf you remember, two months ago the Chicago Tribune did a series on the discriminatory manner in which the Chicago Police Department conducted DUI roadblocks — almost always in the south or west sides, and none in the past five years in white Jefferson Park (where a lot of police officers live).

Well, things have changed — at least for the time being.  Last Saturday, the Chicago Police conducted a roadblock in Jefferson Park, nabbing a grand total of one DUI suspect, plus another person who was driving on a suspended license.

Too bad for the Police Department that this major sacrifice (of annoying Jefferson Park residents) didn’t make it to the Tribune.  I had to find it on the DNAInfo website.

While I was there, I saw another story, by David Matthews, about what the Chicago Police have planned for the holiday weekend:

Chicago police said Thursday they will run special DUI patrols Downtown, in Lincoln Park and in Old Town to monitor for impaired driving this weekend.

The DUI Strike Force Patrols will begin at 7 p.m. Friday in the city’s Central Police District and last through 3 a.m. Saturday. They resume at 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, and repeat Sunday night starting at 7 p.m. through 3 a.m. Monday morning.

“The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving,” police said in a statement. “Patrols also place emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations.”

The police department’s Central District stretches roughly from 25th Street to Wacker Drive, and from Lake Michigan to Interstate 94. The Near North District is bounded by Fullerton Avenue, Lake Michigan, and two branches of the Chicago River.

The DUI patrols are part of a larger citywide safety initiative over the holiday weekend, where officers will blanket the city and police shifts will be extended to 12 hours. Earlier this week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered police to “secure every part of the city” in preparation for the July 4th holiday, when Chicago typically sees an uptick in violent crime.

In addition to Chicago, expect roadblocks throughout the Chicagoland area, including the suburbs.

So please have a safe and healthy Fourth of July weekend.  And don’t drink and drive!

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