Pirates’ Kang denied visa to enter US after DUI conviction

kang

From CBS Sports:

Friday afternoon Pirates president Frank Coonelly issued the following statement:

A Korean news outlet has reported on a purported development in Jung Ho Kang’s effort to secure permission to travel to the United States for purposes of continuing his career as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates and added speculation regarding a driving incident in a “third country.”

The facts, as we know them, are that Kang still has not been granted permission to travel to the United States under a work visa.  We continue to work with Kang and his representatives to present materials and information to the appropriate parties in the United States government that we believe establish that Kang should be permitted to travel to the United States under a work visa and we remain hopeful that such a resolution will be reached in the near future.

We have no indication that Jung Ho has had a driving incident in a country other than Korea.

Kang, who has been arrested three times for DUI in South Korea over the years, was sentenced to eight months in prison earlier this month , though the sentence was suspended two years. That means Kang could avoid prison time entirely if he stays out of trouble the next two years.

DUI Crackdown Coming To The South Side This Weekend – Bridgeport – DNAinfo Chicago

https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170323/bridgeport/dui-crackdown-bridgeport-deering-district-saturation-patrol-drunken-driving?utm_source=Bridgeport%2C+Chinatown+%26+McKinley+Park&utm_campaign=1b64a320a9-Mailchimp-CHI&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_26fa4e0537-1b64a320a9-173124569

“You have a right to an attorney” – but will you actually get to talk to one?

According to the Chicago Tribune, Cook County Chief Judge has issued an order requiring the Chicago Police Department to provide suspects with access to a lawyer upon arrest.  However, the mechanics of how this will work in reality were left murky.

Until this order, when a person is arrested, they are advised of their “Miranda rights” which includes the right to an attorney.  But this is a mere formality; the police will usually encourage the arrestee to “make it easy” on everyone by “explaining” what happened “so you can get out of here.”

Usually, when I get a call from someone that his or her relative has been arrested, it becomes a race for me to get to the station before the “explaining” starts.  If I call up the station to tell them not to question my client until I arrive, I will be told that the “detective is busy right now” and he or she will get back to me “when they get a chance” (i.e., after my client has confessed).

So I was gladdened to see the headlines about Chief Judge Evans Order requiring access to attorneys.  In my mind, I envisioned a public defender or two getting a space at each Chicago Police Station (like the State’s Attorney have) and getting the opportunity to interview and advise each arrestee.  Of course, I also imagined that this would not go over too well with the police, who have no interest in having lawyers interfering with their cases and preventing confessions.

But I am concerned about the lack of implementation in the Order (which I have not read).  According to the Tribune:

But the success of such an order may ultimately depend on the cooperation of Chicago police, who in the past, say legal aid officials, have been reluctant to grant suspects phone calls or give attorneys access to suspects while they’re being questioned.

A Chicago police spokesman said Tuesday the department has agreed to post signs with a phone number for “free legal services” in arrestee areas and outside interview rooms but did not comment on questions about granting phone calls to those in custody.

Posting signs is not much of an improvement.  They are almost certain to go unnoticed.  On the other hand, Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli is quoted as saying, “I’m going to make it happen — this is way too important. This is groundbreaking,” she said. “I could have every lawyer do (a rotation) if I don’t get the funding.”  She is an aggressive advocate, and I am convinced she will work hard to provide representation.  But this will be a battle, because I expect that without an Order specifically stating what “access” entails, the PD’s office will face resistance from the CPD.

What do you think?

Illinois considering bill allowing 18 year olds to drink under parent’s supervision

House Bill 494, a bill pending in the Illinois legislature, would allow 18 to 21 year olds to drink beer or wine in the presence and supervision of a parent or guardian, including restaurants whose primary purpose is not the sale of alcohol.

According to Eater Chicago, 10 other states already allow this.  They are Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

What do you think?

Utah lowers DUI legal limit to 0.05

Utah is about to become the first state in the nation to lower its DUI “legal limit” to 0.05 BAC, which would put it in line with most other countries and the NTSB’s 2013 recommendation.

The Utah legislature passed the law this week and the Governor is expected to sign it.

Utah has never been an alcohol friendly state, so it is not surprising that it is the first state to pass this type of legislation.  I suspect that other states will follow its lead, but it may take a while. On the other hand,  I do not expect the current Congress to force the states to lower their limit by conditioning receipt of Federal highway funds on doing so (as it did previously to get the states to lower their BAC limits to 0.08 and raise drinking ages to 21).

Going to a 0.05 standard is getting very close to a zero tolerance, “don’t drink and drive” standard, as opposed to our current tolerance for some alcohol consumption so long as the person is not impaired.

What do you think?

Another case of a police officer arrested for DUI who refuses all tests

As a DUI defense attorney, people always ask me, “should I perform the tests?”  And my answer is, do what police officers do.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A Woodstock police officer faces arraignment in March for driving under the influence after he crashed his pick-up truck in Round Lake Beach about two weeks ago.

The officer was identified as Michael E. Niedzwiecki, 29, of Lake Villa, who was charged with DUI and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, according to a Round Lake Beach Police Department report.

The accident occurred Feb. 11 at 1:49 a.m. on Hainesville Road when Niedzwiecki’s 2007 Ford F250 pick-up went out of control while traveling northbound on a curve close to Clarendon Drive and struck a telephone pole, according to the report, which added that power lines knocked down by the crash blocked northbound traffic on Hainesville between Rollins Road and Clarendon.

According to the report, Niedzwiecki told one of the officers at the scene that he forgot about the sharp curve to the left in the roadway, and that is why he lost control of his truck. The report added that both Niedzwiecki and a woman who identified herself as his wife went to a nearby McDonald’s after the accident and before police arrived to get help.

The officer wrote in the report that Niedzwiecki was slurring his words and had glassy bloodshot eyes and an unsteady gait. “I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage,” the officer wrote.

When an officer asked Niedzwiecki to do a field sobriety test, Niedzwiecki refused and when asked to submit to a breath test, which he also refused, according to the report, and he was placed under arrest for DUI and was also cited for failure to reduce speed. When asked to make a statement about the accident, Niedzwiecki refused again, the report states.

According to the report, at one point, Niedzwiecki showed an officer his Woodstock police officer badge and identification card.

Read the whole story here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/lake-county-news-sun/crime/ct-lns-woodstock-officer-charged-dui-st-0225-20170224-story.html

Former Chicago Bear RB Cedric Benson arrested for DUI

Cedric Benson, the former Bears running back, who was cut from the team after being arrested twice in 2008, once for boating under the influence and then for driving under the influence, has been arrested again for DUI.

I should point out that after he was cut by the Bears, Benson was found not guilty for both 2008 arrests.

From CBS Sports:

The former running back who played for the Bears, Bengals and Packers over eight NFL seasons, and was taken with the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, was pulled over and arrested in Austin, Texas for a DUI charge, the Austin American Statesman reports.

And when he was pulled over, things got a little awkward.

According to a police affidavit obtained by the paper, Benson declined to stay in his vehicle after pulling over into a 7-Eleven parking lot, instead appearing to inform the officer he wanted to enter the convenience store.

The Statesman reports police described Benson’s as as “glassy.” He was also “swaying” and “his speech was mumbled and he smelled of alcohol.”

Benson is described in the affidavit as “talkative, uncooperative [and] cocky.”

Additionally, police wrote in the affidavit that Benson “refused sobriety tests.” Benson was asked to recite the alphabet and “stated he couldn’t do that because he played 8 years in the NFL.”

Benson told police he couldn’t count any higher than the number three.

This is not Benson’s first arrest and it’s not even his first arrest in Travis County, Texas. Benson was arrested in 2011 for assault on a family member, while having other legal issues in Austin pending. In 2014, Benson was arrested in Austin for public intoxication.

Benson was released by the Bears in 2008 after being busted for drunk driving and drunk boating (yes, both of them). He latched on with the Bengals but struggled to find a home as a free agent in 2012.