Tiger Woods reaches plea deal reducing DUI to reckless driving

From NPR:

Tiger Woods pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a DUI charge stemming from his arrest in May, when police found him asleep at the wheel of his car in Jupiter, Fla.

But Woods is expected to plead guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving in October, reports Reuters. He will then likely enter a year-long probation program for first-time offenders involving DUI classes, community service and possible treatment. Successful completion would allow him to avoid a DUI conviction, reports the wire service, citing the prosecutor’s office.

Dave Aronberg, state attorney for Palm Beach County, says defendants in the program “accept responsibility for their actions” and “have their underlying substance abuse issues addressed.”

On Wednesday Woods did not appear at the North County Courthouse in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. His lawyer Douglas Duncan entered the not-guilty plea and did not answer the questions of reporters gathered there, says Reuters.

Woods was arrested in the early morning hours of May 29, after police found him unconscious in his parked Mercedes about 15 miles from home, reports The Associated Press. The car was damaged on the driver’s side but the officers who checked the area were unsure how the damage was incurred.

Police released dashcam video showing Woods stumbling and slurring his way through a field sobriety test.

In a statement issued later that day, Woods said, “What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”

According to the police report, the 41-year-old Woods said he had taken Xanax. He passed a breathalyzer test.

Arrest of college football star demonstrates that you can get a DUI even when not driving

People are often surprised to discover that you can get charged with a DUI even if you are not driving.  A good example was recently demonstrated by the arrest of Alabama star defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand, who was found by police sleeping in his vehicle.

From the Sporting News:

Alabama defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand was reportedly not driving his vehicle at the time of his DUI arrest on Saturday, according to a report from The Tuscaloosa News. He was asleep behind the wheel in his car, which was parked.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the officer who arrested Hand found him at 4:30 a.m. in a parking lot near campus. Hand was sitting in the driver’s seat with the car’s headlights turned on and his vehicle cranked. The fact that his keys were in the ignition is what prompted his arrest.

In Illinois, the DUI statute (625 ILCS 5/11-501) states that “A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while…”  [under the influence of alcohol, drugs, etc.].

The Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction (I.P.I. 23.43) explaining “actual physical control” states as follows:  “The phrase “actual physical control” means that the defendant was in the vehicle and in a position to exercise control over the vehicle by starting the engine and causing the vehicle to move.”  Actual movement, or even having the ignition turned on, are not required; just the ability to do so.

This means that if you get into your car while intoxicated, but decide that instead of driving home that you will just stay put and try to sleep it off, you are in danger of being arrested for a DUI.

I have never agreed with this law.  What do you think?

Former Disney Child Star arrested for DUI in his Rolls-Royce

Brandon

From ET online:

Former Sonny With a Chance star Brandon Mychal Smith was arrested for driving under the influence on July 23, ET can confirm.

Smith was arrested in Burbank, California, at 7:40 a.m., and charged with a misdemeanor DUI. The 28-year-old’s bail was set at $15,000. He remained in custody for several hours before being released the same day.

TMZ reports that Smith was driving his Rolls-Royce in Burbank when he overshot a crosswalk at a red light. His blood alcohol level was reportedly at twice the legal limit.

Smith started his acting career at age 8 in a small role in She’s All That, before continuing on in roles on Phil of the Future, Sonny with a Chance, and So Random! He recently appeared in Dirty Grandpa, and has a recurring role on You’re the Worst and Sweet/Vicious.

CA teen who livestreamed drunk driving crash that killed her sister is charged

From the L.A. Times:

A California teen accused of driving drunk as she livestreamed a crash that killed her younger sister was charged Wednesday with half a dozen felony criminal offenses, including gross vehicular manslaughter, prosecutors said.

Along with a felony manslaughter while intoxicated charge, Obdulia Sanchez, 18, is facing another count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, according to the Merced County district attorney’s office.

She is also charged with two counts of driving under the influence resulting in injury and two additional counts of driving with a 0.08% blood alcohol content causing injury, the district attorney’s office said…

[The prosecutor Harold Nutt] said Sanchez, whose blood alcohol content was 0.10%, was not paying attention while driving. She was driving erratically and not holding the wheel, he said.

Nutt said the video “reflects some depravity and some stupidity.”

If Sanchez is convicted, she faces up to 13 years and eight months in prison, according to the district attorney’s office. She is being held in lieu of $560,000 bail.

The case received international attention after she recorded the moments before and after the crash on Instagram Live on Friday.

The Stockton resident filmed herself behind the wheel of a 2003 Buick as her 14-year-old sister, Jacqueline Sanchez, and a second 14-year-old girl sat in the back seat.

The California Highway Patrol said Sanchez was driving north of Los Banos when she swerved off the road and over-corrected her turn. She then veered across the road and crashed into a wire fence and her car rolled into a field.

The two girls in the rear seat, who were not wearing seat belts, were ejected from the vehicle, the CHP said.

Read the whole story here:  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-teen-livestream-fatal-crash-charges-20170726-story.html

Packers’ DT Letroy Guion arrested for DUI

From PackersNews.com:

GREEN BAY – Letroy Guion’s future with the Green Bay Packers is even more in doubt after he was arrested Wednesday in Hawaii and charged with driving under the influence.

Guion, who is under suspension for the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, was found to have a blood alcohol level of .086 during a routine traffic stop. The legal limit in Hawaii is .08.

“The Packers are aware of the matter involving Letroy Guion,” a Packers spokesman said. “We will refrain from making any further comment as it is an ongoing legal matter.”

Honolulu Police said Guion was pulled over at 4:20 a.m. Honolulu time during a routine traffic stop.

Guion, who turned 30 on Wednesday, was released on $500 bail.

The Packers had not indicated how long they would keep Guion on the roster after his second suspension in March, but because he would be suspended without pay for those four weeks, it would cost the team nothing to retain him as an insurance policy in the event it needed a defensive lineman.

The 2017 suspension was Guion’s second with the Packers, who signed him as a street free agent in 2014.

Guion’s first suspension came after he was stopped in February 2015 in Florida because his truck was swerving across the center line. Officers found a gun, three-fourths of a pound of marijuana and $190,000 in cash. He pleaded no contest to possession of marijuana and paid a $5,000 fine.

As a result, he served a three-game suspension at the start of the 2015 NFL season.

His legal troubles began before he joined the Packers. He had been charged in criminal cases three times, including a stalking charge and two domestic violence incidents that resulted in three counts of battery. In one case, he was charged with hitting the mother of his child in the jaw.

The Packers signed Guion to a three-year deal in February 2016 worth up to $11 million. The contract was heavy on incentives and contained only $500,000 in guaranteed money. According to an ESPN report, Guion and the Packers agreed to move two offseason roster bonuses of $400,000 into the regular season, helping the team put off a decision on whether to cut Guion loose.

Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor pleads guilty to DUI

I wrote about Lawrence Taylor’s DUI arrest last September (read the post here).

The case was resolved this week when he plead guilty and received probation.  From The Sporting News:

Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty Monday to a DUI charge in South Florida but has avoided jail time in his latest run-in with the law, Palm Beach County Court records show.

The former Giants great, 58, received 12 months probation and must pay almost $1,500 in fines and court costs as a result of the Sept. 2. incident in which he sideswiped a motorhome and police car near Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the New York Daily News reported.

Taylor also must enroll in DUI courses, install an ignition interlock device on his car and perform 75 hours of community service.

Chicago Police Officer arrested for on-duty DUI

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

An on-duty Chicago Police officer was charged with DUI on Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a police station in the Southwest Side Chicago Lawn neighborhood.

Dale Jesionowski, 53, was driving a police vehicle around noon in the 8th District police station parking lot at 3420 W. 63rd St. when he struck a curb, according to a statement from Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

An on-duty police lieutenant witnessed the crash and had a conversation with Jesionowski, who was charged with one misdemeanor count of DUI, police said.

Jesionowski, who is assigned to the 8th District, has been relieved of his police powers while Internal Affairs investigates, police said. “These allegations are serious and the district took appropriate steps,” Guglielmi said.