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Here’s a DUI story from Arizona reminding the judicial bench and the good people of Arizona that we are all human.

Allegedly County Judge Lodge was stopped by local law enforcement in his SUV when he swerved across the yellow line and was too incoherent to perform field sobriety tests. When exiting his vehicle he apparently slammed his own arm in his car door. When asked what he had to drink, the good judge indicated the standard 3 beers answer; however his BAC was .22, a very high number, nearly 3 times the legal limit. Additionally, he indicated he took several prescription painkillers, oxycodone for a medical condition. The painkillers would not effect his BAC level, but would strongly effect his coordination. The painkillers in addition to the nearly empty bottle of vodka in his car, together could easily have been life threatening irrespective of driving drunk. The judge did indicate he was having wife/domestic issues (which would be enough to put somebody in this state of mind and should be a pass for DUI) and thus I question between the alcohol and the drugs what his desired end game was. The county apparently placed him on a desk for “personal reasons” and failed to indicate to the public what had actually occurred.

This is an interesting and sad story for a few reasons. It is interesting because Arizona is a state which is extremely unforgiving in its DUI law. This BAC number in a DUI is considered and “extreme DUI” and the punishment upon conviction is 30 days minimum in jail among other things. When that does occur, and the good judge finds himself behind the very bars that he sentences poor hapless defendants to every day, the question then becomes will he lose his job as a judge as a result of his one night soiree into the dark side of life. If he does not lose his job as a result of demonstrating incredibly bad judgment, should he? Should he continue to sit in judgment of others?
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St. Patrick’s Day falls this week and many people will be celebrating this auspicious occasion all week long. It’s a fun time for drinking and sharing good times with friends; but be warned the police are watching very closely so be careful. In fact, in Maryland, local and State Police are upping the anti by increasing DUI patrols the entire week for the sole purpose of nabbing intoxicated DUI/DWI Maryland drivers.

The police are armed with their statistics which reveal that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations increase the number of intoxicated drivers someplace in the area of four times what they see normally. The police indicate that nationwide there were 103 traffic fatalities on this holiday in 2009 with more than a third involving a driver with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.

The Maryland State Police continued that they made twice as many DUI arrests on St. Patrick’s day 2010 and the four days following the Holiday then they did the entire week before. Remember that a Maryland driver charged with DUI or DWI faces a fine up to $1,000.00, up to one year in jail for a first offense and 12 points on their driver’s license as well as a period of suspension from the MVA for driving with over .08 in the blood (BAC-blood alcohol content). If this eventuality happens, you must retain qualified DUI counsel ASAP to help deal with these potentially costly long term ramifications.

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A man and his wife were awakened at 3:00 am by a loud pounding on the door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

Not a chance,’ says the husband, “‘it is 3:00 in the morning!’ He slams the door and returns to bed.

Who was that?’ asked his wife.

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It seems in Reno there was a police sergeant that had a knack for not following the rules and for continually violating department policy without discipline from the department. Consequently it is alleged that this sergeant, in an DUI alcohol stop apparently sexually violated a 17 year old girl in the back of his cruiser during a 2006 traffic stop. Naturally, the police department is claiming no foul on their part and there guy did nothing wrong, but whoops, they fired their guy after an investigation. Boy, talk about your slippery slopes “well, our guy did nothing wrong but we thought we would fire him anyway”. The civil suit is in Federal District Court right now. According to the Court documents the cop placed the young girl in the back of his cruiser and pressured her to undress for his sexual gratification in order to avoid a drunk driving arrest. No word on whether she “beat” the charges or not.
Dubious cop behavior is not limited to the western United States, although admittedly the western part of the country seems to have more than its fair share of sexual debacles. Be that as it may, here in sunny Baltimore City, Maryland we recently relieved over 30 police officers of their official duties as they were engaging in a scheme to utilize tow trucks to tow cars involved in traffic matters, like DUIs or accidents, and then the cop would receive a kickback from the tow company of roughly $300. The tow truck company being used was not authorized by Baltimore City or Maryland to provide towing service. Apparently, some officers were making a tidy little some at this prank until the brass caught wind of it and now they are all fired or soon to be fired. Allegedly one officer made over $14,000 over two years. Now they are all without jobs-interesting carrier move there. More information on the situation is here.
Anyway, the point is we have the corrupt (some-not all) watching over the drunk or impaired. Generally speaking, not the best situation to be in. You see, the police will say they do not have quotas or numbers of DUI arrests to effectuate each month but, let’s just say, they do. Now, since it is the officer that has to make a very subjective decision about whether to arrest, and since his work product is partially evaluated on the number of arrests he makes, it is not the best position for Mr. nervous Joe Public to be in. Here is an example:
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So yesterday it was reported that some former MADD pain in the ass, chapter president out of the sunshine state (Florida) over indulged her (apparently strong) hidden desire for alcohol and was arrested prior to killing someone since it was alledged she was driving her car at a .23. Lets hope she is still in jail right now! Perhaps her brothers and sisters of the MADD organization could be arrested as well for being pompous and unfeeling to those that are affected by this insidious condition and put up a good fight every day.

Anyway, todays news is that the starlight Christina Aguilera was “detained” for being too drunk to care for herself. She apparently was a passenger in a car operated by her boyfriend, Matt Rutler when he was popped for swerving and driving erratically. The funny thing is, Christina was soooo drunk that the police could not even release her following the arrest of her boyfriend (which would be normal procedure) because she was allegedly too drunk to care for herself. Apparently, they set a $250 bail on her, not entirely sure why that was; but I can guess it was because they had to put up with her crap in a jail cell until she slept it off or until somebody came to claim her. I think it would be a perfect opportunity for her to practice the National Anthem.
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Absolutely Unreal!

A former MADD chapter president was arrested on serious DUI charges in Florida on February 18, 2011. In some ways this is hard to believe but in others, it’s not hard at all. The details of the arrest are here.
The thing about these self righteous, self glorified MADD folks is they think they walk on water. They believe they are somehow different then every other living person on this planet. Well here is a news flash, you are not different then the rest of us. You are human, you make mistakes and hopefully you try to rectify your mistakes like other humans and if you are lucky, maybe you won’t be judged like you go around judging others every day.
You see when DUI lawyers are in court, it is our job to help defendants come to terms with the mistakes they have made regarding drinking and driving. The overwhelming majority of the folks are good people, with good jobs and good family life. Most are first time offenders. However, when we go to court to help these good people, many time we are met with judgmental members of MADD sitting in the court room, judging these folks as being bad people. MADD folks are in court trying to make defendants feel bad and trying to apply pressure to the real judge in the room in order to provoke a bad outcome for the defendant.
As a result of ongoing MADD presence and endless MADD diatribe in the news, DUI defendants, victims of an ambiguous legal system, can get a bad rap. Fortunately, many judges see this MADD CRAP and do the right thing despite their bullshit. Unfortunately, there are some judges and even some prosecutors that this lawyer deals with have lost their way and judge people way to harshly, essentially throwing rocks when they themselves live in glass houses. I was surprised to hear from my law enforcement friends that in some of the harshest jurisdictions in Maryland, the same judges that will not hesitate to screw a DUI defendant as hard as possible are the same judges that receive a ride home from law enforcement when they are stopped for drinking and driving. But I digress. . .
The point of this article is that it is not hard to believe that Debra Oberlin, a former president of MADD was arrested for DUI because she is human and humans do in fact make mistakes, get over MADD, find something else to do with your time other then harass good people!
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