Posts Tagged ‘DUI’

She must be MADD to be driving while she’s this drunk!

Monday, February 28th, 2011

How much alcohol do you have to drink to blow .234?  Ask Debra Oberlin, a 48 year old woman who was recently arrested for DUI in Gainesville Florida. Two things make Oberlin’s arrest worth commenting on.

The first is her blood alcohol level.

According to a report posted on Gainsville.com, Oberlin supplied breath samples of .234 and.239. The legal limit in Florida is driving under .o8. For those (like me) who sometimes have challenges with math, that means her blood alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit. Three times!

The second thing that makes Oberlin’s arrest interesting, is that she was the former president of a now defunct chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that MADD started out as a grass roots organization with the original goal of getting drunk drivers off of the road (in my opinion, a worthy goal – who doesn’t want safer roads?). Since then, MADD has become a behemoth with (I believe) the goal of raising as much money as possible to support corporate salaries and promote abstinence. But I digress.

The point of this article isn’t to slam MADD. I’l do that in another post. The point of this article is to show that anyone is capable of slipping up. And Debra Oblerlin REALLY slipped up.

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Judge apologizes after being arrested for DUI.

Friday, February 25th, 2011

New Mexico Court of Appeals Judge Robert E. Robles was recently arrested for DUI.

The arrest took place in Albuquerque after he reportedly ran a red light at 50 mph and nearly crashed his car into a police officer’s vehicle. According to police he had a breath-alcohol concentration of .20, nearly 2.5 times the legal limit.

Robles apologized, and stated (in part):

“I sincerely apologize to my family, to the citizens of New Mexico, to the members of the New Mexico Court of Appeals and to the entire New Mexico judiciary for my recent personal actions. I made an egregious error in judgment that resulted in painful consequences to those who place their trust in me.”

He’s placed himself on administrative leave without pay (which, in my opinion, is a very responsible thing to do).

He, like everyone else, is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

But if he is proven guilty, what should happen?

Should judges and lawyers and police officers (those who know the law, and are charged with upholding it) be held to a higher standard than everyone else?

Impaired driving charges dropped because police destroyed crucial evidence.

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

A Regina Saskatchewan judge ordered a stay of proceedings against a man who was facing impaired driving charges.

Why?

Because the RCMP destroyed evidence, and that deprived the accused of the opportunity to make full answer and defence to the charges.

I spoke with Regina impaired driving lawyer Chris Macleod, who was the lawyer for the defendant, Mr. Banford. Here’s what Chris had to say:

“In the Banford I’d made a timely request for full disclosure including video recordings of my client. The disclosure package I received did not include a copy of the video recording taken of my client at the RCMP detachment. This evidence is often crucial to determine what signs of impairment, if any, an accused displayed while under arrest, whether the breath test was properly conducted and whether the accused was accorded their rights under the Carter of Rights and Freedoms. I made additional requests for full disclosure, but the video evidence was never provided. I discovered that it had been destroyed, not by mistake or error, but by the RCMP recording system, which systematically destroys digital recordings after a period of 60 days. I argued that this denied my client the opportunity to make full answer and defence to the charges he was facing. The court agreed, and ordered that the charges could not proceed against my client (the charges were “stayed”).” (more…)

Impaired driving charges against Calgary Cop thrown out.

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Many people believe that impaired driving cases are open and shut. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Take the case of Travis Dunkle, a 42-year-old 17 year veteran detective with the Calgary Police Service.

In January 2009, Dunkle was stopped in a “check stop” by a fellow officer. If you don’t know, a check stop is essentially a randomly placed police roadblock designed to detect impaired drivers. In most cases there is no evidence of “impaired driving” (e.g. bad driving caused by impairment) since the person simply pulls into the check stop and talks to a police officer. So in Dunkle’s case, there was likely no evidence of impaired driving. So why was he charged? (more…)

When an MLA (Thornthwaite) gets charged with D.U.I., what should she do?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

What, if anything, does it say about DUI laws when a lawmaker is charged with it? And what should that lawmaker do if she finds herself in that position? While the World focuses on the last few days of the Olympics, one Vancouver politician will have to focus on how she will deal with being charged with impaired driving, and MADD’s calls for her resignation.

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