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Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

More Women Being Arrested for DUI in California

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Significantly more women are being arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in California, according to an analysis of Department of Motor Vehicles data performed by the KPCC public radio station. women alcohol drinker

Women accounted for about 11% of DUI arrests in 1989, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and that number increased to about 24% in 2011, which is the last year for which statistics are available.

“They were somewhat stable in the 1980s and then began to go up and just accelerated, particularly from 1999 to 2011,” said Steven Bloch, senior research associate with the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Young women were largely responsible for the increase in statewide DUI arrests in that time period. In Los Angeles County, DUI arrests of women ages 21 to 30 years old jumped by about 134% from 1999 to 2011.

Another group that stood out during the same period was women over the age of 50:

  • Arrests of women age 51 to 60 years old rose by 81%.
  • Arrests of female drivers age 61 to 70 climbed by 67%.
  • Women older than 70 saw a 76% increase in DUI arrests.

Conversely, overall DUI arrests for male drivers in L.A. County fell from 1999 to 2011, with the only age group seeing an increase being men between the age of 51 to 70 years old.

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation found similar results in a survey of women arrested for driving under the influence in California, Michigan, Missouri, and New York.

“We don’t know if more women are drinking and driving,” Erin Holmes, who is with the foundation, said. “All we do know is that more women are being arrested.”

Researchers have yet to come up with a definitive reason to explain the rise. One explanation is that law enforcement has made it a priority to get impaired drivers off the roads.

Drug Testing Substance Abuse

Police Claim Difficulty In Identifying Marijuana-DUI Offenders

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Despite recent news of medical marijuana bills being approved into law in several states across the US, law enforcers are unsure about the implementation of these new laws.

Marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington specifically state that drivers are considered under the influence of marijuana if a test shows at least 5 nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per milliliter of blood. But unlike DUI cases involving alcohol, breathalyzers cannot be used by the police to measure THC — the psychoactive component in marijuana — in the bloodstream of suspected drivers.

Psychiatry assistant professor R. Andrew Sewell of Yale School of Medicine said in a news release that the relationship between THC levels and driver impairment has not been scientifically ascertained. Some people have a high tolerance for THC, especially those who have been smoking pot regularly. The limits of the law could only result in two things: the assessor can either miss the impaired driver, or apprehend someone who can actually handle the THC limit.

Procedures for testing THC levels in the bloodstream are made available for assessing drivers. A step-by-step assessment process developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police involves an eye exam, and motor skills evaluation for the suspected user, such as the one-foot balance and a walk-and-turn test. However, only a small portion of the whole police force — less than 1% to be exact — are trained for this procedure to detect pot impairment.

Technology is still catching up to accurately detect marijuana use. The system of identifying alcohol-DUI cases in Washington is already one step ahead, as arrested or convicted drivers are required to install a vehicle starter device that detects alcohol from the driver’s breath. Law enforcers and legislators are hopeful that a similar technology can be developed for pot-DUI cases in the future.

Alcohol Testing Substance Abuse

ESPN Radio Personality Harry Teinowitz Arrested for DUI

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ESPN 1000 sports radio personality Harry M. Teinowitz has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol.

According to police, Teinowitz was driving an Harry Teinowitzeastbound 2011 Nissan Murano sport-utility vehicle when he was pulled over at 11:50 p.m. He was later charged with two counts of improper lane usage, one count of DUI and one count of DUI greater than .08. A Breathalyzer test put his blood-alcohol level at 0.131.

He was released after posting 10 percent of a $1,000 bond, although his driver’s license was taken away. He is due in court March 23.

Alcohol Testing Drug Testing

Two Off-Duty Cops Killed in Car Crash!

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Two police officers were killed while their four female companions were injured after their vehicle figured in an accident on the Bronx River Parkway.

Police identified the officers as 25-year-old Edwin Paulino and 32-year-old Kim Hoyoung. They were pinned inside the wreckage the 2009 Nissan Altima that they were riding in and were pronounced dead at the scene. Their female passengers were reportedly thrown from the vehicle.

car crashThe accident happened at 6:30 in the morning on Sunday. An article on the New York Post indicated that the cops were driving home from a birthday party for another police officer. Their vehicle hit a guardrail near the 233rd Street exit and flipped over.

Police investigators have, at this time, attributed the accident to “driver inattentiveness”; no other vehicles were involved in the accident, and speed was ruled out as a contributory factor to the accident. Blood tests are reportedly being conducted on the two officers to verify whether drugs or alcohol may have anything to do with the accident.

It was indicated in the New York Post article that the cops may have been intoxicated while driving. The sister of one of the injured women, Melina Ramirez, revealed that her sister shared with her that the cops had indicated that they were “a little tipsy” but were able to drive.

The women passengers had only met Paulino and Hoyoung at the party and were getting a ride home from them.

New York Health Screening

Alcohol Testing Substance Abuse

DUI Breath Interlock Devices Prone to Malfunctions

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What should have been a way for DUI defendants to drive prior to appearing in court has become the cause of headaches that more than two-thirds of those who are expected to use it choose not to.

drunk drivingThe Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, or BAIID, is used by DUI defendants to test alcohol level before driving. If the individual happens to blow even a small amount of alcohol into the device, that person will be unable to start the car. Users also need to blow into the device every 10 to 15 minutes while driving. The system will deter anyone from driving drunk.

The thing is, the device is picking up more than just alcohol from tequila shots at a friend’s party, as shared in a report on Fox News Chicago. Even Wonder bread, pizza and hotdog buns can set the device off and prevent users from driving – even if one did not drink at all. Alcohol testing consultant Dr. Ron Henson shares that they have found that pizza crust from certain locations can put a reading on the device more so than others.

Defense attorney Donald Ramsell said: “What was intended to be a boon has become a boondoggle.”

Henson also said that the device is more often triggered by enriched white bread, and pizza from Casey’s General Stores – based on the experiences of users. Experts hypothesize that the amount of yeast in the pizza crust may have something to do with it. The device can also be triggered by cough medicines, oral pain relievers and mouthwash.

Substance Abuse

Man Too Drunk to Attend DUI Hearing!

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It certainly looks like a DUI charge is not enough to wean a Nebraska man from drinking. Oh well, DUIs are practically a dime a dozen these days and no longer seems like a deterrent. When you have celebrities posing for mug shots on DUI charges one too many times, some may actually think it’s kinda chic.

alcoholic drinksA feature on MyWay.com tells how Jason Botos was too hammered on sentencing day that another warrant of arrest was issued against him. Botos pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge after figuring in a collision with five other vehicles in September, 2009.

Botos had a hearing scheduled for Thursday last week, and his father drove him to the Papillion courthouse. He was so drunk, though, that dad needed help from deputies to get him out of the car. Even if he got out of the vehicle, he was still too drunk to attend his own hearing, according to prosecutor Ben Perlman. Eventually, the judge issued a warrant and Botos was arrested by deputies in the parking lot.

Another hearing is set for Tuesday.

Alcohol Testing Substance Abuse

Mom to 911: I’m Driving Drunk!

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A mom in Albuquerque, New Mexico, did a good deed and called 911 to report a drunk driver cruising down a road with kids. Oh, and the driver was herself.

Maxine Sedillo called 911 with the following message, according to an article on KOAT News (ABC): “I’m calling the cops on myself, because I can’t drive drunk and went down the street driving with my kids.” The call was made Sunday night.

drunk drivingDeputies were sent over to where Sedillo was located, and the dispatcher said: “I’m just going to stay on the line with you until deputies get there, just to make sure everything stays OK.” Sedillo then responded: “Oh no, but I want to drive drunk.”

She is drunk, alright, no question about it! Police officers found Sedillo parked in front of her mother’s home. Her blood alcohol level was 0.16, and she admitted that she had consumed at least six alcoholic drinks.

Deputy Lawrence Koren of the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office reports that Sedillo was found by the deputy “in possession in control of the vehicle with the keys in the ignition and behind the wheel and the kids still in the vehicle.” This invalidated her good deed of making officers aware of her condition and led to an aggravated DWI and child abuse charge, both felonies. If convicted, she faces up to a year in prison for each count.

Koren said, though: “By calling the dispatcher to let us know that she was driving while intoxicated with her kids in the vehicle, that’s an apparent cry for help.”

Sedillo’s children are now with their grandmother.

Alcohol Testing Substance Abuse

iPhone App as Blood Alcohol Test

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The New Year’s Eve party will undoubtedly be only the first party of several that will make 2010 colorful for you. For those of us who are over 21, a party may involve a cocktail or alcoholic beverage or two; sometimes even more, depending on how much fun one is having.

martinisThe thing about having fun, though, is that one cannot forget about what happens after. Unfortunately, there have been quite a number of unfortunate accidents in the past that started out with a night of ideally harmless fun. The Colorado Department of Transportation has prepared for such occurrences by helping people find out whether they are sober enough to get behind the wheel or not using one of the more popular gadgets around – the iPhone.

Called ‘R U Buzzed’, this free iPhone app was launched by the Colorado Department of Transportation in early December. Since its launch, the Wall Street Journal reports that the app has been downloaded more than 40,000 times. It works be helping users calculate their blood alcohol levels and then prompting users with a message that says that they should not drive.

Users are asked to enter their weight, gender, the number of hours they have been drinking and the amount of alcoholic beverage – whether that may be wine, beer or vodka – that has been consumed. The app calculates one drink as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Once the app has calculated based on the values given, it will display a blood alcohol content value. The app will then say, “You’re buzzed!” and tell you that “you could be arrested for impaired driving” and that you should “designate a sober driver”. It is also equipped with a GPS feature that helps a user find a cab if there is no one sober enough to drive.

Since this app is from the Colorado Department of Transportation, all estimates are based on Colorado laws and the GPS feature may not work outside of Colorado.

Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Julie Ann Kroll’s Battle with Alcoholism

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The body of a woman from Woodbridge, Virginia who has been missing since December 16 has been found. Police and firefighters recovered the remains of 39-year-old Julie Ann Kroll from a 100-ft ravine behind a row of townhouses near the intersection of Forestdale and Beaumont roads in Dale City, according to a report.

KrollThe circumstances surrounding her disappearance were sad and disheartening, to say the least. Apparently, Kroll was intoxicated on the afternoon of December 16 and drove her SUV with her 8-year-old daughter. Investigators believe that she received a call on a mobile phone to stop her SUV and let the child out of the vehicle.

Kroll eventually did stop the SUV as a neighbor shared how he witnessed a little girl get out of the vehicle and go to a neighbor’s house for help; this was around 5:45 pm on December 16. Kroll herself reportedly got out of the SUV, but even as she did so she left the vehicle in drive. The car then drove off by itself and came to rest in a bush. Kroll was then seen walking down the street and did not return to take her daughter. It was the little girl’s father who picked her up in the evening.

Warrants of arrest for Kroll on charges of felony child neglect, driving on a revoked operator’s license and driving with an open alcoholic container were issued by the police.

Neighbors pitched in and organized search parties to find Kroll since her disappearance, to no avail.

According to Jim Patricio, Kroll’s father, Julie Ann had been struggling with alcoholism for many years. Court records show that she had had a few alcohol-related incidents, ranging from charges of drunken driving, refusal to undergo breath analyzer testing from a police officer and driving with a revoked license.

Substance Abuse

Woman Tells 911 on Drunk Driver — Herself!

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This woman on a video featured on ABC News deserves both a commendation and a citation.

A 911 dispatcher in Wisconsin received a really interesting call from a woman reporting a drunk driver. There are signs on freeways urging people to call 911 to report drunk drivers that may be sharing the road with them in order to prevent potentially fatal car crashes, and this woman heeded that advice. Only she was not merely sharing the road with a drunk driver; she was the drunk driver.

drunk drivingMary Strey of Wisconsin reached a dispatcher on Clark Country 911 and said “Somebody’s really drunk driving down Granton Road”. The dispatcher proceeded to ask her which way the drunk driver was going, whether it was towards Granton or towards Neillsville, and she simply responded that the driver was proceeding towards Granton.

It was when the dispatcher asked whether she was following the drunk or if the drunk was behind her when she said, “I am them”; the dispatcher seems to have been caught unaware as he paused for a bit before clarifying what he just heard by asking, “So you want to call in and report that you’re driving drunk?” to which Strey responded, “Yes.”

She was asked by the dispatcher to pull over and wait for police, and she did so. A field sobriety test confirmed that she was, indeed, drunk, and she was eventually arrested for DUI.

It was a good gesture, and created quite an interesting news report – but what would have been better is if she had not gotten behind a wheel in the first place. It was rather good, though, that she seems to have realized her mistake and called in for help. Once you’re drunk and your decision-making abilities are compromised, it can be easy to think that you are well enough to drive home even if you weren’t.

Moral of the story is – if you were to go somewhere where there may be a bit of drinking and you would like to oblige, then make sure that there is someone else who can drive for you. If you know that there’s no one available, then don’t drink at all.