Judge Orders DUI Offenders to Use Ridesharing Apps

Some call it unorthodox and some call it creative. Whatever you call it, some judges are finding some rather unusual penalties for DUI offenders as a means to keep them from driving under the influence again.

According to The News-Herald, Ohio Municipal Court Judge, Michael A. Cicconetti has been ordering people convicted of “operating a vehicle while impaired” (OVI), which is the Ohio equivalent to California’s “driving under the influence” (DUI), to install ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft on their phone as part of their sentence. As a condition of their probation, they must also input their credit card information into the app.

"If you can save one person from getting another OVI, one person from getting into an accident, one person from hurting somebody else, it makes sense," Cicconetti told The News-Herald. "It’s just common sense. It doesn’t cost anybody anything to install it and activate it, and it’s far cheaper than paying the thousands of dollars you’d have to pay for another OVI."

Judge Cicconetti is no stranger to “creative sentencing,” myself, or my readers. In fact, I wrote about another one of Judge Cicconetti’s “creative sentences” back in January of 2013.

In that instance, Judge Cicconetti gave a DUI offender the option of going to jail or viewing the bodies of fatal traffic collisions.

Cicconetti has grown a reputation for handing out controversial sentences. In 2009 Cicconetti sentenced a man to wear a chicken suit in public as punishment for solicitation of a prostitute. The choice in attire was in direct reference to the Chicken Ranch Brothel. In 2005 Cicconetti sentenced a woman to spend the night out in the woods for abandoning 33 kittens in the forest during winter. In 2011 a couple pled guilty to taking an unregistered raft to Grand River, ignoring flood emergency warnings, and were sentenced to standing in a kiddy pool, wearing life jackets, while handing out safety pamphlets during a food festival.

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Former Los Angeles Laker Arrested for California DUI


Former Los Angeles Laker (one of my person favorite ex-Lakers) and ex-New York Knicks head coach, Derek Fisher was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after he flipped his vehicle in the early morning hours of June 4th.

Fisher and his passenger, former “Basketball Wives” reality star Gloria Govan were traveling westbound on the 101 freeway approaching the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. A little after 3 a.m., Fisher lost control of a 2015 Cadillac which hit a guardrail causing the Cadillac to overturn and come to a rest on its roof. It was later determined that the Cadillac belonged to Golden State Warrior, Matt Barnes.

Both Fisher and Govan were helped out of the vehicle and, fortunately, neither were injured.

Upon arriving at the scene, law enforcement determined that Fisher had been drinking and he was arrested on suspicion of a California DUI.

Fisher is a resident of Tarzana and was head coach of the Knicks from 2014 to 2016. Before that, Fisher played 18 years in the NBA, spending 1996 to 2004 and 2007 to 2012 with the Los Angeles Lakers and was a key player during the Lakers’ five NBA championships with them.

Govan, also a resident of Tarzana, is the ex-wife of Golden State Warrior and former UCLA forward Matt Barnes.

Fisher and Govan have been dating since 2015.

“The most important part is that we’re here and that no one else was injured,” Fisher told TMZ on Monday. “So from here, just focusing on the positives of being here.”

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Tiger Woods Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

Tiger Woods has been a household name for the last 20 years having won 14 major golf championships. The golfer is once again in the news, but not for his precision on the links. Woods, 41, was arrested this past Memorial Day Monday on suspicion of driving under the influence.

According to police, Woods was found asleep behind the wheel of his black 2015 Mercedes-Benz in the early morning hours of Monday, Memorial Day. Upon being woken up, Woods had “slow, sluggish and very slurred” speech and was “unable to walk alone.”

Woods told officers that he was coming from Los Angeles, California from golfing.

Field sobriety tests were administered and, according to police, Woods performed poorly. He could not turn and walk on a straight line, maintain a standing position on one leg, or understand the instructions to recite the alphabet.

Although breath test later showed that Woods’s blood alcohol content was 0.00 percent, he later attributed the incident to an “unexpected reaction” to medication.

“I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly,” said Woods in a statement released on Monday.

Woods has recently struggled with injuries which have kept him out of golfing for the PGA Tour. Although he was scheduled to play in the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens in February, he withdrew from the tournament because of back issues. He underwent back surgery in April of this year to attempt to fix his back problems.

Woods told officers that he had taken several prescription drugs for pain including Vioxx and Vicodin.

Tiger Woods’s case reminds us that a person can have a blood alcohol content of 0.00 percent and still get arrested for driving under the influence. A person need not have alcohol in their system or even illegal drugs. Whether prescription, as was Woods’s case, or over the counter drugs, as long as the drug affects a person’s ability to drive as a reasonable and sober person would, they can get a DUI.


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What is the Difference Between a DUI and an OUI?

What is the difference between a DUI and an OUI? Or a DUI and DWI? Or a DUI and an OWI?

DUI here in California, and a number of other states, means “driving under the influence.” While the meaning of DUI remains the same amongst states that use that acronym, the law which prohibits driving the influence may not be.

In California, a person can be charged with a DUI if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, or if the person is “under the influence.” And being under the influence in California means being affected by alcohol or a drug (either prescription or non-prescription) such that the person’s ability to drive a vehicle is not as it would have been if the person was sober.

Now I don’t know what the exact law is in other states being a DUI attorney in California exclusively. What I can tell you is what the acronyms mean in other states.

The OUI in the title means “operating under the influence of an intoxicating liquor.”

Other states use different abbreviations. OVI means “operating a vehicle while intoxicated.” OMVI means “operating a motor vehicle while impaired.” DUII means “driving under the influence of intoxicants.” DUII-CS means “driving under the influence of intoxicants: controlled substances.” OWI means “operating while intoxicated.” DWI means “driving while intoxicated.” DWAI means “driving while ability impaired.”

Call it what you want, they all generally mean the same thing and none of them are good.


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Half Police Car, Half Taxi Being Used to Prevent Drunk Driving

Some of the rather creative methods employed by law enforcement and anti-drunk driving groups to deter drunk driving often surprises me. A new tactic by police in Hampton, Virginia is no exception.

The police department has released a car that is half police car and half taxi cab.

On the half of the car that looks like a police car, $8,100 is painted. The number indicates the costs associated with receiving a DUI conviction. On the taxi half of the car, $15 is painted. This number represents the average cost of hiring the taxi to drive a person home when they are too drunk to drive. Needless to say, the point in painting the numbers on the side of the car is to highlight that taking a cab can save a person thousands of dollars.

Frank Azzalina, a spokesman for Yellow Cab of Hampton, said, “It really sinks in, it’s maybe subliminal. It sits in the back of your mind that there are choices when you have a little bit too much to drink.”

The car took to the streets and you can bet that police had a lot of questions about it from people on the street.

"We want everyone to drink responsibly, designate a designated driver or think ahead and call a cab before you get behind the wheel and make that decision," said Sgt. Matt Bond in a video posted by the Hampton Police. “We’re hoping that something like this that can be rolling or also parked outside of an event will give that extra thought to someone before they actually get behind the wheel and drive intoxicated or even buzzed driving.”

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