Drunk Driver Kills Four Bridesmaids in Limo

 A man is being held on $500,000 bail after allegedly t-boning a limo carrying a bachelorette party while intoxicated, killing four bridesmaids.


The limo was carrying eight women who had just left a local winery in Long Island, New York. In a twist of irony, the women had hired the limo to avoid driving themselves drunk after visiting a winery in Cutchogue. The limo driver had attempted to make an illegal U-turn when a red pickup truck broadsided the limo.


Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley told the New York Post that the limo’s U-turn was a “dangerous move” because the limo’s length likely took up two or three lanes of the road. 


The collision left three of the eight women dead at the scene. Another woman died a short time later. The bride was amongst the four surviving women. However, she and another woman were left in critical condition, but are expected to survive.


“There was a bride — she survived — and a group of friends. I don’t believe it was a bridal party, but they were celebrating,” Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Miller told the New York Post.


The driver of the red truck, later identified as Steve Romeo, allegedly fled from the scene, but was soon caught.


Romeo was arraigned while in his hospital bed, but no members of the news media were allowed to attend.


Romeo’s defense attorney, Dan O’Brien, said that Romeo pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. O’Brien denied that Romeo fled the scene, but offered condolences to the


Miller confirmed that the investigation was ongoing and authorities were “looking into upgrading the charges significantly.”


Let this be a reminder that even if you, yourself, are not driving drunk, to be a defense driver on the lookout for others who may be driving drunk. 

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Eliminate Parking Tickets for Would-Be Drunk Drivers

 How many people end up driving home drunk because they’re afraid of receiving parking tickets from leaving their cars parked on the street?


Green Bay Alderman, Randy Scannell, hopes to eliminate this worry by eliminating parking tickets for people who are too drunk to drive home.


Many people hit the bars in downtown Green Bay and leave their cars overnight only to find a parking citation under the windshield wiper the next day. And aldermen including Scannell say they’ve heard complaints from people who have said that they’re being punished for trying to do the right thing by not driving drunk.


“We’re just seeing if we can’t come up with some kind of solution where we can invite people downtown and they can be responsible and not have a threat of getting a ticket,” Scannell told ABC2 WBAY.com.


Alderman, Mark Steuer, has proposed eliminating parking tickets for people who opt to leave cars downtown instead of driving home drunk.


“If we can figure out a way that we can help people be responsible, I think that’s what we need to do,” said Scannell.


The details of the proposal have not yet been worked out. The Aldermen are trying to figure out whether there would be free street parking or a park and ride area instead of street parking.


Patrick Leigl, the assistant attorney for the City of Green Bay is not as hopeful. “It’s creating more of a reward system by making an exemption when people just get too intoxicated. The concern that I have is not necessarily that the goal of deterring people from drinking and driving, it’s the potential of making an exception to a law” he said. 

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4th of July Weekend DUI’s Down in Los Angeles

The Fourth of July weekend marks a time when Americans fire up the barbeques and toss back beers to celebrate America’s birthday. And on a weekend known to be one of the deadliest in terms of drunk driving, local law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California were out in full force to crackdown on drunk drivers.


Both DUI arrests and traffic fatalities are down from last year. Either people opted to stay sober and/or stay off of the roads after their fireworks and drinks or the numbers reflect a shorter enforcement period this year than in 2014. This year’s enforcement period included 24 hours less than in 2014 because the 4th of July landed on a weekend.

During last year’s enforcement period for the Independence Day holiday weekend, 32 people were killed in traffic collisions throughout California. Los Angeles saw six deaths last year. California Highway Patrol arrested 1,343 drunk drivers in 2014.

This year, however, only 26 people were killed in traffic collisions throughout California and 930 people were arrested for drunk driving. Los Angeles only saw two deaths.

San Diego also saw a decrease. Last year in San Diego, 87 people were arrested for driving under the influence. This year, however, only 53 people were arrested.



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DUI Sentence Includes Holding a Sign Telling Other Not to Drink and Drive

In the past I’ve written about unusual and creative sentences handed down by judges for a DUI conviction. And this past weekend two multiple DUI offenders in Ohio served out the unusual punishment handed down to them.

Marcus Perry, 54, of Ashtabula, Ohio and Jeffrey Yenyo, 48, of Geneva, Ohio were ordered to hold signs about drinking and driving over the Fourth of July holiday  weekend.

Ashtabula Municipal Court Judge Laura DiGiacomo ordered Yenyo and Perry to stand at an Ashtabula intersection Friday and Saturday evenings while holding handmade warning signs about drinking and driving. The Star-Beacon reports Judge DiGiacomo says the creative sentencing was meant to send a message during the Fourth of July weekend.

The Fourth of July holiday weekend often proves to be one of the deadliest weekends of the year in terms of traffic fatalities for drunk driving.

Perry and Yenyo told WJW-TV that the punishment was fair, and they hoped they could help stop others from making the mistakes they did.

Perry had two previous DUI convictions and Yenyo had seven.


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Will My License be Suspended after a California DUI Conviction?

One of the most feared consequences associated with a California DUI conviction is the license suspension. While most people who have been convicted of a California DUI know that their license will be suspended, few know the process by which a license is suspended or for how long a license will be suspended following a DUI arrest. 
The first thing that people should be aware of is the fact that there are two separate proceedings which can lead to a license suspension; 1.) the DMV administrative per se (APS) action, and 2.) the court case.
Following the DUI arrest where it is suspected that a person had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent or if the person refused a chemical, that person has only 10 days to request a hearing from the DMV to try and save their driving privilege. Most people do nothing and their license is automatically suspended. If, however, a hearing is scheduled, that person or an attorney can present evidence to refute that the BAC was at or above a 0.08 percent or that the person refused a chemical test. 
These “APS” hearings are very difficult to win. This is because the hearing officer, who is an employee of the DMV, is both the proponent of the incriminating evidence as well as the finder of fact. In other words, the hearing officer acts as the prosecutor, jury, and judge. 
At the APS hearing, if it is found that a person had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more, they face a four month suspension. If it is found that the person refused a chemical test following a lawful arrest, they face a one year suspension. If the hearing is successful and it is found that the person neither had a 0.08 blood alcohol content nor refused the chemical test, their license is safe…at least for now.
Even if the DMV APS process has concluded, chances are that the court case is still ongoing. If a person is convicted of a California DUI either through a plea deal or after a trial, the court will notify the DMV of the conviction which triggers a “mandatory action” suspension. This suspension is six months in length. If the person served any time for an APS suspension, that time will be credited against the mandatory action suspension and the remaining APS suspension, if there is any, is served concurrently with the mandatory action suspension. In other words, a person who loses the APS hearing and is also convicted at court should serve no more than a six month suspension. 
So what happens when the APS hearing and the court case have different outcomes? 
DMV hearing loss and a court conviction -> License suspension
DMV hearing loss and a court dismissal -> License suspension
DMV hearing loss and an acquittal after a court trial -> License suspension set aside
DMV hearing win and a court conviction -> License suspension
DMV hearing win and a court dismissal -> No license suspension
DMV hearing win and an acquittal after a court trial -> No license suspension
Whether a license is suspended through the APS process or the mandatory action, a person can apply for a restricted license after 30 days of a “hard suspension.” During the hard suspension, the person cannot drive at all. After the hard suspension, and if a restricted license is granted, a person can travel to and from work, school, doctor’s appointments, and other necessary locations. 
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