Woman Busted for DUI after Daughter Calls 911 on Her

Deborah Miller of Roswell, Georgia, is facing DUI charges after her 16-year- old daughter reported her drunk driving from the back of the car.

Miller was driving her teenage daughter and her daughter’s friends in late January when her daughter noticed that she was swerving all over the road. Apparently the daughter, at that point, pleaded with Miller several times to pull the vehicle over. When she didn’t, that is when Miller’s daughter called 911 from the backseat of Miller’s vehicle.

Miller was subsequently stopped and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

"The juvenile reported that her mother was weaving on the roadway, and was concerned with her safety, as well as the safety of her mother," said Officer Lisa Holland, Roswell Police Department’s public information officer. “We commend the child for calling us," said Officer Holland. "By doing so, she may have prevented an accident, and she may have saved her mom’s life as well as others.”

Miller is now facing DUI charges.

It cannot be argued that the teen did not do the right thing. She most certainly did. And extra credit should be given to her for having the courage to call 911 on her own. 

Leave a comment read more

Uber’s Solution to Rowdy Drunk Drivers

The car sharing industry is witnessing an increase in the usage of their services. Uber is one of the companies that has seen the positive impact of this increase. They are thriving and encouraging customers to use car sharing services, to avoid driving intoxicated.

These companies have also seen the negative side of driving mostly intoxicated riders home. Uber is seeing an increase in assault on drivers by intoxicated riders. In extreme cases, the driver has sued a customer or a customer has sued the driver.

One of the areas Uber is known for is transporting people home safely after a night of heavy drinking. So to keep their customers happy and their drivers safe, Uber has been conducting an experiment in Charlotte, North Carolina in which the drivers place a Bop-It on the backseat of their cars.

The primary goal is to have their intoxicated riders invested in the Bop-It game so they do not distract the driver and arrive safely to their destination.

“An intoxicated rider who is engaged in something interesting is less likely to be irritable and aiming aggression at the driver”- Joe Sullivan, Uber’s chief security officer.

Furthermore, this is still just in the trial phase. Uber is working hard towards accommodating both their workers and customers since their business depends on safety.

People who are intoxicated should also know their limit, because they can face charges if they were to attack someone while under the influence of alcohol.

Leave a comment read more

Avoid a Super Bowl DUI

“If you drive drunk, you, simply put, are a short sighted, utterly useless, oxygen wasting, human form of pollution,” said actress Helen Mirren in an upcoming Super Bowl ad for Anheuser-Busch. “A Darwin-award deserving, selfish coward. If your brain was donated to science, science would return it.”

Law enforcement will be out in full force this weekend to combat would-be drunk drivers as this will be the first time since 2003 that California has hosted the Super Bowl. Drivers can expect an increased number of sobriety checkpoints as well as saturation patrols in designated areas.

There are a few things that you can do to stay safe, avoid a DUI, and stay in the good graces of Helen Mirren.

Plan on using public transportation. This includes calling a cab, Uber, Lyft and, yes, even catching the bus.

Find a designated driver to hitch a ride with. Make sure that the designated driver actually remains sober. A designated driver who drinks even a little bit should no longer be a designated driver.

Remember it only takes a little alcohol to get a DUI even if the driver is under a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content or they don’t feel intoxicated. So if you’re not sure, don’t risk it.

However, if you must drive (and I don’t suggest that you do), alcohol dissipates from the body at an approximate rate of 0.5 ounces of alcohol per hour or 0.015 percent of blood alcohol content (BAC) per hour. I cannot stress this enough; this is an approximate calculation. The actual will vary based on individual characteristics of the person, what alcohol was consumed, and other factors.

The only surefire way to avoid a California DUI this Super Bowl Sunday is to just avoid the alcohol altogether.

Leave a comment read more

Newport Man Sentenced to 15 to Life for DUI Murder

Neil Storm Stephany, 24, of Huntington Beach was sentenced earlier this month to 15 years to life in prison for a second degree murder conviction stemming from an October 26, 2015 hit-and-run collision with killed a bicyclist. It was later determined that Stephany was under the influence of heroin at the time of the collision.

On October 19, 2014, Stephany veered his Toyota Tacoma pickup into the bike lane on E. Coast Highway colliding into the back of bicyclist Shaun Eagleson, 30, or Fountain Valley. Stephany drove into the guardrail and fled the scene.

Eagleson later died from his injuries.

Newport Beach Police located and arrested Stephany shortly after the collision. Several witnesses had called 911 prior to the collision to report Stephany’s erratic driving.

Following his arrest, Stephany was originally charged with felony DUI causing great bodily injury, hit and run, narcotics possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. However, upon discovering that Stephany had a 2011 California DUI conviction, a second degree murder charge was added.

Normally, a prosecutor must prove “implied malice” to be able to charge and convict someone of second degree murder. When someone drives drunk and kills someone they don’t intend, either actual or implied, any ill will toward the person whom was killed.

This, however, changes when someone has suffered a prior DUI conviction.

In his 2011 case, Stephany signed a document which included the following:

“I understand that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, impairs my ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous to human life to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both. If I continue to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and as a result of my driving, someone is killed, I can be charged with murder.”

Furthermore, it is likely that the judge who sentenced Stephany advised him of this as well.

Nonetheless, this acknowledgement, known as the “Watson Advisement” makes it possible for prosecutors to charge and convict someone of second degree murder if they kill someone in the course of driving under the influence and they have suffered a prior DUI conviction.

Leave a comment read more

Will Cooperation Get You Out of a DUI?

Some people think that if they cooperate with an officer who is investigating them for drunk driving, the officer will let them go, or, at least go easier on them. I can tell you that this is 100 percent false.

I would like to be clear that when I say “cooperation,” I mean doing what the officer wants you to do. Just because you exercise your rights does not make you uncooperative.

Following the traffic stop, the officer is going to want several things from you if they believe that you have been drinking. The officer is going to want you to answer his or her questions. They’re going to want you to perform field sobriety tests. They’re going to want you to provide a pre-arrest breath sample.

You can and you should always politely decline to do any of these things.

The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution gives you the right not to say anything. And you shouldn’t even if you don’t think you’re saying anything incriminating.

Field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable. In fact, I’ve never seen a DUI case where the suspect “passed” the field sobriety tests. This was true even when the person was, in fact, sober. Officers see what they want to see. In other words, the officer will interpret your performance as a “failure” even though you may have actually performed well.

The law only requires that a person provide a chemical test after a lawful arrest. Prior to a lawful arrest however, any breath test that the officer requests of you is optional. These tests are called Preliminary Screening Alcohol tests (PAS test). And again, politely decline the PAS test. Don’t give the officer any more reason to arrest you.

The officer is not going to let you go if you do what he or she wants.  The only thing you’re doing by submitting to their request is giving them more reason to arrest you. And, yes, they will arrest you.

The officer is not going to “go easy” on you. It’s not their call. If they arrest you, the case will be sent to the appropriate prosecutor’s office. It is the authority of the prosecutor, and only the prosecutor, to file charges and decide what sentence to offer as a plea deal.

You can exercise your rights while being cooperative. Politely decline to answer any questions. Politely decline to perform any field sobriety tests. Politely decline the PAS test. 

Leave a comment read more