Karaoke Joint Hit by DUI Driver


Early Wednesday morning, a man suspected of driving under the influence of drugs crashed into a South Bay karaoke restaurant on Artesia Boulevard in Torrance.

According to ABC Eyewitness News, the driver, Jose Ferrez, went down the wrong side of the street, collided with two vehicles, hit a fire hydrant, and then hit a light pole before finally crashing into Astro Karaoke’s storefront.

Surveillance footage from inside Astro Karaoke captured the crash.

Fortunately, no one was hurt except for the driver, who suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The employees of Astro Karaoke happened to be at the rear of the building with a few karaoke-singing customers, a safe distance away from the impact of the crash. NBC 4 reported that Astro Karaoke’s owner had decided to close the business early that night, which probably saved many would-be customers from injury.

Ferrez, of Federal Way, Washington, is suspected of driving under the influence of PCP. Hospital workers reported the presence of PCP in his system and Ferrez will be charged with DUID (DUI drugs). Allegedly, Ferrez has an outstanding warrant in Washington state.

Safety department crews assessed the damage at the scene of the karaoke restaurant later that day.

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Loyal Friend Returns to Scene of DUI


A DUI in Williamson, Kentucky made the news when a passenger released from an impaired driving traffic stop returned to the scene so that her friend, the driver, would not go to jail alone. According to Williamson police, Ariyonna Friend, 18, of Jenkins, Kentucky, is facing charges of underage consumption, public intoxication and obstruction.

The incident occurred on March 8, when Williamson Police Officer Jarrod Marcum pulled over a Chevrolet Cruze at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Logan Street in Williamson. Elizabeth Brett, an 18-year-old from Mayking, Kentucky, was the driver. Officer Marcum noticed Brett smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech. When the officer ran her license, he found that Brett only had a learner’s permit to drive.

The officer then conducted a field sobriety test, in which Brett showed obvious symptoms of intoxication and impairment. A preliminary breath test revealed a BAC of .120, roughly 50% higher than the legal limit. Brett is facing charges of driving down a one-way street, reckless driving, and driving under the influence.

As for Friend, Officer Marcum released her at the scene of the traffic stop and said she could go. But a little later, Friend returned, stating that she would not let her friend go to jail by herself. Consequently, Marcum administered her a preliminary breath test, which found Friend’s BAC at .179, over twice the legal limit.

Brett and Friend were both arraigned before Mingo Magistrate Donald Sansom and were later released.

What do you think—would you expect your friend to behave like Friend did?

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Bus Overturns on the Way to the Masters Tournament


Early Thursday before 9 a.m., a bus driver flipped a tour bus over en route to the 2018 Masters Tournament in Georgia. Of the eighteen passengers, sixteen people were injured, and the driver has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and failure to maintain his lane.

The driver, 61-year-old Stephen Hoppenbrouwer, ran the bus off the right side of the road, then “overcorrected back to the left and the vehicle overturned in the median” on the Interstate-20 in Columbia County, about 18 miles west of Augusta National Golf Club. Fourteen people are being treated for their injuries at local hospitals.

Officials with Augusta University Medical Center stated they had received seven patients from the crash, five of which are in critical condition. The rest of the injuries range in severity from critical to minor injuries.

The crash caused I-20 to shut down in both directions, but the interstate has since reopened. The bus was moved from the scene at around midday Thursday.

The bus is owned by Jet Executive Limousine, Inc.

While the charge of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) carries the same legal effects as a drunk driving charge, the way that law enforcement tests for drugs differs from methods of testing intoxication. Breath tests do not pick up the presence of drugs, so blood tests are used when officers suspect an individual is driving under the influence of drugs.

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DUID Suspect Leads Police on a 100 mph Chase


Early Monday, Santa Rosa police arrested a Windsor man suspected of driving under the influence of drugs and taking officers on a 100 mile per hour chase into Santa Rosa.

According to Santa Rosa Police Sergeant Chris Mahurin, at approximately 12:55 a.m. Monday, Danne James Petras, 38, took the Steele Lane exit off Highway 101 and ran a red light in front of a Santa Rosa police officer at the intersection.

The officer attempted to pull over Petras, but the driver ran two more red lights and got up to a speed of 100 miles per hour on Guerneville Road to evade the officer.

Petras made a left on Ridley Avenue and entered a residential neighborhood. He ditched his Range Rover on Greeneich Avenue, then fled his vehicle. Petras was apprehended after a brief foot chase and short struggle.

Officers suspected he was under the influence of methamphetamine and arrested Petras on suspicion of felony evading arrest, misdemeanor DUI and obstruction.

Petras was taken to a nearby hospital for a medical evaluation and then booked into the Sonoma County Jail. Bail was set at $20,000.

Petras was charged with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), which differs greatly from the typical alcohol-related DUIs. Learn more about the differences here.

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‘Affluenza’ DUI Teen Nears Prison Release


Ethan Couch, widely known as the “affluenza teen,” is set to be released on April 2 after serving a 720-day sentence for violating his probation for a 2013 drunken driving crash that killed 4 people.

Couch will be released from Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas, after serving almost 2 years in jail. After violating his probation, he was sentenced to serve 180 days for each of the four victims he killed as a 16-year-old.

The terms of his probation required Couch to avoid alcohol consumption, but in 2015, a video surfaced online that depicted him playing a drinking game at a party. Couch did not attend his next probation meeting and instead fled to Mexico with his mother, Tonya Couch.

The mother and son were caught in Puerto Vallarta after police tracked their cellphone when they tried to order a Domino’s pizza, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The pair was arrested and brought back to the US, where the teen’s case was transferred to the adult system. Tonya Couch was charged with hindering apprehension of a felony and money laundering. She is currently free on bond before her trial.

Ethan Couch gained widespread attention for his “affluenza” defense in 2013, when a defense psychologist at his manslaughter trial attributed his actions in the drunken driving deaths to “affluenza,” a lower sense of responsibility due to family wealth. At the sentencing, the psychologist, Dr. Dick Miller, stated that Couch’s parents “taught him a system that’s 180 degrees from rational. If you hurt someone, say you’re sorry. In that family, if you hurt someone, send some money.”

Couch initially avoided prison and was sentenced to probation for killing four people and majorly injuring two others when he rammed a pickup truck into a crowd of people helping a disabled motorist in Burleson, Texas. Couch’s BAC level was three times the legal limit for an adult.

According to the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, David McClelland, Couch will report to the community supervision and corrections department for supervision requirements after his release.

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