Rider Charged With DUI While Driving Scooter

In Indianapolis, a 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of operating a motorized scooter while intoxicated. This makes him the first person in the city to be charged with a DWI for scooters.

The event took place in downtown Indianapolis around 11:30pm on Tuesday January 8.

The young man, Cole Dillon, caused an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer to suddenly hit his breaks to avoid crashing. It was reported that the young man failed to stop at a red light while driving a Lime Scooter, bringing him into the path of the on-duty officer.

According to the police report, Dillon had a blood alcohol content of .15 percent when the incident occurred. In the state of Indiana, people with a BAC of 0.08 percenter or higher are considered impaired.

Under the law, a motorized scooter is a vehicle, and as such, a person can be charged with operating one while drunk. In addition, Lime’s terms of service include rules that specifically prohibit riders from using their scooters while under the influence of any substances that may cause impairment.

Just like people should not drive their cars while drunk, the same should be applied to driving scooters.

Still, a person charged with drunk driving on scooters has the opportunity and right to contest their charge. The person can challenge whether the police officer had the right to stop him and have the state verify that the officer followed proper investigative procedures.

So far, it is unclear if Dillon will suffer penalties from Lime relating to this incident.

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Five Citations for a Single Driver in Fatal Crash

It is bad enough to get behind the wheel after a few drinks, and consequently to be involved in a car accident. Worse still, to have caused injury and even death upon another in that accident. But what might possibly be worse than that still? To have caused the death of your 1-year-old child and have an additional four citations on top of that.

That is what happened to Adreannia Donaldson, a 29-year-old woman from Chicago, on Friday January 11. Those citations led to her being charged the following day with one felony count of aggravated drunken driving and separate misdemeanor counts for having no insurance, no driver’s license, failure to yield and not having a child restraint for a child younger than 8 years old.

Donaldson was driving a Mazda 3 heading west on West Lower Wacker Drive, with an adult male passenger and 1-year-old Amaria Glenn in tow. When making an improper U-turn at an intersection, the Mazda 3 collided with an Acura MDX that was driving east on a green light. The Mazda 3 then hit a wall, throwing Glenn from the vehicle. When the police arrived at the scene, the Mazda rested against a pole with its doors open, windows broken, and airbags deployed. The Acura’s front hood was fully damaged but the rest of the vehicle and its occupants seemed relatively well off. The two women, 18 and 19, and the two men, both 19, of the Acura suffered no major injuries and declined medical treatment.

The occupants of the Mazda were not so lucky. Donaldson and her 29-year-old passenger were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. Glenn was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital in critical condition. Police believe that, though the child had been wearing a seat belt, she was not in a car seat when the crash occurred. The child died within the hour of being taken to the hospital.

Donaldson is scheduled to appear in traffic court on January 18th.

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Alcohol Suspected in Car Crash with Amtrak Train

Over 100 passengers were delayed on Thursday, January 3, when a car crashed into an Amtrak train in Shiawassee County, Michigan.

Reports of a car colliding with a train came in around 9:20 p.m. that day. The Michigan State Police were quickly dispatched to Vernon Township in response. When they arrived at the scene, they found a Chrysler sedan parked in a ditch a short distance away from the stopped train. The driver had already exited the car.

According to Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian Begole, the train hit the car, causing the vehicle to spin off into the ditch before coming to a stop. It was reported that the driver of the car had been driving east and then decided to maneuver around the lowered crossing gates. The vehicle then hit the side of the Amtrak train near the second passenger car. The driver, believed to be a 33-year-old woman, was seen getting out of her car and walking away. According to police, she was later found about a mile from the crash site and was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. The railroad crossing gates are believed to have been operating correctly and the investigation is considering alcohol to have been a factor.

According to Amtrak officials, the involved train was from the Bluewater Line. It had departed from Chicago with 108 passengers aboard and was headed to Port Huron. Luckily, no injuries were reported among the people onboard. After they were released from the scene around midnight, the passengers were safely transported to their Port Huron destination by bus.

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Statewide DUI Arrest Increase During Holiday Weekends

The California Highway Patrol has released their DUI arrest and fatality statistics for the holiday season that recently passed. However, it is honestly difficult to determine if the constant DUI checkpoints and rideshare options that are now readily available are doing much to make a difference. The CHP announced that there were 1,166 arrests statewide for DUI violations this year, compared to the 917 arrests made in 2017. These arrests were made by CHP officers during the period of 6:00 p.m. Friday, December 21st through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 25th. During the New Year holiday weekend, from 6:00 p.m. Friday, December 28th to 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 1st, there were 1,053 arrests made statewide compared to the 936 DUI arrests made in 2017.

Fatalities during the Christmas holiday were also up to 34, compared to the 27 reported in 2017. However, thankfully, the New Year’s holiday seemed to fare better as there were 33 reported in 2018, compared to the 40 reported in 2017.

San Diego county appears to be doing well, as some reports are showing that the numbers seem to be going down in that county. During the same Christmas weekend period, there were a reported 56 arrests in 2017, while this number went down to 52 in 2018. Fatalities also went down to two in 2018, from the three reported in 2017. For the New Year’s weekend, 46 DUI arrests were made this year in comparison to the 59 arrests that were made in the previous year. Fatalities decreased from six in 2017 to four in 2018.

Although there was a decrease in arrests in San Diego county, there must have been some major increases in the other counties to have resulted in an overall statewide increase. It is a small comfort to know that the number of reported traffic fatalities are slowly decreasing but it seems that we still have a long way to go in truly having a better understanding of what it means to get behind the wheel after a few drinks of celebration.

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Ignition Interlock Device Law Expansion

In accordance to Senate Bill 1046, a pilot program that was initiated from July 1, 2010, to July 1, 2017, in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare that required, as a condition of being issued a restricted driver’s license, being reissued a driver’s license, or having the privilege to operate a motor vehicle reinstated subsequent to a conviction of a DUI violation, for a person to install for a specified period of time an ignition interlock device on all vehicles he or she owns or operates,” had been extended in those counties until January 2019.

In addition to this extension, the bill stated that starting January 1, 2019 and until January 26, 2026, the requirement for an ignition interlocking device on all vehicles of an individual who license has been suspended for having driving under the influence but is eligible for a restricted driver’s license, will become statewide.

This means that if the suspended individual meets all other eligibility requirements needed to be allowed a restricted license, they would be able to receive that restricted license without serving any suspension time as long as that ignition interlock device is installed. The bill also states that “[t]he bill would authorize that individual to install an ignition interlock device prior to the effective date of the suspension and would require the individual to receive credit towards the mandatory term to install an ignition interlock device, as specified. The bill would require the department to immediately reinstate the suspension of the privilege to operate a motor vehicle upon receipt of notification that a person has engaged in certain activities, including, among others, attempted to remove, bypass, or tamper with the ignition interlock device.”

As the pilot program has already been in effect for the above mentioned counties, no major changes will occur in those areas with the coming new year; however, for any other counties in the state of California, this means that many drivers will be able to start driving to school or work sooner since they will not have to wait out the mandatory suspension period. Monetary issues of installing the device aside, this would be quite helpful in quickly returning to some semblance of normalcy after a DUI conviction, while still taking responsibility for one’s actions and preventing further drunk driving incidents.

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