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11/27/2009
Bob Battle
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Los Angeles prosecutors say that Alexandra Kerry, daughter of Massachusetts Senator and former Presidential candidate John Kerry, will not face criminal charges for her arrest for driving under the influence in early November.

 

According to a report in People Magazine, Kerry was arrested on November 19 in Hollywood on suspicion of DUI.

 

L.A. City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan said on November 23 that upon reviewing the arrest report, they have decided not to file criminal charges against Kerry because of insufficient evidence.

 

According to a report from TMZ.com, at the time of her arrest, Kerry’s blood-alcohol content was only 0.06. The legal limit is 0.08.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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11/27/2009
Bob Battle
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Last year, 72-year-old Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania resident Irene Carson spent Christmas Day at the Medical College of Virginia suffering from the injuries she received when a man who was driving under the influence struck her in Colonial Williamsburg the previous night.

 

This Christmas, the man who put Carson in the hospital with multiple skull fractures, Mark Schneider, will spend the day in jail, along with many more after that.

 

On November 24, Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court Judge Samuel Powell sentenced Schneider, a Colonial Williamsburg employee, to 12 months in prison, to be served on weekends, on a misdemeanor DUI charge. He will also be required to pay a $500 fine, court costs, and $17,387 in restitution and medical expenses.

 

Powell deferred a felony maiming by DUI charge until December 2010, when he could dismiss, downgrade, or sentence Schneider on that charge.

 

Before handing down the sentence, Powell reminded Schneider that his actions had forever changed Carson’s life. According to Powell, Carson is likely to never fully recover from the injuries she suffered.

 

Carson was crossing Francis Street in the historic area on December 24 when she was struck by a speeding vehicle driven by Schneider. His blood-alcohol content was 0.19, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

 

That is why Powell selected Christmas Eve as the date for Schneider to first report to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail to begin his sentence.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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11/27/2009
Bob Battle
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On November 25, the wife of Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-Indiana) was arrested for driving under the influence and hit-and-run after she crashed into a parked car, according to Fairfax County police.

 

Shortly after 6:30 p.m., an officer noticed smoke coming from the car driven by 77-year-old Charlene S. Lugar and saw damage to the front end as she traveled along Old Dominion Drive and pulled her over, according to Officer Bud Walker. Upon stopping her, the officer “developed probable cause that she was intoxicated” and arrested her. Her alleged blood-alcohol content was not released.

 

According to Walker, the officer investigated the damage to the front end of the vehicle and determined that she had struck a vehicle on Churchhill Road in McLean, not far from where she was stopped.

 

Lugar was taken to Fairfax jail, where she was given a breathalyzer test and taken into custody. According to Fairfax Sheriff’s Lt. Sonny Cachuela, she was released several hours later.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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11/27/2009
Bob Battle
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A man has been charged with driving under the influence, among other charges, after a Cary, N.C. hot dog vendor says the man intentionally crashed into his van twice on the morning of November 25 after he refused to sell the man a hot dog and drink for $1.

 

According to police, 23-year-old Rolesville, N.C. resident David Lance had been drinking before leaving Pure Gold, a strip club, around 2 .am. and attempted to order food at Fady Awad’s stand outside the club.

 

Kelbaugh said he had $1 and wanted a hot dog and drink, according to police. Awad said he politely informed him he could not do that.

 

Kelbaugh then yelled at Awad before entering his car, ramming the vendor’s van, and running into a brick column, according to Awad. He then pulled into reverse and struck Awad’s van a second time.

 

Police say Awad suffered injuries to his back in the collision. He received treatment at a nearby hospital and was released several hours later.

 

Kelbaugh was stopped by police a short time later. They arrested him on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, DUI, hit-and-run, injury to personal property, and injury to real property. He has been released on $6,000 bond.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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11/27/2009
Bob Battle
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Mothers against drunk driving (MADD) recently named a prosecutor from Virginia Beach as the top DUI prosecutor in the U.S.

 

After beating out hundreds of other prosecutors across the nation, Charisse Black tearfully accepted the award.

 

Virginia’s MADD leadership nominated Black due to her aggressive prosecutions of drunk drivers, particularly one who injured a Virginia Beach police officer.

 

According to the commonwealth’s attorney, Black excels at DUI prosecution, despite ever-changing DUI laws and loopholes.

 

Black says the legal challenge of staying on top of said changes keeps her motivated.

 

Part of the presentation brought tears to Black’s eyes because it was personal. Kaye Walsh, the woman who nominated her, lost her daughter to a drunk driver. Walsh gave Black a pair of her daughter’s earrings as a thank you.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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11/17/2009
Bob Battle
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A former North Carolina State Trooper is once against in trouble after being arrested on November 15 for driving under the influence.

 

John C. Fogg was arrested by police in Garner, N.C. at approximately 1:30 a.m. In addition to the DUI, he was also cited for impersonating an officer and driving without a license.

 

Fogg was charged with another DUI back in June after a collision involving his personal car and another vehicle on the Durham freeway. At that time, his blood-alcohol content was 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

 

An internal investigation followed his June arrest, resulting in Fogg being released from the NCHP.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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11/17/2009
Bob Battle
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On November 9, Virginia Beach Police Officer Bryan K. Womble began his five-day sentence for driving under the influence and hit-and-run, according to the jail log.

 

On September 21, Womble was convicted and sentenced by a General District Court judge. Court records say his attorney immediately appealed the sentence, but has since dropped the case.

 

According to police spokesman Officer Adam Bernstein, the Police Department can now move forward on its administrative investigation, which will determine Womble’s status in the department.

 

Since his June 20 arrest, Womble has been on administrative duty.

 

The 37-year-old officer was part of the department’s Traffic Enforcement Team, which specializes in enforcing drunken-driving laws. He was the officer who arrested retired NFL star Bruce Smith for DUI on May 15.

 

In addition to the prison sentence, Womble’s driver’s license was suspended for a year and he was ordered to pay a $500 fine, attend alcohol safety awareness classes, and use an ignition interlock device for six months.

 

On the night of Womble’s arrest, he was involved in a crash with another vehicle. His blood-alcohol content was 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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11/17/2009
Bob Battle
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According to a report in the Gettysburg Times on November 11, WellSpan affiliated hospitals in Adams and York Counties in Pennsylvania have either discontinued conducting blood alcohol content (BAC) tests for police, or will be discontinuing them, meaning that police will have to seek testing elsewhere.

 

One department, the Carroll Valley Borough Police Department, sought the services of a laboratory in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, which is over 113 miles away, to conduct BAC testing for the township police.

 

According to police, Gettysburg Hospital will continue drawing blood samples, but will not test them. The blood would be placed in test kits to enable police to send the samples to another laboratory, probably through Fed-Ex.

 

On November 11, WellSpan Office of Health Public Relations & Communication at Gettysburg Hospital Manager William Lavery confirmed that the hospital was discontinuing the service, but that the hospital would continue drawing the blood.

 

According to Lavery, there were two fundamental reasons for the decision. The first reason concerns accreditation of the hospital’s lab and the second relates to increasing demands on the lab.

 

Lavery said that, regarding accreditation, the lab isn’t able to meet a new testing regulation the College of American Pathologists, which is their primary accreditation agency, introduced.

 

Lavery also said the legal system, DUI defense attorneys in particular, are demanding more and more from labs conduction BAC testing, which is increasingly draining their resources.

 

Lavery said that DUI defense attorneys have subjected the hospital’s lab to more and more strenuous expectations, including responding to subpoenas the hospital is unable to respond to.

 

Lavery said the transition away from local law enforcement using hospital testing services has been considered for the past couple of years and that the majority of area hospitals in south central Pennsylvania have already stopped DUI testing.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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11/5/2009
Bob Battle
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Following his arrest for driving under the influence, former Virginia Police Chief David P. Baker has released a public service announcement in hopes of deterring others from repeating his mistakes.

 

At the time of Baker’s arrest, he had been involved in a fender bender in Arlington County while driving an unmarked car owned by the city. The incident caused his otherwise notable career to be cut short. He now urges others to think twice before doing the same thing he did.

 

In the wake of his arrest, Baker resigned from his position as chief of police. He now spends time discussing the incident with other officers and even inmates in an attempt to turn a bad situation into a positive outcome.

 

The brief PSA video, issued by Checkpoint Strikeforce, can be seen on YouTube. The video, entitled “Even a Police Officer” describes Baker’s embarrassment during his fall from grace.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/29/2009
Bob Battle
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On October 23, Richmond City Councilman E. Martin Jewell was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, according to Richmond Police.

 

Jewell’s arrest, which took place at approximately 1:30 a.m., is the most recent of a few months of problems for the 5th District representative. Since being elected in 2004, Jewel had enjoyed a mostly scandal-free career. But that came to an end with his nephew being charged in a shooting on the Virginia Union University campus. No one died, but one student was injured. His nephew’s arrest has since been a fixture in political discussion around him.

 

No details about Jewell’s arrest were released, but he was released on $500 bond, which likely means it was a misdemeanor charge.

 

When Jewell was arrested, he was within a mile of his home.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/29/2009
Bob Battle
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A man from Minnesota who was arrested in 2008 for driving under the influence on a motorized La-Z-Boy lounge chair recently pleaded guilty to the DUI charge.

 

On August 31, 2008, 62-year-old Dennis Anderson was arrested after his chair collided with a parked car, according to the police report. His blood was tested, revealing his blood-alcohol content to have been 0.29 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

 

The customized vehicle is powered by an 8-horsepower Kohler lawnmower engine. It has a stereo, headlights, and a built-in cup holder. Anderson even decorated it with a “Hell Yeah It’s Fast” bumper sticker. However, what the vehicle didn’t have was a seat belt.

 

The motorized chair was controlled by a steering wheel that protruded from its seat cushion. The headrest bore the logo of the National Hot Rod Association.

 

After Anderson pleaded guilty to the DUI charge, he was ordered to serve 180 days in prison and pay a $2,000 fine. His jail term was stayed in lieu of his successful completion of a two-year supervised probation term.

 

The chair is to be sold via police auction.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/29/2009
Bob Battle
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Carmen Huertas, the mother at the center of the now infamous New York DUI crash that involved seven young girls, has pleaded not guilty to the charges she is facing.

 

Huertas is facing a total of 14 charges, including one count of manslaughter for the death of an 11-year-old girl who was a passenger in her vehicle when the crash occurred.

 

On the day of the incident, the group was en route from a party in Chelsea to a sleepover in the Bronx when Huertas lost control of the station wagon she was driving.

 

Several members of Huertas’ family were present for her arraignment in the New York state Supreme Court. Huertas herself was not in attendance as she is being held at Elmhurst Hospital. According to officials, she remains there due to being considered a threat to herself and she needs to remain on suicide watch.

 

Huertas’ bond has been set at $250,000, which her family is not expecting to be able to pay anytime soon, meaning that she will continue to be detained until December 1, her next scheduled appearance in court.

 

If Huertas is convicted, she faces a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. After the crash, her blood-alcohol content registered well above the legal limit of 0.08. The girls in the vehicle at the time of the crash have served as witnesses against her, in addition to several adult members of the part she had just left.

 

One of the men at said party may face charges as well if it can be proven that he knew Huertas was intoxicated. According to some reports, the father of one of Huertas’ children removed the child from the car because he believed she was too drunk to drive.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/29/2009
Bob Battle
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Marcus Johnson, an offensive lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been released from the team following his arrest for driving under the influence.

 

According to a Tampa police lieutenant, he discovered Johnson on October 27, sleeping in a car near Raymond James Stadium, where the Bucs play.

 

The lieutenant then woke the 27-year-old lineman. A DUI investigator reportedly smelled alcohol on Johnson’s breath and police say that his eyes were glassy and when he stoop up without support, he swayed.

 

Police arrested Johnson, who was released after posting $500 bail.

 

The team announced his dismissal later that day.

Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/29/2009
Bob Battle
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Reality TV star Stephanie Pratt has been formally charged with driving under the influence after she was arrested on suspicion of DUI earlier in October.

 

On October 18, Pratt, who appears on the popular MTV show The Hills, was stopped in Hollywood by police. She was given a breathalyzer test, which she failed, and was subsequently arrested.

 

According to a report from TMZ.com, Pratt’s blood-alcohol content registered at 0.09 percent, just above the legal limit of 0.08.

 

Pratt says she promises to take “full responsibility” for her actions. Formal charges were filed against her on October 28.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/21/2009
Bob Battle
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On October 20, the Supreme Court cast some doubt on the legal authority of police to stop drivers suspected of driving under the influence based only on a tip from an anonymous caller.

 

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. strongly dissented, but the high court allowed a ruling by the Virginia Supreme Court to stand that maintained that police may follow a suspected drunk driver’s vehicle, but may not pull the suspect over until the officer witnesses suspicious activity, such as swerving in a lane.

 

In his dissent, Roberts noted that hotlines and other services encourage members of the public to report suspected drunk drivers.

 

The action of the Supreme Court is not a formal ruling; therefore it does not require other states to follow the Virginia Supreme Court ruling. However, the case will likely spawn more legal challenges to police stops solely relying on tips from callers.

 

The ruling freed Richmond resident Joseph Harris, who was arrested after his green Nissan Altima was reported heading south on Meadowbridge Road. The caller included a partial license plate and his name.

 

After police stopped Harris, he stumbled out of his vehicle and was noticeably intoxicated as the officer tried to question him. However, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled it an “unreasonable search” to stop and question a driver solely based on a caller’s tip.

 

Most state courts, including California and Illinois, have upheld the searches based on anonymous tips, provided the vehicle matches the description provided.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/21/2009
Bob Battle
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According to a police report, actor Thomas Decker was arrested for driving under the influence in North Hollywood on October 14 after striking a 17-year-old boy who was attempting to ride his bike past a freeway on-ramp.

 

The report says that California Highway Patrol officers at the scene say they saw the #2 lane on the on-ramp blocked by a collision that involved a silver Toyota Matrix and a bicycle.

 

According to the report, the boy was ejected from his bike and fell onto the street. Police say he received hospital transport for minor injuries.

 

At the time, police believed Decker had been consuming alcohol and arrested him on a charged of DUI resulting in injury to a party involved in a traffic collision.

 

Police arrested Dekker and took him to Van Nuys jail, where he was released the following morning after posting $100,000 bail.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/21/2009
Bob Battle
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According to police in Virginia Beach, two officers were injured during a scuffle with a man suspected of driving under the influence on October 17.

 

Investigators said that 21-year-old Reginald Davis was arrested at approximately 2 a.m. on Virginia Beach Boulevard. He was then transported to the magistrate’s office.

 

Police said that the magistrate’s office was where Davis began to fight with officers and possibly broke one’s nose.

 

Davis is faced with multiple charges including DUI, driving on a suspended license, driving without registration, and assault.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/21/2009
Bob Battle
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The results of a study of on-campus DUI arrests conducted by the Stanford Department of Public Safety were released. The results show that students do not make up the most dangerous group of drivers.

 

According to the study, out of 31 Stanford campus DUI arrests in 2008, only seven of the drivers were actually students at the university. However, in 2009, 20 of the 49 DUI incidents involved student. The increase could be due, at least in part, to increased enforcement efforts.

 

Some have also speculated that dangerous behaviors increase in a down economy. However, despite the recent increase, the study has found that students have not made up a significant portion of campus DUI arrests since the study’s commencement in the late 90s. The findings are consistent with those of other studies across the country that point to lower occurrences of DUI among young people in the past few decades.

 

College aged students have been long believed to be the drivers most at-risk for DUIs, but more students die from alcohol poisoning each year than due to DUI traffic accidents.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/8/2009
Bob Battle
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According to police in Virginia Beach, a man crashed while driving under the influence and then left his girlfriend trapped inside the vehicle, in waist-deep water.

 

Police say that at approximately 2:30 a.m. on October 2, the vehicle ran off the road and ended up in a ditch on Sandbridge Road.

 

Crews took more than an hour to extract the woman from the vehicle. She received air transport to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening.

 

The driver, 23-year-old Michael Walck, has been charged with DUI and felony hit-and-run.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/8/2009
Bob Battle
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A man from Williamsburg pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an incident that took place on Christmas Eve in which he struck a 71-year-old woman while his car while driving under the influence.

 

On December 24, Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania resident Irene Carson was attempting to cross Francis Street in downtown Williamsburg when she was struck by a vehicle driven by 39-year-old Mark Francis Schneider.

 

Schneider was later arrested on charges of DUI and reckless driving. His blood-alcohol content was discovered to have been between 0.15 percent and 0.20 percent, well above Virginia’s legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to court records.

 

A separate charge of assault and maiming while driving under the influence of alcohol was handed down by a grand jury in July.

 

When Schneider appeared in Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court on October 1, the charge of reckless driving was dropped by the prosecution. He pleaded guilty to the charges of felony assault and misdemeanor DUI. Court records say that the DUI was a misdemeanor because it was his first offense.

 

Carson, who was visiting Virginia for the holiday at the time of the accident, received helicopter transport to the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond with injuries that were considered to be life-threatening, according to Williamsburg Police Maj. Susan G. Geary. She was later transferred to a hospital in Pennsylvania.

 

Schneider’s sentencing is scheduled for November 24.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/8/2009
Bob Battle
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A police officer from Chicago who has been accused of making false arrests for DUI has been placed on administrative leave.

 

According to a spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department, Officer Richard Fiorito has been placed on desk duty, pending an investigation by Internal Affairs.

 

A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against Fiorito by a total of 21 people.

 

Several plaintiffs allege that they were targeted by Fiorito as they were leaving bars in the city’s Boystown neighborhood.

 

According to a report from Chicago’s ABC7, the Cook County state’s attorney is conducting his own investigation into Fiorito.

 

Fiorito’s attorney claims the allegations are false.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/8/2009
Bob Battle
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J.C. France, whose grandfather is NASCAR founder Bill France, was arrested on October 8 in Daytona Beach on charges of driving under the influence and possession of narcotics, according to a police report.

 

France was released from Volusia County jail later that day after posting $4,500 bond.

 

On the day of his arrest, the 2007 green Lamborghini France, 43, was driving was stopped shortly after midnight. Authorities believe that he had been racing with 40-year-old Russell Van Richmond, his half-brother. France ran a red light and swerved on the roadway before stopping in a parking lot.

 

Reportedly, Richmond, who was driving a 2003 Porsche, threatened the arresting officer, saying “This is a mistake for you. I’m a France, we own this city.”

 

When authorities continued the investigation, Richmond called for their commanding officers, telling them, “You’re done. Your job is over. This is the biggest mistake ever.”

 

During a search conducted during the stop, authorities discovered containers with “a white cake-like substance,” which gave presumptive positive reactions for cocaine when tested.

 

Richmond is facing two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, DUI, and two counts of threatening a police officer. He was released after posting $10,500 bond.

 

France is the son of NASCAR board member Jim France and drives in NASCAR’s Grand-Am Series. Richmond is the son of Jim France’s ex-wife. According to a police report, the two share a Daytona Beach home.

 

According to NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston, France has been suspended indefinitely from all competition and the suspension is not appealable.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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10/8/2009
Bob Battle
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Brawley Nolte, whose father is actor Nick Nolte, has been arrested in Santa Monica, California on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to police.

 

The Santa Monica Police Department said that Nolte was arrested on October 8 after striking another vehicle while making a lane change.

 

Field sobriety tests were administered, which Nolte failed. He was then taken into custody.

 

Police did not name the controlled substance Nolte has been accused of taking.

 

As a child, Nolte was in the film “Ransom,” where he played the kidnapped son of Mel Gibson’s character.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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9/29/2009
Bob Battle
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A minor league pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles organization and former player for the University of Virginia has been charged with driving under the influence, according to the Martin County, Florida Sheriff’s Office.

 

Police arrested 23-year-old Ryan Ouellette after he crashed his pickup truck into a guardrail.

 

The arrest affidavit says that Ouellette told the deputy who responded to the scene that his tire blew out, causing him to run off the road and collide with the guardrail. However, the deputy said Ouellette’s eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred.

 

According to the affidavit, Ouellette was given a field sobriety test, which he failed, and was arrested.

 

Ouellette attended Martin County High School before going to college, where he played baseball at Indian River Community College and the University of Virginia. In 2006, he was drafted in round 13 of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Orioles.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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9/29/2009
Bob Battle
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A 44-year-old man from Virginia faces a charge of felony “risking catastrophe” after police say he was driving under the influence in a tailgate lot near Penn State’s Beaver Stadium on September 19 and nearly struck several pedestrians, including children.

 

Penn State University police Sgt. Brian Bittner says it’s not a common charge, but given the condition of the driver, Jeffery M. Chesko, and the conditions around the incident, police decided to charge him with more than just a DUI.

 

According to police, the incident took place at approximately 2:30 p.m. Police spotted Chesko heading west before turning onto a sidewalk and approaching a grass tailgating area at an approximate speed of 15 mph.

 

Police say the Chesko’s vehicle didn’t slow down or yield to multiple pedestrians, who had to quickly take evasive action to avoid being hit. They say two young children were pulled out of the vehicles path and the vehicle struck two lawn chairs and ran over a child’s ball.

 

Upon Chesko’s arrest, police say his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. He refused field tests or blood tests at the hospital.

 

Chesko is also facing a charge of misdemeanor reckless endangerment.



Category: DUI Defense for Drivers in Virginia

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