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November 2010 Archives

Popular automotive club AAA announced its sober driving campaign ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday encouraging motorists to "Take the Pledge," according to WKBN in Ohio. The Pledge is a simple statement that the signees promise not to drink and drive over the holidays, a time in which alcohol consumption typically goes up.

Similar to Students Against Drunk Driving's "Contract for Life," in which a parent and child agree not to drive drunk and to help one another get a safe ride home, AAA's "Take the Pledge" campaign is intended as a promise to one's self.

Angel R. Montiel, a 22-year-old Lisle resident, was found guilty of felony aggravated DUI, obstruction of justice and driving with a suspended license and may face deportation, according to the Naperville Sun. Although his country of origin was not known, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents said he was in the U.S. illegally.

ICE agents placed a "hold" on the convict and are expected to take him into custody.

Illinois State Police are stepping up enforcement of the state's DUI laws ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Rockford Register Star reported. The Thanksgiving holiday is not only the busiest travel period of the year but also a time of heavier-than-usual imbibing of alcoholic drinks.

When you consider the fact that the officers patroling the streets on Thanksgiving are not celebrating with their families, as perhaps they'd prefer, it means they're probably not going to let anyone off easy.

Josefina Prospero was killed while sleeping in her bed when an SUV driven by 17-year-old unlicensed driver Luis Benito crashed through her building and crushed her, according to The Chicago Tribune. Prosecutors said the boy also nearly ran over a nightclub bouncer while doing donuts in the parking lot.

He made his first court appearance last week (via video link), reportedly breaking down in tears and repeatedly hitting his head on a microphone. Luis Benito is said to have reacted with shock when Assistant Will County State’s Attorney Debbie Mills described how the victim was crushed while sleeping.

A southern California motorist suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs didn't exactly help matters after he crashed his car not once but twice in front of police, the Orange Country Register reported. Thankfully no one was hurt but a police cruiser and some property of the gas station where it occurred were damaged.

Laguna Beach officer Tony White stopped Christian Aparicio as he pulled into the parking lot of a gas station last Saturday at 11:30 p.m. on suspicion of DUI. The officer then walked over to the driver's side door but Christian Aparicio inexplicably put the car in reverse before getting out.

George C. Ford, a 38-year-old Naperville man, has been sentenced to eight years in prison following multiple DUI convictions, according to the Naperville Sun. He reportedly has been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at least six times.

He is to serve his sentence in the Dixon Correctional Center and will be eligible for parole halfway through his term in 2014, according to information from the Illinois Dept. of Corrections cited in the article.

Coffee and tea don’t seem to cause too many problems, while alcohol is tolerated (to a degree) and socially acceptable. So why all the controversy over “Four Loko” and similar alcohol-spiked energy drinks?

Critics argue these drinks can have the effect of masking one’s true level of intoxication, according to an NPR story, which may result in the dangerous overconsumption of alcohol. Others, they argue, may decide to get behind the wheel because the caffeine makes them feel fine.

Would you rather get a ride home from someone who drank six beers in a row or someone who hasn’t slept for 24 hours? They might be equally dangerous, based on data by the National Sleep Foundation and cited by ABC News. Driving a car after staying up for 24 hours is roughly equivalent to having a 0.10 percent blood-alcohol concentration; six drinks consumed rapidly produces an average BAC of 0.10 percent.

Everyone knows drowsy driving is not exactly safe. But a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety using federal data from 1999 to 2008 found that drowsy driving is much more dangerous, and more common, than previously believed.

Northwest Indiana sheriff's deputy Cpl. Ryan Fenters was arrested on suspicion of a DUI after crashing into two parked cars, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The incident took place in Porter County, Indiana near the Illinois border on the outskirts of Chicago.

Ryan Fenters had attended a party celebrating the election of Sheriff David Lain in last week's general election. In a sad irony, the deputy had received an award for catching drunk drivers in 2004.

David Lain, emphasizing the fact that these are only charges and the deputy has not been convicted of any crime, said Ryan Fenters was suspended as an automatic response to the arrest but not a statement of guilt.

Former teen idol and "Partridge Family" child star David Cassidy has been charged with driving under the influence just three years after his then-underage daughter was arrested for the same offense, the UK's Daily Mail and other news outlets reported. Never heard of "The Partridge Family?" It was a 1970s television show about a music group comprised of family members.

A Florida police officer who said he witnessed David Cassidy's car weaving on the Florida Turnpike late last week before stopping and eventually arresting him. He was released from jail after posting $350 bail.

The DUI manslaughter trial of Jim Leyritz, a former New York Yankees slugger, is now underway in a Florida court room, according to ABC News. The charges are linked to a December 2007 incident in Florida that left 30-year-old mother-of-two Fredia Ann Veitch dead at the scene.

Jim Leyritz had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.14 percent following the crash, according to police, which is almost twice Florida's legal limit of 0.08 percent. The legal BAC limit in Illinois is 0.08 percent as well. 

Assistant state attorney Stefanie Newman said a water bottle found by police in the professional baseball retiree's SUV tested positive for alcohol and also contained traces of his DNA.

What a difference a split-second miscalculation can make. 23 year old University of Illinois graduate student Mercedes Washington was on track for a promising career in economics before she was broadsided by an intoxicated Kim Franklin, the East Central Illinois News-Gazette reported. 

Kim Franklin was convicted of aggravated DUI and faces a sentence of either probation or a prison term of one to 14 years. But that pales in comparison to Mercedes Washington's permanent injuries.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a press release last November announcing its investigation into the safety of beverages containing both caffeine and alcohol. The FDA said the combined use of the two drugs, one a stimulant and other a depressant, has increased dramatically and may pose safety and health risks.

Alcoholic energy drinks were thrust back into the spotlight recently after about a dozen Central Washington University students were hospitalized following the consumption of "Four Loko" energy drinks, which come in 23.5-ounce cans and contain 12 percent alcohol, according to CBS News. Each can of the sweetened beverage has the alcohol equivalent of four beers.