The Atlanta DUI News Blog

June 2011 Archives

NBA Suspends Jarrett Jack For One Game After Reckless Driving Plea

Jarrett Jack on the New Orleans Hornets was arrested in Snellville for driving under the influence, speeding and failing to maintain his lane last February after cops saw him drive 66 mph in a 45 mph zone. Four months later, the basketball star is now suffering the consequences for the alleged criminal offenses.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jack pleaded no contest on June 29 to reckless driving. He was initially charged with DUI in Gwinnett County, but this was later reduced to the lesser charge of reckless driving.

AAA's Tow to Go Program Offers Free Rides on July 1-5

It’s just about time to celebrate America’s birthday with a bang. But before you decide to start pounding down beers or taking a shot or two at the Atlanta bars, make sure that you have a safe way of getting home.

If you don’t have a designated sober driver or another way of getting home, you should know that AAA Auto Club South is once again offering free rides this weekend through the “Tow to Go” program. The free towing service is not only available on the 4th of July, but over the entire long weekend from July 1 through July 5.

Mother Allegedly Drove With .392 BAC Level While Kids Were in Car

Police arrested 28-year-old Cierra Baughcum last week in Clayton County after she hit two picnic tables with her vehicle in a Rex mobile home park. She then allegedly drove under a fence, through a ditch and the wrong way on Georgia Highway 42 before she crashed into the steps of the leasing office of that same mobile home park.

Just how drunk was Baughcum when all this happened? WXIA-TV reports that police measured that Baughcum’s blood-alcohol level was at .392 percent at the time of her arrest, which is almost five times the legal limit in the state of Georgia. Not only is a person significantly impaired with this much alcohol in his or her system, but a BAC level above .35 percent can cause a person to lose consciousness or even die of an alcohol overdose.

The Connection Between Drugged Driving and Fatal Accidents

Most people are aware that drunk driving is considered to be a dangerous practice, but some people may not realize that driving under the influence of drugs can be just as bad. USA Today recently reported of a study that found that 25 percent of fatal crash victims tested positive for drugs.

Among the drivers who tested positive for drugs in the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation study, 22 percent of the drugged drivers tested positive for marijuana, 22 percent for stimulants, and nine percent for narcotics. Perhaps drugs are not the only thing to blame for fatal car accidents. Some people suspect that the people who take illegal drugs are simply more reckless behind the wheel in general than those that don't consume illegal drugs.

Nivea Arrested For DUI in Atlanta

Singer Nivea Nash was charged with DUI, reckless driving and driving too fast for conditions after she allegedly crashed her vehicle into a tree in Atlanta that had fallen onto the road. But Nivea now denies that she was driving drunk on the night of her arrest, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and she will most likely be fighting these DUI charges in court.

On her Twitter account, Nivea wrote “Its (sic) just unfortunate how the Media & Law can be used against you when you don’t know enough about the way they work. I WAS NOT DRINKING AND DRIVING, the accident was Not due to me being intoxicated. Just wanted to clear that.”

Pooler Police Department's New Vehicle: Half Taxi, Half Police Car

The Pooler Police Department now has a new vehicle. From the frond end, the car looks like your average police vehicle. From the backside, the vehicle looks like a taxi cab. It turns out that the car is neither. According to Savannah Morning News, this taxi-police car vehicle is actually the police department’s new anti-drunk driving car.

This vehicle is supposed to educate people in the community about the costs of drunk driving. The car, which was once a patrol car for the department, was reportedly set to be retired because of the car’s age and high mileage. However, Pooler Police Chief Mark Revenew apparently was able to receive some money from Yellow Cab Company and West Chatham Warning Devices to transform the vehicle into an educational tool.

Apple Says No to DUI Checkpoint Apps

Are you looking to see if there are any DUI checkpoints in Atlanta? There used to be an app for that.

However, PC Magazine reports that Apple Inc. recently banned all new DUI checkpoint apps from its app store. Earlier this month, the company officially updated their App Store Review Guidelines to now read "Apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected."

Delino DeShields Pleads Not Guilty to DUI Charge

Local baseball fans might remember Delino DeShields Jr., the Atlanta baseball player who was the 2010 first round draft pick for the Houston Astros, and his DUI arrest in January. We reported that the baseball player was arrested in Athens-Clarke County on January 16 on suspicion of driving under the influence and underage possession of alcohol after police saw him driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street.

The young baseball player was charged with three misdemeanor counts after the traffic incident, but it looks like DeShields is now preparing to fight the DUI charges. According to the Houston Chronicle, DeShields has pleaded not guilty to the DUI charges and waived his right to an arraignment, which was originally scheduled to take place on June 15. His next court appearance for this DUI case will reportedly be in August.

Less Underage Drinkers Able to Purchase Alcohol in Carroll County

People under the age of 21 might still try to purchase alcohol from a local liquor store, but these underage individuals are now less likely to get away with buying alcohol in Carroll County than they would have just a few years ago.

The Times-Georgian reports that there was a 10.8 percent non-compliance with underage sales laws among stores targeted in a Carroll County sting operation on May 2. This is lower than the 17.6 percent non-compliance rate from a similar operation in March and far below the near 30 percent non-compliance rate in 2008. Statewide, Georgia has also seen a decline in alcohol sales to underage buyers with similar rates of reduction.

Macon Police Officer Donald Lee Johnson Arrested For DUI

It seems that law enforcers being arrested for DUI has become somewhat of a common occurrence in the state of Georgia. Just a couple weeks ago, we reported of officers arresting Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputy Charles Harwell for a prescription drug DUI.

Most recently, a veteran Macon police officer was pulled over by the Georgia State Patrol for speeding on Interstate 75 near the Hardeman Avenue exit. Officer Donald Lee Johnson Jr. was then arrested for DUI after authorities noticed signs of impairment. He was then taken to the Bibb County jail and released a few hours later on $2,500 bond.

Georgia BUI Citations Decrease While Boating Fatalities Increase

Across the state of Georgia, many people are worried about the increasing number of boating fatalities and injuries. Fatalities among boaters or their passengers were up 23 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year, reports Athens Banner-Herald.

Yet during times when there's an increasing number of boating fatalities, the number of citations for the crime of boating under the influence happens to be at a low point. BUI citations in Georgia were reportedly down by 21 percent compared to the previous year after an 18 percent decrease in BUI citations from the year before. Some people say that budget cuts have led to the state rangers making fewer patrols and fewer BUI enforcement campaigns.

Darrin Murphy Had Been Charged With DUI Before Fatal Crash

Atlanta police officers arrested 42-year-old Darrin Murphy on May 30 after he fatally struck motorcyclist Liam Rattray on Moreland Avenue in the Little 5 Points neighborhood of Atlanta. Just a few days after the fatal crash, Murphy was charged with first-degree homicide, following too closely and driving under the influence. This apparently isn't even the first time that Murphy has been accused of impaired driving.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the suspect was also arrested in the Atlanta area in October 2009 and charged with DUI. This DUI charge, however, was later reduced to the less severe charge of reckless driving.

Woman Rammed Police Car of Douglas County Officer: DUI?

People get pulled over on suspicion of DUI in Atlanta for all kinds of reasons. Speeding, erratic driving, failure to maintain a lane are a few very common examples of the kinds of driving mistakes that alert police to the fact that they might have an impaired driver in the vicinity. However, sometimes the evidence of a possible DUI is a bit more obvious, such as ramming a police cruiser. Or two.

A Douglas County sheriff's deputy narrowly escaped serious injuries early on the morning of June 3, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution when a woman rammed into a police car that was pulled to the side of the ramp from Chapel Hill Road to I-20 westbound for a traffic stop. The woman involved "failed to maintain her lane, struck a Douglasville P.D. unit, then knocked that unit into a Douglas County Sheriff's Office unit," Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Michael Stewart said.

Judge Rucker Smith Charged With DUI in Sumter County

Even a judge can face DUI charges in Georgia if he or she shows signs of impairment behind the wheel. Judicial Circuit Chief Superior Court Judge Rucker Smith, for example, was charged with driving under the influence after he was pulled over by law enforcers in Sumter County.

WALB News reported that the judicial circuit judge was pulled over for speeding on Saturday after allegedly driving 63 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. Smith then refused to take part in field sobriety tests and was booked in jail on charges of speeding, open container, and driving under the influence refusal.