Tuesday, October 23, 2012

DUI Dishonor Role

 You drink and drive, innocent people die

Getting hard to keep up with all the Party Houses and DUI arrests when a mega story like gang rape sweeps everything aside.  Common denominator is of course alcohol.  Yes, a legal although regulated  product that produces profits like there's no tomorrow.

Of course the downside is for some people -- like a UMass student a couple of weeks away from graduation last spring -- there will never be another tomorrow.


1:19 AM early Saturday morning police pulled over a driver in front of Presidential Apartments near UMass for a "defective license plate".  He blew a .08% BAC and was arrested for DUI:

Glenn Jacob Esienhard, 207 Roberts Road, Ardmore, MA, age 22

1:36 AM early Sunday morning police were called to the half-way point on the steep side of The Notch in deep South Amherst near the Norwottuck Gun Club entrance for a "single vehicle rollover".  After the car stopped sliding, the occupant pulled himself out and was trying to enlist bystanders (who stopped to help) into flipping the car back over on its wheels so he could flee the scene.   Arrested for DUI:

Alex Carlton Koblinski, 72 N. Main St, So. Deerfield, MA, age 22

1:18 AM early Monday police were called via cell phone over a "road rage" incident.  Arrested for DUI:

Francis Vanasse, 91 No Main St, Belchertown, MA, age 29


cinda said...

I wonder if annually you could provide landlords a blacklist of whom not to rent to.

Larry Kelley said...

Then I'll be accused of being a Joseph McCarthy with a secret blacklist.

Although, unlike McCarthy, my list would be exceedingly public.

You can search my blog in the upper left corner for anyone I've mentioned over the past five years.

I would not, for instance, rent to Peter Clark or Emerson Rutkowski.

Anonymous said...

Some great local reporting here, keep up the good work. Ever thought about an iphone/android app? Im sure one of your loyal readers has the know-how.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, I have a real problem calling .08 "Drunk Driving" -- if you may recall, the limit was 1.5 in the 1970s, lowered to 1.0 in the 1980s, and now lowered to .08 -- so essentially half of what it was when you were a teenager.

I believe they actually had to change the specific wording of the offense to "operating with an excessive blood alcohol level" because there is quite a bit of argument as to both if (a) .08 actually constitutes intoxication and if (b) one with a .08 BAC is anywhere near as impaired (coordination, judgment, reaction time) as other things, not only psych (and other) medications but even the natural toil of aging.

Notice how the elderly have the same accident rate as 16-year-olds.

Larry, neither of us want to admit this, but a 20-year-old's vision & reflexes are so much better than ours that how intoxicated can he/she/it be and still have better vision & reflexes? (What bails us out is years of experience.)

The other side to this that really bothers me is Methadone. Methadone is a powerful narcotic, synthetic heroin, and people can take their daily dose of it and then drive anywhere they want to, perfectly legally. Maybe Mr. Morse would like to speak to this, but as I understand it, unless they are "visibly impaired", they can't be touched by the cops.

In past years, intrepid reporters have taken pictures of school buses and heavy dump trucks parked outside Methadone clinics, and documented the operators going in for their daily dose.

And as a motorcyclist, I would much rather have someone on the road with a .08 than, say, PMS because the person who has been drinking usually is super-careful not to get stopped, and at night you can't tell if a motorcycle is a cop bike or not until the blue lights go on.

Dr. Ed said...

One other thing Larry -- if you want to be fair, there was another head-on "wrong lane" crash on 116 some years back in which a MHC student was acquitted of vehicular homicide charges. The other driver still is every bit as much dead.

I sometimes wonder if we should back off on the OUI issue and instead address basic vehicular operation issues. We assume that it was the alcohol whenever we find it, and that logic wouldn't fly in any legitimate research.

Statistically, most common OUI single-vehicle fatality is person driving alone at night. Falling asleep behind the wheel (for non-commercial drivers) is most common in a person driving alone at night. Coincidence? I doubt it.

I had to deal with a tragic case like this once. Kid had been essentially up for three days straight for finals, and he would be alive now if that university had let him spend the night in the dorm and leave the following morning, but someone wanted to assert her authority and told him to go home now.

So he drove the two hours home -- totally exhausted and got literally within sight of his house when he drifted off the road and then put the car into a bridge abutment. He'd had a couple of beers so it got tagged "alcohol-related" but if you haven't slept for three days, you really aren't competent to operate a motor vehicle.

Sober (and sane) but tired people literally hallucinate. I have a US Army training manual that explicitly states that. And if you have people hallucinating -- seeing (and likely reacting to) things that aren't there, well I kinda think that is a not-so-good thing.

The MHC girl was sober. And the driver she hit is every bit as dead...

Dr. Ed said...

Cinda (and Larry) -- you want to be careful with a blacklist. Alcoholism is considered a "disability" under ADA and all one of these schmucks has to do is take a fistful of dollars to any one of the numerous "therapists" in the valley and play touchie-feelie games with said therapist for a while and now your refusing to rent to the schmuck is the same thing as refusing to rent to someone who is pregnant or Black.

And all they have got to do is get a "dual diagnosis" and they are on SSI disability and everything else -- you would be truly amazed at the number of people in Amherst who are. If you have no self-respect, getting a psych diagnosis for *something* is a real easy thing to do, I am told.

It's a whole subculture.

I do not approve of it. It is an insult to anyone with a real disability and who has struggled to overcome it. But this is the reality.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a blacklist is the way to go. There should be some way of letting these kids know what they're doing isn't okay. And continuing to rent to them isn't getting the message across.

Anonymous said...

UMASS should stage their own version of the "hunger games" by taking all these "partying" alcoholic kids and locking them inside the UMASS stadium and on the 50 yard line place one plastic red cup and one keg of beer, let them battle to the death for their drink!

Dr. Ed said...

October 24, 2012 6:18 PM -- UMass already has its version of the "hunger games" --- the entire UMass student experience is one big "Hunger Game."

The one thing that UMass really taught me was how to fight.

Everything at UMass you have to fight for. Fight for a place to stay, fight for your classes, fight for library resources, etc, etc, etc.

The analogy of one plastic cup is a good one -- the weak do not survive at UMass, they either get strong (quickly) or they are gone.

And it is this culture that you are now seeing impact your community. Stephanie -- people who have to fight for everything really aren't worried about respecting others.

I have often said that every Amherst Police Officer should be required to take at least one introductory/survey course at UMass (under an assumed name) and to pass it. To walk into one of the 500-student lectures and to be treated as anonymous dirt like everyone else, to be nothing more than the serial number of your "clicker", and to struggle with foreign-born TAs who do not speak a comprehensible version of the American dialect of English.

I am not saying take classes as a known individual, member of the community and police officer -- nor to take courses in which you have a particular esoteric interest -- I have always wanted to take a course on grafting apple trees. But to be an anonymous freshman in the cut-throat competition of UMass.

The "Hunger Games" is a good analogy. I like it -- I think I will use it for my book. (Care to identify yourself for attribution?)