Monday, November 12, 2012

DUI Dishonor Role

 Carnage caused by alcohol 

Only one DUI to report over the weekend, an almost record low. But drunk drivers are like encephalitis infected mosquitoes: it only takes one to ruin your life or that of friends, family or loved ones.

Around 1:00 AM early Sunday morning an improperly parked vehicle along Boltwood Walk in the heart of the downtown business district (close to all the bars) attracted police attention, thus giving the officer probably cause to question the parked driver. 

The occupant "displayed signs of impairment" and she was given a Field Sobriety Test, which she failed, capped off by a Portable Breath Test (not admissible in court) reaffirming impairment with a .142% Blood Alcohol Concentration.  Later, back at the station -- only a couple hundred yards away -- she blew a .126% BAC, or .08, on the more accurate Breathalyzer machine that is admissible in court.

Arrested for DUI:
Kristen Gargiulo, 286 Sunset Avenue (UMass dorm), Amherst, age 20,


Anonymous said...

This girls on the soccer team. Her life is over...

Larry Kelley said...

She strikes me as the kind of young woman who deserves a second chance.

Adam Sweet said...

I live near the High School in South Hadley. Kids walk up and down my street going to and from school and events held nearby on a daily, sometimes hourly basis and on weekends. There's a man who lives on my street. I have never seen him sober. On my run by his house in the mornings, I see empty whiskey and vodka bottles stacked high. He drives up and down the street in his big American car, often with grandkids in back.

I think alcohol is disgusting and should be regulated more than it is. I think stores that are caught selling to minors should get punishments as severe as sex offenders. The owners should get locked away for a minimum of one year, then should have a record and never be allowed to sell alcohol again.

An intoxicated person behind the wheel of an automobile is as bad, if not worse than a stray bullet. One of these days it will hit someone and it will kill.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, are you noticing the difference in the numbers?

0.142, 0.126 and 0.08 -- that is a really big variance which makes me wonder if ANY of the numbers are accurate. The numbers should be closer to each other -- perhaps not identical, but a lot closer....

And assuming that they got her to the police station within 15 minutes (which I would be really surprised if they couldn't do) then her actual BAC will either be constant or *increasing* - and it appears to drop by almost half here.

Larry Kelley said...

The portable unit is not considered as accurate (and as a result not admissible in court). Probably just that difference showing up.

Anonymous said...

"She strikes me as the kind of young woman who deserves a second chance. "

Why the leniency on this one?

Anonymous said...

Larry has decreed; Burn this alcohol poisoned bitch at the stake!!!!!!
She is tainted by the Evil and must be cleansed. She has dared to drive drunk in our little town. BURN HER!
This is what you sound like, you fucking hypocrite. I'm sure when you drank, you never drove.HA!

Anonymous said...

Was it said anywhere if the keys were in the ignition? Technically, if she was "parked", and the keys are not in the ignition, she is not guilty of DUI; only of public intoxication.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually Anon 8:40 AM (or I should say CAN), I never drove with a blood alcohol level that would get me arrested.

Although, knowing what I now know, I would never say yes to a breath test either PBT in the field or the more accurate one back at the station.

Fortunately these days, not even a remote concern.

Anonymous said...

"She strikes me as the kind of young woman who deserves a second chance."

Sure, Larry. Tell that to our deceased motorcyclist. His assailant had a second chance. Better to let this one catch a ride to the soccer game than to drive there herself. License suspended. I hope.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, that should happen without question. The law in this state needs to change. Now.

Automatic one year license suspension if you refuse the breath test or if you take it and it shows you are drunk.

(I still consider that giving a person a second chance.)

Anonymous said...

Shocked people would try to defend a drunk driver. Technicality or not. I don't care how accurate the tests are. The girl had alcohol in her system, and was underage. This alone shows terrible judgement.

Having lost an uncle to a drunk driver as a child I have zero tolerance for anybody that would so selfish as to put others in danger.

When Larry says "second chance". I think he meant that in response to the comment saying "the girls life was over."

It's not over at all, but it is a black eye to her record that will be seen by future employees for years to come. And, hopefully result in a suspended license.

Dr. Ed said...

Let me see if I understand this: The APD is requiring motorists to submit to a PBT that is (a) considered too inaccurate to even admit as evidence of intoxication AND (b) gives false positive readings NEARLY TWICE that of the more accurate machine?!?!?!?

Let me restate this a different way - are you aware of a single case where the PBT has erred by the same amount (either in actual numbers or percentage of error) in the other direction? Taking the error that way by the same amount would result in the PBT giving her readings of .022 and .036 - the initial one almost clearing her from a license suspension under the .02 law for under 21 which you neglected to mention.

No, the PBT doesn't read low for two reasons. First, the APD (and other officers nationwide) simply wouldn't use them if they did. They'd misplace them or not have batteries or run over them with a cruiser or *something* -- these devices wouldn't last long if officers had to release drunk drivers because of them. And second, the manufacturer knows that should a drunk driver released because of their faulty device then go kill someone, they would be liable.

So we know they are inaccurate and we know they read high. Do we not see a problem here???

Larry Kelley said...

I do not.

In this case the young woman failed a Field Sobriety Test before the PBT was administered. It is but one tool of many used by police.

Dr Ed said...

Actually, we have a bigger problem.

1: UM students being arrested because of PBTs known to be inaccurate.

2: This is the second time Larry has posted that a UM kid has blown an exact .08.

3: Objectively stated, it would not be hard for an intrepid defense attorney to convince a jury that the APD has a negative attitude toward UM students.

I am NOT saying that the APD is fabricating these .08 readings -- absolutely not, and I mention this because inevitably someone will accuse me of saying such.

What I *AM* saying is that it is statistically unlikely to see the same round number showing up with frequency in any array of numbers, particularly in anything involving human beings. Think your blood pressure -- you may get numbers that are close between readings, but they won't be identical. Think your routine blood test results -- the LDH, HDL and all the rest of that fun stuff -- they may be close from test to test, but never identical.

So how many of the OUI arrests are for an exact .08 BAC? Two are a coincidence, but if there are more, well...

And it also needs to be noted that the horrendous OUI crashes simply don't happen at the .08 level.
No, these schmucks usually have at least a 1.3 - often twice that -- which is in a dimension far beyond a .08 level.

I am not defending drunk drivers nor am I defending drunken UM students. It is just the civil libertarian in me that doesn't like this variance of numbers and such.

Remember that part about how "I didn't say anything when they came for the Jews..."? We need to insist that the least popular members of a society be treated fairly because that ensures that we, too, will be.

Larry Kelley said...

Saying APD targets UMass kids is like saying they engage in racial profiling and pull over or arrest minorities at a disproportionate rate, which is patently untrue.

If memory serves, APD last weekend stopped and administered Field Sobriety Tests to three or four other drivers for one reason or another that did NOT result in an arrest.

And some of them were probably UMass students.

Anonymous said...

Zealot boy, scared of posting something you don't agree with?

Larry Kelley said...

Certainly not when it comes from a CAN.

Come to think of it, not even when it comes from a normal person brave enough to use their God given name.

bw place resident said...

Watched this from my window in boltwood place... .08 or not, she was clearly too impaired to be driving. She essentially did not take the turn in front of white hut, and ended up halfway on the sidewalk, between the planters meant to keep cars out. Had a pedestrian been there, this could have been worse.