Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DUI Dishonor Roll

Mass State Police arrested just over 5,000 drunk drivers last year

Just as last month's "Blarney Blowout" acted as a terrible turning point for town and UMass officials who now, finally, seem serious about addressing rowdy off campus student behavior (besides handing out oatmeal cookies) Saturday's shenanigans should also act as a wake up call on drunk driving.

Before someone gets killed.


At the very least it's time for another State Police "sobriety checkpoint" and this time it should be in the heart of UMass (North Pleasant Street) or Amherst town center.

Amherst police arrested four drunk drivers on Saturday late afternoon into early Sunday morning.  Yes, four.  All of them UMass students.  Most of them at times of the day when working folks and their families are going about their daily routine.

Like the head on, wrong way collision in the busiest intersection in Amherst town center at 4:55 PM on a busy Saturday which resulted in the arrest of Taylor Estupinan, age 22.  How many of you were out and about Saturday around that time, sharing the road with a potential killer?

 Raymond F. Racine

Or how about Raymond F. Racine also age 22, who almost ran over a cop at the Hobart Lane checkpoint?

Joint APD UMPD checkpoint Hobart Lane, hard to miss, but not if you're drunk

Or Matthew Collins, age 20, who committed hit and run on a grove of arborvitaes on Pine Street before dusk on Saturday.   Arrested for DUI and a bevy of other charges related to negligent operation of a deadly weapon.

Or Briana Virginia Roy, age 21, arrested for DUI early Sunday morning after drawing attention to her drunken self by speeding and following a car to closely.  A potentially deadly combination.

Like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, drunk drivers bring on sorrow and misery. These four Perps were lucky to have survived.

And so were we.


The Juggernaut said...

This is, observing your recent posts, the first time UMass students en bulk have been caught or arrested, as compared to towns people. If I recall it has mostly been older folk, or out of town folks.

Why the different treatment for these students in today's post, other than your war against UMass?

Larry Kelley said...

Because I'm sick of this crap and I'm NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Actually this post is not much sterner than ones about this time one year ago.

You know, like the time a UMass student died via a drunk driver (who was not a UMass student).

Anonymous said...

Yes, and it is older town folk who run most of the illegal and dangerously zoned businesses in town as well.

Why do you treat the students differently than town residents who commit the same acts?

Anonymous said...

Because I'm sick of this crap and I'm NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!

That fails to answer the question of why the different treatment, Larry.

Larry Kelley said...

Not different at all. Just click on the "drunk driver" tag and peruse my DUI posts.

As cops are fond of saying, "It is what it is."

Anonymous said...

Ever post a mug shot of a town resident?

Larry Kelley said...

No, because this is the first time the Chief has given me a mug shot.

If you follow my DUI posts somewhere along the line I have clearly stated that APD should publish EVERY DUI!


Larry Kelley said...

And I did ask the Chief for a mug shot of this guy at the time who was busted out in front of my house (and he is not a UMass student) but was turned down.


Anonymous said...

Ever post a pic of a town resident, who got arrested, from their facebook page?

The point here is that you say you treat students who commit crimes the same way that you treat town residents who commit crimes. And you definitely do not, and there's no way around that really.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually I've never posted a pic of a student who got arrested using their Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

Well then I guess you've got me. I was wrong, and I apologize. You do not discriminate when it comes to posting photos of individuals who break the law in Amherst.

Did you ever post a face shot of a hard-working, with kids in the school, volunteer, town resident, who didn't commit any crimes, just to be a nasty bastard and to try to embarrass her?

Larry Kelley said...

No, but I published a headshot of Tony Maroulis a couple days ago.


Anonymous said...

Larry, do you bother conversing with CANS?

Larry Kelley said...

Good point.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, 523 cars stopped by MSP at the roadblock, 5 drunk drivers found. That is less than 1% which raises serious questions about probable cause (which may be why the MSP hasn't decided to do another one.

The other little point often ignored is that the ONLY thing police are allowed to do is inquire/investigate the sobriety of the driver -- they can't make any inquiry into the passengers -- the courts say so. (This came out of the drug roadblocks in Holyoke.)

Dr. Ed said...

The problem with posting the pictures is that some intrepid defense lawyer is going to get an legitimate conviction overturned on the grounds that some juror might have seen the picture on your website and that influenced the verdict.

Jason Vassell got off with far less.

On a different note, what four OUI crashes on one day tells you is that all respect for the law is breaking down in Amherst. For all law.

If the police can arrest you for anything, then there isn't the line between what one is worried about the possibility of being arrested for and what one isn't -- it all becomes one big game of trying not to get caught.

After all, they can't arrest everyone and the students know that.

Walter Graff said...

/"Larry, 523 cars stopped by MSP at the roadblock, 5 drunk drivers found. That is less than 1% which raises serious questions about probable cause (which may be why the MSP hasn't decided to do another one."/

If you look at national check point statistics you will see that most all checkpoints done for the last 25 years in this country yield very few arrests, if any. And in this day of tweeting and texting, they are for the most part useless in most towns as easily avoidable. Checkpoints neither yield much or deter much other than causing those who might have one to not drink at all out of fear. The rest are gonna do it anyway and as I said will know what to avoid.

I think that changing the traffic patterns on campus at night to restrict street traffic flow and allowing more police observation of these streets would be the best deterrent to on campus drinking and driving.

What is proven to be far more effective than SCP's is saturation patrols which is what you see with most DUI arrests in Amherst and surrounding areas. Bottom line, allowing police to drive around and observe will always yield far greater DUI arrests.

Save the money wasted on SCP's and put one more officer on the road and you'll catch twice as many DUI drivers.

Anonymous said...

I think one of the reasons so many college-aged kids drink so much is because they are lonely and scared.

Of course, that's also the reason I believe Ed and Walt post so often on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if its less than 1% of cars stopped that are actually drunk.. all it takes is 1 person... 80% or less than 1% I don't care. Get em off the road.

Walter Graff said...

I agree on the 1%. Problem is most police departments see the cost of such details to outweigh their usefulness. And considering how many more people are arrested with saturation patrols, it's the better way to go.

Although as I said a few on-campus blocks along with nighttime road closures will have a lasting effect. Wouldn't take a large contingent of officers. You don't need but three to have a successful checkpoint.

Dr. Ed said...

Walter, do you remember how popular the closure of Lincoln Avenue was? And what makes you think that nighttime road closures would be perceived any differently?

People having to go out of their way are going to be p***** and that is going to show up in a multitude of things that you don't want and which your saturation patrols are only, at best, going to defer.

And as to what is wrong with harassing the 99+% of sober drivers at a roadblock -- can you say "Vietnam"? When you loose the "hearts & minds" of the majority, you have lost the war regardless of how much force you employ. That's the problem Amherst has right now, they have made enemies out of all the students in their asinine efforts to deal with the few -- kinda like the US did in Vietnam.

They didn't used to throw rocks at the cops. They do now. Anyone ever taken the time to ask why the change?

Walter Graff said...

"Anyone ever taken the time to ask why the change?"

Has little to do with "lack of respect for the town".

Just look at the male elephants in Africa and today's male youth and you will have a parallel and the answer.

If that makes no sense it's a reference to an article I read not long ago that talks about this generation and the reasons behind an overall shift in young male temperament.

In this culture it is a reference to the dramatic change in family structure because of divorce as a primary reason followed by parents who are absent from parenting aka the typical UMASS student


Dr. Ed said...

But Walter, when they brought in older male elephants from elsewhere, that calmed things down.

And if the male townspeople (e.g. APD) weren't on such a confrontational basis with the students, I think the same thing would happen.

I also think it would help to have more men employed by both the schools and by UMass for the same reasons. I can't remember the last heterosexual male employeed by the UMass Dean of Students' Office -- and that says something.