Showing posts with label Drunk drivers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drunk drivers. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

DUI Dishonor Roll

In 2014, three times as many males were arrested for drunk driving as females

Surprisingly Amherst PD did not make a single arrest for drunk driving last (Superbowl) weekend. 

Maybe everybody was too engrossed in the Superbowl drama to overindulge but you would have thought the celebrations from the stunning outcome would have resulted in a few folks making that major error in judgment.

UMass Police, however, did make two arrests. 

And since both of the perps took the legally admissible Breathalyzer test the likelihood of them beating the charge is about the same as the Patriots 4th quarter comeback.

Finn McCool, age 21, stands before Judge Thomas Estes
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 Matthew Pham, age 20
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

DUI Dishonor Roll

In 2015, 10,265 people died in drunk driving crashes

Once again Amherst had only one driver taken off the road over the weekend by APD for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

Considering how completely overwhelmed AFD (and other area departments who came to assist) was with drunk runs from UMass to Cooley Dickinson Hospital late Saturday night I'm pleasantly surprised.

After all, there's a big difference between drinking too much in the privacy of your dorm room or at a party within walking distance and drinking too much and getting behind the wheel of a deadly weapon.

 Cassandra Lacoy stands before Judge Thomas Estes

Since Ms. Lacoy's Breathalyzer is not all that far over the limit and since she seemed pretty determined before Judge Estes that she will fight this charge she is probably a candidate for the class action suit in the Supreme Judicial Court questioning the accuracy of the BT.

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Well over 500 DUI cases have been "consolidated" and await the decision of our highest Court.  Of course if they find the Breathalyzer flawed and no longer usable by police departments for drunk driving enforcement, I'm giving up driving.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DUI Dishonor Roll

Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash

Only two arrests over the weekend for impaired driving, which is a little surprising considering Amherst's population almost doubled with the return of our beloved college students.

Eric Barnes, age 26 stands before Judge Estes
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Daniel Canon, age 65

Thursday, January 5, 2017

DUI Dishonor Roll

On average 2 out of 3 people will be involved in drunk driving crash in their lifetime.  Yikes!

Since veteran drinkers refer to New Year's Eve as "amateur night" I was a little surprised but overly pleased Amherst police only arrested one driver for being impaired over the long weekend.

And with a chemical breath test almost twice the legal limit he was most certainly impaired, and driving in a busy part of town at a time when many innocent citizens would be going about their business.

 Henrique Daviega, age 49

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

DUI Dishonor Roll

Drunk Driving costs the United States 132 Billion per year

So let's hope this coming Christmas weekend is a drunk free one at least when it comes to driving.  Unlike last weekend where Amherst police took these two drivers off the road.

And since both volunteered for the Breathalyzer test and failed the best they can hope for is the standard 24D plea deal disposition (or I suppose be declared innocent by a jury of their peers).

 Richard Huntoon, age 39
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Jason Howard, age 21

Sunday, November 20, 2016

DUI Double Dishonor Roll

Matthew Dupont, age 38, stands before the Judge

Let's hope this weekend closes out one better than last weekend, although only one drunk driving arrest was still better than average.

But in the case of Matthew Dupont, his second offense, and with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .23 -- almost three times the limit -- he was a deadly event waiting to happen.

And we already had one too many of those this year.

Click to enlarge/read

Friday, November 11, 2016

DUI Triple Dishonor Roll

The errant vehicle demolished a bus shelter and killed a man waiting there Sunday night
Bus Stop late this afternoon

So I often get criticized on Twitter for using thumbnails from Google images of drunk driving fatal crashes to illustrate a drunk driving post because it does not reflect the actual incidents I cover with my routine "DUI Dishonor Roll" series shedding light on weekend arrests for drunk driving.

But every now and then, sadly, a local incident occurs that drives home my point:  Drunk drivers kill!  Last year over 10,000 innocent people.

Last weekend, in addition to the three drunk drivers APD took off the road, one still at large drunk driver screamed through town center on a beautiful Sunday night and directly trampled a 55-year-man sitting on a bench waiting for a PVTA bus.

Since the perp was piloting a commercial style heavy-duty truck and the victim was sitting, he stood no chance whatsoever of surviving.

 The Death Machine

Police have impounded the vehicle, but since it was reported stolen early the next morning, it is exceedingly hard to prove who was driving it.

About to graduate UMass student Danny Haley, age 24, was slaughtered by a wrong way drunk driver on Rt 116 in Hadley in 2012.  To this day his family keeps up a memorial


In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday all three APD weekend arrests had their cases continued until next month.

 Matthew Vasquez, age 27
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Kyle Kitlinski, age 21
Luis Gonzales, age 21

Thursday, November 3, 2016

DUI Dishonor Roll

In 2014, three times as many males were arrested for drunk driving as females

Considering how many drunk runs AFD had over the Halloween weekend I was actually a little surprised there were not more drunk driving arrests. 

In all Amherst "only" had three total, two of them APD and the other one by UMPD.  All three took the legally admissible breath test and the results were not even close.

Only one however, Steven Ferry, came to an immediate pleas deal with the Commonwealth, a standard 24D disposition

 Steven Ferry, age 22, stands before Judge Thomas Estes
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Judge Estes was uncomfortable with him making such a quick decision so he assigned him a public defender who did not talk him out of it.  Probably a good thing, with a BAC three times the legal limit.

So an hour later he came back before Judge Estes. After the Judge accepted his signed plea -- aka "green sheet" -- he asked the standard question of "where did you have your last drink."   Mr. Ferry responded "Mission Cantina" in South Amherst. 

 Luke Toomey, age 22

Luke Wallace decided to hire his own private attorney and Keith Diaz had a public defender assigned to him.  Both will return to District Court next month. 

Keith Diaz, age 20

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DUI Double Dishonor Roll

One way of guaranteeing a quick arrest for drunk driving is to crash your vehicle into a police cruiser, dead in the center of town no less. 

 Keith Cotnoir, 23, arraigned before Judge Thomas Estes
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In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday Keith Cotnoir, age 23, instantly took a 24D disposition at his private attorney's advice.  So he will be off the road for next 45 days and out a fair amount of cash.

Cost of a standard 24D disposition

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

DUI Dishonor Roll

MADD:  every day in America 27 people die from drunk driving crashes

So it's good to know Amherst police can use their basic powers of observation (and smell) to bring charges of driving under the influence of marijuana, because I have a feeling we're going to see more and more of it in the not too distant future.

 Kyle Ferguson, age 20, arraigned before Judge Estes
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And the case of Jackson B. Gale, age 19, goes to show UMass police do have the power of arrest anywhere in town.  At the time of the incident (3 AM) every available Amherst police officer was at the scene of the homicide in South Amherst. 

Jackson B Gale will automatically lose his license for 6 months for refusing the Breathalyzer