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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

Katherine Gilligan, age 19, stands before Judge John Payne; her case was continued to next month

Amherst police also arrested South Amherst resident Savana J. Paciulli, age 21, over the weekend for driving under the influence of narcotics (heroin). She was turned in by her mother who appeared in District Court on Monday morning, and had a side bar with Judge Payne.

After her daughter did not appear by the "second call," Judge Payne had a warrant issued for her arrest.

Click photo to enlarge/read 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Things That Go Bump In The Night

The car driven by Ailton N. Correia, age 22, was traveling at a good clip down a hill on scenic South East Street and careened off the road hitting a tree immediately in front of a solid brick house.

Many emergency vehicles were on scene

Both occupants were ejected from the vehicle and both were transported to Baystate Critical Care unit in Springfield (rather than a routine transport to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton).

 Officers take measurements for accident investigation

An Amherst Police officer accompanied the ambulances to Bay State and the driver of the car, Ailton N. Correia, 22 was arrested for driving under the influence.

Car cut a swath through bushes, across lawn, into tree near house
706 South East Street  Still debris on lawn morning after

Friday, August 22, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

 Scott Urban, 22, stands before Judge Madous on Monday 

This week it's a tie:  the perp, Scott Urban, and the downtown bar that served him his last drink, obviously when he was already quite intoxicated, McMurphy's Uptown Tavern.

Even if he did have only "two cups of bud light" while at McMurphy's, with a BAC a few minutes later of .189% -- more than twice the legal limit -- he was pretty plastered when the bartender slid him those drinks.

McMurphy's Uptown Tavern, Blarney Blowout day 2012

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

Yesterday in Eastern Hampshire District Court Jovany Rodriguez, age 25, had a plea of "not guilty" entered in his behalf by Judge John Payne, who continued his DUI case until August 13. 

 Jovany Rodriguez stands before Judge John Payne

Mr. Rodriguez will hire his own attorney, but since it's his first offense and he was inexperienced enough to take the official (legally admissible) breath test back at APD headquarters, chances are he will settle for the standard 24D disposition.

Monday, July 21, 2014

When DUIs Converge

Heather Leupold, age 27,  arrested by Hadley PD last night Rt9/Rt116 intersection near Amherst town line

So if my weekly reports of drunk drivers arrested by Amherst Police all over our little town is not depressing enough for you, consider this past weekend Pelham and Hadley police also arrested impaired drivers who were only moments away from crossing the town line into Amherst.

 Seth Alison arrested by Pelham police for DUI on Saturday

Kind of like that level three sex offender arrested at Puffer's Pond earlier this month:  He was not one of our 24 registered sex offenders, as he lives in Southampton. 

And you wonder why I'm a fan of additional police officers (and firefighter/EMTs).


Amber Theriault stands before Judge Payne

Meanwhile, Judge Payne accepted a standard 24D plea deal (only available to 1st time offenders) this morning in Eastern Hampshire District Court from Amber Theriault, age 22, arrested by APD back in  mid-May for DUI in town center.

She was observed taking a really w-i-d-e turn onto Triangle Street from North Pleasant and when pulled over had all the common attributes:  smell of liquor, glassy eyes, slurred speech.  She also lost her balance when performing the Field Sobriety Test.

Ms. Theriault will lose her license for 45 days, pay $600 up front in fines and another $65/month for a year while on probation.  If she has no further incidents over the course of the year the DUI is dismissed. 

When asked by Judge Payne where she had her last drink she replied, "Stacker's Pub" in the heart of downtown Amherst.  And considering her breath test back at APD headquarters was .18% -- more than twice the legal limit -- she was pretty drunk when served that "last drink."

Stacker's Pub, 57 North Pleasant Street (building owned by Jamie Cherewatti)

There's a Killer On The Road

Newman Galati aka @Newmasaur (Used without permission)

Amherst police only made one OUI Liquor arrest over the weekend but it was a doozy ... Newman Galati, age 22,  a repeat offender.  He had come over the Notch by Atkins Country Market in deep South Amherst heading toward Amherst town center not-all-that-late Saturday night driving erratically and with his headlights off.

Newman Galati, booking photo, courtesy APD

Amherst police pulled him over on South Pleasant Street (about 350 yards from my house) a beer can throw from town center and immediatley noticed the fresh front end damage to his vehicle.  He was arrested on a host of charges:


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

The most frequently recorded BAC level among drinking drivers in fatal crashes (10,322 in 2012) was 0.16

Amherst police arrested Tarah A Liewellyn, age 25, not far from Amherst town center early Monday morning "driving" a deadly weapon with a Blood Alcohol Content more than three times the legal limit.

And it was Ms. Liewellyn's second dui offense.  Her case was continued until August 7, and she was released on $250 cash bail.

Tarah Liewellyn, age 25, stands before Judge Christopher LoConto Tuesday morning

Click photos to enlarge/read

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wrong Car To Run Off The Road

Amelia Houghton, age 26, stands before Judge LoConto

So if you are driving with double the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration the last person you want to almost run into head on is an Amherst police officer.

In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday, in one of the fastest dispositions to a drunk driving case I have ever seen, Amelia Houghton, age 26, copped a plea in front of Judge Christopher LoConto.  The standard 1st offense 24D disposition will result in loss of license for 45 days, up to $1,500 in fines and driver ed costs and one year probation.

In other words the serious charges are Continued With Out Finding for one year, and if she stays out of trouble, they are dismissed.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

In 2011, 114 of the 9,878 nationwide drunk driving fatalities occurred in Massachusetts

If you are drunk enough to get lost on a main thoroughfare (Rt. 116) in South Amherst, probably the last person you want to show up to give you directions is an Amherst police officer.  She was directed/escorted back to 111 Main Street, APD headquarters.

It would be almost humorous except for the fact Tameeka Zuvers-Crews, age 44, was attempting to pilot a potentially deadly weapon.


Also in the wee hours of Monday morning:


Monday, June 30, 2014

DUI Double Trouble

 Blake Spencer, age 24, stands before Judge John Payne

This morning in Eastern Hampshire District Court Judge John Payne sentenced Blake A. Spencer, age 24, to ninety (90) days in the House of Correction, otherwise known as the "big house" ... but suspended the sentence for two years.

The Judge then admonished Mr. Spencer to stay for away from trouble in the meantime as any altercation with the law over the next two years will instantly trip the 90 day sentence.

Spencer was originally arrested by APD in mid-February, 2013 after he was seen stumbling to his car at Village Park Apartments while screaming obscenities. He was pulled over and arrested for DUI.

Since it was only his first offense the case was continued without a finding for a year. In April he was arrested in Belchertown after crashing into a guard rail and leaving the scene.

The officer noted the strong smell of alcohol, glassy eyes, and he seemed to have trouble understanding the simple verbal request for a license and registration.

Most telling of all, he took the Breathalyzer back at the station and blew a .12 (50% over the .08 threshold).

In addition to the two years probation with a 90 day jail sentence hanging over his head, Spencer will complete a 14 day in-house treatment program for his alcohol problem, pay $600 in standard fines, and lose his license for two years.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The One That Got Away

Attorney David Mintz did all the talking for client Jesse Bollinger (seated)

In a bench trial this morning Judge John Payne found Jesse Bollinger, age 29, not guilty of driving under the influence, 2nd offense.

He was arrested back on Easter Sunday early morning by APD officer Rita Contardo after she noticed his front headlight out and when pulled over he exhibited the strong "order of alcohol, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech."

In other words, the usual traits that gets you out of the car performing a Field Sobriety Test. He also admitted to having just consumed alcohol.

 Jesse Bollinger did not take the stand to testify

On the Step Test, where you have to take nine strait steps heel-to-toe while saying each step aloud, he missed on step #4 -- leaving a one inch gap -- and step #7 where his heel came down on his other foot.

And on the return trip he made the same type of mistake with one step.

On the One Leg Stand, where you lift one leg, point your toes and count up from one one-thousand, he had to use his arms for balance and touched down at 18.

He also raced through the alphabet (although correctly) in a mumbling manner.

After the brief trip back to APD for booking the officer noted her cruiser was left with the odor of alcohol and even after the booking process the room was left with the distinct smell of alcohol.

Defense Attorney David Mintz rattled off a series of questions establishing that there was no indication of impaired driving after the officer followed his client for about 200 yards.  He also asked if police tend to look a little harder for drunk drivers just after bars close, to which she responded, "yes."

As for the FST's Attorney Mintz told Judge Payne that officer Contardo was a "hard grader" and he would not want to have her for a school teacher.  Because only faltering on 3 of 18 steps was close enough.  And the smell of alcohol does not precisely indicate how much you have had.

Judge Payne agreed that she's a "hard marker" and that the mistakes exhibited on the 9 step test were "not significant."  And since she did not give him explicit instructions about reciting the ABCs it doesn't matter that he quickly mumbled them. 

Since a guilty finding requires "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" Judge Payne found the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof.  Without missing a beat, Attorney Mintz then asked the judge to sign a motion for reinstatement of his client's drivers license.

Of course the one telling piece of evidence not presented to the Judge was Mr. Bollinger's refusal to take the breath test back at Amherst police headquarters during the booking process.  State law says you cannot use the refusal to take a breath test as evidence at trial, but the act of refusal instantly garners a six month license suspension. 

In this case the refusal paid off for Bollinger as he now gets his license back less than two months after losing it for refusing a breath test that would have given solid evidence one way or the other for the serious charge of drunk driving.

The state needs to close that loophole. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

 Chris Boyle standing before Judge John Payne this morning

As you can tell from his Twitter feed Christopher J. Boyle, age 59, is somewhat the beer connoisseur.  Too bad he doesn't subscribe to the common wisdom, "all things in moderation."

Acting on a good Samaritan cell phone tip of an "erratic operator," Amherst police pulled over Mr. Boyle near the Dunkin' Donuts on College Street just after he drove through the heart of a busy downtown Amherst Sunday evening, Fathers Day, about an hour before sunset. 

The civic minded witness stated Boyle was swerving over the yellow lines while passengers in his vehicle were throwing beer bottles (Heineken's) out the window.  He was arrested for DUI and drug possession.  His third offense for drunk driving.

In Eastern Hampshire District Court this morning Judge John Payne entered a "not guilty" plea and continued his case until July 21 .  He was released on bail with a provision (enforced by testing) to stay away from alcohol.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday before Judge Mary Hurley first time offender Tyler Chambers, age 25, took a standard DUI 24D disposition for his April 26 arrest, which involved leaving the scene of a (potentially fatal) two car motor vehicle crash. 

 Tyler Chambers, age 25 stands before Judge Mary Hurley

Chambers will lose his license for 45 days, pay $600 in fines, $250 bar advocate fee, and $567.22 for drug/alcohol school and be on probation for one year with an additional $65/month probation fee. 

An expensive lesson learned (we hope).

APD "statement of facts"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

I guess it's a good thing the majority of drunk driving arrests occur in the late night early morning hours as Meghan M. Gesek, age 21, was taken off the road after crashing her vehicle into a fence on a school playground. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DUI's Coming and Going

 Evan Pollard

In Eastern Hampshire District Court this morning Evan Pollard, age 24, took a standard 24D disposition for his drunk driving arrest on an early Sunday morning (1:30 AM) April 6th.

As he was turning from Kellogg Avenue onto North Pleasant Street in the heart of the downtown police observed his vehicle cross wide over the yellow lines. And it went downhill from there:

Upon stopping him the officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol, and noted Mr. Pollard had glassy eyes, slurred speech. When performing the Field Sobriety Test he took the wrong number of steps, and used his arms to help balance while trying to stand on one foot.

Pollard also admitted to the officer he had, "a couple beers at McMurphy's." He also blew a .13 on the breathalizer back at the station.

The Public Defender told the Judge Mr. Pollard had no prior record and he has just graduated from UMass. The Judge imposed $600 in fines, 45 day loss of license, and $65/month per month probation fee for the next 12 months.

When the Judge asked where he had his last drink, Pollard replied, "McMurphy's Uptown Tavern."

Meanwhile, on Monday morning, Amherst police arrested Katherine Roberts for DUI.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

Liberty Lynn, age 34 

Interestingly my friends in the bricks and mortar media jumped on this scary DUI case because Liberty Lynn had a child in the car with her (as well as an Amherst homeless person, "known to the police").

But the thing about drunk drivers is they are a threat to kids everywhere because even if they are alone in their car they can all too easily crash into another vehicle filled with kids.

Liberty Lynn is the sister of Patrick Lynn who was arrested by Amherst police six weeks ago in Amherst town center for DUI -- 4th offense!

Part 2

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

Melquan Miller being sworn in before Judge John Payne

So once again Judge John Payne disposed of back-to-back DUI cases in Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday, one offense dating back to March and the other from very early Sunday morning.

Both offenders, Toryen Hadfield, age 25 and Melquan Miller, age 21,  took a standard 24D disposition:  They will lose their license for 45 days, pay $600 in fines and be on probation for a year with an addition monthly probation fee.

When asked where they had their last drink, Miller replied "private residence" and Hadfield replied "High Horse Brewery" in downtown Amherst.

Toryen Hadfield and his public defender