DUI related crashes are not something to take lightly. They are brutal, often violent, and more often than not, fatal. Typically when alcohol or other toxins, like drugs, are mixed with driving, serious things happen. Car crashes, charges, and sometimes both happen in light of a DUI incident. When it comes to terrible accidents, the mind goes back to Oklahoma a few years back to a terrible incident that stands out in history. DUIwise has requested a special recounting of this monumental car crash involving alcohol for their blog on DUIwise.com.
It started out like any other day for the students at Oklahoma State University. It was a typical Saturday during football season, busy and full of life. It just so happened to be October 25, the day of OSU’s homecoming festivities. For many students, homecoming is an exciting day where people of all ages come together to celebrate the university and the football team.
What started out as a typical homecoming parade, ended in a tragedy that day. During the parade that morning, unsuspecting onlookers were taken off guard when a woman came crashing through an intersection that had been blocked off for the parade. She plowed into the crowd of people with her car, and the results were indescribable.
The the gray car that the woman had been driving was smashed on one side, and the windshield was also shattered from the impact made. A motorcycle was crumpled and mangled after being hit by the woman’s car. There are many people injured on the scene as well, but the most haunting tragedies were the deaths that day.
Four people suffered a terrible fate when the woman sped through the crowd. There were mangled chairs, twisted blankets, water bottles everywhere, and even a broken baby stroller. The carnage was immense. The woman, who had been behind the wheel, was immediately suspected of driving under the influence. Investigators immediately tested her blood for substances, like alcohol or drugs, which might have impaired her driving.
The 25-year-old woman was arrested and remained incarcerated throughout Saturday night. Her charge? DUI. The motorcycle, which was mangled and destroyed, belonged to an officer who was working security for the parade that day. The woman struck his bike before plowing into the crowd.
The people she hit were flying in the air like a rag doll, and witnesses say they were almost thirty feet into the air on impact. Immediately, people were being treated for injuries. At least 44 different people were injured in the crash, while three adults and one boy, two years old, died. The adults passed at the scene of the horrendous crash, but the little boy died later from sustained injuries. Many of the injuries were critical.
At first, many of the news media though the crash was part of the parade. However, that view soon changed the look of panic on so many people’s faces came into view. The incident sparked a homicide investigation on the woman as well since she was responsible for so many people’s death that day.
Her father had a few things to say on the matter at hand that almost seem shocking in light of the events surrounding the crash. He claims that the woman, his daughter, has always been a timid person. She wasn’t an alcoholic, and she had even attended the homecoming festivities that Friday night. According to her boyfriend, she was home by 10 p.m. that night, but her actions seem to prove something different. Her father was afraid that the media would paint her to be a bad person, but the accident, which did involve alcohol, stands to reason.
The President of the University considered canceling the homecoming game against Kansas. However, they continued as scheduled. The university added a moment of silence before kickoff to help honor and remember those who had been a victim of the nasty crash only hours before. Many of the OSU players knelt down on the sidelines in a silent prayer of their own.
Many of the fans who attended the game that day were forced with the task of walking past that intersection to get to the stadium since the intersection was less than three blocks away. Many National Guard troops remained to keep watch while Red Cross officials and the Medical examiner’s office continued the cleanup and reporting tasks at hand.
Saturday evening left a somewhat clean intersection again, leaving the tragic event somewhat in the past. Though there were many hurts, many survived the horrible crash. For those who didn’t, the families suffered the losses greatly. The woman, responsible for the crash, has spent time in incarceration for her actions. This event will go down in history in the state of Oklahoma as one of the more tragic events.
Even though this isn’t the first tragedy to strike Oklahoma State University, it still stands as one of the worst on the list. When considering the things that are driving while intoxicated can do, it is gut wrenching and earth shattering. Not only do the drivers of these vehicles put their own life in danger, but they endanger many innocent people as well. Whether those people are driving cars or standing on the sidewalk to watch a homecoming parade doesn’t matter. What does matter is keeping the streets safe by restraining from consuming alcohol and driving.
Many states are cracking down on the DUI and DWI laws and charges. More people are being caught and punished now than ever before, and when looking back at this incident, it is no wonder. The families will suffer forever, and the woman will as well since she will always be stricken with the consequences of her reckless actions.
It is important to remember never to drink and drive. If you have been drinking, you should relinquish your keys or your right to drive. Find a ride, grab a cab, or find an Uber to take you home. It is better to be safe than be sorry, and it is better to pay a little more for a ride home than pay for your life from a fatal crash.
The consequences of driving under the influence can cost someone their life. Over the years, more and more people have become aware of the seriousness of the crime, and this fact was very evident on Saturday when an 11-year-old called the police to report that his mother was driving drunk with him in the car.
Nicole Norris is a 30 year-old Oregon mother. She has many reasons to be proud of her son, after he placed a 911 call that may have saved both of their lives. Norris was driving with a BAC level twice the legal limit in Oregon, putting both herself and her son in grave danger. Thanks to the phone call, Norris was arrested and removed from the car and Oregon roads.
The Hillsboro, Oregon Sheriff’s office reported the story on Tuesday. Washington County officials were very grateful that the young boy had the common sense and initiative to make sure his mother didn’t put herself, him, and others in grave danger with her drunk driving. While authorities are no doubt grateful to the boy, as are others who drive on those roads, a defense attorney will need to review the information to ensure that a DUI actually took place. As in a lot of DUI cases, not everything is as it at first seems.
This particular case has additional circumstances as well. The woman isn’t just facing a DUI charge but a child endangerment charge as well. Deputy Shannon Wilde commented on the case saying, “He was able to tell us how much he saw her drinking and told us he thought she hit the curb.” He added that “her driving was so bad he realized this was not normal.”
The alert child phoned 911 and from GPS coordinates, officers were able to track and finally locate the vehicle as it was driving on the road. Officers were very complimentary of the boy’s actions, calling him “a very brave courageous young man.” He added that sometimes “doing the right thing is not easy,” as is evident in this case where he had to call authorities on the woman he calls his mother. Not every young man would have been so brave in this instance.
As for the mother, she would do well to investigate information on sites like DUIwise that help defendants get the best legal help that’s available out in the world. After all, despite the shocking nature of this case and the fact that she endangered her child, there is always hope for a brighter tomorrow in every DUI case. No one has to repeat their mistakes. Since her young son was alert and brave enough to call authorities, now a good lawyer might be able to take over the case and manage to get help for the young mother.
Oregon defendants will find plenty of information on DUIwise.com, including information about how to bat a DUI case in court with the help of good legal representation. It’s a complete fairy tale that you can’t beat a DUI with a breathalyzer readout showing how intoxicated you were. In fact, many people who take breathalyzers get false positives on their readouts. A good defense attorney will examine the breathalyzer used in the woman’s case and ensure that it gave an accurate readout.
Children always have everyone’s best interests at heart and the boy in this case certainly was trying to do the right thing. His actions likely saved his mother and himself from suffering far graver consequences for the DUI. However, all of the facts of the case might not be accurate, and a good defense attorney is going to analyze the events before the DUI, during the DUI arrest, and after to make sure that all of the proper procedures were followed.
Often times DUI defendants have trouble with drugs and/or alcohol. They can benefit from punishments that fall short of prison. The woman might be able to take a plea bargain and plead guilty in exchange for seeking treatment for alcoholism. She will likely lose her license for a period of time if she’s found guilty or if she pleads guilty. A good defense attorney in a DUI case will undoubtedly go over all the facts of the case with the defendant, witnesses, and police officers in the case so that they can determine what the recommended punishment should be.
Many DUI defendants do take plea bargains which can reduce the charges to something other than a DUI. As we all know, DUIs have serious impacts on car insurance. If the woman were to face this, she might be put in a financial situation that would make a life for herself and her son harder. If she’s able to seek treatment instead of getting a DUI and then have a lesser charge, this can definitely give her a head start on a recovery that is worthwhile.
Police are still sorting out the facts of the case. For now, Oregon police know that one intelligent young man did what he felt was right and called 911 to take a drunk driver off the road. This decision could have saved his own life, his mothers, and countless other lives. Police could not compliment the young man enough for his brave actions.
The fate of Nicole Norris will likely play out in a courtroom later this month or next month. As of now, the DUI charge and child endangerment charges have stuck and that is what she will be facing when she first enters her plea. Hopefully, she will discuss her case with a good defense attorney so that she can truly get the best possible outcome for herself and her son. More circumstances about the case are pending, as reporters piece together what has been reported by police and investigators so far. For now, Norris hasn’t issued a public statement about her arrest or about the young man that she calls son and how she feels about the 911 phone call he made. We can only hope she would be proud.
DUI charges against police officers are always shocking but none reads quite as shocking as the charges against Officer Nicholas Harper. On August 3rd, he was arrested following an accident that occurred very early in the morning on August 2nd. He wasn’t hitting cars ON the road, though. He was ramming parked cars, inadvertently it’s presumed.
The parked cars in question were parked on 1600 block of North 6th street. Police explained that when they arrived on the scene, they noticed that Harper was impaired. He was immediately taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence. Sadly, it’s not altogether unusual for a police officer to be charged with driving under the influence in Pennsylvania.
He was not just given a breathalyzer but was also taken for blood chemical testing and more extensive tests. There is no word yet if Harper was under the influence of any other substances during his 4 parked car hitting spree. It’s yet to be seen if he is charged with any other violations due to the collisions with the parked cars. For now, it’s just a DUI charge, although a police officer facing a DUI charge is almost always facing a fight for his career as well.
No site knows this better than DUIwise.com, a popular hub for information about DUI defenses. So many people in the general public believe that a DUI case is the single case you can’t beat. Either you’re drunk or you’re not. In reality, many thousands of people beat DUI cases each year, with the help of things like the handy DUIwise How to Beat a DUI section of information and similar pages that let defendants know there is hope of beating a DUI. You just have to have the right lawyer for the job.
Harper faces a preliminary hearing on September 6th. It’s here that he will first face the music for his wild night of striking parked cars during what appeared to be a state of intoxication. As always, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty or until he admits guilt. Many defendants like Harper take something called a plea bargain that is a compromise between the state and the defense’s lawyers. Many times a DUI case becomes an exercise in getting a plea bargain that is going to spare the defendant jail time and other unpleasant punishments.
Harper’s BAC level is not yet known but it will play a big part in what his punishment turns out to be or what his defense options are. Pennsylvania’s DUI laws are heavily dependent on the defendant’s BAC levels. For example, if it’s a first offense DUI for Harper (this is not yet confirmed), he will face 6 months of probation and a $300 fine as long as his BAC level was between .08-.99. If his BAC was .10-.159, he’ll face 2 days to 6 months in prison, a $500-$5000 fine, and 12 months of license suspension. As you can see, the BAC level in these Pennsylvania cases matter a lot as to the outcome a defendant can expect. For lower level BAC cases, it’s possible to get by without even a license suspension.
Harper has not issued a statement about this case and the police department he works for has failed to release any notes about whether or not Harper will still be working during his DUI case. Strange as it may seem, there are instances where a police officer accused of a crime will be able to continue working or at the very least be paid for administrative leave. Details of the way that the police department has responded to Harper’s charge are upcoming. So far, no one knows much of anything about the action the police will take regarding his arrest.
There’s no word yet on the victims of his late night car hitting spree, either. In all, he hit 4 parked cars while trying to navigate the streets. Chances are that there will be upcoming insurance claims on the accidents and that Harper will also suffer major financial consequences for his actions as well. For now, not much is known about the victims of his late night drinking spree.
While it’s called a drinking spree here, it’s also entirely possible that Harper is innocent of these charges. When thinking about DUI cases, think of them just like any other case. No one is guilty until they have their day in court. Harper is facing his first day in court on the 6th and from there, more details of the arrest will emerge, as well as the results of chemical testing that was conducted the night of the arrest. Having a clear cut BAC level will make it easier for Harper’s attorneys to know how to handle the case moving forward. Sometimes they seek a plea bargain, depending on the chances of being proven guilty, and sometimes they’ll take a case all the way to trial if they suspect police of things like racial profiling or pulling someone over without a legal reason to do so.
Still, it seems unlikely that any of those things were a factor in this case. Harper had already hit 4 parked cars on the road before police were able to apprehend him and question him. For now, it looks like Harper will need to hire a very good DUI attorney such as those recommended on DUIwise. As the site itself explains, you must fight a DUI in order to get the best possible outcome for yourself, even if you are guilty of the crime. With a good lawyer at his side, Harper may be able to get help for the issues that caused him to drive drunk in the first place, or he may be able to have his case dismissed if it’s found out that police made a mistake in the arrest. It’s surprising, but there are plenty of times there is an arrest of someone who wasn’t really drunk at the time. Time will tell if this is the case with Harper.
A good Samaritan Smithfield police officer was struck by a drunk driver while he was working as part of Operation Rhode Island Blue Riptide. Ironically, this is a law enforcement organization that is currently trying to cut down on the number of DUI accidents on the road in Rhode Island. Fortunately, only the officer’s car was struck in the incident. His cruiser was parked while he was writing out a citation for a motor vehicle violation on Douglas Pike. Officers are often parked on the side of the road like this and it’s the responsibility of drivers to be alert that official police business is taking place and clear the lane enough to allow this to happen.
It’s at this point that 32-year-old Derek T. Lewis of Pascoag drove along and struck the officer’s police cruiser. Rest assured that Lewis immediately drew the attention of the police officer. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, refusal to submit to a chemical test, refusal to submit to a preliminary breath test, operating a motor vehicle without evidence of insurance, expired vehicle registration, and prudent speeds and laned roadway violation. That is a massive checklist of violations that will be haunting Lewis in the coming months, should he choose to fight the charges.
What is exhibited here is a definite need for a DUI lawyer. Sites like DUIwise.com recommend immediately retaining a DUI lawyer before pleading guilty so that a defendant can have their best chance at getting the help they need for an incident like this. While everyone agrees that DUIs show a blatant lack of respect for laws and the people on our roadways, many times a substance abuse problem can contribute to these cases. Only when a defendant gets the help for substance abuse that they need can they finally stop violating the law such as this.
One of Lewis’s charges is refusing to submit to chemical testing and breathalyzer tests. This was a huge mistake according to DUIwise, since refusing to take a breathalyzer test looks horrible to a jury. This certainly isn’t the only thing that Derek Lewis did wrong but it may be one of the things that will hurt his case most in the future. Striking a police vehicle in the commission of a DUI is the biggest mistake of all and he’s going to need all of the legal representation he can get to fight a charge like this.
Fighting a DUI charge can be an uphill battle, especially in Rhode Island. The state strongly frowns upon DUI arrests and will go to great lengths to make sure that dangerous drivers are taken off the road and streets for as long as possible. Not only is Lewis facing a license suspension and possible jail time, but he’s going to pay hefty fines in Rhode Island courts for his mistake. His lack of respect for the police officer’s space is going to be another issue that might lead to an aggravated DUI circumstance. Aggravated DUIs can lead to much harsher penalties and plenty of consequences in the future, especially in perhaps leading to a felony DUI case in the future with an arrest this shocking.
The policeman who’s cruiser was struck will not be sidelined for long. He was back out helping with his organization the same day, trying his best to help keep drunk drivers off of Rhode Island’s highway. Operation Blue Riptide’s routine patrols are already doing good in the state and perhaps something good can come out of Derek T. Lewis’s incident. This brings more awareness of the DUI problem in Rhode Island than ever before and with a prominent policeman having been the victim of this drunk driver’s bad judgment, more awareness about the cause will come to light.
For now, Lewis faces a slew of charges in the coming months. A good DUI lawyer will negotiate with prosecutors to perhaps compromise. Some of the charges may even be dropped or reduced in the case. It’s highly unlikely, though, that Lewis will walk away from this incident without at least one charge that sticks. The damage to the police cruiser was noticeable and the fact that it took place during part of an operation to stop drunk drivers is likely to call even more attention to Lewis’s potential crime.
Despite the deck being stacked against him, even defendants like Lewis can benefit mightily when the help of a compassionate attorney gets involved. At the heart of many of these cases is a problem with alcohol and substance abuse. In the right hands, a substance abuse or alcoholism problem can lead to rehabilitation through medical treatment and rehab instead of imprisonment. Many states now have a short mandatory jail time for even a first DUI, but with the help of compassionate lawyers, more defendants than ever before are getting the help they need in medical detoxes and not just prisons. With a medical detox, an alcoholic learns of his or her disease and how to arrest it… before the defendant is arrested for a DUI like the one Lewis is facing.
Rhode Island’s DUI programs continue to put a spotlight on the DUI problem in the state. The goal of these programs is to reduce the number of DUIs that perpetrators commit each year. Thanks to officers like the one who’s police cruiser were struck by Derek T. Lewis, more people than ever before are becoming aware of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. No one wants to face a DUI charge in their lifetime, yet so many people take the chance of getting behind the wheel of a car while they’re intoxicated. Hopefully, with the continued good work of officers like those in Rhode Island, more people will stay off the roadways when they’ve had anything to drink. Until then, there are good police officers to help get offenders off the road and there are good lawyers to help offenders get the help they need for their problem.
As per the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over four thousand people die due to drunk driving accidents in South Carolina. The statistics are for years between 2003 and 2012. The most vulnerable group are people between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-four. The numbers paint a picture so glum sending shivers down the spine of other road users. About 1.4% of the people in South Carolina report of driving or having driven under the influence.
Such a glaring and startling revelation is a warning to each one to exercise extreme caution while on the roads. Always be on the look out for any signal of intoxication among other drivers on the road. While you are driving, pay close attention to individuals driving at high speed, making erratic movements or swerving. On seeing such, it is of utmost importance that you call 911 for assistance and keep your distance. Such an action may save someone’s life.
In South Carolina, it is illegal to drive with 0.8% or above Blood Alcohol Concentration. There are lower limits for drivers under twenty-one and heavy commercial vehicle drivers. Sobriety checkpoints are the norm on the road in South Carolina these days. In cases where a driver causes an accident under the influence, the driver is liable under the theory of negligence per se. The driver is guilty of the injuries arising from the crash. The victim doesn’t necessarily have to prove negligence in courts as long as the driver failed the sobriety test.
What to do at a checkpoint
Getting arrested or stopped for drunk driving isn’t a pretty sight. You may be harassed or even manhandled by the police officer in some instances. When stopped by a police officer at a check point, it is prudent that you pull over and stop at a safe side of the road. Always comply with police officers instructions about getting out of the car and giving him your driving license. You are under no obligation to answer any other questions that aren’t related to the issue at hand. Nevertheless, total compliance is of great value in this case. It isn’t mandatory for you to comply with the tests.
The officer will ask you to perform a road side sobriety test and blew into a handheld breathalyzer machine known as the AlcoSensor. You need to do as requested, a charge sheet is filled and given to you. You can either be accused of drink driving or arrested for the same. In any eventuality, it is advisable you get in touch with an attorney or a public defender will be provided just in case. Getting in touch with a good defense attorney is essential in this case. The attorney will assist you to understand how the law applies to your case. He will advise on action to take, and in some cases, he may be able to negotiate a plea bargain for a lower charge of reckless driving.
Consequences of drunk driving
At DUIwise.com we provide you with facts about drunk driving including outcomes and other helpful information. South Carolina is one of the states with the toughest laws against DWI/DUI. The sentences to each offender vary from DWI Level one to five. The misdemeanor level one indicates a very dangerous offender while level five is a minor offender. Penalties for the offense can either be Administrative or Criminal penalties.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation imposes administrative penalties. Imposing administrative penalties to first-time offenders is the law in South Carolina. In this case, revocation of the driver’s license happens, and this can be a civil suspension at the time or arrest or a criminal suspension after conviction.
A driver who refuses to undergo a breath test at a checkpoint or has a BAC of 0.8% or higher may get an immediate thirty days license revocation. After a judge hears and determines the case, irrespective of the outcome, the driver gets a one-year suspension. Though, in this case, the driver may be given limited driving privileges after a mandatory six month period. On conviction, the driver’s licenses are revoked for one year with limited opportunities available after ten days. He is allowed to drive at certain hours for work purposes. Reinstating of the licenses is only possible when the offender undergoes drug and alcohol test plus treatment.
The courts impose criminal penalties to an offender. The penalties vary from level one to level five. They range from jail time, fines, substance abuse treatment or probation. Jail time varies but is always between 24 hours to 60 days for level five up to two years for a level one offender. Fines, on the other hand, range from $200 to $4,000 also from level five to level one respectively. A judge can grant Probation instead of jail time for offenders of level three to five. The probation may include limited jail time, or community service and participation in an alcohol and drug evaluation program. A judge isn’t allowed to grant probation to level two and one offenders under South Carolina laws.
The DUIwise site shows that driving under the influence will not only land you in jail but also lead to deaths and permanent injuries. These aren’t selective; they affect both the offender and the other road users.
Drunk driving is a dangerous phenomenon and requires the concerted efforts of all parties involved. Some of these strategies can help reduce or prevent DUI accidents: drunk driving laws, sobriety checkpoints, ignition interlocks, multi-component interventions, mass media campaigns, administrative license revocation or suspension laws, alcohol screening and brief interventions and school-based instructional programs. Each of these approaches will require different resources for implementation and have varying levels of impact.
In a nut shell dedicated efforts are leading to a reduction in the rates of drunk driving and alcohol-involved fatal crashes in recent years. Nevertheless, this isn’t the end of the road; this menace needs to come to an end. Though victims get compensated, money isn’t to the life of a person killed by a reckless, negligent and reckless behavior of one another.