Drinking and Driving News – 1995

Drinking and Driving News

Driver Performance Institutes
330 Townsend St #106
San Francisco, CA 94107


DMV Makes Mistake Driver Get License Back

Los Angeles Daily Journal, 9.94

Some drivers whose licenses were revoked may be able to get them back
in the wake of the sate Attorney General’s Office acknowledgment of a
snafu in the vehicle code, Beverly Hills defense attorney Gerson Horn,
said.

Horn represented Paul Louk, of Thousand Oaks, Louk was stopped,
arrested for a DUI and lost his license under Vehicle Code 13353.2 (BAC
above .08 = loss of license). Louk received two points on his license for
conviction of his DUI.

Then while on suspension he was stopped and given a ticket for driving
on a suspended license. DMV officials then added two additional points,
for a total of four. Making Louk a negligent driver (VC12810.5)

The snafu, as Horn explained it, is that the Legislature apparently
neglected to include VC 14601.5 (driving on a DUI suspended license) on
its list of violations for which points can be added to a persons
record.

DMV rejected Louk’s appeals. But when Horn appealed Louk’s license
revocation to a Ventura County Superior Court judge, the judge indicated
he would rule in Louk’s favor. Before he did so, Elizabeth Hong
acknowledged the problem in the law and agreed to give Louk his license
back.


New Law Allows Work Related Restricted License

Starting January 1, 1995, all persons arrested for DUI may apply for
restricted license that allows driving to and from work and in the course
of employment. Prior to this new law persons arrested for DUI were only
allowed to have restrictions to and from a treatment program. The new law
allows those persons arrested to have this restriction if they (1)
completed a 30 day ‘hard’ suspension (2) enroll in an approved DUI
program (Form DS-626) (3) pay the necessary fees (4) show proof of
financial responsibility (SR-22).

Complied and edited by: Ed Reither DPI – January 1995 905.5555 –
f.905.5565


4 Cops Killed After Leaving Bar

Montreal – Quebec police said yesterday that they are investigating a
car crash that killed four off duty police officers. The officers, who
were taking a week long training course on breathalyzer training, were
returning from a bar early Thursday when their car skidded and hit a
truck near Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The truck driver was uninjured.


ADULTS ARRESTED AFTER BABY GIRL INGESTS DRUGS

The 10-month-old girl couldn’t stop screaming in the Fremont emergency
room, as her heart beat at twice the normal rate.

The reason for her pain: She had consumed alcohol and methamphetamine
while in the care of family members who allegedly used the drug, police
said Monday.

As a result of the weekend incident, the baby’s grandmother and her
father’s girlfriend who were caring for the child face child endangerment
charges, while her father and uncle have been arrested on warrants that
allege drug offenses.

The girl has been placed with Child Protective Services, Fremont
police said. Her current condition was not known.

It was not clear how the drug got into the baby’s system, although she
was sitting at a table at her Hayward home at which three adults may have
used the drug Saturday, according to a police report.

”When they’re sitting around and shooting up and tooting up, they’re
off in their own world enjoying themselves,” said Sgt. Bob
Armstrong.

According to the 1992 annual report of the American Association of
Poison Centers, methamphetamine was involved in only 2,142 of the 454,689
cases in which children under 6 years old were exposed to narcotics.

Charged with felony child endangerment were the girl’s grandmother,
Jean Marie Villa, 43, of San Jose; and Julie McCafferty, 30, of Hayward.
McCafferty. The girl’s father, James Siebels, 26, was arrested on
warrants.


DRIVING SIMULATORS TO FOCUS ON HEALTH PROBLEMS OF ELDERLY

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA), Ricardo Martinez, M.D., said today that a new
advanced driving simulator will be used to identify driving safety
problems involving older drivers who are over-represented in crashes.

According to Dr. Martinez, “Conducting meaningful driver research in
actual traffic situations is not possible because of the risk of physical
harm.

However, technology learned from the space and defense programs will
soon result in a motor vehicle driving simulator that will realistically
replicate driving conditions and measure skills.”

Dr. Martinez said that older Americans are the fastest growing segment
of the U.S. population. In the years ahead it will become increasingly
important to understand the driving ability and possible limitations of
older drivers. State motor vehicle administrators will need this
information to make licensing decisions while preserving the mobility of
seniors.


ABC GIVES WARNING TO STATE’S LIQUOR LICENSEES

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 19

Jay Stroh, the Director of theCalifornia Department of Alcoholic
Beverage Control (ABC) has warned the more than 70,000 liquor licensees
in California they may receive fines or suspensions for serving obviously
intoxicated patrons during the holiday season.

Stroh reminded the owners of bars and liquor stores that under the
law, “no person may sell or give alcohol to anyone who is obviously
intoxicated … even if the customer is not driving. The maximum fine is
$1,000 and/or six months in county jail. And under certain conditions, a
liquor license could be revoked.

Said Stroh, “Studies have shown that about half of the driving under
the influence arrests were the result of people being served too much in
bars and restaurants.” Besides the criminal actions against the server,
Stroh said licensees also face the prospect of civil actions by victims
of DUI collisions.

Stroh noted that even though the number of people killed on the
State’s roads and highways have dropped over the past two decades, the
tragic toll during the holiday season is still high. According to the
California Highway Patrol, 156 people were killed last year between
December 20, 1993 and January 2, 1994. Of that total, almost half were
alcohol related incidents.

Stroh urged licensees to be cognizant of the condition of their
patrons. “Responsible serving of alcohol could prevent a family tragedy
and prolonged legal problems.”


Common Characteristics Of Addiction

  1. Addictions are normal pleasurable behaviors..sex, food and drinking
    are essential to survival..but only in moderate amounts! …the brain
    works like this: if you taste or experience something that you like,
    that feels good, you’re reinforced to do that again.
  2. To alter their present state of mind or feeling
  3. The body develops a physical tolerance
  4. Removal of the substance or activity produces painful or
    discomforating withdrawals.
  5. Addictions cause repeated behavioral problems and activity of use
    take up a lot of a persons time.

Top Czech Beer Drinker

Prague, Czech Republic – Qualifying was hard enough – downing two
pints of beer in one gulp. But that was only the prelude to an arduous
bout of elbow-bending.

The winner? A bus driver who rarely indulges in alcohol.

The man, who was not identified by the state CTK news agency, put away
20 pints of brew to triumph at the annual beer drinker’ contest in
Strakonice.

The contest, held about 75 miles southwest of Prague, was open to
anyone who could drain a two-pint glass of beer in one gulp.

Many cleared that hurdle. After a short break, the contest began in
earnest – competitors had to down six pints in one hour.

Only eight finalists survived into the evening. And only two mode it
to midnight, when the winner was announced.

The driver, received $320 in prize money, said CTK.

Czech have one of the highest beer consumption rates in the world –
downing an average of nearly 42 gallons each annually.


SIGNS OF INTOXICATION

  • Inhibitions Become Relaxed
  • Overly friendly
  • Loud
  • Changing volume of speech
  • Drinking alone
  • Annoying others
  • Using foul language
  • Drinking more or faster than usual
  • Reactions Are Affected
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow and deliberate movement
  • Decreased alertness
  • Quick, slow or fluctuating pace of speech
  • Judgment Is Impaired
  • Complains about strength of drink
  • Changing consumption rate
  • Ordering Doubles
  • Argumentative (e.g., low-key
  • altercations, confrontations or
  • heated arguments)
  • Careless with money
  • Buying rounds for strangers
  • Irrational statements
  • Belligerent
  • Lighting more than one cigarette
  • Loss of train of thought
  • Loss of Coordination (muscle control)
  • Fumbling with money
  • Spilling drink
  • Cannot find mouth with drink
  • Unable to sit straight on chair or barstool
  • Swaying, drowsy
  • Stumbling
  • Bumps into things
  • Falling
  • Unable to light cigarette
  • Physical Appearance
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Disheveled clothing
  • Sweating
  • Smell of an alcoholic beverage on person
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Lack of eye focus
  • Flushed face

Acetaminophen May Cause Liver Damage

CHICAGO (AP) Moderate overdoses of painkillers such as Tylenol can
cause severe liver damage in people who are too sick to eat, a study
says

But researchers emphasized that acetaminophen, one of the most widely
used medications for minor illness and pain, is also one of the safest
when taken properly.

“The message is to follow the directions and be sensible in using any
medication,” said Dr. David C. Whitcomb, an assistant professor of
medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and lead author of the study in
Wednesday’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Previous research has shown that acetaminophen can damage the livers
of hard drinkers at lower overdoses than in other people. But the new
study shows overdoses can cause liver damage in nondrinkers if they don’t
get enough to eat.

Moderate overdoses of acetaminophen led to liver damage in 10 of the
patients with liver damage treated at the university over 5 1/2 years, a
review of records showed.

Eight of the 10 patients had been eating little, and three had been
drinking alcohol.

One of the patients died and another required a liver transplant. The
rest recovered completely.

A moderate overdose was defined as 4 to 10 grams of acetaminophen the
equivalent of eight to 20 extra-strength tablets within 24 hours. The
maximum recommended dose is 4 grams, or eight extra-strength tablets, in
24 hours.

The study also found eight additional patients who took high overdoses
of acetaminophen more than 10 grams in 24 hours and suffered liver
damage. Five had been fasting, and seven were chronic drinkers.

Two of the eight died and one required a liver transplant.

Most of the patients fasted because illnesses made them too sick to
eat, Whitcomb said. In some cases it was a severe sore throat or
toothache, in others the flu or migraine headaches with nausea and
vomiting.

The manufacturer of Tylenol said the study should not change the way
consumers use its product.

“In the majority of cases, the overdose was combined with prolonged
periods of fasting and-or excessive use of alcohol,” said Johnson &
Johnson, parent of Tylenol maker McNeil Consumer Products Co. of Fort
Washington, Pa. “This is a rare combination of extremes that shouldn’t
concern the millions of people who have used Tylenol safely for more than
three decades.”


In the past ten months or so two Accidents, Alcohol and Pot studies
have emerged from the National Highway traffic Safety Association (NHTSA)
which looked at the safety implcations of various substances with respect
to driving.

These studies are readily available in the public domain. Here’s a
review of one of the studies:

NHTSA Accident Study Finds Alcohol, Not Drugs the Big Danger on the
Road; Marijuana By Itself Not an Apparent Driving Hazard A newly released
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study indicates
that alcohol is by far the leading cause of drug-related traffic
accidents, while marijuana poses negligible danger except when combined
with alcohol.

The study, the most comprehensive drug accident survey to date, is
dated October 1992, but is only now being released. A researcher familiar
with the project says this is because it contradicts the government’s
official anti-drug line that illicit drugs are a major public safety
hazard.

The study investigated blood samples from 1882 drivers killed in car,
truck and motorcycle accidents in seven states during 1990 – 91. Alcohol
was found in 51.5% of the specimens. Just 17.8% showed traces of other
drugs; marijuana was a distant second to alcohol at 6.7%, followed by
cocaine (5.3%), benzodiazepine tranquillizers (2.9%) and amphetamine
(1.9%). Two-thirds of marijuana- and other-drug-using drivers were also
positive for alcohol.

The report concluded that alcohol was by far the “dominant problem” in
drug-related accidents. A responsibility analysis showed that
alcohol-using drivers were conspicuously culpable in fatal accidents,
especially at high blood concentrations or in combination with other
drugs, including marijuana. However, those who used marijuana alone were
found to be if anything less culpable than non-drug-users. The report
concluded, “there was no indication that marijuana by itself was a cause
of fatal accidents.”

The NHTSA report, “The Incidence and Role of Drugs in Fatally Injured
Drivers,” by K.W. Terhune, et al. of the Calspan Corp. Accident Research
Group in Buffalo, NY (Report # DOT-HS-808-065) is available from the
National Technical Information Service, Springfield VA 22161.


New Vehicle Code Legislation for 1995 Vehicles: DUI Procedures

  • Modifies reporting and notice requirements of the DMV regarding
    DUI’s
  • Eliminated to court’s ability to waive the mandatory 10 jail
    sentience upon subsequent conviction of DUI.
  • Expands vehicle impoundment on DUI arrest.

DUI License Suspensions

Revises conditions for administrative suspension of driver’s licenses,
and for restoration of the driving privilege, following an arrest for
driving under the influence. Raises the age limit for driving with a .05
percent BAC from 18 to 21 years.

Extends the suspension for drivers under age 21 who refuse a
preliminary alcohol screening test. Authorizes a person who has been
administratively suspended to request a license hearing as provided for
other DUI suspensions. Makes administrative suspension causes for
impoundment of a vehicle.

Revises the DUI treatment program provisions by requiring proof of
completion of treatment within a time period set by the DMV after
conviction.

Makes other technical and clarifying changes.


Drugs; Driver’s License Suspension

Directs the DMV to automatically suspend privilege to drive for six
months on each conviction of any drug offense, whether or not a driving
offense is involved. Driver’s licenses are to be surrendered to the
court.


Suspended Driver’s Licenses: Vehicle Forfeiture

The Safe Streets Act of 1994 authorizes impoundment of a vehicle owned
and operated by an unlicensed or suspended licensed driver with a prior
violation of driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license. Requires
a court hearing on petition of forfeiture and provides for a filing fee
of up to $50. Establishes a conclusive presumption that a certified-mail
notice of license suspension has been delivered.


Ignition Interlock Devices

Recasts procedures governing ignition interlock devices. Allows a
court to prohibit any person convicted of driving under the influence of
alcohol beverages or drugs, regardless of whether probation is granted,
from operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device.

  • Requires the Judicial Council to adopt rules for ‘interest of
    justice’ exemptions to mandatory installation
  • Establishes additional monitoring duties for courts, and requires
    the DMV to cross-match driver’s license records with records of persons
    applying for change of ownership or transfer of title and to report
    matched records to the appropriate court.

Sentence Enhancements: Suspended License

Makes driving aon a license suspended for driving with a blood alcohol
content of .08 percent or more or refusing to take a chemical test a
priorable offense, resulting in enhanced penalties for other violations
related to driving on a suspended license.


ALPA PETITIONS FOR CHANGES IN ALCOHOL TESTING RULES

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 Federal Aviation Administration and Department of
Transportation rules for alcohol testing are in conflict with the
constitution, various federal acts, and the bill passed by Congress
mandating such tests, and should be revised, according to a petition
filed today by the Air Line Pilots Association.

The union’s president also has reiterated his call for elimination or
reduction of onerous levels of random testing in an industry that already
has one of the lowest rates of substance abuse in the nation.

“We knew we were going to have some problems with the new alcohol
testing rules, but now that we’ve had a chance to examine them in detail,
it’s far worse than we imagined. The rules violate the Fifth Amendment
due process clause, the Federal Aviation Act, the Administrative
Procedures Act, and the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of
1991, which authorized alcohol testing in the first place,” said Captain
Randolph Babbitt, president of ALPA.

“But under the FAA’s alcohol testing rule, where my career can be
ended instantaneously, I have no recourse.

“We have a zero tolerance attitude toward drug and alcohol abuse in
the airlines, and that’s as it should be. However, if we’re going to
terminate workers’ careers with a testing program, we absolutely must
have a zero tolerance attitude toward testing inaccuracies as well. That
means adequate due process and adequate testing standards,” Babbitt
said.

“The lack of due process is especially offensive when you look at the
procedures that are in place for other violations of the Federal Aviation
Regulations.


NEARLY 90 PERCENT OF COCAINE USERS USE OTHER DRUGS FIRST

A study of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia
University (CASA) showing a consistent and powerful connection between
use of gateway drugs tobacco, alcohol and marijuana and subsequent use of
other illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

The report addresses the controversial subject of the relationship of
smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol to the use of marijuana, cocaine,
heroin and other illicit drugs. It is the first and most comprehensive
national analysisever undertaken of all three relationships among
children and adults, as experimenters and regular users.

The study reveals that children (12-17) who use the gateway drugs are
up to 266 times more likely to use cocaine than their counterparts who
don’t use them. And the younger a child uses a gateway drug and the more
frequently, the greater the risk of subsequent hard drug use.

The Center’s study also found that: children (12 to 17) who use
marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than non-marijuana
users. children who drink are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than
non-drinkers. children who smoke at least daily are 13 times more likely
to use heroin than children who smoke less often.

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