Articles Posted in DUI & BUI

Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day! Of course, with the festivities comes the alcohol which also means the arrests. One newspaper did some research and found that in this one night, police made 50 Dui arrests!

In Denver, police reported almost 50 driving under the influence arrests alone over a five day enforcement period. Eight arrests Friday, five Saturday, eleven Sunday, five Monday and eleven on St. Patrick’s day meant the police were kept busy.

These arrests were not just alcohol based. Besides the 47 DUI arrests, police made an additional three arrests for driving while under the influence of a controlled substance.


As previously mentioned, DUI arrests can be from alcohol, drugs or a combination. Possession of most illegal drugs (with the exception of small amounts of marijuana) is considered a felony. Most DUIs if there is no death or injury, are only misdemeanors. This includes drug-based driving under the influence charges as well. For example, possession of cocaine is a third-degree felony, with a punishment of up to five years in prison. However, if a person was found to have consumed cocaine and then was pulled over for erratic driving and failed field sobriety exercises AND a drug test, he could only be charged with a misdemeanor DUI. Even the positive drug test would not be enough to charge him with a felony if no drug was in his possession.
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BayNews 9 just broke a story about wrong way driver resulting in a crash into a police car.

21-year-old Madison Best of Saint Petersburg must of had a great Thursday night out…right up to the time she drove on the wrong side of the street and crashed into a police car!

The officer was driving near 9th street and 103rd ave N early Friday morning. and started drivng south. At that time he saw a car, driven by the defendant driving north in the southbound lane at around 50 mph. Despite turning on his emergency lights, the officer had no time to avoid the crash.

The collision caused the officer’s patrol car caused him to spin out near Gandy and 9th street. The officer, in a daze, managed to radio in the crash but was otherwise unresponsive. Police and rescue units found the cars by using the patrol car’s GPS unit.

Rescue units found the policeman laying by his car but otherwise alright. Said a spokesman, “It could have been a lot worse, the silence that followed his initial radio transmission, in law enforcement, is probably the worst thing that can happen.”

Rescue units spoke with the suspect and noticed she was extra animated and showed signs of impairment. While speaking with Madison, a man came by on his bicycle and said she was the same driver who had hit his bike and causing him to be thrown off! There is no word yet if she will be charged with a hit and run as a result of this.

St. Pete Police began a DUI investigation on the suspect. While she refused field sobriety exercises and breath tests but police found multiple signs of impairment and arrested her for driving under the influence.

After her arrest, both Madison and the officer were transfered to Bayfront medical, where to policeman was treated for minor injuries.

Unfortunately for Ms. Best, this was not her first run in with the law. Police mentioned that she had at least three prior incidents including careless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and a domestic battery.
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From frigid Maine, a woman makes a bad situation even worse when she attacks a police officer after her DUI arrest…

Getting a DUI? That is a bad day. Making the day worse? Going crazy and biting multiple police officers who were arresting you! This woman is now facing felony charges instead of just a misdemeanor driving under the influence

33-year-old Jennifer Merry of Maine was arrested on Monday on several charges. Responding to a report of a single-car accident, police arrived to find a car rolled over in a ditch and a witness helping Jennifer out of the overturned SUV.

State troopers also arrived and determined that Jennifer was driving north when she lost control of the SUV on a straight stretch of road. The jeep ended up in a ditch facing the opposite way she was traveling. Now while Ms. Merry was the driver she was not helping the investigation.

“Merry was very uncooperative and interfered with Brown’s attempts to investigate the crash,” an officer said.

The defendant repeatedly got into the officer’s way during the investigation and was warned multiple times to stop. She was eventuallu put under arrest for disorderly conduct but continued to be uncooperative and refuse arrest.

Finally both a trooper and the police stepped in. Jennifer fought back.

“During the struggle, the subject bit [an} Officers… hand and apparently bit the hand of the state police detective who was on scene, assisting,” a police spokeman said.

The defendant’s night went from bad to worse. Besides the disorderly conduct charge, Jennifer was also arrested for the DUI and two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer.

As of this writing, the defendant had her blood taken and it was being analyzed at a lab. If she has a communicable disease, she may face additional criminal charges if she knowingly attempted to transmit a disease to law enforcement by biting them.
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A woman drives into a bar…not the beginning of a bad joke but rather an unfortunate incident for the unlucky driver.

29-year-old Sully Marie Torre-Medina was charged with possession of marijuana and DUI with injury after her car crashed into the Independent last Tuesday. The bar, which is located at 5016 North Florida Avenue, received minor damage but a customer was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries.

After the crash, the suspect tried to leave the scene but was detained by other customers until police arrived. She failed field sobriety exercises and blew a 0.16 which is exactly twice the legal limit.
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From People magazine, a woman shows that driving under the influence arrests aren’t always because of beer, wine or spirits.

We had previously written about a man arrested for DUI who claimed he smelled of alcohol because of the beer-battered fish he consumed. Well in Wayne County, New York a woman has upped the stakes in DUI follies.

Police in upstate New York were called out to a Walmart onreports of erratic driving. Once there they found the driver, 46-year-old Carolyn Kesel in a stupor. After noticing signs of impairment and failing field-sobriety exercises, she was arrested for DUI.

At the police station, she blew and had a BAC of .26%, move then three times the legal limit! Even more shocking was the discovery that Carolyn became intoxicated by drinking two bottles of vanilla extract.

While vanilla extract, a common baking ingredient, often has alcohol added to it, this particular brand had an impressive 41 percent alcohol level- comparable to most hard liquors.

The lady was arrested and a check showed that she had at least one prior DUI. Because of her priors she was charged with a felony DUI.


It has been mentioned both on this blog and elsewhere many times before the facts about intoxication. It is no defense that this was not beer, wine or hard liquor. As she had intentionally drank the vanilla extract and she was found to be under the influence of alcohol while driving she was rightfully charged with a DUI. There has been DUI convictions for drinking mouthwash, rubbing alcohol, cooking wine and even nail polish remover.

Likewise, it is possible to receive a DUI for taking prescribed prescription drugs. Remember a doctor prescription does not relieve you of the responsibility to ensure that you are not intoxicated when you are driving a vehicle.
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So many people had follow up questions about an earlier post from the smoking gun that here is a follow up.

10th DUI’s the charm? A Wisconsin man who was recently pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, has a history of DUI’s…and creative excuses!

John Przybyla, who has nine prior DUI convictions, was pulled over by local police when they saw the 75-year-old motorist swerving between lanes. John, who was driving on a suspended driver’s license, had several signs of impairment.

Police noticed a scent of alcohol coming from his breath, bloodshot, watery eyes and an open can of beer next to him.

When police asked him how much he had to drink and pointed out that he was caught straight up, the suspect didn’t hesitate. Despite an open, cold can of beer in the car, John denied drinking anything. Rather he admitted eating a large portion of beer-battered fish for dinner!

Despite that rock-solid excuse, police eventually arrested him after he failed field sobriety exercises. At the station, the man blew a .062. That is below the legal limit of a .08 but under Wisconsion law he was not allowed to drive with any B.A.C. above a .02 because of his numerous priors.

Przybyla was arrested on numerous charges including felony DUI, DWLSR and traffic infractions. His next court date is in January.


In Florida a DUI is usually a misdemeanor but can be bumped up to a felony under certain circumstances. DUI manslaughter or DUI with serious bodily injury are both felony charges. Three DUIs within 10 years of four plus overall DUIs also would amount to a third-degree felony. This means the defendant could serve up to five years in prison as well as having an enhanced fine.

In this particular case with these egregious facts, John would almost certainly be looking at a very lengthy prison sentence if this happened in Florida. His felony DUI is punishable by up to five years and if his DWLSR is a felony as well, he could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison!
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From the smokinggun website, it looks like this zombie should have had more bra-ains and less sho-ts…

26-year-old Catherine Butler donned her make-up and prepared to have a great time at a halloween party. A few hours later, the sloshed zombie was facing two DUI charges that took place a few hours apart!

Ms. Butler was first arrested around 2 a.m. after police noticed that she did not have headlights on while driving. After giving her a traffic citation, they performed a DUI investigation where it was determined that she was under the influence of alcohol. She was arrested and taken to jail.

The police made a mistake when they released her to a friend. A few hours later, at 5 a.m., she was again pulled over for swerving on the road. Another DUI investigation led to another driving under the influence charge for the unlucky party girl.

In Florida, a first time DUI is a first degree misdemeanor. Even though she received two DUIs, her criminal defense lawyer should be able to plea them concurrently to avoid extra penalties. Unfortunately, the DMV will most likely treat it as her second DUI and she may receive a longer driving suspension.

Typical punishment for her DUI(s) will most likely consist of a large fine, probation, a suspended driver’s license, alcohol evaluation and treatment if needed, community service, no drinking (obviously) and she will not be allowed in bars.
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Mark this under things NOT to do if you are trying to avoid police attention…

43-year-old Tina Wishnevski faces multiple criminal counts after hitting a police car whil intoxicated. Duting their investigation, police found a loaded handgun and ammunition in her car. Ms. Wishnevski is not allowed to own a firearm.

The suspect was arrested and charged with DUI, multiple traffic infractions, firearm charges, and resisting an officer without violence. As of this writing she has not been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer despite the fact that she hit a patrol car with the policeman inside.

The police were called to Ms. Wishnevski’s seperated husband’s house after midnight because he was complaining that she was outside his home. He told police that she was breaking his windows and was brandishing a gun! Her two sons and her ex-husband were alone in the house at this time.

When she heard police, she got in her car and fled. She hit a patrol car and lead police on a brief chase. As an officer came up to her car, she made such a fuss that he had to hold her at gunpoint until backup arrived.

When questioned by the police, her story was not helpful. She claimed that her ex-husband had called her to come. When she arrived, he was the one with the firearm and he began to beat her. She was unable to tell the police how she came into ownership of the gun however, nor could she explain why she was driving drunk and hitting the police.

At the time of this writing, it was unknown if she had posted bail nor what type of criminal sentencing she was facing.
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From the TampaBay Times, a DUI checkpoint in Kenneth City last weekend nabbed multiple arrests. While we have previously discussed some irregularities that can take place with Florida DUI checkpoints, this one seemed less about controversy, nabbing eight arrests.

Before bad weather struck early Saturday morning, Pinellas CountySheriff deputies managed eight arrests at their DUI checkpoint.

Starting at 10 p.m. Friday and lasting until 2:45 a.m. Saturday near the Kmart at 66th street in Kenneth City, the checkpoint over 25% of the cars passing through.

Per Sheriff’s records, out of 774 vehicles, 216 were pulled over for additional scrutiny by the police.

The eight arrests resulted in multiple charges such as traffic infractions, a no valid driver’s license, a DWLSR, two counts of cocaine possession, a possession of marijuana and a possession of alcohol by persons under 21.
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Keeping it all in the family? Per a CBS website, a Vermont father and two sons were arrested for a DUI at the same accident scene.

What started out as a day of fishing for a Vermont family ended up with three family members facing drinking and driving charges after a single-car accident last Saturday.

Two out of three family members were above the legal limit. The youngest son, 19, was below the limit but was still charged with a DUI because of his age.

The 19-year-old and 22-year-old son along with their father were all charged with a DUI. For the 22-year-old, tis is his second offense. He is also charged with driving on a suspended license (DWLSR). For the 19-year-old, this also marked his second DUI charge in as many weeks!

A Vermont Fish & Wildlife game warden was called out to a single car crash and found the vehicle rolled over. He immediately alerted the police.

When officers arrived on the scene, the oldest son was identified as the driver and his alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit! He was taken to the hospital and once cleared, he was charged with a DUI.

While at the scene, the youngest brother drove up along with his father to check on their family member. The youngest brother appeared to have been drinking, failed all roadside sobriety tests and was arrested.

During this time, the father moved from the passenger to driver side seat and moved the car closer to the scene. Police officers noticed signs of impairment and ordered the father to stop. After an investigation, he too was arrested for driving under the influence and blew three times the legal limit as well (like father, like son?).

State police issued the following statement about the case. “The day started out with a wonderful day out fishing on the waterways, but took an ugly turn after making some irresponsible decisions which ended up poorly. Based upon this incident, it can be learned that irresponsible decisions may lead to totaling a vehicle, minor to fatal injuries, tow bills, and criminal charges filed for the parties involved,” the spokesman said.

“Fortunately no one else was injured in this case. Please drink responsibly and remember to have a designated driver take you home after consuming alcoholic beverages,”.
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