Random breathalyzer tests considered for Canada

Monday, October 5, 2009 10:55:10 AM America/Los_Angeles

The federal justice minister is considering a new law that would allow police to conduct random breathalyzer tests on drivers, regardless of whether they suspect motorists have been drinking.

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson raised the prospect recently at a meeting of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, according to MADD chief executive Andrew Murie.

If random testing were to be adopted, it would be a major change to Canada's 40-year-old breathalyzer legislation, which stipulates that police may only administer a test if they suspect a driver has been drinking.

In June, a House of Commons parliamentary committee recommended changing the legislation to allow for random testing, arguing it is an effective deterrent.

The change would also bring Canada in line with a number of other countries in Europe and countries like Australia, which have adopted similar measures.

Murie said its biggest selling point is that it improves road safety, with drunk driving fatalities dropping 36 per cent in Australia after legislation was introduced, and 23 per cent in Ireland when it made the change.

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New Breathalyzer Law

Friday, September 4, 2009 2:19:19 PM America/Los_Angeles

September 1st not only marks the first day of a new month, but the first day some new Louisiana laws take effect. One in particular affects motorists who choose to drink and drive.

Starting Monday, anyone who refuses to take a breathalyzer test may lose their license for a year.

That penalty is now doubled from the previous law, where motorists who refused would only lose their license for six months.

TV10 would like to know if you agree with the new breathalyzer law, to let us know participate in our online poll.  

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San Diego DUI checkpoint cites 33

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 9:30:11 AM America/Los_Angeles

A DUI checkpoint in Chula Vista, California, has resulted in 33 citations and 25 vehicle impounds according to local police. 

The checkpoint was in place from 6PM to 2AM Monday on the Eastlake Parkway. The checkpoint was part of the national DUI crackdown, "Over the Limit. Under Arrest." This national effort has granted funds through state departments of traffic safety for increased enforcement of DUI and vehicle-safety violations surrounding the Labor Day holiday.

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Major DUI crackdown in Contra Costa to last through Labor Day

Thursday, August 20, 2009 11:35:56 AM America/Los_Angeles

Law enforcement agencies will significantly increase DUI enforcement in Contra Costa County starting Friday and continuing through the Labor Day weekend, the sheriff's office said.

In the 18 days between Aug. 21 and Sept. 7, county police agencies will conduct saturation patrols and enforce outstanding DUI warrants. Four sobriety checkpoints will be held at the following locations and times: Aug. 28 and Sept. 6 in Pittsburg; Aug. 29 in Martinez; and Sept. 4 in El Cerrito.

Latest data indicates that 1,029 people died in alcohol-involved collisions in California in 2008, a 9 percent decrease from the previous year.

"That's good, but the number of deaths is unacceptable," said sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee. "People have to take responsibility because this is totally preventable."

Read the full story.

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Breathalyzer tests approved for Shawnee Mission students

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 2:53:50 PM America/Los_Angeles

Beginning this school year, students at Shawnee Mission high schools will be subject to Breathalyzer tests if a district police officer has probable cause to suspect alcohol use.

The new policy, approved last month by the Shawnee Mission USD 512 Board of Education, allows any district police officer at the district’s four high schools with probable cause to administer a Breathalyzer test to students during school or school-sponsored events.

The policy was first brought to the board at the July 13 meeting for a first read-through.

Superintendent Gene Johnson said the policy had been a topic of discussion among high school principals and administration for many years.

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Breathalyzer vote surprises people in Barrington

Thursday, July 23, 2009 1:03:30 AM America/Los_Angeles

The Barrington School Committee’s decision to vote on a procedural change to the breathalyzer policy — shifting from a suspicion-based approach to mandatory testing for all students as they enter dances — caught a few people in town by surprise ... including one member of the committee.

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MADD donates breathalyzers to sheriff's department

Thursday, July 16, 2009 10:30:50 AM America/Los_Angeles

Sixteen years ago, Alexa Roney lost her 16-year-old son Chad to a drunk driver, and even today, she continues to find solace helping stamp out DUIs in Jackson County and beyond.

As the coordinator for the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Roney oversees many community-action programs, including the donation of equipment to city and county officials along the coast.

On Monday, Roney presented Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd with two breathalyzer machines and 250 breathing tubes, which made a total of four such field sobriety devices the sheriff's department has received from MADD in the last five years.

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Burien city manager is granted deferred prosecution on DUI charge

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 2:51:55 PM America/Los_Angeles

Burien City Manager Michael H. Martin was granted deferred prosecution Tuesday on a drunken driving charge and will undergo two years of alcohol treatment, have an ignition interlock device installed on his car and be under court supervision for five years.

The charge against Martin will be dismissed if he undergoes the treatment and follows the other conditions during those five years, according to his agreement with King County prosecutors.

Martin, 55, was charged in May with driving under the influence of alcohol in King County District Court after he was involved in an accident on April 19 in which he allegedly drove into a planter in front of a home in the 12600 block of 14th Avenue Southwest north of Burien.

Martin was arrested after a King County sheriff's deputy said he found Martin outside his car, "leaning forward and swaying side to side." Martin's breath strongly smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred, according to a Sheriff's Office report. He told the deputy he had consumed a couple of glasses of wine and two beers, the report said.

Martin refused field-sobriety tests or a preliminary breath test and, after being arrested, declined to submit to a Breathalyzer test, the report said.

Under state law, refusal to take a Breathalyzer test results in automatic suspension of a driver's license for at least one year. Drivers may ask for a hearing to challenge the suspension or seek approval for an alcohol-ignition interlock device.

Martin was named Burien city manager in November 2006. His yearly salary is $135,180.

He resigned in October 2005 from a top administrative job in Kent after a hit-and-run incident. He admitted to causing the accident, paid a $1,025 fine and underwent alcohol-abuse assessment, alcohol- and drug-information school and attended a victim-impact panel.

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Cavaliers' Kinsey charged with DUI

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 2:50:36 PM America/Los_Angeles

Terrance KinseyTAMPA, Fla., June 24 (UPI) -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard Tarrance Kinsey was charged with drunken driving in Florida Wednesday after a Tampa police officer pulled him over.

Officer Anthony Portman said he saw Kinsey, at the wheel of his Bentley, driving erratically and then speeding as fast as 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, WEWS, Cleveland, reported.

Kinsey failed a field sobriety test and refused a Breathalyzer test, police said. He was arrested and bail was set at $500.

After signing with the Cavaliers as a free agent in August, Kinsey averaged 2 points a game in 50 games last season.

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School food servers who hit the sauce may not be rehired

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 2:44:09 PM America/Los_Angeles

TRENTON — Approximately 125 city school nutrition workers will be rehired by new food service provider Aramark, but 10 others may lose jobs because they allegedly showed up smelling of alcohol for a job interview.

“This is something that I have been told about second-handedly. I don’t know if the employees were drunk, only that they smelled,” schools Superintendent Rodney Lofton said.

Lofton last night told City Council members that the matter needed further investigation.

City Council President Paul Pintella said employees are under severe stress.

Pintella questioned whether smelling of alcohol is a significant enough reason to disqualify a candidate.

North Ward rep Milford Bethea asked if any of the 10 workers had been given a breathalyzer test.

Lofton did not have an answer.
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