Archive for the D.U.I. Category

School Superintendent’s 6th DUI

So, this school superintendent is on his 6th DUI, and the judge orders him to 3 AA meetings a week, which he must drive out of town to attend.

Mandating AA for DUI is a serious problem, beyond its unconstitutionality. There is no proof that forced Alcoholics Anonymous has had a positive impact on drunk driving rates. And considering the fact that AA promotes binge relapse, I bet any study would show that mandated AA increases DUI recidivism.  The affiliation between the courts and AA has been established long enough that such a study should have taken place already.

How is it possible that so many people don’t see a problem teaching drunk drivers that they are powerless over their behavior after the first drink? Why do courts assume that drunk driving is an alcoholism problem and not a behavioral problem?

 

This Simple Program

I am so very sorry for your loss, but your husband may not have given his AA sobriety a chance to work. — from the comments section of this story:

New details emerge in officer’s suicide

A medical examiner’s report reaveals additional information in the suicide of Officer David Hall.

The 41-year-old veteran San Diego Police Officer had been battling alcoholism and was depressed because he believed he would lose his job for a DUI hit and run crash he was involved in earlier this year.

In the report, investigators say Officer Hall was specifically worried about an upcoming hearing regarding his DUI case.

And before his suicide he didn’t leave behind a note. In fact, he didn’t give his wife Michelle or three kids any indication he was about to shoot himself in the backyard.

Which he did at about 9:40 that morning, as his kids slept inside their Linda Vista home.

Of course,  Hall had been mandated to attend AA meetings.

I had been sitting on this story, because I am conscious that making this connection between AA and suicide is dicey, and opens us up to accusations of hysteria. The connection is obvious to those with long years in the program and who have been to the funerals. And it seems obvious that the concepts of powerlessness and permanent, progressive disease — not to mention lifelong meetings — are a recipe for disempowerment and despair. They’re also a recipe for binge relapse.

So, I’m really interested in the statistic cited in this article: Continue reading This Simple Program

DARE Object Lesson

Cop Pulling DARE Trailer Charged with DUI

A police officer is facing drunk driving charges in Washington County, Indiana and the arresting officers say he was carrying a message about drug abuse education at the time.

On Wednesday night around 10:30 p.m. Scott and Tina Robbins were just about to go to sleep.

“It was so loud,” said Mrs. Robbins. “I was out of the bed on the floor within a spilt second.”

They heard a crash right outside their window. “I grabbed the phone and called 911,” said Mr. Robbins. “The damage to the truck and the way it looked wrapped in the tree, he had to be traveling so fast.”

Indiana State Police say 38-year-old John Newcomb, a Seymour Police Officer, was driving a pick up truck through Salem on Main Street.

“He side swiped a vehicle that was legally parked on the side of the roadway,” said Sgt. Jerry Goodin, ISP. “After striking that vehicle, he went on and struck a tree.”

It didn’t take long for investigators to suspect alcohol was involved.

“He was sitting on the wall out of the vehicle, holding his head,” said Mrs. Robbins. But that wasn’t the only thing that stood out to the Robbins, it was the trailer Newcomb was pulling.

“It said DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and Seymour Police Department- which made me think he was a police officer,” said Mr. Robbins.

Not only a police officer, but according to the Seymour Police Department website, he is the School Resource Officer, responsible for seven schools, acting as a mentor and providing students with a role model. It even states that he conducts lectures on narcotics and alcohol and their effects on driving. Continue reading DARE Object Lesson

There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane

Last night HBO debuted the titled eponymous documentary about Diane Schuler, the wife and mother who killed 8 people in a head-on crash while going the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway in 2009. The autopsy of Mrs. Schuler showed that she was seriously impaired by alcohol and marijuana at the time of the crash and witnesses said that her driving looked so purposeful that it seemed like she wanted to kill herself.

Her husband emphatically disagreed, placing blame for the autopsy results on bad medical work. He engaged a separate reading of the toxicology reports and then refused to believe they were accurate.
Her family believes that the drinking was situational at best, and she indeed had no history of missing work, was a high producer and an overscheduled mom.

There was no evidence that she regularly drank, and the kids in the car thought her behavior (the title of the film comes from the words of the call made from her niece to her brother-in-law during the trip) was “strange.” In fact it was so strange and out of character for her that her husband and police went looking for her.

The forensic psychiatrist who reviewed her files and spoke to the family says that Mrs. Schuler was in physical (she had a severely abcessed tooth) and emotional (her father left her at nine) and that she took a drink to stop the pain. The drink didn’t stop the pain, and she took another and another and another. The marijuana, which she used “to help her sleep,” impaired her judgment and the results were tragic.
I watched it last night and would agree, from a cinematic standpoint, with the author of this review http://tv.nytimes.com/2011/07/25/arts/television/theres-something-wrong-with-aunt-diane-on-hbo-review.html?ref=dianeschuler#

Naturally, the story itself has spouted a fountain of opinion from the 12 step community, using the death as an object lesson for the need to understand the “codependence” of Mr. Schuler and how alcoholic Mrs. Schuler was.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-tian-dayton/diane-schuler-the-sad-leg_b_251835.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/chayefsky/diane-schuler-secret-alco_b_258560_29242278.html
http://www.oprah.com/packages/community-conversations.html
https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=145699801561

Since the surviving members of the families killed in the crash are suing Mr. Schuler, I would expect this sad story to be in the papers for a long time. I would also expect the thumping of more drums from the 12 step communities, making the crash about them and adapting the circumstances as an object lesson to teach us all that AA solves everything.

Facebook Pulls Roger Ebert Page for Drunk Driving Comment

Here’s some weird gossipy nonsense for you:

Roger Ebert’s Facebook Page Removed Following Comment about Ryan Dunn

Facebook briefly removed Roger Ebert’s Facebook Page for a violation of its terms of use, after Ebert made a comment about the recently deceased Jackass star Ryan Dunn.

Just like in his tweet, Ebert posted the sentence “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive” to his Facebook Page, which resulted in complaints from several Facebook users.

Facebook reacted by removing Ebert’s page completely, but only briefly; the page is now back up.

 

Powerless

Speedy sends this story. If you have been assimilated, you can watch the video of the arrest on facebook:

(Alliance) – Police have charged a man with drunken driving after he was stopped on his way to an AA meeting.

48-year-old Daniel Bradley was pulled over in the 100 block of East Oxford Street, and admitted that he’d been drinking. It’s Bradley’s 3rd OVI charge.

Alliance Police say Bradley was also charged with driving under suspension as he was currently under an OVI suspension from a previous OVI conviction on Saturday.

He’d been given a $975 fine with a possible credit of $300 for attending alcohol classes and sentenced to serve 10 days in jail.

Link

Hit and Run

(Thank you G2k!)

SDPD officer pleads not guilty to DUI crash

The charges against David Hall stem from a crash that occurred about 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 on Murray Ridge Road in Serra Mesa. The 41-year-old motorcycle officer is accused of causing the crash that injured one woman and then leaving the collision scene.

[…]

At Monday’s arraignment, Superior Court Judge David Szumowski ordered Hall begin attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a couple of times a week while the case proceeds. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 30.

Read the rest…

When will the courts and the treatment world finally make the distinction between recidivist drunk driving and addiction? As long as the courts continue to send DUIs to AA, drunk driving will continue to be an American institution.

Keep Coming Back! x14

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Zeiberg yesterday recited the details of Lanzo’s 14th drunken-driving arrest to District Court Judge Mark Sullivan, who then ordered him continued to be held without bail.

Read the whole thing…

Keep Coming Back! D.U.I. Edition

The courts are negligent in not recognizing a distinction between D.U.I. and addiction. AA has very little to offer an addict as it is, but the fact that 12 step programs increase the odds of binging guarantees that people sentenced to attend AA for D.U.I. will be back out on the road. It’s inevitable. Drunk drivers have obviously already given themselves permission to drive drunk, and AA does not address this behavior. Rather it reinforces the behavior by instructing people that they can’t control themselves after that first drink, by encouraging people to hit bottom, etc.

It’s ridiculous to assume that a chronic drunk driver is an alcoholic. Asshole? Yes. Addict? Who knows? These could be people who rarely drink, but drive every time they do. They could be people who don’t drink addictively; they just happen to value their own convenience very highly. Sociopathic? Stupid?

The fact that stories like these (h/t G2k) come as no surprise to anyone should be enough to snap us out of it: Continue reading Keep Coming Back! D.U.I. Edition