Articles Posted in Celebrity DUI

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UPI reported that Courtney Frances Stewart, the twenty year old who was driving Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart had a blood alcohol level of .06 the night she, Adenhart and another individual were killed in a DUI related accident. These results were determined by the coroner who examined the bodies of the decedents and conducted toxicology tests. While some might think the reading is low, California Vehicle Code § 23136 makes it a crime for anyone who is under the age of twenty one to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .01 or more. Andrew Thomas Gallo, who had a 2006 DUI conviction has been charged with murder for the deaths of the three back on April 9th of this year.

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Woman Driving Angels Pitcher May Have Been DUI Herself

There is no doubt that if this case goes to trial Gallo’s defense attorney will try to use the issue of Stewart’s intoxication as part of his defense. The focus of the trial would then be not whether Gallo was impaired at the time of the accident. Rather, the defense will try to show that Stewart’s actions were the cause of the accident and the her alcohol ingestion impaired her ability to operate in a safe manner. All of this of course assumes that the physical evidence at the scene and any eyewitness observations supports this defense. It is important to keep in mind that someone’s blood alcohol level at the time of death does not necessarily reflect accurately that person’s blood alcohol at the time of operation. Factors that defense lawyers always like to know is how many drinks the person had, over what time period were the drinks ingested, how much food did the person eat that day, the person’s height and weight and whether proper procedures were followed when taking the blood sample. Expect to see the defense engage a toxicologist and an accident reconstructionist to assist in trial preparations.

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Former Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Bruce Smith had a charmed NFL career. He played in four Super Bowls, was selected to the Pro Bowl eleven times, was a first team All Pro nine times, owned the NFL career sack title for a while and will be enshrined in the National Football League Hall of Fame this summer. Smith has also been charmed when it comes to DUI cases. He had one dismissed in 1997 and beat another in 2003. Now however Smith has been charged again. According to reports several weeks ago Smith was stopped for speeding at 1:42 a.m. He refused to take a breathalyzer test but nevertheless was charged with DUI. Smith has also been charged with refusing the breathalyzer.

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Former NFL Great Charged With DUI Again

In Virginia the law is clear that a refusal to take a breathalyzer test is admissible as evidence at trial. If the defendant has prior convictions then a refusal to take the test can result in a misdemeanor charge. Neither is the case in Massachusetts. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test in Massachusetts there can be no mention of the refusal by the district attorney to the jury. As a matter of fact, Massachusetts has a jury instruction that covers the issue of refusals. In essence, if the defendant chooses, the judge will instruct a jury that it cannot consider the absence of a breathalyzer in its deliberation process. The instruction goes on to say that there are many reasons why breathalyzer tests may not have been employed, including the unavailability of a properly functioning breathalyzer machine. Additionally, no matter what offense OUI you are charged with in Massachusetts the refusal to take the breathalyzer test cannot result in a separate criminal charge issuing against you.

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David Macklin has played for nine years in the National Football League, most recently for the Kansas City Chiefs. Earlier today Macklin was convicted of DUI in a Virginia Court. Macklin was pulled over on March 13, 2009 for windows that were tinted too dark. The investigating officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Macklin’s breath. Macklin then supposedly failed some field sobriety tests. He blew a .11 on the breathalyzer, .03 over the .08 legal limit. Like Massachusetts, a conviction for a first offense DUI in Virginia is a misdemeanor.

DUI Conviction For NFL Player

This case has an interesting issue. Macklin was pulled over for having windows with a tint darker than permissible by law – – or at least the police officer thought. However, the judge acquitted Macklin of the window tint charge. According to the article this was the sole reason for the initial stop. Thus, it appears that the officer might not have had probable cause to stop the car. As a result, there might have been a viable motion to suppress the stop of the car. Typically, when a stop is declared unconstitutional all fruits fo the stop become inadmissible at trial. In this case, the fruits are the field sobriety test and breathalyzer test results.

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Ryan Woolley used to play baseball for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League in Brewster, Massachusetts. On June 15, 2008 he was watching the College World Series with some teammates. He had several drinks and decided to leave the home where he was drinking. A teammate who tried to stop him was struck by his vehicle and dragged for several feet. The teammate was seriously injured but luckily has recovered. Woolley blew over a .08 on the breathalyzer test. Woolley pleaded guilty to OUI and other motor vehicle related charges and was given a six month suspended sentence.

Cape Cod League Baseball Player Sentenced For June OUI

The article also disclosed that Woolley was charged with OUI causing serious bodily injury but that that charge was dropped as a result of a plea bargain. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24L makes it a separate crime for anyone who causes serious bodily injury to someone while operating under the influence. If convicted of this crime there is a maximum penalty of 2 1/2 years in the house of correction. The overall result was good for Woolley. Massachusetts judges and district attorneys are extremely tough on OUI cases that involve property damage or personal injury. Woolley could have gone to jail and was spared that plight due to having a good lawyer and a fair minded judge and prosecutor.

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So you thought the Cincinnati Bengals off field criminal problems were over. Not just yet. Their best cornerback, the player who led the team in interceptions last year was just arrested for drunk driving in Ohio. According to reports, shortly after 3:00 a.m. on Sunday Hall was pulled over, presumably for driving over the center of the road. Police observed him with bloodshot eyes and a moderate smell of alcohol on his breath. Hall was given a breathalyzer test where he blew nearly .15, almost twice the legal limit in Ohio.

DUI Charges For Another NFL Player

Here is what Hall is facing. In Ohio, a first offense conviction requires a three day jail sentence or a three day driver education program. The court will then suspend your driver’s license for anywhere between six months and three years. The penalty for blowing above .10 is a ninety day loss of license. Had Hall refused to take the breathalyzer test he would be looking at a one year loss of license. It might be possible for Hall to get limited driving privileges after fifteen days.

Had this occurred in Massachusetts, Hall would have a thirty day loss of license for the .10 and a forty five day loss of license for the drunk driving conviction, assuming he gets convicted. He would also have to enter into an alcohol education program and pay fines and fees.

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On March 14, 2009 Dante Stallworth, a Cleveland Browns wide receiver accidentally ran over and killed a pedestrian in Miami. He was driving a Bentley that was heavily damaged from the impact. Stallworth cooperated with the police investigation, took field sobriety tests and provided blood work that was sent to a lab for examination. The result of the test was a .126, more than one and one half the legal limit in Florida. Yesterday, Stallworth was charged with DUI and DUI manslaughter. Reports place Stallworth drinking at a club shortly before the accident. A videotape shows Stallworth taking a field sobriety test known as the Horizonatal Gaze Nystagmus test. Florida law has a fifteen year maximum prison sentence for a conviction of DUI manslaughter.

Read Article: Dante Stallworth Charged With DUI Manslaughter

See Videotape: Stallworth Taped Performing HGN Test

In Massachusetts OUI Manslaughter is a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 13 1/2. This is part of Melanie’s Law, Massachusetts’ newest and perhaps most strict version of Massachusetts OUI laws. The Massachusetts Manslaughter has a five year mandatory prison sentence and authorizes incarceration for up to twenty years.

Most likely, the issue facing Stallworth is not whether or not he was impaired when he was driving but whether his actions amount to DUI manslaughter under Florida law. This is a matter of fact that is determined by a judge or a jury.

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On October 18, 2008 New York Yankees ace pitcher Joba Chamberlain was arrested for DUI in Nebraska. The Lincoln resident was pulled over in his hometown for speeding. The trooper who pulled him over smelled alcohol on his breath and observed an open container. Chamberlain was given a breathalyzer test. He failed by blowing a .13, more than one and one half times the legal limit in Nebraska. Earlier today Chamberlain pleaded guilty to the drunk driving charge and was placed on probation. The open container charge was dropped. Part of the penalty requires Chamberlain to pay a four hundred dollar fine, complete an alcohol education program and lose his license for sixty days.

By all accounts this was a first offense for Chamberlain. Nebraska has a DUI statute that permits probation for first time offenders whose blood alcohol level is below a .15. The statute mandates a sixty day loss of license and a four hundred dollars fine. This is virtually identical to the sentence Chamberlain received. In some respects Nebraska DUI laws are more severe than in Massachusetts. There is a provision in Nebraska that requires a minimum mandatory two day sentence if the suspect blows a .15 or higher. In Massachusetts first offenders typically get what we call a “24D” disposition that requires a forty five day loss of license, fines, an alcohol awareness program and probation for one year. First time drunk drivers in Massachusetts can also obtain a hardship license that permits operation within a twelve hour period during the period of suspension.

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