As locals rung in 2019, police warned about dangers of driving while intoxicated.

Police want to make sure everyone is staying safe. We attended a big New Year’s Eve party at the Century Center. People said goodbye to 2018 and hello 2019. Police say it’s okay to have a few drinks, but they just don’t want you driving afterwards. The booze and the beer is flowing at O’Rourke’s Public House at Eddy Street Commons in South Bend. Hundreds spent New year’s Eve in South Bend for the NHL Winter Classic between the Bruins and the Blackhawks — and this rivalry runs deep. These fans are sworn enemies, but there is one thing they can agree on. “Never drive drunk, never, there’s no reason.” “Don’t drive, don’t drink and drive for sure, don’t do that.” It happens every year, and police are cracking down. Agencies throughout St. Joseph County and the Michiana area have had extra officers on hand looking for impaired and dangerous drivers. “Bottom line is if we catch you, if you’re driving impaired, you’re going to go to jail,” said Lt. Williams, Mishawaka police. Last year during the new year holiday, the St. Joseph County Traffic Safety Partnership reported 10 DUI arrests and NO fatal or alcohol-related crashes. They are hoping to keep those numbers the same. “Victims that you leave behind are your family and friends, because if you’re the one that died in that crash we’re going to notify them that you died and the reason why you died,” said Williams. And if you head out and have a drink or two the Bruins and Blackhawks fans have a suggestion for how to get home. “Uber, absolutely Uber,”...

2019 California Law looks to deter drunk driving

A California DUI prevention law went into effect on January 1st, 2019. “The DMV has put together a law related to the new interlock device, and we will be enforcing that,” said Lt. Greg Klingenberg, of the California Highway Patrol. In 2019, repeat offenders will be required to connect a breathalyzer to their vehicles. The device will prevent the ignition from starting unless they’re sober. “Don’t drink and drive,” Klingenberg reiterated. Convicted drunk drivers in California will also be responsible for the cost of the interlock device –about $3 a day. They’ll be required to use it for a period of 12 to 48 months. First offenders who don’t cause any injuries can choose to install the breathalyzer for six months, or have a restricted license for one year. Lt. Klingenberg explained other state DUI regulations remain the same. “The law hasn’t changed related to what the level is. Anything over 0.08 is driving under the influence of alcohol. I’m aware that there are other states, like Utah, that has lowered their level to 0.05. But that hasn’t changed for California.” The CHP spokesperson reminded residents his agency had been on the look out for drunk drivers on New Year’s Eve. “We’ll have every available officer out enforcing all the laws to include DUI, and obviously there’s a special focus on that just because of the New Year’s Eve...

New Year’s Eve 2019: Free rides and other ways home safely

Austin’s New Year’s Eve 2019 offered free rides and other ways to get home in safety. As we all know, drunken driving at any level is illegal, reprehensible, dangerous, and just plain bad form. That’s a fact the Austin Police Department will bring home for you at all times, but especially on New Year’s Eve, when it’s an unfortunately common occurrence. The department’s “no refusal” period for the holiday ran from 9 p.m. every night through 5 a.m. every morning, ending on New Year’s Day. If you are suspected of driving while intoxicated during the period, officers will have more legal resources for obtaining a blood alcohol sample, even if you refuse to submit one. That’s not to mention the life- and injury-threatening position you put yourself, your passengers, and others in when you attempt to drive while drunk. Fortunately, there are many options—including free or reduced ride-hailing prices and other ways to get to your destination—for Austinites to ring in the new year without all that danger. Here are a few of them. Free public transportation Austin’s Capital Metro extended its MetroRail and MetroRapid service until 2:30 a.m. New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day as well as offering free rides on New Year’s Eve from 5 p.m. until the end of service. MetroBus lines are included in the free fares and operated on their regular weekday-service schedule. Ride-hailing RideAustin (a locally owned, nonprofit business), Lyft, and Uber currently operate in Austin. From 8 a.m., Dec. 31, through 4 a.m., Jan. 1, Lyft riders got $5 off all rides in Texas. “NYEPLAN18” in the Lyft app. The Lyft discount was...

4 laws that are bringing big changes to California in 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  — The new year means big changes for California’s criminal justice system. Several new laws that go into effect in 2019 have an emphasis on criminal and social justice reform. Here’s a look at four new laws that are changing the way things are done in California:   End of Cash Bail California is getting rid of cash bail for suspects awaiting trial. Supporters contend it makes criminal justice fairer for people with little money, but bail agents are seeking a referendum to overturn the new law. “We had to collect 365,000 signatures,” said Topo Padilla, president of the Golden State Bail Agents Association. “We collected 550,000. So, that’s 550,000 voters who signed a piece of paper saying, ‘Yes, let’s put this on the ballot and let us decide,’ rather than 120 legislators down there.” The new law takes effect Oct. 1, 2019. Judges will use a pretrial risk assessment to determine who should be released from jail. In most nonviolent misdemeanor cases, defendants would be out within 12 hours. In other cases, defendants would be scored on the seriousness of crime – and how likely they are to show up for court. The new law means up to 8,000 people working in the bail industry statewide will be out of work, according to Padilla. “This is about public safety” Padilla said. “It’s not solely about saving our jobs. This is truly about public safety and getting rid of a constitutional right that people have.”   DUI Ignition Interlock Devices In 2019, a new California law will impact drivers caught driving while intoxicated. The legislation aims to...

A City with one New Years Drunk Driving Arrest.

Only one drunk driving arrest New Year’s Eve in Jackson County, MS records show. With increased police presence on holidays and multiple ad campaigns warning motorists of the risks of impaired driving, maybe folks are finally getting down to get the message. Only one driver was arrested for a suspected DUI on New Year’s Eve in Jackson County, Mississippi, consistent with the Jackson County Jail log. The driver, a 23-year-old Blackman township man, was i was arrested and booked into the jail at 3:32 a.m., Jan. 1, by the Jackson local police department, records show. Law enforcement throughout Jackson County told MLive/The Jackson Citizen Patriot it was a relatively quiet night. Police throughout the state are cracking down on impaired driving following the national Law enforcement campaign “Drive Sober or Get pulled Over.” The campaign emphasizes the dangers of impaired driving while aiming to drastically reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries on the...

Woman Arrested for Drunk Driving after Police find Facebook Messages left open on computer in hotel

In a recent report, a woman was charged with drink driving after police found out with some of the incriminating messages on her Facebook page. Just as after a car crash in Michigan, police investigators said they had tracked one of the alleged drivers to a nearby hotel. There they found a computer which was still logged into the woman’s Facebook page and open on a series of messages to another user. This woman had allegedly told her Facebook friend that she had been involved in a crash and that she was drunk. At the time of the investigation’s questioning, the woman did admit to being involved, but denied driving the vehicle and refused to tell them who had been driving.  In this way of the incident, she was charged with driving with an expired driver’s license, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, and leaving the scene of an accident. Investigators also stated that the hotel’s receptionist had told officers that the woman had admitted to her, to driving the vehicle when it crashed and had been drinking. In short, her Facebook messages with the random person lead to her being apprehended. The woman admitted to having drunk alcohol about two hours before the crash and an initial breathalyzer test showed she had a blood alcohol level of 0.12 percent. Further investigations are being carried out by police and the woman is still under...