Public outrage and the potential for lost business caused by state regulators arresting bar patrons for being intoxicated prompted a key lawmaker on Tuesday to call for a suspension of the program pending a review by the Texas Legislature.
“Based on what I’m hearing from my constituents and from all across the state, this is a good time to put this program on hold until we have an opportunity to review it,” said state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, vice chairman of the House committee that oversees the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. “I’m getting a lot of calls and e-mails, and it’s absolutely all negative.”
The commission has garnered national publicity in recent days over its stepped-up enforcement program called Sales to Intoxicated Persons, or SIPs, where undercover officers observe customers in bars and taverns and arrest those who appear drunk. Bartenders and wait staff who serve intoxicated patrons are also subject to arrest. Read the rest of this entry »
A Lakeway police officer was on restrictive duty Thursday following his arrest on charges of driving while intoxicated.
According to an arrest affidavit, Bryan McCannon, 30, was intoxicated at nearly two times the legal limit.
He was off-duty when he arrested Saturday night.
The sheriff’s office says McCannon was involved in a head-on collision with minor injuries along F.M. 2769 in Travis County.
When deputies arrived, they determined he was intoxicated and arrested him.
This will likely be the second Lakeway officer terminated by the Lakeway Police Department in the last few months. Things seem to be out of control out there.
Click here for the full story as reported by KVUE television station.
Former Austin Police Department Assistant Police Chief Robert Dahlstrom is the new UT police chief.
Dahlstrom faces many new challenges. During the interview process many in the UT community expressed concerns over off-campus safety in highly populated student areas.
Student government suggested joint jurisdiction between APD and UTPD.
“I think the joint jurisdiction would be a very difficult thing to do. You have two different radio communications, you have two
different 911 calls that come in. You have different policies,” Dahlstrom said.
Dahlstrom is the fourth person to serve as UT’s police chief since the department was created in the late 1960s. Read the rest of this entry »
If you have a drink in an Austin bar or restaurant, and you do something out of the ordinary, you could go to jail.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission says they can spot people who’ve had too much to drink, just by looking at them.
It’s an issue creating a lot of controversy. It’s also creating a lot of arrests.
The TABC sting operation has increased arrests by 95 percent.
Agents are going into bars and restaurants looking for folks who are a danger to themselves or others.
When they spot someone drawing attention to themselves, that person is likely headed to jail. Read the rest of this entry »
Twenty-two Austin Police officers have been reprimanded and suspended for departmental violations ranging from unnecessary use of force and public intoxication to falling asleep on duty, according to disciplinary memos issued by the Civil Service Commission from August through December 31.
Among the circumstances surrounding the suspensions of the last five months of 2005 are:
â€¢ Sgt. Daniel Armstrong was suspended in November for 42 days for driving while intoxicated when off-duty. An officer found Armstrong in the Cedar Park Post Office parking lot asleep behind the wheel of his Ford F-150 pickup, the report states. Armstrong was given a $257 public intoxication ticket. Read the rest of this entry »
With a tendency to stare zombie-like and run into stationary objects, a new species of impaired motorist is hitting the roads: the Ambien driver.
Ambien, the nation’s best-selling prescription sleeping pill, is showing up with regularity as a factor in traffic arrests, sometimes involving drivers who later say they were sleep-driving and have no memory of taking the wheel after taking the drug.
In some state toxicology laboratories Ambien makes the top 10 list of drugs found in impaired drivers. Wisconsin officials identified Ambien in the bloodstreams of 187 arrested drivers from 1999 to 2004.
And as a more people are taking the drug â€” 26.5 million prescriptions in this country last year â€” there are signs that Ambien-related driving arrests are on the rise. In Washington State, for example, officials counted 78 impaired-driving arrests in which Ambien was a factor last year, up from 56 in 2004. Read the rest of this entry »
My client was arrested for DWI in Austin, Texas by a Trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety. The Trooper stated that he stooped my client because he failed to signal a lane change which nearly caused a collision with another vehicle.
My client REFUSED TO PROVIDE A BREATH TEST. The Trooper reported that my client had a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath and glassy eyes.
My client also did the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). My client didnâ€™t know he could refuse the tests. The Trooper said my client exhibited all 6 clues of intoxication on the HGN (eye jerking) test. The Trooper said that my client displayed 5 of the 8 clues of intoxication on the Walk & Turn test. The Trooper said that my client swayed and put his foot down numerous times on the One Leg Stand test.
We appealed the so called “automatic” suspension of his driver’s license. We filed discovery requests and subpoenaed all the Troopers involved to justify our client’s arrest and the suspension. At the Hearing, DPS realized that they werenâ€™t going to be able to prove all the necessary elements necessary to suspend my clientâ€™s license. DPS agreed to dismiss the Suspension Case. His LICENSE WAS NOT SUSPENDED.
My client was arrested for DWI in Austin, Texas by an Officer with the Austin Police Department. The Officer reported that my client was stopped because the Officer pulled along the side of my clientâ€™s car and noticed an open container in his lap.
My client REFUSED THE BREATH TEST, but he did do the standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs).
The officer reported that my client had an odor of alcohol coming from his breath and his eyes were blood shot and glassy. The officer said my client exhibited 4 clues of intoxication on the HGN (eye jerking) test. The officer said that my client lost his balance during instruction, began before being instructed to start, and used his arms for balance on the Walk & Turn test. The officer said that my client exhibited 1 clue of intoxication on the One Leg Stand test.
We took the case to court and let the State know we were going to fight the case. Eventually, the prosecutor agreed to DISMISS THE DWI and my client pled to a traffic ticket with a small fine.
Hoping to jolt police, city officials and residents to action, the chief of emergency medicine at Brackenridge Hospital sent a letter requesting more to be done about DWIs in Austin, TX.
And, it is not all alcohol related. Dr. Pat Crocker said, is that two-thirds tested positive for drugs ranging from tranquilizers and painkillers to illegal narcotics. Folks should remember that DWI is defined as the loss of normal use of mental and/or physical faculties due to alcohol, drugs or a combination of them.
He got responses back saying they have worked on the problem and intend to do more. They invited him to help.
Austin Police Department data show that DWI arrests are up 28 percent between 2000 and 2005, a period when the city’s population increased 6 percent, according to Texas State Data Center estimates. In 2005, police reported 5,724 DWI arrests, more than police made in any of Texas’ five other largest cities. Read the rest of this entry »
My client was arrested for a DWI in Austin, Texas by an officer with the Austin Police Department. The officer reported that my client was stopped because he had a defective tail light.
My client REFUSED THE BREATH TEST, but he did do the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs).
The officer reported that my client had an odor of alcohol coming from his breath and his eyes were bloodshot. The officer said my client exhibited 4 clues of intoxication on the HGN (eye jerking) test. The officer said that my client exhibited only 2 clues of intoxication on the Walk & Turn test. The officer said that my client used his arms for balance and put his foot down on the One Leg Stand test. It should be noted that my client also had high blood pressure, because we convinced the prosecutor that it was the high blood pressure that caused him to have balance problems, not the alcohol that he drank.
We took the case to court and let the State know we were going to fight the case. Eventually, the prosecutor agreed to DISMISS THE DWI and my client plead to a Non-DWI offense with a small fine.