You are currently browsing the archives for June, 2006.

New Rule for Alcohol in Travis County Parks to deter Intoxicated Offenses

KXAN reported that this week, Travis County commissioners approved new rules when it comes to drinking alcohol in local parks.

These new rules will effect 25 popular park areas in the county.

These rules focus on safety. The one that stands out involves alcohol. You can still drink it, but just not in plain sight.

Starting this weekend, if park rangers see a person drinking out of any kind of alcoholic beverage container, he or she will get a warning to pour it in a cup or conceal it. The new rule is supposed to keep people more responsible.

Brandishing beer will prompt rangers to investigate whether or not a person is intoxicated. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Travis County Police Officers will be out in force this weekend looking for BWIs and DWIs

Fox news reported that if you plan on drinking while at the lake this weekend, make sure you have a designated driver. That’s the message several law enforcement agencies are spreading since they will be out in full force.

Thursday it was quiet on Lake Austin, but park police expect it to be a different story this weekend. They along with numerous agencies will be monitoring the crowds looking for those who choose to drink and drive whether on land or water.

Some of the most common violations they see this time of year are boaters without enough life jackets on board, boating while intoxicated and people lighting aerial fireworks from their boats.

At Lake Travis, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office says they’ll be camping out at FM 620 looking for people leaving the lake drunk and getting into their cars and driving. Read the rest of this entry »

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Driving While on Cell Phone Worse Than Driving While Drunk reported that maneuvering through traffic while talking on the phone increases the likelihood of an accident five-fold and is actually more dangerous than driving drunk, U.S. researchers report.

That finding held true whether the driver was holding a cell phone or using a hands-free device, the researchers noted.

“As a society, we have agreed on not tolerating the risk associated with drunk driving,” said researcher Frank Drews, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Utah. “This study shows us that somebody who is conversing on a cell phone is exposing him or herself and others to a similar risk — cell phones actually are a higher risk,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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New cell phone has built-in breathalyzer

UPI reported that a cell phone with a built-in alcohol breath analyzer is headed to the United States from South Korea, where more than 200,000 of the devices already been sold.

South Korean manufacturer LG will introduce the LP4100 to the U.S. market later this year, ABC News reported.

Users blow into a small spot on the phone, and of nothing happens they are theoretically safe to drive. But if the user has had too much to drink, the $400 phone displays the image of a weaving car on the screen. Read the rest of this entry »

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FAA Issues Final Ruling On Alcohol, Drug Use

The FAA Thursday issued a long-awaited final ruling on alcohol and drug abuse, under which a pilot who either refuses a drug or alcohol test at the airport, or is found with a blood-alcohol content of more than .04-percent, will lose his medical certificate.

The same rules would apply to air traffic controllers, as well. The rule also standardizes the deadline for reporting positive tests or refusals.

The changes go into effect July 21, 2006.

The new rules were met with opposition from the Air Line Pilots Association. ALPA says one positive test does not an alcohol or drug addict make. Read the rest of this entry »

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Girls catch up with boy’s drinking habits

The Austin American Stateman article on drinking habits reported that surveys show girls and college-age women are binge-drinking more often these days.

Recent surveys suggest that today’s girls and college-age women are abusing alcohol in ways not seen in previous generations — by binge drinking more often and at earlier ages. Read the rest of this entry »

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New York Will Fight DWI With Talking Urinals

Can Austin be too far behind?

Guys who’ve had too much to drink might not be hallucinating if they return from the men’s room and say, “The urinal has been talking to me.”

What they’re actually hearing is New York’s latest public service announcement for traffic safety. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another Bad Apple at the Austin Police Department is Fired

In May, Austin police officer, Cpl. Richard Munoz, was fired by then-Police Chief Stan Knee after Munoz was accused of choking a handcuffed 15-year-old boy Nov. 11, at a trailer park, according to a police memo.

Munoz also investigated a separate incident at the park that day involving a teenager said to have been sexually preying on children but did not file the report properly, giving the attacker time to assault someone else, the memo said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will all autos some day have breathalyzers?

USA Today posed the question in a recent article:

Could the day be coming when every driver is checked for drinking before starting a car?

Widespread use of ignition interlock devices that won’t allow a car to be started if a driver has had too much alcohol, once considered radical, no longer seems out of the question. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) gives a qualified endorsement to the idea. New York state legislators are considering requiring the devices on all cars and trucks by 2009. And automakers, already close to offering the devices as optional equipment on all Volvo and Saab models in Sweden, are considering whether to bring the technology here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Join the Austin Police Department and you too could make $100K

City paid patrol officers $3.9 million extra last year to meet staffing goal.

The bill for overtime at the Austin Police Department for routine patrols has increased 468 percent during the past five years, hitting $3.9 million last year, according to city payroll and budget records.

At least 10 officers earned enough overtime to make six-figure salaries in 2005, working as many as 70 hours a week to cover for fellow officers who were sick, injured, suspended or on vacation. They also filled in the gaps for 107 officer positions the city has authorized but not filled.

Austin police Cpl. John Coffey racked up the overtime in 2005, working an average of 55 hours a week. Coffey earned $145,451. Read the rest of this entry »

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