Articles Posted in DUI/OUI Arrest

Last Thursday, co-executive producer of Northwest Productions announced on her Facebook page that Miss Washington USA Stormy Keffeler had resigned, and that Kelsey Schmidt, first runner-up, would assume the title.  Keffeler’s resignation is reportedly in connection with a DUI arrest in April of last year.

According to news reports, Maureen Francisco, the co-executive producer who works with Miss Washington USA, was unaware at the time of the October pageant that Keffeler had been arrested on DUI charges in April after being pulled over while driving on two flat tires.  Court documents claim her BAC (blood alcohol content) level was almost three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
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On Saturday, 45-year-old Frances Cassandra Claridge of Brandon was pulled over after she was observed driving in the wrong direction in Seffner. The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 in the morning when Claridge was caught allegedly driving northbound in the southbound lane on Lakewood Drive.

According to news reports at Fox 13 and WTSP, a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office patrol lieutenant pulled her over for driving the wrong way, when he noticed that her breath smelled of alcohol. According to the officer, she was also disoriented and not clear about what day it was, the time, or where she was driving. She was arrested for DUI following an investigation on the scene, and taken to Hillsborough County Jail. It was determined at the jail that Claridge’s blood alcohol content was .278 percent, more than three times the legal limit of .08 percent.

In every state, the punishment for driving under the influence is harsh although penalties may vary. In the state of Michigan, for example, anyone who is found to have a BAC of 0.17 percent or higher while operating a vehicle may be charged with Super Drunk driving. A Super Drunk OWI offense will result in penalties which are more severe than those for a regular DUI conviction. In fact, the penalties are about double for those of a regular DUI, and may include up to 180 days in jail, driver’s license suspension for 45 days with license restricted for 320 days following the suspension period, required installation of an ignition interlock device, potential community service, and more.

On Friday November 6, 27-year-old Ayla Johnson of Lincoln, RI was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence after she allegedly drove a school bus while intoxicated.

Modern LED light bar on police cruiser flashing red and blue emergency lights.

According to a news report at WCVB, Johnson stumbled off the bus she was driving and entered Northern Elementary School. An administrator with the school notified police, who found Johnson in the nurse’s office at the school. Police say the bus driver had a strong odor of alcohol, and they proceeded to administer a field sobriety test, which she failed. She was arrested for DUI.

On Thursday October 29, Milwaukee Democratic Representative Josh Zepnick was arrested for OWI (operating while intoxicated) after he was pulled over for driving through a red light just before 8:30 p.m. According to news reports, it is Zepnick’s first drunk driving offense.

The state lawmaker told the officer who pulled him over that he had consumed five or six beers at a bar. Zepnick allegedly failed field sobriety tests which he submitted to, however he declined a breath test. According to a news article at the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Zepnick admitted to drinking alcohol. The officer included in the incident report that Zepnick smelled of alcohol, and that his eyes looked as though he had been drinking.

Zepnick’s sister died in 1990 when she was riding her bicycle and was struck by a drunk driver. This is a subject Zepnick discussed in 2009 on the Assembly floor as lawmakers worked to stiffen drunk driving laws. Zepnick was a primary sponsor of a 2009 law signed by then-Governor Jim Doyle.

On Saturday October 24, the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade, which draws crowds of more than 80,000 including fans, alumni, and area residents and is considered a major celebration, abruptly came to an end when a woman driving an Elantra plowed through several barriers and struck a parked motorcycle before barreling into the crowd. It was initially suspected that the driver of the vehicle, 25-year-old Adacia Chambers, was driving under the influence. Chambers is now facing four charges of second-degree murder after four people were killed, and just under 50 injured.

On Sunday, the county’s DA said that Chambers would likely be charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Police believed she was under the influence, but did not believe alcohol was involved. Chambers’ attorney, Tony Coleman, said he did not believe his client was under the influence at all, but instead suffers from a physical or mental illness. Chambers’ family members and boyfriend also said she was sober late Friday and early Saturday when they last saw her, and that they had not seen her consume alcohol.

Coleman told USA Today that during a meeting with his client at the jail following the accident, he was not satisfied at all that he was communicating with a competent individual.

On October 17, a woman was stopped by an Angels Camp police officer due to an expired registration. 51-year-old Denise Aanonson or Merced was driving a Toyota Tacoma when she was pulled over by police at about 4 p.m., according to a recent news article at

Upon stopping Aanonson, the police officer discovered that she was driving on a suspended license. Although the article did not reveal why her license had been suspended, the officer asked for consent to search the Tacoma, which Aanonson agreed to. Upon searching the vehicle, officers discovered a .38 caliber revolver and 4.6 grams of methamphetamine.

Aanonson was cited for misdemeanor charges of possessing meth, driving with an expired registration, and driving on a suspended driver’s license. Last year, the voter-passed Proposition 47 made possession of certain drugs in California misdemeanor offenses rather than felonies. However, Aanonson was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm; she was arrested and booked into the Calaveras County Jail.

As every Michigan DUI attorney will tell you, it’s never a good idea to get smart with police when possibly facing criminal charges. Recently, a 38-year-old woman identified herself as ‘Hell on Wheels’ after allegedly striking three parked vehicles on E.B. Saunders Way and hitting three additional vehicles on Magnolia Avenue in Clarksburg.

Empty bottles and drinker

According to an article at The Exponent Telegram, Amanda Dolores Alleman admitted to Patrol Officer Bill Swiger that she struck the six vehicles. Police allege that a secondary chemical test revealed Alleman’s blood alcohol content was .203, more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent.

Last week, 39-year-old Rebecca Ocain, a San Diego County prosecutor, pleaded not guilty to charges of hit-and-run and driving under the influence after she allegedly crashed into a cemetery retaining wall and fled the scene. Ocain pleaded guilty to a drunk driving charge in 2014, according to a news article at The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Glass of whiskey

Ocain’s trial is scheduled for early November as she faces three misdemeanor charges in connection with the incident which occurred on August 8. California Highway Patrol alleges that Ocain was driving east at just after 10 p.m. on Victoria Park Terrace in Alpine when she failed to stop at a stop sign and crashed into the retaining wall at the Alpine Cemetery. A deputy saw her when she got out of her vehicle and started walking away from the scene.

On Sunday morning October 4, a New Bedford man was arrested after it was suspected he was under the influence of alcohol. 24-year-old Marvin Hernandez was reportedly driving in the wrong direction on the highway, according to Rhode Island State Police.

Hernandez was allegedly traveling in an Eastbound direction on Route I-195 west when he was seen going in the wrong way by East Providence and Seekonk police. State troopers also observed Hernandez driving in the wrong direction.

According to an article at ABC 6 News, Hernandez only stopped when a Medtech ambulance flashed its emergency lights at the vehicle; other motorists had also observed the suspect traveling in the wrong direction, and reported it to 911. Hernandez’ vehicle was stopped in the breakdown lane facing Eastward on I-195 West. Rhode Island State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell confirmed the suspect was driving in the wrong direction just after 2:30 in the morning. Hernandez was arrested on the scene, and transported to the Lincoln Woods Barracks.

Last week, a 53-year-old school bus driver who had been with the Hamilton Heights School Corporation since 2001 was suspended after she allegedly operated the bus while intoxicated. According to a news article at Fox59, Janet Kay Shaw was under the influence of drugs when the school bus ran off the side of the road with 23 students on board.

The drugs found in Shaw’s handbag included Hydrocodone, Valium, and Soma. Parents of some of the students on the bus were alerted by their children via cell phones that the bus went off the roadway; the parents then contacted school officials. When the bus veered off the road, it was going approximately 40 mph according to investigators. Several power outages were reported, with one student who was waiting for the bus claiming he saw it go off the road when a “big green spark” flew in front of him. Noah Chapman, the 7th grade student who witnessed the crash, decided not to get on the bus. News reports indicate the bus struck a utility pole wire before returning to the road.

Several middle and high school students who were on the bus complained of headaches and minor aches and pains; they were treated by a school nurse. Upon arrival at the school, Shaw was removed from the bus immediately. She was suspended pending the next HHSC Board of School Trustees meeting where recommendation for termination will be presented.

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