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According to a recent story from the Boston Herald, a driver carrying approximately 20 tons of cheese was allegedly driving drunk and crashed his semi tractor-trailer on the Southeast Expressway just outside of Boston. Authorities have said the 43-year-old defendant lost control of his truck full of cheese that was being delivered to the greater Boston area from Wisconsin where it was made. The crash occurred around 1:30 a.m.

cheeseMassachusetts State Police (MSP) troopers were immediately called to the scene, and, when they arrived, they saw that the truck had smashed into a crash attenuator at high rate of speed. A crash attenuator is often placed at the end of one or more concrete Jersey barriers or metal guardrails where they form a dangerous point. Continue reading

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Law enforcement officers in Massachusetts are grappling with an increasing threat on our streets: Drugged drivers.marijuana

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 10 million people over the age of 12 report driving under the influence of illicit drugs in the last year. Men are more likely culprits than women, as are drivers between the ages of 18 and 25.

Those figures were derived from 2014 survey responses. Police across the Commonwealth report there has been at 225 percent increase in drug-related Operating Under the Influence (OUI) citations over the last several years. Violations for drugged driving spiked from about 660 in 2010 to 1,540 in 2015. Continue reading

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Tighter alcohol restrictions and stronger alcohol policies may be the key to unlocking lower drunk driving deaths among Boston’s youth. That’s according to a recent study by researchers at Boston Medical Centerbeer

The analysis was published recently online by the journal Pediatrics, and underscores the importance of alcohol control policies that are both strong and comprehensive in lowering the number of DUI-related deaths among young people.

As it stands, car accidents are one of the top causes of death among people under the age of 21 in the U.S. It’s particularly bad in Massachusetts, where 40 percent of all fatal car accidents involve a drunk driver and we are in the top 25 percent of states with the highest rates of youths who die in alcohol-related crashes.  Continue reading

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Two years worth of alcohol breathalyzer tests central to tens of thousands of Massachusetts drunk driving cases are being tossed by a judge who ruled prosecutors failed to prove a state crime lab was properly testing the machines. beer

Concord District Court Judge Robert Brennan ruled last month that the Commonwealth’s Office of Alcohol Testing didn’t abide the proper scientifically reliable protocols for calibration of some 350 breathalyzer machines used by law enforcement officers from June 2012 to September 2014. There were also reportedly no clear, written standards for how these devices were supposed to be set up. Absent those kinds of standards, the results can’t be used in a courtroom, the judge ruled.

The public defender in charge of filing the challenge argued prosecutors were using the machines in a manner that resulted in unjust outcomes. Defense attorneys said their concern is to ensure that such tests are both fair and accurate and that those whose actions were not clearly in violation of state OUI statutes aren’t convicted wrongly.  Continue reading

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Last summer, a 12-year-old girl was struck and killed by a drunk driver. That 49-year-old man reportedly had a blood-alcohol concentration of more than three times the legal limit. He also had 12 prior DUI convictions. drive

That is a DUI conviction for every year of this child’s life, which was taken far too soon.

Authorities say the man’s driver’s license had been revoked since 1990, and his convictions date back to 1986. As the local town police chief told a local television reporter in Detroit, where this tragedy unfolded, society was in a sense lucky for two decades when it came to this man. Repeatedly, he showed over and over again his willingness to flout the law – and the safety of those with whom he (illegally) shared the road.  Continue reading

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The woman behind the wheel of a speeding electric Tesla vehicle that crashed and caught fire in Indiana recently, killing her and her passenger, was far too intoxicated to drive. That’s according to a recently-released police report with toxicology tests indicating the 27-year-old driver had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.21, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08. Meanwhile, her 44-year-old passenger and the owner of the vehicle had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.17.steering wheel

Although Tesla has come under fire in recent months for its Autopilot feature, a semi-autonomous function that has been cited in a number of crashes, including at least one fatal. The concern has been that the maker of these systems over-hyped the autonomy of these systems. Such a system, if totally autonomous, could go a long way toward curbing drunk driving accidents because human error wouldn’t be a factor. However  the reality is that in these semi-autonomous systems, drivers have to be ready to take over the wheel at a moment’s notice. In the case of the driver who died in a car accident while the Autopilot feature was engaged, he reportedly had numerous social media photos of him carrying out other tasks behind the wheel while his vehicle did the heavy lifting. But when a tractor-trailer crossed in front of his path one day, the Autopilot feature failed to detect the white truck against the bright sky, and the resulting collision killed him.

In this case, officials have said there is no indication that the Autopilot feature was activated. Further, officials with Tesla say the feature would have capped the vehicle’s speed on this particular road to under 35-mph on the road where the crash happened.  Continue reading

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An allegedly drunken bus driver in St. Louis reportedly left an entire college basketball team stranded – and risked the safety of countless other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The driver was reportedly stopped eventually, several hours after the team lost the game some 40 miles away in St. Bonaventure, New York. bus

The Washington Post reported the players snapped Instagram and Twitter photographs of themselves and teammates, napping, playing cards and talking on their cell phones as they lamented their “missing bus.” Troopers eventually located the driver via a GPS signal from an iPad left by the head coach on the bus. The driver at the time reportedly had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.22 – which is nearly three times the limit for all drivers and more than five times the limit for commercial drivers.

Drivers of commercial vehicles are not permitted to have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.04 or higher. Her employer told the Post the 56-year-old had since been terminated from her job and that the company was “extremely disappointed and troubled” by her alleged actions.  Continue reading

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The maker of a smartphone breathalyzer violated federal advertising rules when it promised that its products offered “government lab-grade testing” to measure consumers’ blood-alcohol concentration.drinks

The CEO of the company agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission, which alleged the firm didn’t have the proper scientific evidence to back up the claims made in its advertising.

Startup funds for the technology venture were generated as a result of the CEO’s appearance on the reality show Shark Tank, a show on ABC that seeks funding from venture capital “sharks.” The CEO drummed up $2 million in funds plus a large group of executives as part of the show. The products in question are pocket-sized devices that connect to users’ phones via the headphone jack. The promise of the products is that they will give users an indication of their blood-alcohol level – presumably before they get behind the wheel of a car or engage in some other activity. Continue reading

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According to the Boston Globe, a man from Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OUI), and this was allegedly his ninth drunk driving offense. Authorities say the man was 61-years-old at the time of his arrest, which occurred on Route 2 in Boston.

prisonA spokesperson for the Massachusetts State Police has said this defendant had eight previous convictions for drunk driving.  This is certainly more than one would expect considering a defendant such as this will have multiple concurrent suspensions on his or driver’s license. Continue reading

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According to a recent news article from The Newburyport Press, a Massachusetts man was arrested on a drunk driving charge following a serious accident involving a semi tractor-trailer. The accident occurred around noon on Interstate 95.

car crashAuthorities say the 26-year-old suspect was driving when he allegedly crashed into the rear of a large tractor-tractor, causing significant damage to his own vehicle.  When he crashed his Toyota Corolla into the truck, witnesses have said he swerved to the left of it and started driving in the median. By this point, one of the wheels had been torn off the sedan, and he was driving away on the three remaining tires, leaving a huge cloud of dust and debris behind. Continue reading