AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Setting a bad example for teen drivers has severe consequences.
Drunk drivers in Washington D.C. can expect stiffer penalties starting tomorrow when the Comprehensive Impaired Driving Act of 2012 takes effect.
Anti-drunk driving campaigns are as common as cheap beer these days, but this one might be the most… interesting one yet.
Everyone should take note of this: Swedish company Autoliv is developing an in-car breathalyzer that works automatically to keep drivers from taking intoxicated trips.
Speeding is dangerous. Speeding at night time while drunk is just stupid. Doing all that with young children on board has to be among the dumbest things a person can do.
However, Oregon Police had to deal with just such a driver this morning. Maria Elena Andres, 30, was cited for speeding at about 2:20 a.m. Her car finally stopped after a half-hour chase, which ended with the police using a spike strip to pop the tires on her 1998 Mercury Sable.
When the state troopers approached her car, they found her four-year old son and nine-year old daughter in the back seat. Thankfully they were belted in the car and unharmed.
Andres was taken to Lane County Jail and was charged with eluding the police, driving under the influence of intoxicants, and two counts of reckless driving. Her children were turned over to the Department of Human Services.
The exact details of her fines or jail time have not been published, but at least her children are in safer custody.
[Source: Oregon Live]
If you buy a Dodge Dart and get the sneaking suspicion that it feels like someone was drinking when they put the thing together, you just might be right.
Brian Ahlert, 41, of Janesville, Wis., was returning from work at the Belvidere, Ill. plant responsible for manufacturing the Dart when he was arrested for drunk driving. The incident occurred last Saturday at 8:04 p.m. according to GazetteXtra.com.
He was pulled over after witnesses reported his 1995 Chevy Lumina was “all over the road.” When police caught up to him, Ahlert was driving 40 mph in a 55 mph zone. He told police he had been drinking all day during his shift at the Chrysler plant.
This isn’t the first, or even second time in recent memory that we’ve reported on Chrysler employees being drunk on the job. Last summer, news cameras caught workers at a Detroit plant drinking and getting high while at work.
Apparently, this was Ahlert’s fifth drinking and driving offense, we’re just grateful nobody got hurt.
While it’s a huge stretch to assume that Alhert’s behavior is common where he works, we hope the others in charge of making Dodge’s new flagship economy car are of sounder mind.
[Source: Janesville Gazette]
Insurance.com has published a report on DUI citations in the nation’s largest US cities with California playing home to three of the top five. San Diego and Los Angeles topped the list at first and second respectively, while Indianapolis, Jacksonville (Florida) and San Francisco rounded off the top five.
It’s worth mentioning though that these cities with a high-percentage of DUI citations doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more drinking and driving occurring. It could also mean that there’s less public transportation or a police force that’s good at doing their job – or really the more densely populated a city is, the more people there are to do stupid things.
Nationwide in 2010, there were 1.4 million DUI arrests according to the FBI. This is also the second year in a row that San Diego has topped the list in the study.
Despite the study supposedly listing the top 20 cities, the website only publishes 19 – see it after the break.
It seems that retired racing legend Al Unser Jr. still likes to make headlines… but this time, it’s for all the wrong reasons. It’s been confirmed that the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner has been arrested on charges of drunken driving and reckless driving in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
According to Bernalillo County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jennifer Brown, Unser was arrested Thursday morning in Albuquerque, where he lives. The police pulled him over for drag racing in his Suburban – they clocked him going over 100 mph. Instead of a trophy and sponsorship endorsements, he was awarded charges of reckless driving and aggravated driving while intoxicated.
Unser was released from jail on his own recognizance. We will fill you in with more details as they become available.
Rapper Flo Rida (real name Tramar Dillard) received a DUI in his $1.7 million black 2008 Bugatti Veyron last night, after police observed the car swerving in and out of lanes. During the 3:30 AM downtown Miami stop, the police could smell the odor of alcohol, so the rapper was given a field sobriety test and failed. Flo-Rida’s blood alcohol level was .185 which is more than twice the legal limit.
The Bugatti Veyron was loaded up onto a flatbed tow truck heading for the impound lot, when Flo’s friend managed to get approval to take possession of the vehicle.
Once arrested, the rapper was taken to a nearby station where he is currently being booked. This brings new meaning to Flo-Rida feeling “Low”.
Apple has officially rejected any inclusion of DUI checkpoints in its iOS apps. In this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple updated its app store to prohibit applications informing users of DUI checkpoints.
This recent update was a result of a group of U.S Senators sending numerous letters of concern to Apple, Google, and RIM, asking the smartphone companies to remove and disable all apps that would inform users of DUI checkpoints.
Section 22.8 states:
Apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected.
Developers may be able to remove the DUI functionality from their apps, however most of the programs that identify law enforcement activity pertaining to checkpoints and speed traps are crowd-sourced, which means users submit the checkpoints themselves without app developers knowing what they’re identifying.
A Landisville, Pennsylvania area car salesman turned himself in to police after a customer test drive of a Mitsubishi Lancer ended with a passenger’s death.
According to Lancaster Online, Michael D. Hershey was charged with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence of a controlled substance, reckless endangerment and driving at an unsafe speed in the death of Jon Christian “Chris” Jensen. Jensen had taken his son Tyler to look for cars, and the two were on a test drive with Hershey when the salesman instructed Tyler to pull over and let him drive. Tyler Jensen said that Hershey was driving recklessly at speeds of up to 90 mph, when he swerved to avoid hitting an oncoming truck and hit an embankment. Hershey and Chris Jensen were ejected from the car, with Jensen suffering horrific injures that mortally wounded him.
It later emerged that Hershey was intoxicated at the time of the crash and had previous convictions for vehicular offenses.
Hale, UK Police seized this yellow Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII after its driver was stopped for “driving erratically” and arrested for DUI. Normal police procedure, in the UK requires the officers wait for a transporter to tow a seized car to impound, but not this time. The two officers decided to drive the car themselves, and, well, the photos show what happened next.
The officer behind the wheel lost control at what appears to be very high speed, and ended up rolling the car on a local man’s lawn. One of the officers suffered minor injuries, and clearly their superiors will be launching an investigation into their behavior. Evo carnage gallery after the jump:
[Photo Credit: LancerRegister]
New York will become the 12th state to require ignition interlock devices for all people convicted of drunk driving – that goes for first time offenders too. Starting on August 15, Leandra’s Law (also called the Child Passenger Protection Act) will mandate the interlocks and impose stricter penalties if the DUI offender is transporting children 15 years of age and under in the car.
Leandra’s Law is named after 11-year-old Leandra Rosado who was killed after being thrown from the car driven by an intoxicated driver last October.
The interlock device features a breathalyzer that will disable a vehicle’s ignition if a certain level of alcohol is detected on a driver’s breath. The only way a car outfitted with this device will start is if the driver blows into the breathalyzer and doesn’t go over the limit. If you blow .025 or more in New York, you’re not going anywhere. And according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these devices have proven to work – they sponsored a study that showed a reduction of alcohol traffic violations by 64 percent during the first year in cases where devices were required.
Presently, states that mandate interlocks for DUI offenders include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Joining the list in January will be Hawaii, and California has similar restrictions in four of its counties. Six states use the device only for repeat offenders and nine states mandate interlocks only for convicted offenders who had high blood alcohol content (typically .15 percent or higher) and to repeat offenders. The remaining states do not require interlocks, but 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, can choose to apply interlock requirements at their discretion.
Watch the ignition interlock device demo after the jump.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
A Gaithersburg, MD man has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for drunkenly crashing his car into an elderly couple. The driver of the other car was none other than Edwin Collier, a retired judge. The same judge, in fact, who had let the drunk driver, Rene Fernandez, off with probation after his first DUI conviction in 1998.
Fernandez, who claims the day of the accident was the first drink he’s had since 2005, swerved into the oncoming lane and hit Collier and his wife head-on, causing life-altering injuries for the retired couple. They have since been forced to sell their two homes and move, after injuries to their legs prevent them from walking up stairs.
Lawyers for the Colliers are using this incident as a call-to-action for DUI reform, claiming that high-priced defense lawyers are simply too much for inexperienced prosecutors to handle, and subsequently too many people are getting off with not enough punishment.
What do you think? If judge Collier had thrown the book at Rene Fernandez the first time around, could this incident have been avoided?