Appelman

Minnesota Man Arrested For DWI on Go-Kart

Tuesday, 15. April 2014

DWI Go KartA Minnesota man was arrested for driving under the influence after authorities say he was operating a child’s go-kart above the legal limit.

Bobby Khaoone, 25, was arrested in the city of Austin during a late-night joyride in the wee hours of Sunday morning. According to the police report, Khaoone was driving the battery-powered go-kart in the street when he was almost struck by a passing squad car. Khaoone was stopped by the officer and eventually booked on charges of gross misdemeanor DWI, driving after license revocation, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Authorities also seized the Razor go-kart under vehicle seizure laws.

Khaoone told officers he was driving the go-kart in the street because he was celebrating the Laotian new year.

Go-Kart DUI

This case is very interesting, especially when you compare it to last year’s ruling about DWIs on a Segway. In that case, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that a Segway was not to be considered a motorized vehicle in the eyes of a law because it is intended to be used on sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways.

The dissenting judge said the Segway should be classified as a motor vehicle because it is not operated by human power, but the majority cited a 2009 case where a man was acquitted when he was found operating a motorized scooter over the legal limit as evidence that a device is not classified as a vehicle simply because it operates on electrical power.

Interestingly enough, your average Segway has a top speed of 12 miles per hour. According to Razor’s website, their standard go-kart also has a top speed of 12 miles per hour. Khaoone certainly has grounds to challenge the legality of the DWI, but the fact that he was joyriding in the middle of the street (and almost got run over by a cop, no less) won’t help his cause.

Related source: Pioneer Press

The March Madness DUI Bracket

Thursday, 20. March 2014

March Madness tips off later today, and millions of people around the world are scrambling to fill out their brackets. What’s great about filling out a bracket is that everyone has their own unique way of making picks. Some people put hours of research into each matchup, while others simply choose the team with the coolest mascot.

Since there’s no wrong way to fill out a bracket, we thought it would be interesting to see how the bracket would look if we made our picks based on a unique set of rules that pertained to our industry – Criminal Law. Since a lot of our cases involve DUI charges, and because DWI statistics are relatively easy to obtain, we decided to fill out a bracket by picking the team that resides in the state with the higher number of DUIs per capita.

**Note** In the event the schools play in the same state, the school that was ranked higher on the 2010 Most Dangerous Colleges list advanced.

Behold, the March Madness DUI Bracket:

Appelman Law Firm DUI Bracket

Fun Facts About the Bracket

  • Although a #1 seed has never beaten a #16 seed in the actual tournament, Cal Poly knocked of Wichita State in this bracket.
  • In a matchup of DUI per capita powerhouses, the University of Nebraska met Creighton (also located in Nebraska) in Round 2, but Creighton snuck by on account that they are ranked as the #286 most dangerous campus. The University of Nebraska came in at #340.
  • Nebraska had 0.74 DUI arrests per capita, which is the fifth highest in the nation. If Creighton had faced any teams from Wyoming (1.26), Alaska (0.77), Idaho (0.75), or South Dakota (0.75), they would have lost, but no teams from those four states made the field of 64.

Related source: IBM.com

Teen DUI Likelihood Increases If They Have Ridden With Impaired Driver

Monday, 17. March 2014

Teen Drunk DrivingA new study revealed that teens are more likely to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol if they’ve ridden in a car with an impaired driver. 

Not surprisingly, the more often a teen reported riding in a car with an impaired driver, the more likely they were to drive under the influence.

“When you experience (riding with an impaired driver), it’s a normalizing experience,” said Bruce Simons-Morton, a senior investigator with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and author of the study. “It sort of suggests that that’s just how people do it, so it’s OK when (you) start driving to drive while intoxicated.”

Collecting Data

For their study, researchers tracked 2,500 10th grade students over the course of three years until they completed 12th grade. Students were given a yearly survey that asked how many times during the past year they had rode in a vehicle with a driver who had been drinking or consumed illegal drugs. The study did not ask whether the driver was a parent or a friend.

After analyzing the data, researchers discovered:

  • 10th graders who reported riding in a car with an impaired driver were “many times more likely” to report driving under the influence as a 12th grader compared to students who said they had never ridden with an impaired driver.
  • Teens who got their license in 10th or 11th grade were twice as likely to report driving while impaired in 12th grade compared to students who obtained their license in 12th grade.
  • Riding in a car with an impaired driver was a much better indicator of the likelihood a student would drive under the influence as a senior than the age at which a student obtained his or her license.

Simons-Morton said the most eye-opening statistic occurred when they compared DUI likelihood for students who regularly rode in the car with an impaired driver to those who had never ridden with an impaired driver.

“But if you reported exposure to riding with an intoxicated driver at all three surveys, you were 120 times more likely than those who had never been exposed,” said Simons-Morton.

He concluded by saying riding in a car with an impaired driver is very dangerous, and teens should do their best to set a good example for their friends.

“Nearly half of fatalities and serious injuries in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes occur to passengers, so it should be noted that the risks associated with driving while intoxicated is not just to drivers,” said Simons-Morton. “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.”

Related source: USA Today

Extra DUI Patrols Planned For St. Patrick’s Day Weekend in Twin Cities

Friday, 14. March 2014

St. Patrick's Day DUI PatrolsThe Minnesota State Patrol announced that are adding extra DUI patrols in the Twin Cities to combat drunk driving during the long St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Donna Berger, director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety (DPS/OTS), said the extra enforcement is necessary, especially during a four-day holiday celebration.

“Long-weekend holiday celebrations can make for a potentially dangerous situation on our roads,” said Berger. “Be smart, keep safe and plan ahead for a sober ride if you plan on drinking.”

St. Patty’s Day DUIs

The Minnesota State Patrol hopes the public heeds their warning about added DUI patrols. Although they’ve made similar announcements in the past, the number of Minnesota motorists arrested for DWI on St. Patrick’s Day has risen every year since 2009.

  • 2009 – 218 arrests
  • 2010 – 225 arrests
  • 2011 – 289 arrests
  • 2012 – 346 arrests
  • 2013 – 375 arrests

When you add it all up, 1,453 Minnesotans have been arrested for driving under the influence on St. Patrick’s Day over the last five years, and that doesn’t even factor in the arrests that occur during the holiday weekend. The State Patrol believes the increase in arrests over the last two years were influenced by the fact that St. Patty’s Day fell on a Saturday and Sunday, but that’s still no excuse for drinking and driving.

Plan Ahead

We’ve mentioned this in the past, but we’ll just give the abbreviated version here. Planning a safe ride home is the best way to avoid a DUI. Here are some safe ways to get home after a night on the town.

1. Take the bus or light rail

2. Hail a 10-10 taxi

3. Walk home if you live close enough

4. Have a designated driver

If the worse case scenario occurs and you end up getting arrested for driving under the influence, invoke your right to an attorney. They will be able to provide the best advice based on your situation.

Have a safe and fun holiday!

10-10 Taxi Offers Cheap Fares in The Twin Cities

Monday, 3. March 2014

Taxi Twin CitiesAlthough it’s only Monday, you’re probably already thinking ahead to your coming weekend plans. Maybe you’re meeting up with some old college buddies, or you’re planning on grabbing some drinks after work with co-workers. A good time can be had with or without alcohol, but if you do decide to indulge, make sure you have plans to get home safe 

We’ve already posted blogs about taking public transportation or using the Uber app to get home without spending much money, but we’ve recently learned of another transportation service that has helped many Minnesota citizens get home safe and avoid becoming a client of ours. That service is 10-10 Taxi.

What is 10-10 Taxi?

10-10 Taxi is a taxi service in Minneapolis that will get you home quickly, safely, and without breaking the bank. The 10s in their name stand for the base fare and how quickly they’ll pick you up. The service costs $10 for the first five miles ($2 each additional mile) and they guarantee that they’ll pick you up within 10 minutes of calling or they’ll reduce your total fare by 10 percent!

The service operates in many of the Twin Cities suburbs, including Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie.

If you’re interested in getting a cheap taxi in the Twin Cities, you can call 10-10 Taxi at 763-416-2788. You can also hail a cab by text by sending your information to 612-315-8295.

So if you’re looking to find an inexpensive taxi service in the Twin Cities, look no further than 10-10 Taxi. A $10 cab ride beats $10,000 in expenses if you are charged with a DUI.

Kerry Kennedy Acquitted of Drugged Driving

Friday, 28. February 2014

Kerry KennedyA 6-person jury ruled that Kerry Kennedy was not guilty of drugged driving on Friday after defense attorneys argued that Kennedy accidentally took the sleeping pill and its affects clouded her judgment to the point that she couldn’t consciously make the decision to pull over.

“I’m incredibility grateful to the jury for working so hard on this case, and to my lawyers and to my family and friends and so many other people who supported me,” Kennedy said at the conclusion of the trial. “I’m just happy justice was done.”

Kennedy faced misdemeanor drugged driving charges after she got behind the wheel after accidentally taking Ambien instead of taking her thyroid medication. Kennedy crashed her car into a tractor-trailer and claimed she had no recollection of the accident at trial.

“If I realized I was impaired, I would have pulled over,” Kennedy testified.

Curious Case

As the case proceeded, it was clear that both prosecutors and defense attorneys believed Kennedy took the sleeping pill on accident, but they were split on what they believe happened next. Prosecutors argued that Kennedy knowingly ignored signs of impairment while she was driving, while defense attorneys claimed the pill made her unable to recognize the warning signs.

Ordinarily, controlled substance DWIs are difficult cases to prove, especially when the drug is prescribed, such as the sleeping aid Ambien. When folks take medications, they believe, and rightfully so, that their doctors are looking out for them, and that they understand the side effects and problems arising from the use of any medication.

With Ambien, and other prescribed sleeping medications, the onset of drowsiness can be swift. Many folks who are not familiar with medications may not have sufficient time to realize what is happening. They become drowsy in a matter of minutes, and in some cases nod off shortly after taking the pills. The pharmacologist who testified in Kennedy’s case told the jury that folks who take sleeping aids are often unaware of what is happening biologically.

The prosecutor in the Kennedy case had an uphill battle. Once prosecutors conceded that Kennedy took the medication accidentally, the state was left to argue that she had to realize that she was drifting off to sleep, and that she should have pulled over at the moment she realized her senses were impaired. When confronted with various medical and pharmacological experts refuting the state’s contention, the jury simply had to acquit her.

Related source: Dailymail.co.uk

Vikings Henderson Again Arrested For Suspicion of DWI

Thursday, 2. January 2014

CC image Twitter.com https://twitter.com/RamRod07Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson was arrested on New Year’s Day on suspicion of driving under the influence, which marks the second time in six weeks he’s been arrested for drunk driving.

While our campaign to keep drunk drivers off the road during New Year’s celebrations was a rousing success, it appears Henderson thought he was in good enough shape to drive Wednesday afternoon.

Officers responded to a single-car crash at 12:56 p.m. Wednesday in Chanhassen. According to the police report, Henderson lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree near the intersection of Highway 101 and County Road 61. Police officers asked Henderson to submit to a sobriety test, but he refused. He was later arrested and charged with four DWI violations, including a second-degree test refusal.

He was released from jail Thursday morning after posting a $12,000 bond. His hearing is scheduled for March 3, but the latest arrest puts a dark cloud over Henderson’s future with the Vikings.

Poor Choices

Back in November, Henderson was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. During that incident, Henderson was caught driving with a BAC of 0.11, just over the 0.08 legal limit. He eventually lost his license as a result of the arrest. He later sued to have it reinstated.

Henderson spoke about his initial arrest after the fact, but his recent actions speak louder than words.

“I think I grew leaps and bounds as a player and a person as well,” Henderson said after his first arrest. “You start to learn a lot about yourself when things can go wrong or bad, if you’re willing to try to learn, if you’re willing to look in the mirror and figure things out. And I think I was able to do that.”

Henderson lost his starting middle linebacker spot following his first arrest, but eventually worked his way back into the starting lineup at outside linebacker. He finished the season at middle linebacker after his replacement, Audie Cole, went down with an injury.

Henderson has one year left on his contract, and although he’s already stated he “definitely” wants to be back next year, the Vikings could decide to part ways with the veteran. It wouldn’t be a surprising move, given how many player arrests the team has dealt with of late.

The Vikings would not elaborate on their plans for Henderson when they issued a statement Thursday morning.

“We are aware of the matter involving Erin Henderson,” the team said in a statement. “We are continuing to gather information and will have further comment at the appropriate time.”

Related source: ESPN, Pioneer Press

Let Appelman Law Firm Get You Home Safe on New Year’s Eve

Tuesday, 31. December 2013

New Year'sDo you have some big plans to ring in the New Year tonight? Celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends and family can be a lot of fun, but the night can turn sour if you are pulled over after a few cocktails. If you think you’re a good enough driver to fool cops, think again. The Minnesota State Patrol will have extra units on the roads tonight in search of tipsy drivers.

A DUI can set you back thousands of dollars, cost you your job, and put a strain on your close relationships. New Year’s Eve if often one of our busiest nights for DUI offenses, but we hope you make the right decision tonight. To make the decision a little easier, we’re helping to foot some of the bill for your ride home tonight.

Uber Deal

We’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Uber to get you home safe tonight, and with a little extra cash in your wallet. Uber is a smartphone app that connects you with a driver at the tap of a button. Got a large group of people? No problem, Uber can send an SUV or van. Want to ride in style? Uber can send a black car.

Another nice thing about Uber is that you can track the arrival of your ride on your smartphone so you can stay inside until the last minute, which will be especially nice with tonight’s cold forecast. You can also pay for the ride right on your smartphone, so there’s no need to worry if you’re low on cash.

Here’s where we come in. To save $5 on your ride tonight, simply download the Uber app and enter the promo code APPELMANDUI. Just be sure to order your ride between the hours of 8pm and 2am to take advantage of this deal! Lastly, as much as we’d like to help everyone around the state get home safe tonight, the Uber deal is only valid in Minneapolis.

Have a great New Year’s Eve, and remember to plan ahead for your ride home. Nobody plans on getting a DUI, but you can plan ahead to prevent one.

Buddy The Elf Arrested For Driving Drunk

Tuesday, 17. December 2013

Buddy the ElfIt looks like Buddy the Elf may soon be joining Walter Hobbs on the naughty list this Christmas.

Over the weekend, a Louisiana man dressed as Buddy the Elf from the Will Ferrell comedy Elf was arrested for driving under the influence.

According to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Brandon Touchet, 34, was pulled over by an officer around 3 a.m. Sunday morning. Along with noticing his bright green jumpsuit, the officer reported that Touchet smelled of alcohol and had trouble standing and speaking.

Touchet submitted to a chemical test that revealed he was operating the vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .124, one-and-a-half times the legal limit of 0.08.

Touchet was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving at an excessive speed. He was freed on $1,500 bond.

It’s uncertain if Touchet plans to fight the charges, but it’s possible that he could argue that he confused alcohol for maple syrup. It sure confused Buddy the Elf.


Speaking of naughty behavior during the holidays, check out our previous post on the top Santa arrest videos of all-time!

Related sources: Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, New York Daily News

Minnesota Supreme Court to Rule in Abusive DWI Case

Thursday, 12. December 2013

Supreme CourtBack in August, we shared the story of Jennifer Marie Axelberg, the 39-year-old woman who was convicted of a DWI as a result of an incident near her family cabin in Mora, Minnesota. What made Jennifer’s case unique was that she claimed she only got behind the wheel on the night in question because she feared for her life. You can read to full story here, but he’s a summation of what happened that night.

On May 30, 2011, Jennifer and her husband Jason drove to their family cabin in Mora. After drinking at a nearby resort, the couple returned to their cabin. An argument ensued, and Jennifer claimed her husband pushed her, hit her, and took her cell phone.

Fearing for her safety, Jennifer left the cabin and got into her car. Her husband came outside shortly afterwards and punched the car’s windshield, causing it to crack. Not knowing what would happen if her husband got inside the car, Jennifer started the engine and drove back to the resort with her husband in pursuit on foot. A witness called police, and although Jason was booked on charges of domestic assault and disorderly conduct, Jennifer was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired.

Jennifer was later convicted of a DWI after chemical tests showed that he had a blood-alcohol content of .18. Like anyone in her position, she appealed the conviction on the grounds of the necessity defense, but an appellate court ruled 2-1 against her. In their majority opinion, the judges stated that Jennifer created an additional risk of injury to the general public by driving while impaired.

Judge Margaret H. Chutich issued a dissenting opinion in the appellate case, saying that the “defense is available in cases where extraordinary circumstances exist.” Citing that Jason had already pleaded guilty to his charges, Chutich said it was clear that a physical altercation had taken place, and she would have reversed the conviction.

Supreme Ruling

The Minnesota Supreme Court has the power to overturn the DWI conviction when they hear the case on Thursday, but some believe reversing the decision will open the door for other DWI offenders to claim they were fleeing from an abusive situation. This could put innocent spouses or drivers at a greater risk of false accusations or injury.

Jennifer has clearly provided enough evidence to prove that her husband had physically assaulted her on the night in question, but there are many other factors that weigh into the decision. For example, Jennifer claimed she only drove because she was rather unfamiliar with the area and sought the safety of the resort. On the other side of the coin, prosecutors can argue that her decision to consume alcohol contributed, at least partially, to the escalating ordeal. Had she stayed under the legal limit, there wouldn’t have been any problem.

We hope Jennifer gets the justice she deserves. Abusive relationships are terrible, and nobody knows how they would react in a similar situation. Thankfully nobody was hurt by Jennifer’s decision to drive, but the outcome could have been a lot worse if she had stayed at the cabin that night. We’ll update the story once the Minnesota Supreme Court issues its ruling.


 

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The attorneys of Appelman Law Firm, LLC provide criminal defense representation for their clients involved in DUI / DWI, Drug, Assault, Sex Crime, Juvenile, Misdemeanor, and Felony cases in the following Minnesota cities and counties: the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Bloomington, Richfield, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Blaine, Roseville, Maplewood, Woodbury, Eagan, Burnsville, Savage, Prior Lake, Chaska, Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, St. Louis Park, Edina, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Anoka County, Dakota County, Washington County, Carver County, and Scott County. Attorney Advertising. This web site is designed for general information only.