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Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a survey on drug and alcohol use among Americans in 60 cities, testing random motorists. Many of those Americans are furious over the methods that were used for the testing. Many motorists will be outraged to find that they were screened for DUI before they even consented to the test.

Broadly, the methods that are used in the survey, the National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, involve police stopping motorists at roadblocks. Motorists are ordered into the roadblock area without informing them about the purpose of this, and federal contractors working for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ask them to participate in a drug and alcohol use survey. Motorists may be asked for their breath, saliva or blood samples, and maybe offered cash gifts of between $10 and $50 for body fluid samples.

The federal administration goes to great pains to insist that participation in the survey is entirely voluntary, and that drivers have the right to refuse to give samples if they don't want to participate. While drivers are not charged with DUI if those tests are found to be positive, many of them do find that these tests are intrusive, very invasive, and very often leave them feeling trapped in a roadblock.

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A former San Francisco prosecutor, who admits to having shown off his badge to get special treatment by arresting officers during a DUI arrest, could lose his law license for his behavior. A California judge ruled recently that former San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Marc Guillory could lose his law license for a period of two years.

Guillory has three prior convictions for DUI. During those three arrests he was serving as San Francisco Deputy District Attorney. During his tenure as prosecutor in San Francisco, he was arrested in 2008, 2010, and then again in 2012 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to arresting officers, during each of those incidents, he “badged” them.  This means he showed the arresting officer his Deputy District Attorney badge in order to seek special treatment. The officers say that they interpreted his actions to mean that he specifically sought special treatment from them. Those three DUI arrests are not the only ones that Guillory has on his record. In 1999 he was also arrested and convicted for misdemeanor reckless driving for being involved in a drunk driving accident that resulted in a fatality.

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Posted on in DUI

Teen singing sensation Justin Bieber was arrested recently in Florida for DUI and drag racing. He is now out on bail. He was arrested after a police officer saw him heading down a street in Miami Beach, driving a yellow Lamborghini at excessive speeds.

According to officers, they were alerted because the star was driving at least twice the speed limit at the time. When he was pulled over, the officers noticed several signs of intoxication. He seemed drunk, and smelt of alcohol. According to officers, he had a look of stupor on his face, and when he was ordered to get out of the car, he made very slow and deliberate movements.

When the officer asked him to put his hand on his vehicle so that he could be patted down for weapons, Bieber refused to do so. He became uncooperative and argumentative. He failed a DUI sobriety test, and was then taken to the station for a breathalyzer test. Officers also found that he was driving with an invalid license.

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Posted on in DUI

Things are likely to get more complicated and more serious for former teen idol David Cassidy of The Partridge Family show. He was recently arrested for the third time for DUI.

The 63-year-old actor registered at .19% on an alcohol test after he was stopped by the California Highway Patrol in Los Angeles. That is more than twice the legally permissible blood alcohol concentration limit in California. According to officers, they pulled over the actor after they observed him making a right turn on a red light in clear violation of a sign which clearly indicated that no right turns were allowed at the red light. When the officers approached the door, they noticed the smell of alcohol from the car, and arrested him.

Last year, Cassidy was arrested for DUI in New York, after he registered at .10 on a breathalyzer test. The maximum legally permissible blood alcohol concentration level in New York is also .08.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently unveiled a massive $7.5 million ad campaign, aimed at reducing the incidence of drunk driving over the holiday season. The latest series of ads run by the federal agency feature none other than RoboCop, which the federal agency says it has “enlisted” to crack down on drunk driving this season.

In the ad, the agency teams up with science fiction thriller RoboCop, which is set to be released within the next few weeks to launch a new trailer/public service DUI announcement, that warns drivers that they must drive sober or will be pulled over. As RoboCop appears on the screen, a voice-over states that cops are stepping up in their mission to protect the streets from drunk driving. The same actor who plays the lead RoboCop in the movie, is shown catching a potential intoxicated motorist holding up his car keys, and telling him “I’d put those down if I were you”.

Obviously, this is a gimmicky campaign that is meant to capture eyeballs, and it is likely that it will accomplish its purpose. After all, during the busy holiday season, with a much higher incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol, the federal agency's does find itself strapped for ideas and stressed for resources to help get the anti-drunk driving message out and effectively. This is a unique campaign and is likely to get many people talking, and therefore, raise more awareness about driving under the influence of alcohol.

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