Tuesday, December 27, 2011

8 Ferrrais, a Lamborghini, and a Prius all involved in most expensive car crash ever.

Two pretty obvious conclusions in this article.
1.  A person that drives a Ferrari most likely is going to speed.
2. A bunch of rich people with supercars are probably going to race on the highway.

Drivers of supercars in Japan crash 'were speeding'
By: Julian Ryall  of The Telegraph

Japanese police are blaming the destruction of eight Ferraris and a Lamborghini in a £2.6 million, 14-car crash on Sunday on excessive speed.

A witness told Japanese television that he saw the parade of supercars travelling at speeds of up to 100mph, which was double the speed limit on the Chugoku Expressway, in southern Japan, due to heavy rain that had made the surface slick.“A group of cars was doing 140kph (87mph) to 160kph,” the unnamed man told TBS News. “One of them span and they all ended up in this huge mess.”

Another motorist described how he narrowly avoided becoming caught in what is likely to be the most expensive car crash outside of a car racing track.“The front car crashed into the left embankment and bounced off towards me,” he said.

In all, a dozen cars have been reduced to scrap metal in the accident, including at least 10 that are among the most expensive and sough-after among collectors.  No fewer than eight Ferraris and a Lamborghini Diablo were among the victims of Sunday morning’s collision, while the other victims were two top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz, a Nissan GT-R and a Toyota Prius hybrid.

The drivers of the high-performance autos were apparently members of a car collectors’ club out for a less-than-leisurely spin, although it appears that the person behind the wheel of the Toyota Prius was simply in the wrong place when the accident occurred.  Ten men and a woman were admitted to nearby hospitals for treatment, although local police said none of the injuries were life-threatening.  Police declined a request to identify the drivers involved in the crash, although Mitsuyoshi Isejima, the executive officer of the Yamaguchi Prefecture Expressway Traffic Police, was quoted by Bloomberg as describing the drivers as “A gathering of narcissists.”

Police believe the accident was caused at around 10:15am when the driver of a red Ferrari was switching from the right lane to the left lane on a gradual 400-metre curve on the expressway, close to Shimonoseki in the far south-west tip of Japan’s main island of Honshu.  The drivers were reportedly traveling from Kyushu to the city of Hiroshima for a gathering of car enthusiasts.  Local media have reported that the driver of the car that is being blamed for the crash is a 60-year-old businessman from the city of Fukuoka. If he is convicted of dangerous driving that resulted in an accident, he could face a prison sentence of up to three months or a fine of up to Y100,000 (£820).  On the plus side, the car club has not seen its entire collection wiped out at a stroke as at least four other cars managed to avoid becoming entangled in the crash.

Still, it took local police more than six hours to clear the highway of debris and Japanese news programmes have shown repeated shots of the cars scattered across the road.  Footage taken from helicopters above the site showed one of the Ferraris had suffered a crumpled rear-end and had been shunted into the safety barrier alongside the highway. Alongside it, another two red Ferraris had come to a halt alongside each other, although pointing in opposite directions.

A few meters further on, a white sports car had come to a halt with its bonnet forced beneath the crash barrier. Beside the car, four police officers were interviewing two young women and a man.

No one has been yet been charged over the accident.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Speeding Ticket Fun Facts including the Fastest, Most expensive, Etc.

Speeding Tickets are not funny.  They often cause frustration and money to the person receiving them.  On the other hand if could be much worse.   Here are a few fun facts about speeding tickets, enjoy!

The fastest speeding ticket in the world allegedly occurred in May 2003 in Texas. It was supposedly 242 mph in a 75 mph zone. The car was a Swedish-built Koenigsegg CC8S, which was involved in the San Francisco to Miami Gumball 3000 Rally.

The fastest convicted speeder in the UK was Daniel Nicks, convicted of 175 mph on a Honda Fireblade motorcycle in 2000. He received six weeks in jail and was banned from driving for two years.

The fastest UK speeder in a car was Timothy Brady, caught driving a 3.6-litre Porsche 911 Turbo at 172 mph on the A420 in Oxfordshire in January 2007 and jailed for 10 weeks and banned from driving for 3 years.

The most expensive speeding ticket ever given is believed to be the one given to Jussi Salonoja in Helsinki, Finland, in 2003. Salonoja, the 27-year-old heir to a company in the meat-industry, was fined 170,000 euros for driving 80 km/h in a 40 km/h zone. The uncommonly large fine was due to Finnish speeding tickets being relative to the offender’s last known income. Salonoja’s speeding ticket was not the first ticket given in Finland reaching six figures.

There are many competing claims as to the first speeding ticket ever issued depending whether the claim goes by the first traffic violation or the first paper ticket ever issued. Great Britain may have the earliest claim with the first person to be convicted of speeding, Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, who on 28 January 1896 was fined for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h) in a 2 mph zone. He was fined 1 shilling plus costs.

A New York City cab driver named Jacob German was arrested for speeding on May 20, 1899 for driving 12 miles per hour on Lexington street in Manhattan. In Dayton, Ohio, police issued a paper ticket to Harry Myers for going twelve miles per hour on West Third Street in 1904.

Another early speeding ticket was issued in 1910 to Lady Laurier, the wife of Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada, in Ottawa, Canada, for exceeding the 10 miles per hour speed limit.

Among the most unpopular tickets, a mention is deserved of the small municipality of Segrate arranging to put a speed limit between two near-by traffic lights synchronized such that drivers were forced to either break the speed limit or pass with the red. It took months before the hated machines were eventually dismantled by the Guardia di Finanza.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Retro: Minnesota trooper writes 205 mph speeding ticket

This is an older article but a good one.  Turns out the bike this guy was riding was a Honda RC-51 or RVT1000.  The bike is not capable of going over 200mph.  (Trust me I used to own one)  The speed was determined by using an airplane and a stop watch with markers on the road.  Its a pretty inaccurate way to determine speed especially going that fast..
Minnesota trooper writes 205 mph speeding ticket

WABASHA, Minn. (AP) — With a State Patrol airplane overhead, a Stillwater motorcyclist hit the throttle and possibly set the informal record for the fastest speeding ticket in Minnesota history: 205 mph.
On Saturday afternoon, State Patrol pilot Al Loney was flying near Wabasha, in southeastern Minnesota on the Wisconsin border, watching two motorcyclists racing along U.S. Highway 61.
When one of the riders shot forward, Loney was ready with his stopwatch. He clicked it once when the motorcycle reached a white marker on the road and again a quarter-mile later. The watch read 4.39 seconds, which Loney calculated to be 205 mph.  "I was in total disbelief," Loney told the St. Paul Pioneer Press for Tuesday's editions. "I had to double-check my watch because in 27 years I'd never seen anything move that fast."  Several law enforcement sources told the newspaper that, although no official records are kept, it was probably the fastest ticket ever written in the state.

After about three-quarters of a mile, the biker slowed to about 100 mph and let the other cycle catch up. By then Loney had radioed ahead to another state trooper, who pulled the two over soon afterward.  The State Patrol officer arrested the faster rider, 20-year-old Stillwater resident Samuel Armstrong Tilley, for reckless driving, driving without a motorcycle license — and driving 140 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of 65 mph.

A search of speeding tickets written by state troopers, who patrol most of the state's highways, between 1990 and February 2004 shows the next fastest ticket was for 150 mph in 1994 in Lake of the Woods County.  Tilley did not return calls from the newspaper to his home Monday. A working number for him could not immediately be found by The Associated Press on Tuesday.  Only a handful of exotic sports cars can reach 200 mph, but many high-performance motorcycles can top 175 mph. With minor modifications, they can hit 200 mph. Tilley was riding a Honda 1000, Loney said. 

Kathy Swanson of the state Office of Traffic Safety said unless Tilley was wearing the kind of protective gear professional motorcycle racers wear, he was courting death at 200 mph.  "I'm not entirely sure what would happen if you crashed at 200 miles per hour," Swanson said. "But it wouldn't be pretty, that's for sure."

Read the original Article here:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Factors that determine your Car Insurance Rates

New article on Newsday about car insurance rates.  It seems other than age, a driver's driving record with tickets and accidents is the best indicator of how high their premiums will be.

Factors that determine car insurance bill
By: Tim Cadet- Tribune Media Services

Calculating an insurance bill involves many factors and knowing what they are could help you avoid costly rates. Your age, driving record, where you live and the car that you drive are the biggest factors that determine your premium. Insurance companies predict the likelihood of you having an accident based on statistics they've collected over many years.  If your premiums seem high, the insurance company probably considers you to be someone more likely to be in an accident. It's crucial to shop around, as different insurance companies' premiums can vary widely.

Do you want coverage that only pays for repairs to damage that you've caused? Or do you want a policy that protects you from everything that may come your way, including court fees? The cost of insuring your car will depend on many factors:  Price quotes will vary: It's easy to say you want everything covered, but if you've been in an accident or two, or collected some speeding tickets, complete coverage may be expensive. Premiums will vary based on driving history and age, so don't be upset if your rate differs from someone you know.

Look for discounts: You can save money if you have a clean record, have no recent accidents, get good grades, buy a new car or serve in the military. These deals vary by provider so it will likely require extra research on your part. Don't worry; it could pay for itself.  Don't be shy: It's OK to ask the insurance representative a lot of questions. Some insurance agencies will cover custom repair parts and reimburse you for your rental car, roadside assistance and even injuries to your pet. Make sure you ask if these are available.

Insurance add-ons
If you are looking for a policy that's customized for you, many insurance providers offer coverage for specific needs. Insurance companies offer many different add-on packages, such as rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance and even coverage for when your car just plain dies. If you have only one car, you may want to consider a rental car reimbursement package. Remember, these kinds of packages will raise your premiums.

No-fault insurance
Some states have a no-fault auto-insurance law that is intended to lower premiums by preventing lawsuits between drivers. These states require personal-injury protection to cover bodily damages and lost wages, and these will raise your premiums.

States with no-fault insurance
Florida Hawaii Kansas Kentucky Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota New Jersey New York North Dakota Pennsylvania Utah

Source: Insurance Information Institute

How to save
Check for discounts: Driver discounts are available in various categories; for example, if you are safe driver or in the military, you may be eligible for a discount. If you have not been in an accident for a few years (the number of years can vary by insurer), you also may be eligible for a discount. If you take a defensive-driving class or become a member of a organization such as an alumni group, your provider may recognize you as someone who is less likely to have an accident.

Choose a higher deductible: The deductible is the amount of money you'll pay out of the total amount of repairs needed after an accident. A higher deductible will help lower your monthly rate, but remember, if you're in a crash, you may have to pay a large sum out of your own pocket down the road. A $1,000 deductable means your insurance company won't pay anything until repairs exceed $1,000. Choose a deducible that won't hurt your wallet, either now or in a crash. A lower deductible may be better for someone who doesn't drive often and has some money to spare.

Drive safer: Improve your driving habits, and you will find yourself saving cash. Driving less often, avoiding traffic violations and living in less-populated areas can help lower your premiums.

Look into one-stop shopping: Many insurance companies have policies for almost everything: cars, homes, motorcycles, boats, RVs, ATVs, even pets. Consider whether you want to add more vehicles or your home to your policy. You can usually save money by insuring multiple items through one provider.

Groups with lower premiums
Trends in driver behavior are used to help determine the likelihood of a policy holder having an accident. Over the years, certain vehicle and driver attributes have shown to be safer, leading to less harm being done to passengers.  Vehicle characteristics - New vehicle - Daytime running lights - Anti-theft system - Antilock brakes - Motorized seat belts Driver characteristics - Good student (meets grade-point average set by the provider) - College student who doesn't bring the car to school - Being married - Being over 25 - Living in a less-populated area - 55 years old and retired - 65 years old or older and drives only one-quarter of the vehicle's mileage - Owning a vehicle used only on a farm

Groups with higher premiums
The following vehicle and driver attributes are often associated with higher insurance rates:
Vehicle characteristics - Performance model (such as a Subaru WRX or Nissan 370Z) - Commonly stolen cars - Poor crash-test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Driver characteristics - Young (16- to 19-year-old drivers are considered the highest risk) - Multiple tickets or traffic violations - Multiple accidents - Lives and works in a city - Many hours of driving per day

Friday, December 16, 2011

KC Lawyer appears with Twin Brother of Defendant. Gets hammered by Judge.

This article was recently in the Kansas City Star, about a lawyer that will probably be looking at some problems.  Sometimes it's not like the TV shows, your not allowed to trick the judge and a victim by using someones twin brother as a decoy.

By: Mark Morris of the KC Star

Maybe on one of television’s many courtroom dramas, a defense lawyer could get a laugh when she sits her client’s identical twin at the counsel table, leading a witness to mistakenly point out the man as the robber.  In the plot, perhaps, the actor judge dismisses the charges, and everybody praises the crafty defense lawyer.  In real life, not so much.  Such a stunt, which happened in the Jackson County Courthouse Wednesday, could get the lawyer tossed from the case, cited for contempt and hauled up in front of a state disciplinary panel.  Not to mention it really ticked off the real-life judge.   I’m just so furious right now,” fumed Jackson County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Garrett III upon the discovery.

Jackson County prosecutors moved Thursday to have criminal defense lawyer Dorothy Savory held in contempt and removed from the case after she appeared the day before with her client’s twin brother at a preliminary hearing.  County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker also said she is duty bound to report Savory to the Missouri Bar for allegedly misrepresenting to a judge the identify of the man sitting next to her during a preliminary hearing on a robbery charge.  “That’s a responsibility I take very seriously and one I’m heavily reviewing under these circumstances,” Baker said.

Before the “faux” defendant’s true identity was learned, the robbery victim had identified him as the man who had grabbed her purse on Sept. 29 near 40th Street and Warwick Boulevard.  Savory did not return messages seeking comment Thursday.  On Wednesday, however, once the switcheroo was obvious, she conceded that the man at the counsel table was not her client — not that she had ever intended to mislead the court.  “For the dignity of this court, your actions are disrespectful,” the judge is heard saying on a recording of the proceeding, reviewed by The Kansas City Star.  When Garrett called the case of State v. Darrel W. White Jr., he asked Savory if her client was in custody. She replied no, that he was in the courtroom. Garrett then asked “Mr. White” to come forward.  But it was Darion White, not Darrel, who stepped up.

In short order, Assistant Prosecutor Janelle Tanganyika put the victim on the stand. She described the strong-armed robbery and identified the man sitting next to Savory at the counsel table as her assailant.  About then, outside in the hall, the elevator door opened and the arresting police officer in the case, who was outside the courtroom waiting to be called, noticed something familiar about the fellow getting out.  He looked just like the guy busted for the robbery.  But that guy was in the courtroom, wasn’t he?  It took about a minute before he had Darrel White in his custody once more.  The officer got word to the prosecutor and the judge agreed to a recess.  When everyone gathered again, Savory, who oddly noted that she was recording the hearing with her own recorder, appeared mystified that her conduct could be called into question.  “My client was not planning on testifying at all,” she explained Wednesday. “My client was not the one I called to come to the table. This honorable court asked for Mr. White, and that’s who’s at the table today, Mr. White.”

Garrett was having none of her tap dancing.  “It was presented to me, it was presented to this court and it was presented to the state that the person sitting at that table was your client,” the judge said. “Was it your intention to bring someone else up to this counsel table so she (the victim) could misidentify him?”  “No, your honor,” Savory responded.  When the wrong twin was called to the stand, he said the only reason he was there was because Savory “asked me to.”  “I’ve got to take a recess,” Garrett said. He announced that he was continuing the hearing until Jan. 9 and would let the circuit’s presiding judge decide whether Savoy would remain on the case.

Jay Daugherty, a former Jackson County Circuit Court judge, recalled a case from many years ago when a defendant’s brother appeared in his place at a bond hearing, but without the lawyer’s knowledge. When a clerk noticed the switch, the brother confessed, saying his brother was out of town and couldn’t make the hearing. Nothing much came of it, Daugherty remembered.  Daugherty said all lawyers have a duty under Missouri law to report unethical conduct by their colleagues when they see it. Judges also expect lawyers practicing before them to speak the truth.  “We all understand that lawyers have to argue legal issues in the light most favorable to their clients,” Daugherty said. “And, they are obligated to argue the facts in a truthful manner.”

Savory recently attracted some notice when she opened an emergency legal action in Clay County, seeking to have custody of the half brother of missing baby Lisa Irwin transferred from Jeremy Irwin and Deborah Bradley to his mother.  In a Sept. 19 post on her Twitter account, Savory suggested that her legal practices could be unorthodox.  “Other lawyers think we’re crazy!” she wrote. “They don’t know what we know. They don’t see what we see. They don’t believe what we believe.”
To reach Mark Morris, call 816-234-4310 or send e-mail to mmorris@kcstar.com.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/12/15/3322466/double-trouble-for-kc-lawyer-who.html#ixzz1giEYPOc3

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

KU's Ben Mclemore gets arrested...Why this actually is kind of a big deal for him.

By now everyone already knows that Ben Mclemore was arrested for failure to appear on a MIP charge.  If you haven't seen this already here is the article in the KC Star.

KU’s McLemore arrested after failing to appear in court on underage drinking charge

A first semester that was already frustrating for Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore got worse Tuesday when he was arrested after failing to appear in court.  KU coach Bill Self said that McLemore, a St. Louis native, was cited for possession of alcohol on Dec. 6 and did not show up for his court date.  Self said the incident “is obviously not acceptable. Ben, not 21, was given a citation earlier for possession of alcohol at Abe and Jake’s, a local Lawrence establishment. He exercised poor judgment. He also did not let anyone know that he had been cited and had a court appearance because, certainly, we would have made sure he was there.  “This will be a learning experience for him and probably a fairly costly one. Any other discipline will be handled in-house.”

McLemore, KU’s highest-ranked freshman at No. 34 nationally by Rivals.com, was ruled ineligible to play this season by the NCAA because of issues related to his high school academic transcripts. McLemore has not been allowed to practice this semester but is expected to join the Jayhawks for practice after finals are completed later this week.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/12/13/3318773/kus-mclemore-arrested-after-failing.html#ixzz1gYBvNpfS

Now, first of all it is pretty stupid to get arrested because you failed to appear at a court date.  People need to learn that it is not a suggestion that you show up to court.  You can't not go because you had to work or had school.  The only reasons to miss court are if you are dead or in jail somewhere else.  Those are really the only two reasons.  

Second, A MIP or Minor in Possession has some serious consequences if he is convicted.  For example, he will loose his driver's license.  It's mandatory.  He will have to pay a fine, (minimum of $200) he can get up to 30 days in jail,  he has to go to an alcohol education class, he has to do 40 hrs community service.  There are worse things he could have done but it's not just a simple pay a fine and be done with it case.

Third, if he takes a conviction he will have a criminal record.  With the internet it's very easy for a prospective employer to run a background check on an applicant and hold it against them if something shows up.

Fourth, because he got arrested for failure to appear now he is going to have an arrest recordArrest records are just as easy to access and an employer can hold them against you also.

Fifth,  if he takes a conviction he is going to have to wait three years after he gets off probation before he is able to have the record expunged, and he will have to go through all the hassle.

Sixth, his car insurance will surely increase.  The mandatory suspension will be recorded on his driving record and his insurance company will have access to that information.

Now in the grand scheme of things it's not the end of the world that this kid got caught drinking.  I think we are all not under the impression college kids don't drink.  But MIPs have serious consequences and kids need to know what they are getting into before they take a plea or go into court.  I really hope that he will realize his mistake and take care of it responsibly.  It's just a mistake that a lot of kids make, so don't be too hard on the kid.  Rock Chalk!

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Sovereign" Citizen Charged with DWI Says Court doesn't have power to punish me...Court's opinion differs.

This man claims that the court doesn't have the power to punish him.  That argument didn't exactly work.

Sovereign citizen’ loses DWI trial in Northland
KC Star Reports- By: Brian Burnes, bburnes@kcstar.com

A Platte County jury has found a self-described “sovereign citizen” guilty of driving while intoxicated and driving without a license.  Jurors on Monday convicted Adam David Mael, 32, of Kansas City, North during a one-day trial.  A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper had stopped Mael in October 2010. Mael allegedly performed poorly during field sobriety tests and refused to provide breath and blood samples after being arrested and taken to the Platte County jail.  Further investigation revealed that Mael’s driver’s license had been revoked for refusing a breath test in July 2010.

When a trooper read Mael his Miranda rights, Mael said: “I give you no jurisdiction over me, and I do not submit to anything you say about me.”  Mael represented himself during Monday’s trial, citing the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation in his opening statement and arguing that the government had no authority over him. He also subpoenaed Gloria Boyer, county recorder of deeds, in an apparent attempt to demonstrate that the government didn’t own the road on which he had been driving.

The jury recommended three-and six-month sentences, respectively, for the DWI and driving without a license convictions.  Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd described Mael as one of growing number of people who claim they have not consented to government jurisdiction, but the jury’s verdict didn’t concern that issue.  “It was about keeping our community safe from drunk drivers,” Zahnd said.  “After a 12-hour day hearing evidence and rendering a verdict, these jurors unanimously recommended this defendant spend six months in jail,” he said.

Mael is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 11.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/12/06/3304948/soverign-citizen-loses-dwi-trial.html#ixzz1g4Bzmcej

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DUI Charges cost more than Money: DUI charge leads Head of FAA to Resign

As a follow up to the article posted in the Lawrence Journal World and reposted on our Blog hereDUI charges can cost a lot more than what you pay an attorney, and fines.  DUI charges can have a drastic impact on your ability to find or maintain employment if they are not handled properly.  This is a lesson that the Head of the Federal Aviation Administration is now learning the hard way.

US FAA chief resigns over drunk drive charge

As Reported on Reuters -

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Obama in Osawatomie KS: Take a look at his car and why he can speed through the KC Metro.

As anounced a few weeks ago, President Obama will travel through the Kansas City metro area today on his way to a small town south of Kansas City called Osawatomie.  President Obama is scheduled to land in Kansas City today and travel down to the small town to deliver a speach.  Be assured his motorcade will cause some problems traveling in the metro especially with the fresh snow.  With the presidential visit upon us I thought I would take a minute to explain why the president will get to speed through town, as well as what he will be riding in.

The Car

Here is the prediential limo.  Also known as "Cadillac One," "Limo one," or "the Beast."  Now much of it's bells and whistles are classified, but here is what we know about the car.  The current presidential limousine entered service on January 20, 2009. According to the manufacturer, General Motors, the 2009 Cadillac presidential limousine is the first not to carry a specific model name.  The vehicle's outward appearance carries many current Cadillac styling themes, but doesn't exactly resemble any particular production vehicle. The body itself seems to be a modification of the immediately previous DTS-badged Presidential limousines, but the vehicle's chassis and driveline are assumed to be sourced from the GMC Topkick commercial truck.  Many body components are sourced from a variety of Cadillac vehicles; for example, the car apparently uses Cadillac Escalade headlights, side mirrors and door handles. The tail of the car seems to use the taillights and back up lights from the Cadillac STS sedan. Although a price tag has not been announced, there is a rumor that each limousine costs US$300,000.
Most details of the car are classified for security reasons; however, it is known that it is fitted with military grade armor at least five inches thick, and the wheels are fitted with run flat tires that makes the vehicle drivable for a certain length of time if punctured. The doors weigh as much as a Boeing 757 airplane cabin door. The engine is equipped with a Eaton Twin Vortices Series 1900 supercharger system.  The vehicle's fuel tank is leak-proof and explosion resistant.  Due to the thickness of the glass, much natural light is excluded, so a fluorescent halo lighting system in the headliner is essential. The outside crowd is only heard through internal speakers. The car is perfectly sealed against biochemical attacks and has its own oxygen supply and firefighting system built into the trunk. Unseen at a glance are two holes hidden inside the lower part of the vehicle's front bumper, which are able to emit tear gas. The vehicle can also fire a salvo of multi-spectrum infrared smoke grenades as a countermeasure to a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) or anti-tank missile (ATGM) attack and to act as a visual obscurant to operator guided missiles.  This is fired remotely by the USSS countermeasures Suburban which trails the limo and contains the sensors to detect the launch of such an attack.  The limo is equipped with a driver's enhanced video system which allows the driver to operate in an infrared smoke environment. This driver's enhanced video system also contains bumper mounted night vision cameras for operation in pitch black conditions.  Kept in the trunk is a blood bank of the President's blood type.  Interestingly, there are no key holes in the doors. A special technique, known only to Secret Service agents, is required to gain access to the passenger area

The Motorcade and Speed

Since 2001, when the president travels out of town, his motorcade has consisted of about 45 vehicles. While the limousine itself is maintained by the Secret Service, motorcade support vehicles are maintained by the White House Military Office.   At times, the president travels in the presidential Suburban, one of two Chevrolet Suburbans with the presidential seal on the sides.  The presidental motorcade is allowed to speed and even required to speed for several reasons.  Even though it seems counterintuitive speed is actually more safe for the president.  It allows the secret service to identify possible threats because anyone trying to follow the president will also be traveling at a high rate of speed.  Another reason the president will speed is because wherever the president goes the highways and roads will be closed and the public won't have access to them for a specified area around the presidents motorcade.  It is in the interest of the public for the President to move quickly through the area so that traffic won't back up due to road closures.  Probably the last and most obvious reason that the president will speed through an area is that he is usually on a strict and demanding schedule.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What does a DUI cost? New Kansas law brings big changes.

DUI's plain and simple cost a driver money.  Increase in insurance costs, fines, attorney fees, reinstatment fees, ignition interlock device fees, and the list goes on and on.  An article in the Lawrence Journal World breaks it down. 

Kansas’ new DUI law bringing big changes

Kansas enacted new drunken driving laws, effective July 1, making ignition interlock devices mandatory for even first-time offenders, creating a central repository to better track drunken drivers across the state and expanding treatment options.  The law also earned the state the highest possible rating from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for laws designed to combat drunken driving. Today, we check in with the people who deal with understanding — and implementing — the law on a daily basis. Here’s what we found:

Ignition interlock devices
 For Ace Bail Bonds, the DUI law has been a big boost to business, said owner Steve Robson. Ace is one of a few local businesses that install the interlock devices, and Robson said they’ve seen installations increase significantly over the past couple of months.  Before the new law, Ace Bail Bonds would install a small number of the devices every month, but now, they’re averaging about a 100 monthly. The biggest issue Robson has been hearing about usage of the devices is people who drink alcohol the night before and then fail the breath test in the morning. After three failures within 15 minutes, users of the interlock must pay a $25 fee to have the device reset.

Breathalyzer refusals
One of the disappointments with the law expressed by state Sen. Tim Owens, R-Overland Park, who helped craft the legislation, was that Breathalyzer, or alcohol-level breath test, refusal wasn’t criminalized. That is, it’s not a criminal — but rather a traffic — offense for someone to refuse a Breathalyzer during a traffic stop. While a person who refuses a Breathalyzer automatically loses his or her driver’s license for a year, it’s more difficult for prosecutors to obtain a DUI conviction without the test.  “Defendants (who refuse) are less likely to face criminal charges,” said Charles Branson, Douglas County District Attorney.  But some prosecutors, including Branson, have taken steps to close that loophole by working with police and judges to streamline the search warrant process for a blood test when probable cause exists.  Scott McPherson, county attorney for Rice County, said his office has copied the Douglas County model.  “It seems to be working well,” said McPherson, who estimates officers have requested search warrants for blood tests in about a dozen cases since the new law was implemented. Whether district attorneys take the steps Branson and McPherson have to handle refusals is up to each district, and it’s unclear how many counties have implemented similar plans.

The takeaway for drivers who are pulled over, at least in Douglas County, is simple: A refusal will likely lead to a search warrant for a blood test, and refusing will bring about more consequences than if a driver consents. In addition to losing a license for a year, drivers who refuse will be assessed a $400 lab fee for the blood test.

Kendall Heiman, addictions counselor at Professional Treatment Services, performs the substance abuse assessments and evaluations required for all DUI offenders. Judges use the assessments when deciding whether to order further treatment.  The biggest change with the new law, Heiman said, is an opening up of state funding for offenders who are tagged in assessments as needing additional treatment. Since the law has passed, Heiman said the treatment needs for offenders who come through her door vary.

For DUI offenders who don’t present the markers for a substance abuse disorder, their treatment plan will consist of the assessment and follow-up at an eight-hour alcohol awareness and information course, Heiman said.  But when someone fits the criteria for further treatment, Heiman can recommend outpatient treatment, which can range up to 20 hours of group and individual treatment per week.  Heiman said they’ve seen success at this stage of treatment, which can provide the wake-up call to people that they have a substance abuse problem.  “There’s this moment of clarity” for offenders, Heiman said.  In rare cases, Heiman can recommend inpatient treatment, and the new law allocates state funding for offenders who don’t have insurance and can’t afford inpatient treatment.  Gary Lee, director of services at Valeo, the Topeka-based substance abuse treatment facility, said they haven’t yet begun to see DUI offenders sent to their 40-bed facility based on the new law, but he expects to in the coming years.  The center provides a wide-range of treatment, including detox, group therapy and individual counseling for their clients, who typically stay about two weeks.

Yearly cost of a first conviction for driving under the influence:

Interlock installation and fees: $917
Insurance increase: $60/month
Court/jail costs: $143.50
Treatment: $220 to $270
Fines and probation costs: $810 to $1150
Lawyer: $1,000 minimum
License reinstatement fee: $100
Refusal of breath test to find blood-alcohol level: $400
Total estimated cost range: $3,910 to $4,700
Costs will vary based on service providers chosen and whether someone applies for diversion. Information provided by Ace Bail Bonds, Professional Treatment Services, Douglas County Assistant District Attorney Greg Benefiel, the Ron King Agency and local attorney John Frydman.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pulled over for Speeding lands Kansas man in jail for pot and over $40K in cash.

Deputy Pulls Over Speeding Car, Finds Drugs, Money Inside

CBS Denver Reports
EAGLE, Colo. (CBS4)-
Two people were arrested after drugs and money was allegedly found in their car when they were pulled over for speeding on Interstate 70.  An Eagle County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled over Erin Colove and Chase Esrich Sunday on I-70 near Eagle. The deputy said the rental car was traveling 97 mph in a posted 75 mph zone. There also was a child in the car. Colove, 25, is from Olathe and Esrich, 22, is from Alton, Mo. The deputy found more than a pound of high grade marijuana and more than $40,000 in the car.

Suspect statements show that the money came from drug transactions. Colove and Esrich were charged with child abuse, possession of more than 12 ounces of marijuana and speeding. The Drug Enforcement Administration is assisting with the investigation.

Read more here:  http://denver.cbslocal.com/2011/11/30/deputy-pulls-over-speeding-car-finds-drugs-money-inside/

Car pulled over for speeding yields large pot bust

NBC9 News Reports
EAGLE COUNTY - Two people are charged with child abuse after they were pulled over for speeding near Eagle, Colorado. The traffic stop did not just get them a speeding ticket for going 97 mph in a 75-mph zone. On Sunday morning, an Eagle County Sheriff's deputy pulled over a rental car on Interstate 70. The driver, later identified as Erin Colove, 25, of Olathe, Kans., and the passenger, later identified as Chase Eschrich, 22, of Alton, Mo., had over a pound of high-grade marijuana in the car. They also discovered $40,000 in the car. According to the suspects, they say they got this money from drug transactions. Colove and Eschrich were also charged with child abuse because there was a child in the car at the time when they were pulled over.

Read more here:  http://www.9news.com/news/article/233055/222/Car-pulled-over-for-speeding-yields-large-pot-bust

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One Town, One Road, Two days, Nearly 200 Traffic Tickets!

They told you it was coming!  Many newspapers wrote articles like the link below from the Lawrence Journal World,  warning people that cops were out looking.  Over the thanksgiving holiday, the police were out in force looking for speeders.  To say they found some would be an understatement.  Hundreds and hundred of tickets were given out this last week with the increase in police looking for speeders.

Increased Patrol link:

By: Rick Plumlee of the Wichita Eagle 

Nearly 130 caught speeding during crackdown on Rock Road
Nearly 200 traffic violations, including 128 for speeding, were cited during a law enforcement crackdown over two days last week along Rock Road throughout Sedgwick County, the Wichita Police Department said today.  From 7 a.m. last Wednesday through midnight Thanksgiving, officers and deputies issued 177 citations, which included 196 violations. Twenty-three were for not wearing a seat belt, 17 for making an improper turn and nine for running a red light.  In addition, from 6 p.m. Wednesday through 6 p.m. Sunday, 26 individuals were arrested for driving under the influence.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kidnapper sues hostages, says they had a deal to hide him from the police.

Probably one of the most rediculous cases to come across the web in awhile.  I would assume that motion to dismiss would be granted pretty quickly.

In one of the more audacious and head-spinning lawsuits to hit the courts, a fugitive facing a murder charge who took a couple hostage is now suing his victims for not hiding him from police.

Jesse Dimmick is seeking $235,000 from Jared and Lindsay Rowley in a breach of contract suit involving his 2009 invasion of their home in Kansas, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. Dimmick claims the couple, newlyweds at the time, agreed to hide him for an unspecified amount of money."Later, the Rowleys reneged on said oral contract, resulting in my being shot in the back by authorities," Dimmick wrote in a notarised legal document filed last month, the paper said.  "As a result of the plaintiffs breech (sic) of contract, I, the defendant suffered a gunshot to my back, which almost killed me," he wrote. "The hospital bills alone are in excess of $160,000, which I have no way to pay."

The Rowleys are awaiting a ruling on their motion to have the suit dismissed, saying they never accepted Dimmick's offer of money and even if they had, their consent would have been given under duress. According to the paper, Dimmick, who was being pursued by police, entered the Rowleys' home and confronted them at knifepoint.  A neighbour said the couple gained his trust by eating snacks and drinking soft drinks with him while watching the movie Patch Adams, then fled when he fell asleep.  Dimmick was convicted of four felonies, including two counts of kidnapping, and is currently being held in Colorado on a murder charge, the paper said.

The Rowleys have filed a suit against Dimmick seeking civil damages in excess of $75,000.

Article of  http://www.news.com.au/

Kidnapper Sues hostages, says they had a deal

(AP)  TOPEKA, Kan. - Can there be no trust between a kidnapper and his hostages?

A man who held a Kansas couple hostage in their home while fleeing from authorities is suing them, claiming they broke an oral contract made when he promised them money in exchange for hiding him from police. The couple has asked a judge to dismiss the suit.

Jesse Dimmick of suburban Denver is serving an 11-year sentence after bursting into Jared and Lindsay Rowley's Topeka-area home in September 2009. He was wanted for questioning in the beating death of a Colorado man and a chase had begun in in Geary County.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Dimmick filed a breach of contract suit in Shawnee County District Court, in response to a suit the Rowleys filed in September seeking $75,000 from him for intruding in their home and causing emotional stress. Dimmick contends he told the couple he was being chased by someone, most likely the police, who wanted to kill him.  "I, the defendant, asked the Rowleys to hide me because I feared for my life. I offered the Rowleys an unspecified amount of money which they agreed upon, therefore forging a legally binding oral contract," Dimmick said in his hand-written court documents. He wants $235,000, in part to pay for the hospital bills that resulted from him being shot by police when they arrested him.

Neighbors have said the couple fed Dimmick snacks and watched movies with him until he fell asleep and they were able to escape their home unharmed.  Dimmick was convicted in May 2010 of four felonies, including two counts of kidnapping. He was sentenced to 10 years and 11 months on those charges. He was later sent to a jail in Brighton, Colo., where he is being held on eight charges, including murder, in connection of with the killing of Michael Curtis in September 2009. A preliminary hearing originally scheduled for Dec. 6 has been rescheduled for April 12. No plea has been entered in the case.

Robert E. Keeshan, an attorney for the Rowleys, filed a motion denying there was a contract, but said if there was it would not have been binding anyway.  "In order for parties to form a binding contract, there must be a meeting of the minds on all essential terms, including and most specifically, an agreement on the price," he wrote.  Keeshan said the contract also would have been invalid because the couple agreed to let Dimmick in the home only because they knew he had a knife and suspected he might have a gun.

Article found at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kansas City is the hub for drug traffickers: New study gives more reasons to pull over cars on I35

As if the police needed another reason to be suspicious of drivers traveling on interstate 35, a recent article in the Kansas City Star has placed KC smack dab in the middle of the countries drug distribution network.  Driver's beware, especially with all the construction on I 35, the police will be out watching, waiting on you to make a mistake.  Big drug arrests are often made on normal traffic stops.  Ergo, the more traffic stops the more drug arrests.  Its a numbers game, so watch your speed and stay alert.


Kansas City seen as a hub for drug traffickers on Interstate 35

Author:  Mark Morris of the KC Star

I-35 is a favorite of smugglers for the same reason other travelers use it — it’s convenient.

A federal study has put Kansas City on the map in a way that it never wanted.  Maps from the study show Kansas City as a prime destination for drug traffickers who bring cocaine, heroin, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, methamphetamine from Mexico. And Interstate 35 is their highway of choice.  Kansas City is a hub,” said Mike Oyler, an FBI agent who investigates drug trafficking in Missouri and Kansas. “It’s like a trucking business. You have two of the biggest interstates in the country converging here.”

The maps are the clearest official statement yet of what officials have written for about a decade: Kansas City is both a significant drug market and a major distribution point for drugs headed north and east from the U.S. Southwest.  The maps are contained in the National Drug Intelligence Center’s 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment, its annual unclassified study of emerging trends in drug trafficking, the use of illegal drugs and the organizations that perpetuate the narcotics business.  In years past, the center, which compiles the threat assessment from seizure data and interviews with federal, state and local law enforcement, has confined its mapping to broad corridors.  In last year’s report, Kansas City sat, undistinguished, in the middle of a transportation map bounded by Duluth, Minn., to the north, Chicago and New Orleans to the east, Laredo, Texas, to the south and a meandering line from the Big Bend area of Texas back to Duluth in the West.

The new maps, released this fall, put Kansas City in much sharper relief: It sits at the end of some very fat arrows headed north, 970 miles from Laredo. Smaller arrows sweep drugs brought in from Arizona and New Mexico into that march up I-35.

According to the study, the size of the arrows suggests the volume of drugs that traffickers moved along the routes between 2008 and 2010. The report, based on closely held data on total drug seizures throughout the U.S., does not put a quantitative number on that volume, but the arrow pointing to Kansas City is as impressive as any on the map.  David Barton, director of the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a federal effort coordinating law enforcement efforts in a six-state region, said the new maps reflect a reality for transporters of legal and illegal commodities.  “It’s geography,” Barton said. “We’re right in the middle of the country, and everything goes through here.”

Barton said the maps reflect newer and more robust data about drug transportation gathered over the past three years. Better data allows law enforcement at all levels to better discern trafficking patterns and routes, and devise strategies to combat it when those patterns and routes shift, as they can on a daily basis.
The fruits of that effort is a quickening tempo of large, multi-defendant narcotics trafficking prosecutions filed in federal court, Barton said.  Indeed, according to the U.S. attorney’s office, prosecutors in Kansas City have indicted more than 100 people in several large drug conspiracy cases since January. More large cases are in the pipeline, Barton added.  And though a drug trafficker’s life is full of challenges, Oyler said, they view getting the drugs into America’s heartland without incident as an accomplishment.  “In the drug dealers’ eyes, getting the drugs into mid-America is a success for them,” Oyler said. “They breathe a sigh of relief.”

Police, federal agents and highway patrol troopers have for decades had to adjust to the ever-changing ways that traffickers hide illegal drugs in cars and trucks as they head north from the Mexican border.  For a small load, just burying it inside a much larger commercial shipment can make drugs all but undetectable. FBI agent Tim Swanson noted that a kilo — or 2.2 pounds — of cocaine will fit in a shoebox.  “It’s easy to conceal,” Swanson said. “A kilo is not that big.”Other than the northern and southern U.S. borders, the drug threat assessment does not describe drug seizures by region of the country, so it’s difficult to say how seizures in the Kansas City area compare with those elsewhere.

However, of all the narcotics seized in the United States in 2010, well more than half was taken within 150 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Overall, seizures of cocaine declined more than 30 percent between 2006 and 2010, while seizures of methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana remained steady or generally increased.
Officers always are looking for new places for secret compartments, and at times even new vehicles. In the past few months, agents on the U.S.-Mexican border have seized almost a ton of marijuana hidden in steamroller drums, a hiding spot once favored by Central American gun runners.  But traffickers are doing more to move drugs along the route than hiding them in passenger cars or concealing dope in commercial loads of Mexican bathroom fixtures.  “FedEx comes up I-35, too,” Oyler said.

In August, a Kansas City federal judge sentenced Rasheed Shakur, 43, to life in prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar dope smuggling ring that nimbly moved drugs of all types from the Southwest to Kansas City using a variety of transportation methods.  For four years, Shakur, who described himself as “the Michael Corleone of Kansas City,” paid a private pilot to fly hundreds of pounds of marijuana and up to 15 pounds of cocaine each week from Texas into Johnson County Executive Airport, said FBI agent Matthew Kenyon.  When that pipeline dried up, Shakur found new suppliers in Arizona and began simply mailing drugs to the addresses of friends and co-conspirators in Kansas City. When some of the packages never arrived, Shakur assumed that dishonest postal employees were stealing his drugs. In fact, federal agents were seizing them before delivery.

“There was a real sense of arrogance with him,” Kenyon said. “He never thought we would get on to it.”
With the mail becoming less dependable, Shakur decided to explore old-school drug running. He began negotiating the purchase of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer that he planned to lease back to an associate, who would drive the dope to Kansas City.  Shakur’s reason for the change suggests why Kansas City’s drug road could remain active for years to come.  “He felt it was safer,” Kenyon said.

To reach Mark Morris, call 816-234-4310 or send email to mmorris@kcstar.com.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/11/28/3291522/kansas-city-seen-as-a-hub-for.html#ixzz1f6squNU4

Monday, November 28, 2011

Kansas' Breathalyzer is under fire. Read the recent article in The Pitch

Kansas' breathalyzer of choice faces scrutiny

Questions remain on the Intoxilyzer 8000.

Posted by Ben Palosaari on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Suspected drunken drivers in Kansas might want to cross their fingers or rub a lucky rabbit’s foot before taking a breath test to determine their blood-alcohol level. That’s because Kansas law-enforcement agencies use the Intoxilyzer 8000, a blood-alcohol testing device that’s gaining a reputation for being more of a slot machine than an accurate test of someone’s level of intoxication.

The Intoxilyzer 8000 has been the source of headaches for officials and courts in several states, and it might be just a matter of time before the same issues hit Kansas. Here’s how the machine works: It collects a driver’s breath through a tube attached to the side of a large gray box. The device then shines infrared light, which alcohol absorbs, into the breath. The machine takes a reading of the light using a proprietary source code to calculate the blood-alcohol content, then prints a sort of receipt displaying the information.

In Kansas, the Intoxilyzer 8000 is used in most counties, including Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Douglas. However, 21 Kansas counties don’t use the machines. In Sumner County, County Attorney Evan Watson announced in January that he wouldn’t use the Intoxilyzer to prosecute DUI cases. Instead, that county would rely on blood tests. Watson didn’t respond to several interview requests from The Pitch, but he told news outlets in April that he’d seen the device fail, and it didn’t “instill [him] with confidence.”
Kansas City, Kansas lawyer Jay Norton says Watson’s approach is appropriate, given the Intoxilyzer’s history of inconsistent responses and its sensitivity to radio-frequency interference from electrical devices such as smartphones."The concern isn’t for accurate and reliable science," Norton says. "The concern is for winnable cases."

Officials nationwide have grown wary of trusting the Intoxilyzer. Earlier this year, a Florida investigation found thousands of breath tests with the Intoxilyzer 8000, dating back to 2006, that had produced inaccurate calculations. Forty percent of the Sunshine State’s 231 Intoxilyzer 8000 units were found to be faulty. Some of the machines registered as much as 12 liters of breath from suspected drunken drivers, despite human breath capacity topping out at 5 liters. "It’s saying that it’s getting 10, 15, 20 liters of breath from a human being, which is impossible. It’s fiction," Norton says. "There’s something wrong with the software in the machine, the function of the machine."

In October, prosecutors in Manatee County, Florida, announced that they would throw out Intoxilyzer readings for about 100 DUI defendants and instead either use other evidence to prosecute the cases or drop the charges.

In Ohio, a judge wrote a decision in June allowing defendants to challenge breath results. The judge noted a witness’s testimony that "the longer you blow, the higher your score" with the Intoxilyzer. Another Ohio judge has refused to allow evidence gathered by the Intoxilyzer in his courtroom until the state proves that the machines produce accurate results.

The state of Kansas, however, is standing by the Intoxilyzer 8000. The Breath Alcohol Laboratory Program of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment oversees the state’s 251 Intoxilyzer 8000s. Breath Alcohol Supervisor Christine Houston says the devices are accurate, and when they need repair, the KDHE has procedures in place to rotate them out of service. Houston says she has worked with Intoxilyzer technology for 10 years and has no reason to doubt its effectiveness.

The KDHE doesn’t see a county’s refusal to use the machines as a repudiation of the Intoxilyzer. "That’s their prerogative,” Houston says, “and I’m not going to tell them one way or another." Houston says the KDHE never had the chance to convince Watson in Sumner County of the Intoxilyzer’s usefulness. "He also has never allowed me to be able to demonstrate the instrumentation to him or been able to explain to him how the instrument works,” she says. “He has no idea how it even works, much less whether it works accurately and precisionally [sic]."

Blood and urine tests are acceptable forms of testing, but Houston says the number of breath tests far outweigh the number of blood tests. "If there was some idea or philosophy that the instrumentation was false in some way, shape or form, you wouldn’t have the discrepancy that we have in the number of breath tests versus blood in the state," she says.

CMI Inc., the company that manufactures the Intoxilyzer, did not return requests for comment. And the company doesn’t appear to be helping its cause. Courts in multiple states have told CMI to release the Intoxilyzer source code so that defense attorneys can learn how the device calculates blood-alcohol content. The company has refused, saying it’s a trade secret. CMI is also in a bizarre standoff with Florida, where the company has been found in contempt for not releasing the code.

In Kansas, no legal challenges to the Intoxilyzer 8000 have been mounted. But Norton says the troubled device’s future doesn’t look good. "I think that CMI is just doing the best that they can to outrun all of these boulders that are rolling at them and this machine right now," he says. "I think that public opinion on this machine may eventually shift because there’s been so many problems, and they’re being pointed out more and more."

Read the original article here http://www.pitch.com/plog/archives/2011/11/16/kansas-breathalyzer-of-choice-faces-scrutiny