Archive for the ‘arrest’ Category

Intoxicated drivers face high-tech lockouts

April 15, 2008
High-tech efforts against drunken driving are intensifying around the USA as more states adopt or consider laws requiring first-time offenders to equip their vehicles with devices that prevent operation by intoxicated people.

Federal highway officials and safe driving advocates, noting that crash deaths involving drunken drivers have remained about 32% of all fatalities for the past decade, say the devices are the best way to cut the toll. State legislators are listening.

Read the rest:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-04-14-dui_N.htm

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Can Be Too Costly

March 16, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
Saint Patrick’s Day

When graded by your local police, Saint Patrick’s Day is a more troublesome day for alcohol abuse than even New Year’s Eve.  In fact, except for Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day is the number one “holiday” for arrests, citations and emergency room admissions. 
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All because we Americans sometimes think it is OK to drink and over-drink until we are drunk.  On these three holidays and others, including Independence Day on July 4th we act as if we had a license to drink – a mandate from God to allow drunkenness and bad behavior.

Saint Patrick

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA),alcohol abuse and its related problems cost society many billions of dollars each year.

Estimates of the economic costs of alcohol abuse attempt to assess in monetary terms the damage that results from the misuse of alcohol. These costs include expenditures on alcohol-related problems and opportunities that are lost because of alcohol.

This Alcohol Alert addresses issues pertaining to estimates of the costs of alcohol abuse, focusing on the types of costs considered and on the various problems associated with their estimation.

While many difficulties in cost estimation are common to cost-of-illness studies in other health fields, two problems are particularly relevant to the case of alcohol abuse. First, researchers attempt to identify costs that are caused by, and not merely associated with, alcohol abuse, yet it is often hard to establish causation. Second, many costs resulting from alcohol abuse cannot be measured directly. This is especially true of costs that involve placing a dollar value on lost productivity. Researchers use mathematical and statistical methods to estimate such costs, yet recognize that this is imprecise. Moreover, costs of pain and suffering of both people who abuse alcohol and people affected by them cannot be estimated in any reliable way, and are therefore not considered in most cost studies.

These difficulties underscore the fact that although the economic cost of alcohol abuse can be estimated, it cannot be measured precisely. Nevertheless, estimates of the cost give us an idea of the dimensions of the problem, and the breakdown of costs suggests to us which categories are most costly. In the most recent cost study, Rice and co-workers estimated that the cost to society of alcohol abuse was $70.3 billion in 1985; a previous study by Harwood and colleagues estimated that the cost for 1980 was $89 billion.

By adjusting cost estimates for the effects of inflation and the growth of the population over time, Rice projected that the total cost of alcohol abuse in 1988 was $85.9 billion, and Harwood projected that the cost in 1983 was $116 billion.

Some clinicians, working closely with economy analysts, today estimate the total cost of alcohol abuse in America as in excess of $300 billion annually.

Although these figures are staggering, they have little deterrent impact on a drinker headed out for a night on the town.

So let’s just bottom line this beast alcohol right now.Attend any Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting and you are likely to hear a story of how alcohol lead someone to total professional and personal ruin.  Many successful men and women succumb to the disease of alcoholism.  They can tell stories about losing their spouse, kids, job, fortune, house (or houses) and car (or cars). 

I personally know people who, after being highly successful and relatively wealthy, ended up living in shopping carts.  I even have a friend that was thrown out of a bridge overpass and his “home” in a cardboard box.  It seems his excessive drinking was too much for his wino “roommates – who asked him to leave.

And every reader (just about) who has made it this far will say: “I am not an alcoholic.  I just drink.”

Everyone says this at first.  AA calls it “denial.”  Honest self assessment and a desire to be sober are essential to AA – and are in fact the only entry ticket you need to go to any AA meeting.

Related:
Why Americans love the Irish (St. Patrick’s Day in Monday)

Another “Celebrity” In Trouble for Prescription Drug Abuse

February 8, 2008

PAHRUMP, Nev. – Former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss was arrested Thursday on charges of illegal possession of prescription drugs and driving under the influence, authorities said.

In this image released by the Nye County Sheriff's Office, former ...
In this image released by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss is shown in a booking mug released, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, in Pahrump, Nev. Authorities say Fleiss was arrested Thursday morning on charges of illegal possession of prescription drugs and driving under the influence.
(AP Photo/Nye County Sheriff’s Office)
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Fleiss was pulled over at about 9:30 a.m. by sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of a possible drunken driver, the Nye County sheriff’s office said.

Fleiss was arrested on four counts, including possession of dangerous drugs without a prescription and driving under the influence.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080208/ap_on_
re_us/heidi_fleiss_arrest;_ylt=
ArsX2RblLDFL7LrNP6V9Yz2s0NUE

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File photo shows US pop star Britney Spears at the Los Angeles ...
File photo shows US pop star Britney Spears at the Los Angeles County Superior courthouse in January. Spears was released from a hospital psychiatric ward Wednesday, six days after being admitted amid concerns for her mental health, US media reported.
(AFP/File/Gabrile Bouys)

Thailand: Ex-Premier’s Wife Arrested

January 9, 2008

By Thomas Fuller
The New York Times
January 9, 2008

Pojaman Shinawatra, the wife of the ousted prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, returned to Thailand to fight corruption charges. She was met by the police after her flight arrived from Hong Kong, arrested, quickly released on bail, and ordered not to leave the country.

Analysts said her return — the couple have been living mostly in London and Hong Kong since a military coup in 2006 — signaled confidence that the political situation, still unsettled after a victory by Mr. Thaksin’s allies in elections last month, would turn in their favor once a new government has been formed.

Noppadol Pattama, a lawyer for the family, said Monday that Mr. Thaksin planned to return by mid-April. He is charged in the same cases as his wife, charges brought by the generals who carried out the coup.

Religious freedom still a distant dream for Montagnards

January 7, 2008

By Nguyen Hung
Asia News
January 5, 2008

During the Christmas season there were persecutions threats and arrests in the North of the country. Many Christians, Catholic and Protestant, do not dare declare their faith because they are discriminated against in the workplace and threatened by police.

Lang Son (AsiaNews) – In a globalised Vietnam which boasts increased foreign investment, ethnic minorities are being discriminated against also because of their religious views.  “Oppression, threats and terror” are still being waged against Catholics (and Protestants) in many of the nation’s mountain regions.

The Vietnamese Constitution (dated 1982) states that “Vietnamese citizens have the right to religious freedom.  Each person has the right to follow or not follow a religion”.  But this article is barely enacted in the large residential areas.  In the rural and mountain areas of Lang Son, however, local authorities are threatening Montagnards who dare participate in religious service with prison.

Lang Son diocese was established in 1659 and is located in the North of Vietnam on the border with China. The total population is over 1, 15 million, with just 6 thousand Catholics, almost all from ethnic minorities.  But only about half of the number of Catholics living here are able to attend church on Sunday or pastoral activities. The rest do not even have the courage to declare themselves Catholics because of continuous discrimination.  A Catholic of the H’mong ethnic group tells AsiaNews: “We do not dare to affirm that we are Catholics because the local authority suspects us and threat that they will bring us to the prison”.

A young man reveals that “It is difficult to look for a job in the province if your curriculum vitae or your religious back ground are Catholic or Protestant. Of course you are not able to work for government offices or state organizations. So your future or your children’s future remains bleak and uncertain”.

“Though the government has said that the law of religions will be renovated and reformed, – adds another young Catholic – it still hasn’t been implemented. Especially in rural and mountainous areas, if the minority people enter any “religions’ activities”, it means that the person will be confronted with serious difficulties and obstacles in their daily lives. Local authorities still see religion as a taboo”.

During the Christmas period there were a series of attacks on religious communities in the North.  On 24th December, police raided a gathering in the village in Son La province, North Vietnam, where people were praying together on the occasion of Christmas. A young man from the nearby Phu Tho province attending the meeting was brutally beaten and taken away. Police falsely accused him as a criminal for whom they were hunting. However, he was set free later after a protest led by the villagers.

On Christmas day, Father Joseph Nguyen Trung Thoai, Chancellor of Son Tay Bishop’s office, was arrested on the way to Co Noi to celebrate Christmas Mass. He was held in police custody to prevent him celebrating mass. Again, he was only set free after a protest of the villagers.

In the village of Muong La, police did not dismiss a Christmas prayer gathering held in a private house. However, they did prevent anyone outside the village from joining the gathering. A group of people who had to walk 40 km to attend Christmas Mass were forced to go back to their tribe.

For decades now groups of Montagnards, be they Catholic or Protestant, have been subjected to persecution at the hands of the Vietnamese government.  They have long been suspected of having collaborated with the United States during the Vietnamese war,  Often the persecution is exacerbated by the expansion of Vietnamese towards Montagnard territory, expropriating lands and leading to mass arrests,

 “Local authorities – a young H’mong explains – have always been prejudice towards us.  They think that our religious activities are a cover for complotting or conspiracy.   But we Catholics, just like so many other Vietnamese, only want to contribute to the development of our nation”.