|This Friday: Drunk Driving|
|Posted by Charles Esslinger on Jun 20th, 2014|
Trouble at a DUI checkpoint:
Last week, a suburban Cleveland man had a run-in with police near a drunk-driving checkpoint in Parma, OH. Usually, situations like these involve alcohol, drugs, or prior warrants. This time, however, it had more to do with free speech than intoxicated driving.
Douglas Odolecki, 43, received a citation last Friday for warning motorists of an upcoming DUI checkpoint. Throughout Friday night, Odolecki stood several blocks from the checkpoint, holding a sign that said: “Check point ahead! Turn now!” Unfortunately for Odolecki, his efforts were eventually stopped by local police.
According to Parma police spokesman Kevin Riley, officers cited Odolecki for obstructing official police business. To make sure the charge would stick, officers consulted with city attorneys before citing Odolecki. Apparently, they decided that Odolecki's actions were in violation of the law.
Believe it or not, this isn't the first time Odolecki has been hassled for holing a sign near DUI checkpoints. Back in 2012, Parma police arrested him near a DUI checkpoint for carrying a knife in his pocket. As you might expect, he was holding a sign at the time of his arrest. Odolecki eventually plead guilty to disorderly conduct for his actions and was later sentenced to community service.The charges of carrying a concealed weapon and obstructing official business were dismissed.
After his arrest in 2012, Odolecki started carrying a video camera to record his interactions with the police. He says, over the last couple of years, he has used his sign to warn motorists of DUI checkpoints on at least five occasions, in Parma, Columbus, and the suburbs of Cleveland. Even though police usually treat him with respect, as they did last Friday, Odolecki thinks he would have been arrested if he hadn't been filming his interactions with police. “I bet if I wasn't filming, I would have been in handcuffs,” he said.
Considering all the trouble he's gotten into, you might think Odolecki would stop warning people about DUI checkpoints. According to him, that's not happening any time soon. Odolecki claims that he'll go “anywhere I'm called, anywhere I'm needed, anywhere I see injustice happening.” With that in mind, Odolecki pans to fight the citation he received for obstructing official business.
An unnecessary death:
Convincing a drunk driver to hand over their keys is never an easy task – the more intoxicated they are, the more likely they are to cause a disturbance.
Last Friday in Riverside, California, an intoxicated 37-year-old woman ran over her father as he stood in front of her car to prevent her from driving. Soukvilay Barton, who was intoxicated at the time of the collision, was trying to leave her father's house after a family argument. According to witnesses, she stopped and got out of her car after she realized what had happened.
By the time police arrived, Bounmy Rajsombath, 69, was already dead. His daughter, Soukvilay, was still in tears when she was arrested and taken into police custody. She is currently being held on suspicion of driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter. Her bail has been set at $75,000.
The victim, Bounmy Rajsombath, was a survivor of the deadly civil war that swept through Southeast Asia in the 1970's. During his time in his home country of Laos, Rajsombath worked as an official in the defense department. After the Vietnamese communist revolution spread to his country, Rajsombath fled to Thailand, where he ran a refugee camp.
“He had to swim across the MeKong River to get to Thailand because the communists had come to kill him,” said one of Rajsombath's son-in-laws. “They were killing all the Laos military that helped the United States.”
In 1979, Rajsombath came to the United States and found work as a plumber, sometimes working for free for those in need. “He was a person that everybody loved,” his son-in-law said. “He was a very respected man in the Laos community.”
The New York Post - http://nypost.com/2014/06/19/superhero-for-drunk-drivers-arrested-for-warning-of-checkpoint/
The Washington Post - http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/06/16/dad-warns-daughter-shes-too-drunk-to-drive-daughter-runs-dad-over-kills-him/
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