Month: June 2017

Human arm with vial of drug with syringe in color

New York Opens Opiate Court

It’s no secret that the opioid addiction problem in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. The topic is in the news almost daily. Lawmakers and those who are tasked with enforcing the law are beginning to realize that the current problem cannot be dealt with like those in the past. Fines and incarceration are not going to cure the issue and people are looking for alternatives.

Several jurisdictions across the country have specialized drug courts. The state of New York took things to a new level last month when it instituted the country’s first opiate court. The court’s aim is to help offenders find treatment rather than lock them away.

Care Replaces Confinement

This first opiate court opened its doors on May 1 in Buffalo. Anyone who was arrested in the city was screened and those who tested positive were directed towards treatment. Their criminal cases were put on the back burner.Read More

Law concept, gavel, scale and books

Judge Heading to First-Time Offenders Program

A magistrate in Pennsylvania is accused of drunk driving and plans to apply for the state’s program for first-time offenders. According to reports, the 29-year-old district judge will apply to the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. The program gives first-time offenders the chance to avoid jail time and have their records wiped clear of the DUI charges.

The Program’s Purpose

People make mistakes and many believe that a single bad decision should not ruin a person’s life. Such is the purpose of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. When an offender successfully completes the program, they avoid jail and are given the opportunity to clear their record of the current charges. The program not only works to benefit the offender, but the already overloaded dockets as well. When a person applies to and is accepted in the program, they avoid trials and other court proceedings.

Admission Into the Program

Admission into the program is not guaranteed.Read More

Golf club and golf ball close up in grass field with sunset

What We Learn from Tiger Woods’ DUI

Tiger Woods typically makes the news because of his play on the green. This time, he’s made headlines due to choices he made before getting behind the wheel of his vehicle. Last month, Woods was arrested and charged with being under the influence of prescription drugs while sleeping behind the wheel.

According to reports, officers located Woods stopped in the right lane of a street, car running, flat tires and other damage, and Woods was sleeping. When officers woke him up, Woods did not know where he was. He was asked to perform field sobriety tests and he refused. Officers administered a breathalyzer and results showed that the pro golfer had no alcohol in his system.

While Woods’ arrest is disheartening to his fans and others, there are three lessons that we can all learn.

1. Driving Under the Influence Doesn’t Always Mean “Drunk”

There are laws in the books in every state against drugged driving.Read More

man holding hashish in the car

Drug DUIs on the Rise in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania saw 53,000 DUI arrests in 2016. Half of those, according to AAA, involved drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Many of the cases of drugged driving involve prescription medications and not illegal narcotics. Drugged driving is on the rise in Pennsylvania, and law enforcement officials are being put through training to detect it.

Officers are being taught how to look for and notice signs of impairment. Alcohol impairment is one thing and, for most officers, easily recognizable. In addition, testing someone for alcohol use is fairly straightforward and quick. The same cannot be said for recognizing and testing for prescription medications or other drugs.

Drug Recognition Expert Coordinator for the Pennsylvania State Police, Cpl. Scott Davis, worries that drugged driving will continue to get worse as marijuana becomes a legal substance in more states. The Pennsylvania DUI Association agrees. They support the training that the law enforcement officers are taking on.Read More