Cyclist hit, injured by suspected drunk driver

BOB MACK/The Times-Union Atlantic Beach Police responded to a bicyclist struck by a Toyota SUV pulling a trailer in the 2400 block of Seminole Road near the intersection of Ocean Breeze Drive at about 10 a.m. Saturday. Read more
Jean

Atlantic Beach, FL

#1 Sep 7, 2009
What is wrong here...who is allowing this DRUNK, maybe that is the person who should be jail...Disgusting.
Friend of the family

Jacksonville, FL

#2 Sep 8, 2009
I pray that Jimmy will have full recovery. I also ask the Lord to please look over that sick man who hit him. He really needs some guidance.

“the doctor is in the house”

Since: May 08

jacksonville florida

#3 Sep 8, 2009
10:00 am! hell i am not even drunk by then!

“Just Add Obama ”

Since: Mar 08

Jacksonville Florida

#4 Sep 8, 2009
As someone who rides his bike to work on a regular basis, this is worst fear and the main reason I ride on side walks the majority, screw mans law the laws of physics are much harsher.

I hope that Mr. Messinese has a full recover and is able to ride his bike again.

“Just Add Obama ”

Since: Mar 08

Jacksonville Florida

#5 Sep 8, 2009
So again, we must raise the question about DUI laws.

Do we need MORE DUI laws.

Or

Do we need stronger punishment when an innocent is injured or killed by the DUI Driver?

It is pretty obvious that 41-year-old William Scott Adams of Atlantic Beach does not give a ratsass about the “LAW” or does it make a difference if he is sick or just irresponsible.

Commentary on the story and how the reporter (very loosely used word) wrote the story.

“The SUV's right front and a wheel cover on the trailer both showed dents, but a police report detailing the accident wasn't immediately available.”

Maybe they should have arrested the SUV also.
Joe Bubba

Atlantic Beach, FL

#6 Oct 30, 2009
I was driving to work yesterday and there was a idiot riding his bike down the middle of the road. I guess he thought the turn lane was for him only. Many cars had to avoid the bike rider as he swerved around cars trying to turn. Maybe he was drunk?

Since: Aug 08

Jacksonville, FL

#7 Oct 30, 2009
We have strict DUI laws now. They're (for the most part) well enforced.

I don't know what happened in this case for sure. Generally speaking, it is striking that pedestrians will walk out in front of you with a swagger as if "I have the right of way." Well, your azz can still be run over. So what if you're "right?" Should a sign be posted to your casket that tells everyone in the procession that you were "right?" And a lot of times, they don't have the right of way. Being a pedestrian doesn't mean you can go "play" in the street at will. I always stay on the curb until I can safely cross. No human being is a match for a vehicle. It's stupid to even take the risk.
LOL

Tampa, FL

#8 Oct 30, 2009
icwjohn wrote:
10:00 am! hell i am not even drunk by then!
But, are you sober from the night before by 10:00 AM.
Northside Cop

Jacksonville, FL

#10 Oct 30, 2009
Julianna_ wrote:
We have strict DUI laws now. They're (for the most part) well enforced.
I don't know what happened in this case for sure. Generally speaking, it is striking that pedestrians will walk out in front of you with a swagger as if "I have the right of way." Well, your azz can still be run over. So what if you're "right?" Should a sign be posted to your casket that tells everyone in the procession that you were "right?" And a lot of times, they don't have the right of way. Being a pedestrian doesn't mean you can go "play" in the street at will. I always stay on the curb until I can safely cross. No human being is a match for a vehicle. It's stupid to even take the risk.
Not really Juliana. Here for your first offense DUI its pretty lenient. You will go to jail and see the judge the next day. If you have no real criminal record bond will be between $1,000 to $5,000 and you are out. If you plea out the fine will be somewhere between $1,000 to $3,000 to do your probation, DUI school, etc. Your only time in jail will be the night you spent waiting to see the judge. Whats more is often you can get your license back in a couple of days with a hardship or work permit. So you are legally driving within a few days of a DUI. The second offense usually is more fines and probation but no greater jail time. Also Florida is a consent state which means police can not force you to give a urine or breath sample unless someone is injured due to your driving. So most drunks know to refuse and without physical evidence many jurys will not convict. So for many drunks they get an automatic free pass by refusing to submit. They will plea out to reckless driving.

Whats worse is I have seen people with their third or fourth DUI still getting slaps on the wrist.

A DUI arrest is a heavy financial burden but as far as real punishment its almost non-existent.

If I were to write the DUI laws these would be my changes.

1). Mandatory breath, blood, or urine samples required upon arrest.
2). Upon conviction minimum 30 days sentence, which can be served on weekends. If you drive drunk the next 15 weekends are the state's.
3). If you blow above .15 your license is suspended for one year and there is no hardship or work permit license for you. Between .08 and .15 you would still be eligible for a work permit.
4). The state of Florida would create a DUI tag and you must have it on your car for five years. Both to indicate your poor decision making and how you like to endanger others.
5). License suspensions would be handled by a judge and not a hearing officer at the DHSMV.

That's a start. The SAO has always been fairly aggressive on DUI prosecutions but they need some assistance to make stronger cases. Mandatory blood, urine, breath testing if long overdue. Right now its a racket with DUI attorneys raking in millions due to a poor legal framework created by the state of Florida.

Since: Aug 08

Jacksonville, FL

#11 Oct 30, 2009
Northside Cop wrote:
<quoted text>
Not really Juliana. Here for your first offense DUI its pretty lenient. You will go to jail and see the judge the next day. If you have no real criminal record bond will be between $1,000 to $5,000 and you are out. If you plea out the fine will be somewhere between $1,000 to $3,000 to do your probation, DUI school, etc. Your only time in jail will be the night you spent waiting to see the judge. Whats more is often you can get your license back in a couple of days with a hardship or work permit. So you are legally driving within a few days of a DUI. The second offense usually is more fines and probation but no greater jail time. Also Florida is a consent state which means police can not force you to give a urine or breath sample unless someone is injured due to your driving. So most drunks know to refuse and without physical evidence many jurys will not convict. So for many drunks they get an automatic free pass by refusing to submit. They will plea out to reckless driving.
Whats worse is I have seen people with their third or fourth DUI still getting slaps on the wrist.
A DUI arrest is a heavy financial burden but as far as real punishment its almost non-existent.
If I were to write the DUI laws these would be my changes.
1). Mandatory breath, blood, or urine samples required upon arrest.
2). Upon conviction minimum 30 days sentence, which can be served on weekends. If you drive drunk the next 15 weekends are the state's.
3). If you blow above .15 your license is suspended for one year and there is no hardship or work permit license for you. Between .08 and .15 you would still be eligible for a work permit.
4). The state of Florida would create a DUI tag and you must have it on your car for five years. Both to indicate your poor decision making and how you like to endanger others.
5). License suspensions would be handled by a judge and not a hearing officer at the DHSMV.
That's a start. The SAO has always been fairly aggressive on DUI prosecutions but they need some assistance to make stronger cases. Mandatory blood, urine, breath testing if long overdue. Right now its a racket with DUI attorneys raking in millions due to a poor legal framework created by the state of Florida.
Thanks for the info. Aren't the first time offenders, as you described, generally given the minimum only if there is no accident with serious bodily injury? That's my understanding.

I'm sure there are exceptions for some repeat offenders. I know that because money talks. Look at the professional athletes who get off with probation, even in the case of an accident with serious bodily injury.

Don't you think the dash cam has helped the prosecution in this regard? The field sobriety tests were largely subjective in the past, but it's kind of hard for the defense to get around that one now.
Northside Cop

Jacksonville, FL

#12 Oct 30, 2009
Julianna_ wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for the info. Aren't the first time offenders, as you described, generally given the minimum only if there is no accident with serious bodily injury? That's my understanding.
I'm sure there are exceptions for some repeat offenders. I know that because money talks. Look at the professional athletes who get off with probation, even in the case of an accident with serious bodily injury.
Don't you think the dash cam has helped the prosecution in this regard? The field sobriety tests were largely subjective in the past, but it's kind of hard for the defense to get around that one now.
I have seen serious offenders get the minimum. One in particular grated my nerves. I had one where the driver crossed a 14 foot ditch and took a power pole head on. Since he was impaired he suffered no injuries. I knew it was probably going to be narcotic based because there was no odor of alcohol. After Rescue checked him out I had him do field sobriety exercises. He couldn't tell me where he was or how he got there and couldn't perform the first exercise. He ended up having five different narcotics in his system. This was his fourth DUI which means its a felony. We went to trial and the jury found him guilty. So here I was waiting for six months or something decent. The judge gave him time served and permanently revoked his license. Woo hoo his fourth DUI and thank God he didn't kill someone and all the jail time he got was a couple of days before he bonded out.

Take this story for example. This is this guy's fourth DUI arrest. The first one was dropped to reckless. The second one he only plead to the speeding ticket. He was currently out on bond for the third one which involved a crash with injuries and a $1,000 bond. Now he faces his fourth which also involves a crash with injuries. Not to mention that he was arrested while out on bond for shoplifting and drug paraphernalia which should have revoked the DUI bond but did not. This guy has injured two people driving drunk and yet here we are. Even now he only has a $15,000 bond.

As far as the cameras yes and no. The cameras help when people are fall over sloppy drunk. Its the habitual drunks and borderlines that they actually hurt on. People are so used to the falling down drunk videos that is what they expect. If the person appears ok to them they tend to find them not guilty (per several ASAa and DUI officers). I have learned over the years that the habitual drunks can sometimes perform these exercises better than sober people. With experience you spot little tricks they use to try and beat the exercises, which help but still don't defeat them. The exercises are not really subjective. The clues are laid out and what indicates a clue. They either provide a clue or they don't. Some officers are a little to forgiving on their exercises and that's the subjectivity but if they provide an indication of impairment that should always be used. One example is heel to toe. If they fail to step heel to toe but come close (within an inch) that is still a clue of impairment. I have never had somebody who provided sufficient the clues blow below the legal limit with the exception of narcotics based DUIs.

Ultimately the only dead on test is blood, breath, and urine. If these were mandated then there wouldn't be much argument to be had.
Northside Cop

Jacksonville, FL

#13 Oct 30, 2009
Just another example is Joseph Mays. Joseph Mays killed Officer Scott Bell while driving drunk. He was sentenced to 3 years. However the judge immediately reduced the sentence to one year in county jail followed by two years of probation. Then the defense made a motion to suspend the sentence. On December 24 Joseph May's jail sentence was suspended and he was released on probation. He was sentenced September 5th and released December 24th of the same year. So he three months in jail for DUI manslaughter. He had a blood alcohol level of .206.

So lets sum this up and forget the fact that the victim was an officer.

1. A drunk driver hit a vehicle causing the driver's death.

2. The drunk had a blood alcohol level of .206.

3. The sentence of three years was immediately reduced to one with two years of probation.

4. Then the one year sentence was reduced to three months.

Now no matter who the victim is, how does that equate justice?
crymeariver

Tampa, FL

#14 Oct 30, 2009
Northside Cop wrote:
Just another example is Joseph Mays. Joseph Mays killed Officer Scott Bell while driving drunk. He was sentenced to 3 years. However the judge immediately reduced the sentence to one year in county jail followed by two years of probation. Then the defense made a motion to suspend the sentence. On December 24 Joseph May's jail sentence was suspended and he was released on probation. He was sentenced September 5th and released December 24th of the same year. So he three months in jail for DUI manslaughter. He had a blood alcohol level of .206.
So lets sum this up and forget the fact that the victim was an officer.
1. A drunk driver hit a vehicle causing the driver's death.
2. The drunk had a blood alcohol level of .206.
3. The sentence of three years was immediately reduced to one with two years of probation.
4. Then the one year sentence was reduced to three months.
Now no matter who the victim is, how does that equate justice?
Quit crying and go catch some killers, rapist, thugs or drug dealers. Maybe even a NFL player or two.
Julianna

Los Angeles, CA

#15 Nov 2, 2009
Northside Cop wrote:
Just another example is Joseph Mays. Joseph Mays killed Officer Scott Bell while driving drunk. He was sentenced to 3 years. However the judge immediately reduced the sentence to one year in county jail followed by two years of probation. Then the defense made a motion to suspend the sentence. On December 24 Joseph May's jail sentence was suspended and he was released on probation. He was sentenced September 5th and released December 24th of the same year. So he three months in jail for DUI manslaughter. He had a blood alcohol level of .206.
So lets sum this up and forget the fact that the victim was an officer.
1. A drunk driver hit a vehicle causing the driver's death.
2. The drunk had a blood alcohol level of .206.
3. The sentence of three years was immediately reduced to one with two years of probation.
4. Then the one year sentence was reduced to three months.
Now no matter who the victim is, how does that equate justice?
.206? I would imagine a lot of people would lose consciousness before reaching this level. Wow! That doesn't seem like much of a sentence considering everything. That's terrible.
Julianna

Los Angeles, CA

#16 Nov 2, 2009
Northside Cop wrote:
<quoted text>
I have seen serious offenders get the minimum. One in particular grated my nerves. I had one where the driver crossed a 14 foot ditch and took a power pole head on. Since he was impaired he suffered no injuries. I knew it was probably going to be narcotic based because there was no odor of alcohol. After Rescue checked him out I had him do field sobriety exercises. He couldn't tell me where he was or how he got there and couldn't perform the first exercise. He ended up having five different narcotics in his system. This was his fourth DUI which means its a felony. We went to trial and the jury found him guilty. So here I was waiting for six months or something decent. The judge gave him time served and permanently revoked his license. Woo hoo his fourth DUI and thank God he didn't kill someone and all the jail time he got was a couple of days before he bonded out.
Take this story for example. This is this guy's fourth DUI arrest. The first one was dropped to reckless. The second one he only plead to the speeding ticket. He was currently out on bond for the third one which involved a crash with injuries and a $1,000 bond. Now he faces his fourth which also involves a crash with injuries. Not to mention that he was arrested while out on bond for shoplifting and drug paraphernalia which should have revoked the DUI bond but did not. This guy has injured two people driving drunk and yet here we are. Even now he only has a $15,000 bond.
As far as the cameras yes and no. The cameras help when people are fall over sloppy drunk. Its the habitual drunks and borderlines that they actually hurt on. People are so used to the falling down drunk videos that is what they expect. If the person appears ok to them they tend to find them not guilty (per several ASAa and DUI officers). I have learned over the years that the habitual drunks can sometimes perform these exercises better than sober people. With experience you spot little tricks they use to try and beat the exercises, which help but still don't defeat them. The exercises are not really subjective. The clues are laid out and what indicates a clue. They either provide a clue or they don't. Some officers are a little to forgiving on their exercises and that's the subjectivity but if they provide an indication of impairment that should always be used. One example is heel to toe. If they fail to step heel to toe but come close (within an inch) that is still a clue of impairment. I have never had somebody who provided sufficient the clues blow below the legal limit with the exception of narcotics based DUIs.
Ultimately the only dead on test is blood, breath, and urine. If these were mandated then there wouldn't be much argument to be had.
Thanks for sharing your insight. I'm sure you have a tough and challenging job. Be safe!

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