Tag Archive: Driving under the influence

Washington state’s much talked about marijuana law is taking effect, and there will be corresponding changes from law enforcement officers as a result.

There’s only one way parents can know for sure if their kid is high before or after driving — the Teensavers Home Drug Test Kit.

Adults 21 years of age and older will be able to possess an ounce of marijuana in plant form, 16 ounces infused, and 72 ounces cooked in food.

Although possession is still a federal crime, the state is studying a way to set up a system under direction of the Liquor Control Board for the sale of marijuana.

“The voters have put the governor of the State of Washington in charge of the nation’s biggest marijuana operation,” Wahkiakum County Prosecuting Attorney told the Wakkiakum County Eagle.

“Until the law is clearly written, we’re not going to make any arrests for possession,” Sheriff Mark Howie said. “However, just as with alcohol, people can’t light up in public; smoking in public is still illegal.”
Deputies will also investigate and make arrests for large-scale growing operations, possession of large quantities of marijuana and for impaired driving under the influence of marijuana.
Oh, and deputies won’t be able to light up either.

“I’ve revised our policies to say that use of marijuana is prohibited while one is employed with the sheriff’s department,” Howie said. “It’s still a federal crime to use or possess it.

How people will obtain the drug illegally still hasn’t been worked out.

The sheriff’s department also plans to continue using its’ drug smelling dog, Dakota.
The dog may not lead to nearly as many arrests, but it will still make sure minors are not in possession and the Dakota will also continue searching schools.

When it comes to driving under the influence, the scent of marijuana cannot be a leading factor in determining if someone is driving while high.

Officers will begin using other factors to decide on impairment.

According to the a new survey from the California Office of Traffic Safety we are seeing a tilt in the balance of DUI cases showing that drugged driving may be more prevalent than drunk driving.

The studied showed that more drivers tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

I am not sure how these samples were analyzed, but at a recent prescription drug abuse conference in Fountain Valley, California, a member of the Orange County Crime Lab spoke about the testing of drunk vs. drugged drivers.

She indicated that drugged driving will always be underrepresented because if a driver is both using alcohol and drugs prior to arrest, the test will only screen for drugs when the driver is under .08. If a driver has an alcohol level of .08 or above, they are considered legally under the influence, and no drug information is sought.

If that level is less, then run a drug screen to see if there are additional factors that may be causing problems for drivers to put them under the influence.

As with medicinal marijuana, more people may be driving under the influence now.

Some people in Colorado and Washington, where the voters just legalized marijuana, have raised concerns of the potential increase in drugged driving.

Those laws will not take effect for a while, and the federal government has not indicated whether it will step in and overrule on those voter approved measures.


People are buzzing with excitement now that we’ve reached the holiday season, especially about those big Black Friday sales.    But if you are a parent, make sure you concentrate on the important things this week.


There’s no doubt that these last 6 weeks of the year will be filled with cheer as we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hannukah, and New Years.

And while these are great times between family and friends, we also have to remember this can be a time of excess and abuse, especially for adolescents.

Most parents are aware that New Year’s Eve is a night to keep a closer eye on their teen, but are they aware that the night before Thanksgiving is a big night for partying? And while kids may be out drinking and drugs, it all is overlooked because mom and dad are very busy planning travel, shopping, or cooking plans. The turkey takes plenty of preparation and we know the multitude of stops at the store to tackle all of the trimmings.

But somewhere during all of this running around, we need to stop and talk to our kids. The night before Thanksgiving is a popular night for unchaperoned parties, bars, and DUIs. Parents should stop and talk to their kids, not only about the plans for Thanksgiving, but what their child is doing the night before. They may need to ask more questions than a typical Friday or Saturday night. Teens know who goes out of town for the holidays. And with the right amount of cajoling, they could even get the keys to those vacant homes from their friends.

So if your son or daughter tells you that they are going to “______” home, makes sure that family is in town. Your child could be telling your the truth, or half of it. When they say they are going to the Jones’ home, they may not be lying, but they may not be telling you that the Jones family is half way across the country. Teens use these homes for partying all of the time. This isn’t being invasive either. It’s being a responsible parent.

As students have more vacation and off days around the holidays, they will be more inclined to attend parties, use alcohol, or try drugs. Kids may even buy more drugs than normal to stock up for the holidays.

Positive parenting, and active involvement are key in helping keep your child off of drugs. Parents need to be vigilant that alcohol and drugs are absolutely off-limits for minors. It’s not only wrong, it’s illegal.

Black Friday may be the big highlight of this upcoming week, but make sure that Black Friday is all about shopping, and not the mourning of a loved one, or someone in your community, who wasn’t properly supervised over the holiday.


West Virginia has a serious problem.   A DUI problem.   But it’s not what you think.   A Lieutenant in Charleston says that 70% of the DUIs in his city are something other than alcohol.    That’s 700 DUI arrests.


If you didn’t know, there’s a prescription abuse problem in West Virginia.     Like New Mexico, the most popular pill is Oxycontin.

“Prescription drugs are becoming an epidemic across West Virginia, and we are seeing more and more drivers under the influence of pills,” the Lieutenant told Charleston’s Daily Mail.  “There are a lot of officers across the state who are intimidated because they don’t know the process, because it’s been driven home in their training that you need that BAC (blood alcohol content) to make the arrest.

“It boils down to this: A person impaired by a pill or alcohol is impaired just the same,” he said.

Williams is also the regional coordinator for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Teensavers reminds parents that just because they can’t smell alcohol on the breath of their teen driver, it does not mean that their teen is sober.   Impairment can happen in just minutes the way teens abuse pills.   When pills are smashed, the coating that enables the time-release is diminished.   The active ingredients in the pills get into the bloodstreams of teens rapidly.



The Teensavers team feels for Arkansas Razorbacks football coach
Bobby Petrino.  The coach’s son was arrested last night on suspicion of
driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and possession of
prescription drugs.

The coach recently dismissed a player for
an alcohol related arrested for a second DUI.   But now he’s forced to
deal with this issue in the home.   23-year-old Dominic Petrino had
alcohol, marijuana, and opiates in his system.

Here is a man who
is supposed to lead dozens of young adult men on the football field, and
hopefully help steer them as men.   But it appears he’s not steering
them away from drugs and/or alcohol and it appears he’s no steering his
own family members away from dangerous narcotics.

It’s unknown
what the punishment for the young Petrino will be if a jury convicts
him.   But he is an example of how the son of anyone can fall into the
temptations of drug abuse.    Hopefully coach Petrino can come out and
issue an anti-drug message.   A young child hoping to be the next
Razorbacks phenom someday won’t get the message that drugs are bad from
these situations.

This is an opportunity for the coach to issue a
message that’s loud and clear; Razorbacks and the Razorback family do
not use drugs.

If you know a child or young adult who may be abusing drugs, get them the help they need by clicking HERE.



you are in your late 30s or early 40s, you know doubt know the message
of safe and sane.   Even through the last decade law enforcement
officers have still used the message to promote safe conduct on the 4th
of July holiday weekend.    But unlike the past, which focused on
fireworks safety, law enforcement officers now more than ever are
worried about the rampant drinking and drug use over these extended
holiday weekends.

I’ve seen, heard, and spoke with people who
started the 4th of July celebrations yesterday, Thursday the 30th of
June.    Believe it or not, others say they will party through the
5th.      Fireworks are mainly a thing in the past.   Here in Southern
California, street fireworks are mostly illegal, except for in some
small pockets.    In Irvine, where the Teensavers team is based, the
city eliminated street fireworks probably 25 years ago.

So instead
of more street sweeps for flowers, sparklers, and Piccolo Petes,
officers are setting up flares and cones and conducting DUI checkpoints
more aggressive than ever.  The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has a
massive anti drinking and driving campaign this weekend.   They held or
assisted with checkpoints starting last night, and those will continue
through Monday.

This is a valuable time to remind your teen about
the dangers of drinking and drug use.   Parents most likely don’t have
to worry about their kids lighting fireworks.   But their kids may still
get badly burned by using alcohol or drugs.

This is also a good
time to consider a Teensavers Home Drug Test, if you are a parent.
Kids are out of school and many partake in drinking and drug use
already, with the extra “excitement” of partying around a holiday.
Parents should already be having the alcohol and drug conversations with
their children.    But they should take the time to reinforce the
message during the holidays.

Teensavers cares about children and
they want families to be healthy and safe during every holiday season.
If you have a child you suspect may be using drugs, test them.   If you
know that friends of your child are using drugs, alert their parents.
Too many parents worry about being a Tattletale.    You could be saving
another child’s life.


New information from the University of Maryland. Liberty Mutual, and SADD.

All 11th and 12th Graders Believe Their Peers Are More Likely to Drink
and Drive on Prom and Graduation Nights; Less Than One-Third Think
Driving on These Nights is Dangerous.

Students may be more likely
to drink and drive on prom and graduation nights, according to a survey
of 11th and 12th grade students across the country. Nearly all of the
students surveyed (90%) said that their peers are more likely to drink
and drive on prom night, and 79% report the same for graduation night.
Despite this belief, students do not seem to think that driving on these
nights is dangerous. Less than one-third (29%) reported that they
believe that driving on prom night comes with a high degree of danger,
and 25% said the same for graduation night. These findings suggest that
there is a need to provide high school students with prevention messages
that paint an accurate picture of the risks and consequences from
drinking and driving during prom and graduation season.

survey was conducted by ORC Guideline for Liberty Mutual and Students
Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). A total of 2,531 11th and 12th
graders from 25 randomly recruited high schools across the country were
surveyed in the Fall of 2009. The margin of error is +/- 1.7 percent.


Teensavers wants to pass along explosive in depth reporting from the OC Register today regarding the history of Austin Farley’s alcohol and violent abusiveness.   Among the OC Register’s findings:

  • Farley spent only 50 days in jail for all of the total crimes he had been convicted.
  • He had 2 underage alcohol issues with authorities
  • His parents were granted 4 protective orders from their abusive son.
  • The mother would not cooperate with police, despite being his victim of abuse.
  • He spent time in and out of treatment centers
  • His most recent case, dismissed Friday, centered around prescription drug abuse.


This was a man full of problems.   If you know someone abusing alcohol or drugs, contact the Teensavers team CLICK HERE.   Home drug testing, and earlier treatment could have headed this man off of his drunken and violent path.

He brazenly plead not-guilty the charges yesterday.  For a complete account from the OC Register, click here:

The community of Irvine has been grieving after we lost a 14-year-old to a habitual drunk driver.  Austin Jeffrey Farley is suspected of being under the influence when he crashed into the Mercedes that Ashton Sweet was riding in.

As we found out shortly after the crash, Farley had a long list of arrests for alcohol and drug possession.   Farley has spent most of his early 20’s paying for his alcohol related offenses.   His latest charge is murder.

We can’t speculate when Farley started drinking, or what his drug use is.    But its clear that he began drinking and driving by the time he was 19.

According to the OC Register, the CHP arrested Farley on a minor driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .05 or higher.    He got off that charge by completing a diversion program.

Most people don’t get arrested the first time they do something wrong.    Some people get away with drinking and driving for years.   Many are lucky, not because they avoided jail time, but because they didn’t hurt anyone.

There are programs in place in the city of Irvine, specifically TARGET21, established by the Irvine by the Irvine Community Drug Prevention group.    They back social host ordinances, and preach that kids should aviod trying alcohol at all until they are 21.

Not only do we need more types of these programs to help usher kids into adulthood, but kids can also be tested to make sure they are not using alcohol or narcotics.    2,500 children use drugs for the first time every day.    Prescription drug abuse is becoming a huge problem.

School educators use breathalyzers and home drug tests at school functions like dances and grad nights.    Parents need to step up to help raise responsible children who become responsible adults.    Do not serve alcohol to minors in your home.     Educate them not to drink or do drugs, and make them aware you will test them.

Myteensavers has treated too many children who started using at a young age.   Many of them say that they had little to no parental guidance during this formative years.

Guide your child into adulthood, and help raise a responsible young adult.


Myteensavers update:

As her son faces murder charges for the crash that killed Ashton
Sweet, the mother of Austin Jeffrey Farley released a statement today
through her son’s attorney that she would “personally give my life if it
would bring Ashton Sweet back.”

The 26-year-old driver faces murder charges.   His blood alcohol content was double the legal limit.

He faces 20 years to life for a DUI with special circumstances.

He is set to enter his plea today in court.

Farley has a history of alcohol and drug related arrests and run-ins with the law.  If you know anyone with an alcohol or a drug problem, get them help.

If you know anyone who is about to drive after drinking or using drugs. try to take the keys and call them a cab.    Nothing good can come out of drinking and driving.     Habitual drinking and drug use can be prevented with better parenting and home alcohol and drug tests.   Don’t wake up to find out your son or daughter has taken someone’s life with a DUI.    Get them help.

Myteensavers cares about teens.   This was a case where these innocent victims were doing the right thing.  They were not drinking, and all they did was follow the rules.   Their parents were being good, active parents.   This tragedy could have been prevented if someone had stopped Farley from getting behind the wheel.