Famous Daredevil Robbie Knievel Charged with 4th DWI

Robbie Knievel, the youngest son of the late daredevil Evel Knievel, was charged with felony drunken driving and criminal endangerment after allegedly causing a multi-vehicle collision in Butte Montana on Tuesday night.

According to Butte police, Knievel was driving a 2005 GMC Yukon at a high speed heading south on Harrison Avenue. Witnesses told police he rear-ended a Honda Accord, it hit a Ford Taurus and the Ford struck a Hummer.aaarobbie

Knievel fled the scene in the GMC and it was located shortly afterwards parked on Sanders Street two blocks away. Police then saw Knievel walking on Busch Street, a block from the accident scene, and stopped him.

He had a bloody lip and police smelled alcohol on his breath. He admitted he had been driving, police said.

He refused to take a Breathalyzer and could not take some of the field-sobriety tests because of his bloody lip, police said, so they got a search warrant and had a blood sample taken at St. James Healthcare.

Police said his address is in Sequim, Washington, but the GMC he was driving Tuesday night was registered to a Butte man. When the judge asked Knievel to state his address, he paused for several seconds and said it was on his driver’s license.

Knievel, 52, caught a pretty good break considering the multiple DWI convictions: in lieu of bond being set, he agreed to either come to the jail each morning and evening and submit to alcohol screening or wear a bracelet that detects alcohol.

This DWI is a felony because Knievel has three previous convictions. The additional charge of felony criminal endangerment charge stems from Knievel allegedly running a red light and causing an accident that created substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another.

None of those others involved in the wreck appeared to suffer injuries.

Knievel also caught 3 misdemeanor cases: (1)leaving the scene of an accident, (2) operating a motor vehicle without an interlock device and (3) running a red light.  Thats right, he was supposed to be driving with an interlock breathalyzer aparatus from his LAST DWI conviction.

The drunken driving charge carries a maximum five-year sentence and $50,000 fine and the criminal endangerment charge carries a maximum 10-year sentence and $50,000 fine.

The three misdemeanors carry possible six-month jail sentences and fines ranging from $200 to $500.

Knievel was cited for felony DUI and was booked into the detention center.

The Honda Accord and Ford Taurus had to be towed from the scene, but the Hummer was able to drive off.

Knievel pleaded guilty to DUI in South Dakota in August 2013. He had been arrested in Lawrence County after the vehicle he was driving crashed into two motorhomes while he was leaving the Buffalo Chip Campground.

His preliminary blood-alcohol breath test that night measured 0.228 – almost three times the legal limit.

He received a suspended jail sentence and paid nearly $600 in fines and his driver’s license was suspended for 30 days.

Knievel called into “TMZ Live” radio talk show after his 2013 arrest and admitted he was drunk that day, saying “I’m a frickin’ drinking, driving daredevil.”

“I ride motorcycles and I friggn’ drink and ride … that’s my deal,” he said.

He said he had an alcohol problem.

“I’m a cowboy. I’m not a redneck. But I love whiskey,” he said.

ARRESTED FOR A DWI?!

If you’ve been accused of  a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), it is crucial that you act quickly.

If you are facing a DWI charge

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande IMMEDIATELY

281-684-3500

http://www.legrandelaw.com

http://www.houstondrugattorney.net

Houston Criminal defense attorney Tristan LeGrande

After Crash, Members of the Secret Service Facing DWI Accusations

It was probably no secret that something might be amiss when a secret service member crashed his car through a White House security barricade on March 4th after leaving a White House Party.

secretservice

The incident is being investigated by Homeland Security, and the two agents have been reassigned to nonsupervisory positions.

Officials have of course voiced concerns that the men being investigated are “regularly within arm’s length of the president.”

What is going on here…are these guys not supposed to be members of our elite service?  Although I will wait to pass judgment until they are found guilty, the possible implications are troubling.

Congressman have acted, and have stated that they are inquiring as to whether the agents were intoxicated, whether a sobriety test was ordered by those who responded to the accident, and if so whether that test was administered.

“If anyone requested that and it did not happen, I’ve got a big problem with that,” said Representative Chaffetz of Utah, Chief of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee;  “If somebody was indeed suspected of being under the influence, that should have been dealt with right there on the spot, and I’m concerned that it wasn’t.”

Chaffetz, who has been loudly critical of apparent lapses and misconduct in the ranks of the Secret Service, reiterated Wednesday that healing the troubled agency will require more than a few simple personnel changes. How this incident is handled, he said, will serve as a test for the service’s new director, Joseph Clancy.

“We’re going to find out real quick what sort of discipline is (Clancy) going to institute there,” Chaffetz said. “If this is true, he had better deal with it swiftly. This is totally unacceptable.”

ARRESTED FOR A DWI?!

If you’ve been accused of Driving While Intoxicated, it is crucial that you act quickly.

If you are facing a DWI charge

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande IMMEDIATELY

281-684-3500

http://www.legrandelaw.com

http://www.houstondrugattorney.net

Houston Criminal defense attorney Tristan LeGrande

DWI? I Would Not Recommended the “Black-Ice” Defense

Police claim Brian Byers of  New Jersey man allegedly poured water into the middle of an intersection in hopes of creating a black ice slick, allegedly to cover up a crash that occurred when he was intoxicated and took out a guardrail.

But it gets better.  Police also claim he recruited an accomplice in his scheme to cover up the drunken wreck, Alexander Zambenedetti. Both were arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

black-ice

The scheme

Police officers report finding the two tipsy men at an icy intersection in the middle of the night. Zambenedetti left little doubt about his state of mind when he was found shirtless in the driver’s seat of his car.  Weather reports indicate the outdoor air temperature was hovering around 1 degree.

The evidence?  Two 5-gallon buckets in their car; the buckets still had some water in them, police say.

Officers allege Byers coasted through a stop sign at the same intersection, collided with a guard rail, and drove the car back to his house.  When there, he recruited a co-pilot and devised the scheme to cover up the wreck.

Police further allege the men had created enough ice in the intersection to require half a ton of salt to melt. Sounds like they used quite a few buckets!

The charges

Byers was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign, careless driving, driving while intoxicated, failure to report an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, and disorderly conduct (for intentionally icing the intersection).

The problem will be what defense attorneys call “wheeling the driver.”  They must put him behind the wheel through presentation of some evidence.  Bryer has denied operating his car, as has Zambenedetti.   However, Zambebedetti has also been charged with careless driving, driving while intoxicated (no breath or blood tests, just field sobriety excercises), and failure to wear a seat belt.

They could have been charged with more.  In New Jersey it is illegal to use any object or “other thing of physical substance knowing it to be false and with purpose to mislead a public servant who is engaged in [an] investigation.” Tampering with evidence is a fourth degree crime carrying a possible 18-month jail sentence.

The takeaway?  If no one is there to witness an accident and no one else is involved – might want to think twice about trying to cover up the incident.  Perhaps Byers should have just stayed at home, police may never have found out.

ARRESTED FOR A DWI?!

If you’ve been accused of Driving While Intoxicated, it is crucial that you act quickly.

If you are facing a DWI charge

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande IMMEDIATELY

281-684-3500

http://www.legrandelaw.com

http://www.houstondrugattorney.net

Houston Criminal defense attorney Tristan LeGrande

SCOTUS: Anonymous 911 caller is reasonable suspicion for DWI

Yet another blow was dealt by the Supreme Court on our civil liberties and our 4th amendment rights on April 22 when the Supreme Court held that California Highway Patrol officers had reasonable suspicion of DWI, and therefore were justified in conducting an investigative traffic stop where the only basis for the stop was that the vehicle matched a description of a vehicle that an anonymous 911 caller had reported had run her off the road.  Once the stop was conducted, officers smelled Marijuana, searched the truck and found 30lbs of marijuana.traffic-stop-1

So how exactly has this case (Prado Navarette v. California) eroded our 4th amendment rights?

A brief summation of your 4th amendment rights in this context may be instructive (I urge any of my colleagues seeing need for additions or alterations to this summation to weigh in).

The Fourth amendment permits investigative stops when a police officer, taking into account a totality of the circumstances, has a specific and objective basis for suspecting the person stopped has engaged in or is about to engage in criminal activity.  See United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 441.  The court has determined in numerous cases that anonymous tips lack the veracity to be relied upon to substantiate reasonable suspicion.  However if there are sufficient indicia of reliability, the court has held that it is enough.

Somehow the court found that an anonymous caller, with a vehicle description was good enough.  This is despite the fact that when the Defendants vehicle was actually being followed by the police, they committed no traffic offenses and provided no additional reasonable suspicion for the officers to believe, by their own observations, that the person could be driving while intoxicated.  The court reasons that this does not dispel the reasonable suspicion for the DWI – what, because all sloshed drivers can drive perfectly when they know the police are following them?  If that were true, I would have a lot fewer clients.

And what else did the court hang its hat on that gave this anonymous caller sufficient indicia of reliability for the call to be the sole basis for the reasonable suspicion for the investigative stop of the defendant?  The fact that the vehicle of the given description was found close to where it was reported it had been.

That’s it.  You can call 911 and give an anonymous tip, state the vehicles description and license plate number and the vehicle will be stopped.

The implications of this are frightening.  Got a grudge against a former spouse that likes to go to the  bars?  Just phone it in some Saturday night, you don’t even have to give your name, just provide the plate number and what local speakeasy your former spouse likes to frequent and presto–you can get them stopped!

Let’s not forget the police officers…should a rouge officer decide he needs to pull over a vehicle and search it without those pesky constitutional requirements, all he has to do is get himself a burner phone and call in a location, vehicle description and license plate number…anonymously…and presto again, he has orchestrated a rouse to pull over anyone he so desires without any justification whatsoever.

View the full supreme court opinion here:

 PRADO NAVARETTE ET AL. v. CALIFORNIA