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STS&G News Goodove in the News Archive 2015

GOODOVE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT 2015 MID-ATLANTIC DUI CONFERENCE

Michael Goodove was the Keynote Speaker at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic DUI Conference, which took place on May 27 – 29 in Virginia Beach.  The Mid-Atlantic DUI Conference is hosted by the Virginia Beach Police Department and is attended by public safety professionals around the country to hone their skills in DUI prevention, detection, and enforcement.  Michael Goodove is the President of the Southside Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and is lawyer who specializes in victim’s rights and is community activist in the prevention of DUI’s as well as the enforcement of DUI laws.

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Archive 2010 STS&G News Goodove in the News

92.9 The Wave-Hampton Roads Topics-Interviews Michael Goodove about Impaired Driving

Michael Goodove interviewed Radio Program about Impaired Driving


[audio:https://www.stsg-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/HR+Topics+-+MADD.mp3|titles=HR+Topics+-+MADD]

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Archive 2010 STS&G News Goodove in the News

Michael Goodove comments on a new website that helps drivers avoid tickets and dui checkpoints.

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Updated: Tuesday, 27 Jul 2010, 6:17 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 26 Jul 2010, 9:16 PM EDT

Eric Harryman
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – If you own a GPS or a smartphone, the latest technology to help you avoid getting expensive traffic tickets is literally a download away.

GPS tracking is designed to make driving more safe, but it also has the power to alert you to areas that could cost you if you break a traffic law. There are a few similar systems, but the one WAVY.com tested is called Phantom Alert.com.

Retired firefighter and Newport News resident Dennis Ricketts offered to take the system through its paces. Like thousands of other drivers, Ricketts doesn’t drive anywhere without his GPS. But Dennis said that’s not because he is afraid of getting lost.

Dennis’ GPS is armed with something others are not. The GPS tracking system, called Phantom Alert, that he downloaded more than a year ago, started working immediately.

“Alert, red light camera ahead,” the GPS said.

Getting caught by a red light camera can mean a traffic citation along with a fine of $50 that shows up in your mailbox.

“I know where they are, a lot of other people may not. It’s like a tool in a toolbox for your car. If you choose to use it, you’ll be a better driver,” said Ricketts.

Thirty seconds down the road, the Phantom Alert system spoke out again.

“Alert, school zone ahead. Reduce speed,” said the computerized GPS voice.

It’s not just school zones or red light cameras though, the system also alerts drivers to railroad crossings, speed traps and D.U.I. checkpoints, to name a few. With a paid subscription and a quick download, the system is ready to use.

The hope for many users is that the system will prevent traffic tickets, but the reality is that the system is only as reliable as its users. That’s because drivers who use the system, fuel the system by calling in or e-mailing hot spots, other users are then alerted through instant downloads.

WAVY.com wanted to find out how police feel about the technology, especially since those red light cameras can mean big revenue for the city. Virginia Beach Police Officer Jimmy Barnes said Phantom Alert and other similar systems actually enhance what they are trying to do.

“We think it’s great,” he said. “Technology works on both sides. We’re using technology to enforce the laws, technology also can tell you where we’re enforcing the law.”

But the alerts for DUI checkpoints could help drivers potentially avoid a checkpoint, after being notified of when and where it’s happening.

“Am I going to go through a DUI checkpoint? If it changes driver behavior, maybe I shouldn’t drive tonight or maybe I should get a designated driver, we’re all for that,” said Barnes.

Not everyone feels that way.

Mike Goodove, a Norfolk attorney and president of the Southside Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, lost his brother to a drunk driver. Goodove agreed Phantom Alert does some good things, but he says DUI checkpoint alerts aren’t one of them.

“It’s personal responsibility. I don’t think we can support a tool that encourages people to drink, drive and avoid detection,” Goodove said.

Even though many local cities publicize information about DUI checkpoints, Goodove says the problem is that users can get instant notification.

“When you’re behind the wheel and you get information that can help you avoid detection, which translates to you’re a danger to the public, that can’t be a good thing,” said Goodove.

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Archive 2005 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

Some question lawyer’s melding of cause, career

THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

BY JON FRANK

NORFOLK – Almost 15 years ago, Michael L. Goodove was a law school student when his legal career and life were altered forever.

On a February morning in 1990, Goodove’s younger brother, Jeffrey, was riding in a car that was hit by another vehicle on a narrow, hilly road in Charlottesville.

Jeffrey, a University of Virginia student, was killed instantly.

The driver of the other car was drunk.

Goodove received the tragic news at George Mason University from his mother via telephone.

“I got the call nobody wants to get,” Goodove recalled in a recent interview. “I had never experienced death until my brother was killed. It was the first funeral I ever went to.”

That combination – drunken driving and tragedy – profoundly changed Goodove’s personal life. His family, especially his parents, were never the same.

“It is extremely unnatural to bury a child,” said Goodove, who is now married with three children . “That is something no one should ever have to go through.”

The experience of loss also came to define much of Goodove’s professional life, providing both controversy and a cause – as well as a source of commerce – to his vocation as a lawyer .

In the years since his brother’s death, Goodove has become a lawyer who represents people injured by drunken drivers and a prominent spokesman for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He has been the group’s leader for the past 12 years.

In that capacity, Goodove has helped many families navigate the legal system after loved ones were injured or killed by DUI offenders.

“I consider what he does to be a real public service,” said Kaye Walsh, whose daughter, Robin Gustafson, was killed by a drunken driver in Virginia Beach in 1997. “He pulled us through the whole process.”

Goodove also has lobbied the General Assembly tirelessly to stiffen penalties for people convicted of DUI. Virginia now has some of the toughest drunken-driving laws in the country.

Through the years, Goodove became the face of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in South Hampton Roads, an implausible development because Goodove clearly is not a mother.

But his regular appearances in court and on television have made Goodove’s good looks and quiet confidence well-known among those interested in or personally touched by drunken driving.

A recent television advertisement by his Norfolk law firm – Rabinowitz, Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove – focuses on Goodove’s personal story of tragedy.

The blending of commerce with crusade makes some in the legal community uncomfortable. They say Goodove uses his advocacy role, in part, to get business for his law firm.

But some lawyers support Goodove’s ability to turn a passionate personal interest into something that helps him in his professional life.

“I don’t see any conflict,” said Michael I. Ashe, a Virginia Beach lawyer and avid cyclist with a long history of representing fellow cyclists in personal-injury cases.

The advertisement, Ashe said, is only “stating that you are a lawyer who happens to know this particular field backward and forward.”

Other lawyers say Goodove’s level of commitment to the organization makes conflict allegations ridiculous.

“If he had to pay money to be involved with MADD, he would do it,” said Norfolk lawyer Larry Cardon. “He has a passion for this.”

To Goodove, the criticism is unfounded.

For one thing, he said, he always provides drunken-driving victims a list of other lawyers who could represent them in any legal proceeding. Those who choose him are a very small part of his legal practice, he said.

“Never once did I have any financial motivation for getting involved in it,” Goodove said. “I felt that I had a tool that would really help these victims that no one else had.”

It wasn’t always that way.

Early on, Goodove was as carefree and selfish as most recent college graduates. He wanted a glitzy career on Wall Street, not a job where grieving was an integral part of every working day.

He attended law school at the urging of his parents. Law would provide a profession he could always fall back on, they said.

His legal training had hardly begun when his brother was killed. It was a tremendous shock. “He was not just my brother; he was my best friend,” Goodove said.

The family gathered at home in South Hampton Roads to bury Jeffrey, hoping to bring the person who had killed him to justice. Soon, however, the reality of Virginia’s lax drunken-driving laws became depressingly apparent.

They found the police had botched the evidence collection. The drunken driver had been allowed to dispose of the beer in his car before he was questioned by authorities. That led prosecutors in Charlottesville not to pursue criminal charges.

The Goodove family persevered. Eventually, they had to be satisfied with a wrongful-death lawsuit. Criminal charges were never filed.

At that point, Goodove recalled, he began to “detach” from the situation to escape the tragic memories haunting the rest of his family. Returning to George Mason University, he plunged back into his law studies.

But he was troubled by the way he and his family had been treated by authorities. He thought the system was out of whack. He thought it cared little for bringing DUI offenders to justice and nothing for victims.

Soul searching followed, along with an internship in the Fairfax County prosecutor’s office.

“I discovered that I was good in court and liked wearing the white hat and being the good guy,” Goodove said.

When he returned to his hometown of Virginia Beach, he decided to devote his career to helping victims. He went to work for a personal injury law firm and contacted the state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving .

After starting a local chapter , attending conferences and talking to others, he concluded that drunken driving was a societal problem, deeply imbedded in the culture, cutting across economic strata.

The key problem was that most drunken drivers were walking away from even fatal accidents with rarely more than a slap on the wrist .

“The problem we faced was not so much the convictions but the punishment,” Goodove said.

Goodove’s goal was to build an organization with staying power that would help reshape attitudes over the long term.

That presence has allowed Mothers Against Drunk Driving to keep the image of victims before the media and public. Eventually, it has swung public opinion toward stiffer penalties, especially for repeat offenders.

Another victory was the acceptance of victim-impact statements after convictions. Under the old system, DUI offenders would walk away with probation, without the victims’ families being able to say how the injury or death had affected them.

Once victim-impact statements became part of the law, penalties became harsher. “They can be very powerful,” Goodove said.

Goodove strived to become a bridge between victims and prosecutors, leading the uninitiated through the maze like legal process that had so frustrated his own family.

Initially, Goodove faced opposition. Some judges thought Mothers Against Drunk Driving wanted to abolish alcohol use and that Goodove was a teetotaler who did not want to be around drinkers.

Neither was true.

Goodove drinks occasionally but makes certain he always has alternative transportation. And Mothers Against Drunk Driving has no intention of trying to stop people from drinking, only drinking and driving.

Today, when contacted by a DUI victim, Goodove meets the family and counsels them about what to expect. He provides them with support and advice and helps them prepare victim-impact statements at the appropriate time.

As the number of DUI accidents increases, so do the organization’s membership and donor rolls.

“Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a tragic event to make it close to your heart,” Goodove said.

Victims who survive have a simple choice, Goodove said: “You can vent angrily and let that dominate you, or you can use the pain in a cathartic manner to do some good.”

* Reach Jon Frank at 222-5122 or jon.frank@pilotonline.com.

{CAPTION} Michael L. Goodove’s brother was killed by a drunken driver 15 years ago. Goodove, right, a lawyer who also heads the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, has championed his cause and worked for tougher laws in Virginia.

Mort Fryman The Virginian-Pilot

Copyright (c) 2005 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 7828775

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Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

DRIVER INDICTED ON CHARGES IN TWO DUI ARRESTS

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

Author: MATTHEW ROY THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

The man accused of fleeing a crash that took the life of a Norfolk high school student was indicted Wednesday on felony charges of driving under the influence and hit and run.

Roy Lee Everett, 30, of Norfolk may be indicted on more charges in the future, said Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III. Doyle declined to give details.

Everett’s lawyer, Bobby L. Howlett Jr., could not be reached for comment.

Everett was also indicted Wednesday on separate charges of DUI and driving drunk on a revoked license. Those charges stemmed from an April 14 arrest by an off-duty Norfolk police officer.

Officer W.E. Whiteside has testified he saw Everett driving recklessly, followed him and arrested him for DUI. Hours later, records show, Everett was freed on $1,000 bond. At the time, he had three prior DUI convictions in Virginia Beach.

On May 6, police say, Everett was at the wheel of a Dodge pickup that collided with a two-door Honda at North Military Highway and Azalea Garden Road. The crash killed 16-year-old Landon W. Chambers, a passenger in the car, and injured his brother, Barney.

Witnesses said Everett crawled from the pickup, which had turned onto its side, and fled on foot. Bystanders stopped him and held him for police, witnesses said.

He has been in custody since then and was being held without bond Wednesday, a spokesman for the City Jail said.

The charges in Wednesday’s indictment carry potential five-year prison terms, except for the hit-and-run charge. That count carries up to 10 years behind bars, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney James F. Entas.

Michael Goodove, an attorney who is president of the Southside Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, speculated that prosecutors may have indicted Everett on DUI in order to hold him while they investigate the case further.

Everett also faces criminal charges in Virginia Beach, where, authorities allege, he posed as his brother when he was charged in yet another DUI case last October. He faces counts of DUI, forgery of a public document, identity fraud and a license-related charge.

Caption:
Photo
Roy L. Everett was indicted Wednesday on multiple charges from two
incidents, including one that killed a 16-year-old.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0306190069

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Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

DRIVER FACED DUI CHARGE THREE WEEKS BEFORE CRASH

Author: MATTHEW ROY AND JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

A man facing his seventh drunken-driving charge after the crash Tuesday that killed a high school student was charged with driving drunk three weeks ago, but regained his freedom within hours by posting a $1,000 bond.

Roy Lee Everett, 30, was charged Tuesday with running a red light, driving under the influence and 10 other violations in the crash that killed 16-year-old Landon Chambers and injured his brother, Barney.

Everett is being held without bail in the Norfolk City Jail.

Everett has been behind bars before. He has three previous DUI convictions in Virginia Beach. And he was arrested for drunken driving most recently on April 14.

That’s when, court records say, Norfolk Officer W.E. Whiteside stopped him for driving recklessly at the wheel of a Jaguar.

Whiteside smelled alcohol.

“I asked if he had been drinking and he stated yes, 4 Mike’s Lemonades in an hour,” Whiteside wrote in papers filed in Norfolk General District Court.

A Department of Motor Vehicles records check showed Everett’s three prior convictions for DUI, Whiteside noted, as well as three previous convictions for driving on a suspended license.

In addition to the third-offense DUI, Whiteside charged Everett with driving after his driving privileges had been suspended.

Magistrate J.D. Bullock Jr. set Everett’s bond at $1,000 at 3:16 a.m. on April 14, according to court records. Everett posted bail through a bonding company at 4:57 a.m. and was freed.

Michael Goodove, an attorney and president of the Southside Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said anyone charged with a third-offense DUI, a felony, should not be allowed to post a bond and be freed from custody.

“Our position is the criminal justice system’s paramount responsibility is to protect lives,” he said. “Research has shown that your hardcore, repetitive drunk-driving offenders are the folks most

likely to injure or kill somebody.”

Three weeks after his release, police contend, Everett drove a pickup through a red light at North Military Highway and Azalea Garden Road into the path of the Chambers brothers, who were traveling in a Honda Civic. The impact crumpled their car and flipped the pickup on its side. Witnesses said Everett climbed from the pickup’s rear window and ran. Citizens cornered him behind a carpet store until police arrived to arrest him.

Bullock could not be reached for comment.

Chief Magistrate Beth B. Pennington said she spoke with him briefly about the bond and intends to meet with him in the coming week.

“At this point, I have to trust the magistrate’s judgment,” she said. “He’s been a magistrate for a while.”

By setting bonds, magistrates try to ensure that defendants show up in court, she said, noting they don’t determine guilt or innocence. She said they consider the length of time a defendant has lived in the area, family ties, any prior record and their likelihood to appear in court.

“No matter how high it’s set, a person can still bond out,” Pennington said.

This week’s DUI charge is the latest in a long list of serious driving infractions for Everett, stretching back to at least 1994.

During the past eight years, Everett has been convicted multiple times for a variety of charges, including reckless driving and speeding.

Everett’s three DUI convictions in Virginia Beach started with a charge in 1994. Five years later, in May 1999, Everett was charged with DUI, second offense.

In December 1999, he was charged again with DUI, second offense.

That last charge resulted in Everett getting the maximum jail penalty for second-offense-DUI – 12 months in jail, according Judge Albert D. Alberi, who sentenced Everett in Virginia Beach General District Court.

But Alberi suspended 11 months of the time and allowed Everett to serve the resulting monthlong sentence on weekends in the Virginia Beach City Jail.

It was not clear on Friday why Everett was not charged that December with DUI, third offense.

DUI, third offense, became a felony when state law was changed by the General Assembly in July 1999. It carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and can be lodged against any drunken driver who has two prior DUI convictions within the past 10 years.

Mark T. Del Duca, a Virginia Beach lawyer and former Beach prosecutor, explained Friday that Everett’s December DUI charge in 1999 may have occurred before his May 1999 offense had made its way through the court system.

If that were the case, it may have been impossible for Everett to be charged with DUI, third offense, in December 1999, Del Duca said.

Everett also was charged with second-offense DUI in Norfolk in January 1998, but the count was dismissed, online court records say.

Another DUI charge, in Emporia in August 1997, was dismissed, according to online court records.

Reach Matthew Roy at mroy(AT)pilotonline.com or 446-2540.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0305100125

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Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

VICTIM’S FAMILY FILES THREE LAWSUITS AGAINST MOTORIST IN FATAL CAR ACCIDENT

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Three lawsuits have been filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court against a motorist who is accused of being drunk when he ran a red light and killed a 26-year-old father of two in November.

Steven C. Arcese, 50, had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood on Nov. 3, according to recent court testimony in the criminal case against Arcese. His Audi station wagon crashed head-on into a 1991 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by David C. Fisher.

Fisher died early the following morning from his injuries. His children, ages 3 and 6 months, suffered superficial injuries and have recovered.

Fisher was on the way to pick up his wife from her job at Wal-Mart in the couple’s only car when the accident occurred about 11:30 p.m. at the intersection of London Bridge and Dam Neck roads.

Arcese had a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 hours after the accident, police said. The legal limit in Virginia is 0.08.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of Fisher’s wife, Mandi Rose Fisher, and the children.

One of the lawsuits was filed in February. The other two were filed Monday.

The lawsuits allege that Arcese was drunk and speeding, failed to keep a proper outlook, failed to keep his vehicle under proper control and did not obey traffic signals.

Each of the lawsuits asks for compensatory damages of $5 million and punitive damages of $5 million.

Michael L. Goodove, the attorney who filed the suits, said the children were traumatized by the accident.

Arcese is being held without bond in the Virginia Beach city jail. He is scheduled to stand trial April 23 on charges of aggravated involuntary manslaughter, driving under the influence and refusal to take a blood-alcohol test.

The maximum penalty for aggravated involuntary manslaughter is 20 years.

Reach Jon Frank at 446-2277 or jfrank(AT)pilotonline.com

Caption:
Lawsuits filed by the family of David C. Fisher, who
died after a car ran into his, seek a total of $30 million in
punitive and compensatory damages.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0304130093

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Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

DRIVER IN CRASH FIGHTS OFFICIALS ON HOW BLOOD WAS OBTAINED

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

The man charged in a November collision that claimed the life of a father of two young children will either plead guilty or face trial with evidence that he had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood that night.

Circuit Judge Thomas S. Shadrick denied a motion Wednesday to throw out evidence that 50-year-old Steven V. Arcese had a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 hours after the Nov. 3 accident.

The legal limit for driving in Virginia is 0.08.

Police said that Arcese, driving a 2002 Audi station wagon, ran a red light at the intersection of London Bridge Road and Dam Neck Road, and collided with a vehicle driven by David Fisher, 26, of Virginia Beach.

Fisher was killed. His children, 3-year-old James and 6-month-old Amber, were in child-restraint seats in the back of their 1991 Chevrolet Cavalier station wagon and were not injured.

Arcese is charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter, driving under the influence and refusal to take a blood-alcohol test. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted during a trial scheduled for April 23.

On Wednesday, Arcese’s lawyers, Moody E. “Sonny” Stallings and Mark T. Del Duca, argued that Arcese’s constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure was violated when police obtained Arcese’s blood test results from Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, where he was taken for treatment.

After the accident, Arcese refused a breath test, Stallings said. Arcese also told police twice he would not allow them to draw blood to determine his blood-alcohol level.

At that point, Stallings said, police needed a search warrant before taking Arcese’s blood.

Instead, Stallings said, police “came in the back door” to obtain Arcese’s blood test results by subpoena from the hospital.

Arcese, who is being held without bond in the Virginia Beach City Jail pending trial, testified Wednesday that he had been drinking before the accident.

“I had a beer, a little bit of wine with dinner and a glass of wine after dinner,” Arcese said.

A nurse testified that she took Arcese’s blood as part of the hospital’s routine procedure prior to treatment.

“I told him I was not drawing blood for the police,” said Heather L. Mcinyk, an emergency room nurse at the hospital.

Mcinyk testified that she told Arcese that “if the police wanted his results, they would have to subpoena his results.”

That’s what police did, testified Beach Officer Gary Kerfoot.

Kerfoot said he was trying to get the blood because “I was going to use it for prosecution.”

Although Stallings maintained that the police action was illegal, he acknowledged that state law allows authorities to obtain blood-alcohol test results from suspects during the regular course of providing emergency medical treatment.

Mike Goodove, president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said after the hearing that the law streamlines the prosecution of people who are involved in drunken-driving accidents but refuse to take breath tests. MADD supported its passage, he said.

After the hearing, Stallings said he raised the constitutional issue, in part, to preserve it for appeal after trial. He said Arcese may plead guilty to avoid a jury trial, but could appeal the conviction if he does so.

Reach Jon Frank at 446-2277 or jfrank(AT)pilotonline.com

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0304030099

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Archive 1998 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

SOBER STUDENTS GET LESSON ON DRUNK DRIVING

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

June 7, 1998

Rebecca Dorschel’s eyes flew open and her body tensed as the car swung wide and slammed to a stop, dragging an orange cone along with it.

Rebecca, 15, was a backseat passenger in a car driven by her cousin, Joel Webb,. She had ridden with Joel before, but never on a ride like this one where everything felt out of control.

Rebecca and Joel were two of the hundreds of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy upper school students who experienced, firsthand but in total safety, a drive with a drunk driver.

The frightening but enlightening rides were in the Drunk Driving Simulator, a 1996 Dodge Neon that the Chrysler Corporation has modified with an on-board computer programmed to delay the car’s steering and braking response time, simulating the slowed abilities of a driver under the influence.

“It felt really weird when the brakes weren’t working at all and the steering locked up so I couldn’t control it,” Joel said.

“And he is normally a very good driver,” Rebecca added loyally.

The Simulator was developed in 1988 to allow sober drivers, and passengers, to experience the dangers of drinking and driving while on a controlled course with a trained instructor in the car. The instructor enters the driver’s weight and the number of hypothetical drinks needed to reach a blood alcohol level of approximately .13 to .15 and the computer takes over. A blood alcohol level of .08 is the legal limit in Virginia.

A separate kill brake allows the instructor to disengage the computer or shut down the engine when necessary.

Kerry Dunaway, Simulator instructor, said that his wisecracks and the upbeat music that filled the parking lot are all intended to make the experience a fun, but memorable one. The nervous laughter and joking around that he normally hears from the teens turns to serious thought after they have knocked down a few pop-up pedestrians along the course.

“I love this job because it gives you an opportunity to maybe make a change in someone’s life,” he said.

It took an entire year for NSA’s 75-member SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) club to bring the Simulator to the Academy, but their timing was good. Spring partying for proms and graduations makes the “don’t drink and drive” lessons most relevant.

“Overall I find that teenagers are receptive and responsible, more so than the adults,” Dunaway said.

Joel agreed, noting that most of the NSA students understand the importance of a designated driver.

Karen Konefal, a parent volunteer who helped register students to drive or ride in the Simulator, has a son and daughter in the school.

“You can talk to them until you are blue in the face but it is not like actually driving like you are out of control,” she said. “Hopefully this way they will remember to anticipate and not get caugt in the moment of a bad situation.”

Caption:
Staff photos by MICHAEL KESTNER
Sarah Smith is all smiles at the wheel of the Drunk Driving
Simulator, but her back seat passenger looks a little apprehensive.

Yikes! A student driver nails a pylon on a tight turn while
operating the Drunk Driving Simulator.

Memo:
Statistics drive home need to stay sober when driving

Mike Goodove, a Norfolk attorney whose brother was killed by a drunk driver in Charlottesville eight years ago, is also president of the South Side MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. MADD is a supporter of the Simulator program. Goodove quoted the following statistics for 1996, the most recent available:

In Virginia in 1996 there were 7206 drivers under 21 involved in crashes. Alcohol was a factor in 346 of those.

Of the 3427 drivers under 21 involved in crashes in which there were personal injuries, 183 were alcohol impaired.

Overall, 39.8 percent of all traffic fatalities in Virginia that year were alcohol related.

Copyright (c) 1998 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 9806050302

Categories
Archive 1998 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

BEACH PUTS BRAKES ON POLICE CHASES NOW OFFICERS CAN’T PURSUE NON-VIOLENT FLEEING CRIMINAL

Police Chief Charles R. Wall has banned all police pursuits in the city except for cases involving violent felons armed with guns.

The order, effective immediately, could eliminate nearly all police chases using motor vehicles, officers said Thursday. Police officers can no longer pursue drunken drivers, car thieves, burglars or other non-violent criminals who flee, according to the new order.

The June 2 memo from Wall was distributed to officers Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Some officers still had not seen the memo as of late Thursday. A copy was given to The Virginian-Pilot.

No other Hampton Roads jurisdiction has such a strict pursuit policy. The new order will affect other jurisdictions that chase fleeing motorists into Virginia Beach. Wall said those officers will be allowed to continue a hot pursuit in Virginia Beach, but they would not get help from his department’s officers unless the pursuit was justified under the new criteria.

The order is an interim step. Department officials are rewriting the pursuit policy, and the city’s officers will be given a chance to comment on a draft of the proposed orders. But Wall said he expects the final orders to be similar to the interim policy.

The new order is a sharp departure from the former policy, which allowed officers discretion as to when to begin a pursuit. The Police Department has in recent years allowed officers more latitude to aggressively halt fleeing motorists. Officers have been trained to use tire-deflating spikes and to box in fleeing vehicles with rolling roadblocks.

Also, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision made it very difficult for citizens to sue police in federal court for damages or injuries resulting from pursuits.

Wall said it was the safety of the community, and not the Supreme Court decision, that guided him.

“I am very concerned, as you should be, about the dangers inherent in police pursuits of vehicles,” Wall said in the memo. “The conflict between our efforts to protect the lives of citizens . . . and engaging in high-speed pursuits through city streets should be obvious.”

The new order will allow a pursuit only when an officer believes a car’s occupant or occupants have used a gun or a bomb to commit, or to try to commit, a violent felony.

“All other pursuits are prohibited,” the memo said.

Wall said Thursday the decision to curtail pursuits wasn’t taken lightly. He and others studied the pursuit policies of jurisdictions in at least seven states. They also consulted with national experts on police pursuits.

The chief said, after the review, he and his staff determined a more restrictive policy will be safer for the public and the police officers.

The new rules come against a backdrop of several controversial police pursuits in Virginia Beach, including some that have killed innocent people.

On Jan. 21, 1995, a drunken driver eluded police for 15 miles before the van he was driving slammed into a sports car in Norfolk and killed two people. Although state police had taken over the pursuit, the chase started in Virginia Beach. That chase would not be allowed now.

On March 25, 1997, Bruce V. Quagliato led police on a low-speed pursuit that ended when his car and at least two police cars collided on Independence Boulevard. He died after several police officers shot him, thinking he was armed. He wasn’t.

Twice in 1997, motorcyclists being chased for traffic or equipment infractions died after crashing at high speeds. Neither pursuit would be allowed now.

On Feb. 6, police said a 14-year-old girl was driving a stolen car when she sped from a police officer on Shore Drive. She and a companion survived a crash that killed an innocent motorist, 56-year-old Michael Boynton, a retired Navy SEAL and war hero. That pursuit would not be allowed today.

On March 14, five teen-agers in a stolen car crashed after trying to elude police. The car’s driver and one passenger, both 14, died. That pursuit would not be allowed today.

“We considered (these crashes) and we considered the danger to our officers,” Wall said. “We have looked at this for quite a while.”

Mary Boynton, wife of the man killed by the 14-year-old car thief, said Thursday she never blamed the police because they were doing their job. She said she instead blames the teen-agers who stole a car and killed her husband.

The new policy drew mixed reactions.

“I think it is great. It is something they should’ve done a long time ago,” said attorney Jim McKenry, who represents Quagliato’s family. Quagliato was shot to death at the end of a police pursuit when he refused to comply with officers’ orders. Under a strict interpretation of the new policy, a similar pursuit would not be initiated now.

His client “would still be alive and well,” McKenry said. Quagliato’s family is suing the city for $5 million.

But Mike Goodove, president of Southside MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said he is concerned about any policy that could hamper police from aggressive DUI enforcement. Under this policy, police can’t chase a drunken driver who flees.

“The Virginia Beach Police Department should first of all be applauded for its efforts to combat impaired driving,” he said. “We would certainly interpret impaired driving as a violent offense because of the potential injuries and death the drunk driver would cause. Because an impaired driver poses a serious threat to others on the roadway, the proposed policy change to ban pursuits, with respect to drunk driving, gives us some concern.

“We are confident that the Virginia Beach police department will allow its officers to remove impaired drivers from the roadway while protecting the safety of those on the road,” Goodove said.

Lillian DeVenny, state president of Virginians Opposing Drunk Driving, said she can see both sides of the issue. An advocate for stringent police enforcement of DUI, she also knows a family whose son was killed in a police pursuit.

“In a way, (the new policy) angers me, but I have had ambivalent feelings on that matter for quite some time,” she said. “I feel the police officers have been doing their jobs as best as they can, but when I look at the other side of the coin, and see the victims of pursuits, I have second thoughts.”

The city’s new policy represents exactly the kinds of police guidelines that Wyoming-based STOPP, or Solutions to Tragedies of Police Pursuit, lobbies for. That group studies police pursuits and ways to reduce them.

“That is wonderful,” said STOPP’s Jeff Maceiko of the Virginia Beach policy. “We don’t want them to ban all pursuits, per se, but we do want to ban all except for the pursuits of violent felons. This exactly what we want.”

Several police officers contacted Thursday said the new policy will limit their effectiveness, and it may cause more motorists to run because they know the police won’t chase. They said drunken drivers, unlicensed drivers and other criminals would probably take the chance to escape. Many officers said only law-abiding drivers would stop for them now.

Wall said he doesn’t think that will happen.

“Every place we have looked that has similar policies, we found that simply has not been the case,” Wall said. “They reported that was not the result.”

Before Thursday, the decision to chase a suspect was left to the individual officer. The officer would have to consider, among other things, the risks involved, the severity of the offense, and the possibility of catching the motorist at a later time. Now, most of that discretion is eliminated.

“While none of us likes the thought of letting someone go who has committed a violation and compounded that by fleeing when we signal them to stop,” the memo said, “the overriding factor guiding all of our actions must be our concern for the safety of the officers involved and the citizens of the community, as well as the violators themselves.”

One of the city’s police-union representatives, Officer Bobby Mathieson, said his organization doesn’t yet have an opinion on the new policy.

“We welcome the public input on this,” he said. “The public should be a big part of this, to see if they support (the new rules), or if they don’t.”

Although the Supreme Court has granted police departments more protection, Virginia Beach is one of many agencies across the country adopting more restrictive pursuit policies.

Authorities in Florida said Hampton Roads fugitive Carl Douglas Consolvo outran a police officer because the Miami Shores Police Department doesn’t allow pursuits. Federal authorities said Consolvo then continued his crime spree, which included a wave of bank robberies and the shooting of a Utah police officer.

But even though police may sometimes fail to catch criminals, no-pursuit policies could save more than 100 innocent lives a year, advocates said.

In 1996, the latest year for which complete national statistics are available, 377 deaths resulted from police pursuits. Of those deaths, 111 were innocent third parties. The remaining 266 were in the fleeing cars.

Some states have tried to quell the number of police pursuits. Some of those efforts have targeted the motorists, and some have curbed the police.

Oregon lawmakers, for example, made it a felony instead of a misdemeanor to run from police. Other state lawmakers, like those in Delaware, are trying to craft statewide pursuit policies that all municipalities must follow.

Wall said the final version of revised orders could be approved and in place by next month.

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