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

PROPOSALS WOULD CLOSE DRUNKEN-DRIVING LOOPHOLES

LT. GOV. KAINE SEEKS LONGER SENTENCES, TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR REFUSING TESTS

Author: MICHELLE WASHINGTON THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine said Monday that he will push for tougher penalties against repeat drunken drivers, joining legislators and others who have called for changes in the wake of recent fatal crashes.

Kaine made the announcement on the steps of the courthouse where repeat drunken driver Roy Lee Everett was sentenced Friday to 14 years in prison for killing a high-school honor student in May.

Both of Kaine’s proposals would target third-time drunken drivers.

If they have two DUI convictions, are stopped again and refuse to take a blood or breath test, they would face one year in jail. The current penalty for refusing to be tested is a one-year driver’s license suspension. The mandatory jail sentence for third-time drunken drivers would increase from 10 days to one year.

Repeat drunken drivers know the system, Kaine said, and know what penalties they are likely to face if picked up again. Neither 10 days in jail nor the loss of a driver’s license is much deterrent, he said, and drunken drivers can sometimes avoid a third DUI conviction simply by refusing to take the test.

“Usually if you’re driving drunk you don’t mind driving on a suspended license,” Kaine said. If passed by the General Assembly, the new penalties would be “a powerful disincentive,” Kaine said.

Kaine said Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III pointed out weaknesses in the criminal system that repeat offenders exploit. Neither man mentioned Roy Lee Everett by name, but his case highlighted some of the loopholes.

Everett had surrendered his driving privileges after previous DUI convictions, so he had nothing to lose by refusing to take a blood or breath test. That refusal denied prosecutors evidence of his intoxication that might have led to a murder charge. Everett pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges.

While Everett’s case might be emblematic of problems, Kaine and Doyle said, he was not the sole impetus for the changes.

“There is a hard core of repeat offenders, people who aren’t afraid of a suspended license,” Kaine said.

Kaine said he will introduce the legislation to the General Assembly in January. If passed, it likely would take effect in July.

Lawyer Jeffrey Stredler represents the family of Landon Chambers, the 16-year-old boy killed by Roy Lee Everett. The family has long hoped something good could come of Landon’s death, he said.

“It sounds like they’re moving in the right direction toward making the roads safer for everybody,” Stredler said.

Leaders of area Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapters said the measures will close loopholes that let repeat offenders beat the system.

“It’s been a long time in coming,” said Michael Goodove, president of the Southside chapter of MADD, which includes Norfolk. “You’ve seen a shifting of penalties for DUI but no shifting for hard-core repeat offenders who know the system very well.”

Dick Jackson, president of the Peninsula chapter of MADD, said the new laws should have an effect on drunken driving in the long run.

“If we had had this a few years ago, maybe Mr. Everett wouldn’t be sitting there,” with a 14-year prison term, Jackson said.

Reach Michelle Washington at michelle.washington(AT)pilotonline.com or at 446-2287.

Caption:
Photo
GENEVIEVE ROSS/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT
Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine, right, and Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney John
R. Doyle III discuss proposed changes to the DUI law Monday on the
steps of Norfolk Circuit Court.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0310140079

Categories
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

Categories
Archive 2002 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

MAN CHARGED IN DEATH OF 26-YEAR-OLD FATHER DENIED BOND

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

The man who police said ran a red light while driving drunk and killed a man was denied bond Friday and returned to custody.

Steven V. Arcese, 50, has been in the Virginia Beach city jail since Nov. 8, when police charged him with aggravated involuntary manslaughter in the death of David Fisher.

Fisher, 26, and his children, 3-year-old James and 6-month-old Amber, were heading to pick up Fisher’s wife on Nov. 3 when their car was struck by a sport-utility vehicle southbound on London Bridge Road that failed to stop for a traffic light at the intersection of Dam Neck Road. Neither of the children was seriously hurt.

Arcese was charged with DUI and refusing to take a blood alcohol test that night. Five days later, he was charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter.

On Friday, General District Court Judge Virginia L. Cochran rejected arguments by Arcese’s attorney, Mark T. Del Duca, that Arcese be allowed the opportunity to post a bond. Del Duca said he would appeal the decision to Circuit Court, where a hearing is likely next week.

The victim’s father and Mike L. Goodove, president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, applauded Cochran’s decision.

“He needs to stay where he is,” Jim Fisher said.

“Arcese’s previous record, coupled with his actions leading up to the death of Mr. Fisher, strongly support the decision of Judge Cochran,” Goodove said.

Arcese was charged with DUI and convicted of reckless driving in 1988. He was convicted of DUI in 1994. He has other non-driving convictions from the 1980s.

Arcese had attended a wine tasting before the crash, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutor Susan Goldsticker, Arcese’s blood-alcohol level after the accident was estimated to be two to three times the legal limit of 0.08.

Arcese’s blood-alcohol level was tested at a hospital where he was taken for treatment after the accident.

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

Caption:
PHOTO
Steven V. Arcese, 50, is charged with aggravated manslaughter and
drunken driving.

Copyright (c) 2002 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0211160110

–Forwarded Message Attachment–
Subject: Norfolk Virginian Pilot Document
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 18:46:28 -0400
From: newslibrary@newsbank.com
To: mgoodove@rstsg.com

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

April 6, 2002

HANDLING OF TRAFFIC FATALITY ANGERS MADD LEADER

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Edition: FINAL
Section: LOCAL
Page: B3
Dateline: VIRGINIA BEACH

Estimated printed pages: 2

Article Text:

The local president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants the city’s chief prosecutor to get involved in an involuntary manslaughter case involving a teen-ager charged this week.

Sara J. Becker, 18, was charged Sunday in connection with the death of a 20-year-old Virginia Beach man at the Oceanfront.

Mike Goodove, president of the Southside MADD, criticized the decision by Magistrate B.B. Cowell to set Becker free on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond while she awaits trial.

“This is shocking in a manslaughter case,” Goodove said. “It sends an inappropriate message to the community.”

Goodove called for Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey L. Bryant III to ask for a hearing in front of a judge to reconsider the bond.

Becker, a college student who lives in Richmond, was driving a 2002 Honda Civic early Sunday morning on Baltic Avenue near 27th Street when she struck a pedestrian, police said.

She was charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence and faces up to 11 years in prison.

The pedestrian, Joshua A. Davis, of the 500 block of Fountain Lake Drive, was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in Becker’s automobile suffered minor injuries.

Becker was not injured.

Her blood-alcohol level was .10, according to police. The legal limit in Virginia is .08.

Goodove said the court must determine whether Becker has an alcohol problem that would pose a threat. If a judge examines the case, Goodove said, more time could be spent investigating the woman’s background.

“It would be good to have another set of eyes look at her,” he said.

Bryant said on Friday that he had no specific information about the case. But he promised to “look into it.”

Becker’s bond was handled like all others involving a suspect charged by warrant and taken before a magistrate, Bryant said. In such cases, he explained, prosecutors aren’t involved.

The Virginia Beach magistrate’s office works under the chief judge of the Circuit Court, Thomas S. Shadrick.

Decisions about bonds – whether issued by a magistrate or a judge – are made after determining whether the person poses a public safety threat or a flight risk and whether the case is strong, Bryant said.

Virginia Beach Chief Magistrate Robert S. Hill Jr. could not be reached for comment Friday.

Copyright (c) 2002 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0204060095