Archive for December, 2016

Man Charged for Driving Under The Influence of Caffeine

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

On August 15, 2015 John Schwab was pulled over by a California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agent.  The agent was driving in an unofficial vehicle, and complained that Mr. Schwab was driving unsteadily on the road.

Mr. Schwab was taken to Solano County Jail, where they measure his blood alcohol content. The report came back with a 0.00% blood alcohol reading. In an effort to rule out any technical errors, a second test was conducted in a Pennsylvania lab where only caffeine was found in Mr. Schwab’s system. Despite the BAC readings, John Schwab was eventually charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence of a drug.

Almost 18 months later, Joseph Schwab is now preparing to go to court.  According to Stacey Barrett, Defense Lawyer for Mr. Schwab, the District Attorney only has caffeine as evidence against Joseph Schwab.

With no evidence of an actual drug in Mr. Schwab and lack of any statements, reports or documentation supporting the DA’s theory, the DA will have a difficult time proving Schwab was influenced by just caffeine.

Attorney Barrett has submitted a motion to dismiss this case since the charges were brought almost 10 months after the arrest.  In case the appeal is denied; Mr. Schwab will be taking his case to a jury on January 11, 2017.

Forensic toxicologist, Jeffrey Zehnder, stated that “It’s really stupid” and that he had never witnessed a prosecution for driving under the influence of caffeine.

More exactly, the California Law considers a “drug” almost any kind of substances, besides alcohol that can impair the reasoning of a person to a significant degree.  However, according to expert opinions of both Attorney Barrett, and Forensic Scientist Zehnder; this case will become difficult to prove in court, because there is no substantial scientific evidence that holds caffeine responsible for making someone’s senses “impaired.”

Mr. Schwab is hopeful that the charges will be dropped so that he can move on with his life and have his name cleared.

Bicyclist Receives a $28 Million Settlement In A Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Valet Driver

Monday, December 12th, 2016

A Seattle jury ruled against Standard Parking in a $28 million settlement after their valet driver hit and permanently injured a Seattle bicyclist.  The collision occured when the valet driver used an illegal route to return vehicles and parked off-premises in order to maximize his wages. The Seattle jury also fined Standard Parking because they knew their drivers had been regularly using illegal shortcut routes. Standard Parking turned a blind eye despite numerous complaints until it was noticed by the court due to the bicyclist accident.

Thyce Colyn, the plaintiff, once an avid bicyclist who has logged more than 200,000 miles, is now forced to completely withdraw from all lower body movements due to his injuries. In October 2012, Mr. Colyn was taking  8th Avenue home by the Convention Center when he was hit by Taylor Warn. When the accident occured Taylor Warn, a valet driver, was illegally taking the one-way lane without signaling the on-comers of his arrival. Immediately after the accident, Mr. Colyn was admitted to the hospital where he was treated for traumatic brain injury, a shattered hip, and other serious injuries to his abdomen, head, shoulder, back, ribs and pelvis. Although, Thyce Colyn has already undergone 3 different surgeries, and 5 more are still pending, the greatest concern is that Mr. Colyn has little to no chances of regaining his complete foot-control.

Mr. Colyn’s attorney David Beninger states Standard Parking didn’t only ignore its drivers violation of city laws, but it dangerously let it all happen even after receiving complaints, which is evidence of institutional negligence. According to official court documents, in order to increase profits Standard Parking redirected vehicles for the Grand Hyatt Hotel to Olive8 Garage, a third of a mile away from the hotel. As a result, valets were under pressure to return the vehicles quickly leading to illegal shortcuts, violation of street lights and other traffic laws.

Seattle traffic laws stress on drivers that they must always turn into the nearest lane, signaling themselves 100-feet before they can change the lane again. The valet route required numerous maneuvers that were illegal and endanger both pedestrians and driver’s safety.  As a result of Taylor Warns collision with Thyce Colyn, the jury’s verdict puts the financial responsibility on Standard Parking instead of a simple traffic ticket.