Archive for June 8th, 2008

Spurs guard Johnson arrested on DWI charge

Police arrested Spurs guard DerMarr Johnson over the weekend and charged him with driving while intoxicated.

Johnson, 28, was released Sunday morning after posting $1,000 bail. A breath test showed the 6-foot-9 basketball player had exceeded the legal limit of 0.08 percent, police said.

“I just had a few cups of wine,” Johnson said as he left the city’s detention center.

About 11:30 p.m. Saturday, a traffic officer pulled over a black SUV on Loop 1604 near Interstate 10 West because it was traveling 20 mph over the speed limit, weaving and following other vehicles too closely, police spokesman Joe Rios said.

The officer noticed that Johnson, the driver, smelled of “intoxicants” and his speech was slurred, Rios said. After a field sobriety test, Johnson was taken downtown, where he submitted to a breath test.

“He was very cooperative,” Rios said.

Asked if he believed the arrest would affect his position with the Spurs, Johnson said, “I don’t know. Probably so.”

Tom James, a spokesman for the Spurs, declined to comment, citing a lack of details.

“At this point, our main focus is working to gather more information,” he said.

Johnson’s career has been bumpy. Two years after joining the Atlanta Hawks as a first-round draft pick, he crashed a Mercedes-Benz into a tree and broke his neck in 2002. The injury kept him off the court for more than a year, and Atlanta let him go. Police said alcohol was not a factor in the wreck.

Last year, police stunned Johnson with a Taser and charged him with resisting arrest and interfering with police during a disturbance outside a Colorado nightclub, according to the Associated Press. A lawyer for Johnson at the time said he had been breaking up a fight between two women.

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Woman at .462 after tree crash

A WOMAN was a record nine times over the legal blood-alcohol limit when she crashed her car into a tree, a court heard yesterday.

A lawyer for Heather-Ann Higgins told Frankston Magistrates’ Court Ms Higgins would plead guilty to seven driving offences after recording .462 – believed to be an Australian record reading for a female driver.

Ms Higgins, 49, allegedly told police she drank four cans of a vodka-based mixed drink shortly before she hit a tree and rolled her car on a road in Moorooduc, on Mornington Peninsula, on February 15.

The force of the impact was such that her hat ended up in a tree at least 6m off the ground.

Ms Higgins’ blood-alcohol level was tested after a sample was taken while she was treated at the Frankston Hospital.

Constable Phil Frith said outside court the reading was believed to be the highest recorded for a woman in Victoria.

“I was dumbfounded, to put it politely,” Constable Frith said.

“I rang forensic science straight away to confirm it and they said it was definitely correct.”

Ms Higgins, of Somers, appeared in court yesterday on charges including reckless conduct endangering life, careless driving, driving under the influence, exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol and driving in a dangerous manner.

Her lawyer, Neil Falconer, indicated she would plead guilty and asked the court for an adjournment to allow her to be psychiatrically assessed and medically treated.

A police statement before the court alleged Ms Higgins’ car veered on to the wrong side of Stumpy Gully Rd, Moorooduc, before it hit a tree, rolled and landed on its roof.

Pictures of the mangled car wreckage were included with the police statement.

Constable Frith, who was one of the first to arrive at the scene, said the woman was trapped in the wreckage and police helped an ambulance crew free her.

He said she was very lucky to be alive.

Ms Higgins broke down in tears as she left the court after magistrate Ross Betts adjourned the hearing to July 15.

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