Darien Police Night 03-01-17

Police: Teen Hosts Party with Alcohol on Greenwood Ave

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A 19-year-old Greenwood Avenue teenager last week hosted an outdoor party where alcohol was available, resulting in his arrest, Darien police said. Police described what happened with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

Police went to Greenwood Avenue at 11:47 p.m. after getting a report of a loud party. When they arrived, they saw several people running from the property. Red cups and beer cans were scattered around the area. The 19-year-old man who identified himself as the host said he had invited friends over for a bonfire.

Randolfo Ruiz-Lopez arrest photo mug shot 06-14-17

Police: DUI for Man Found Passed Out Behind the Wheel of a Running Car at 8:45 AM

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A 38-year-old man was charged with drunk driving Saturday after passers-by found him at 8:45 a.m., unconscious behind the wheel of a running car stopped at an angle on Woodway Road, police said. Darien police described the incident with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

Two witnesses told police they found Randolfo Ruiz-Lopez of Stamford passed out behind the wheel of a tan 1998 Toyota Camry stopped near the side of the road. The witnesses said they were able to put the car in park and turn it off, then rouse Ruiz-Lopez. He told police that the car had just stopped, and denied that he had been asleep at the wheel. Police officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.

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Police: DUI for Man, 23, Who Drove Onto Highway, Drifting Between Lanes

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A charge of driving while under the influence came after a police officer saw a 23-year-old man drive an SUV from Tokeneke Road onto Interstate 95, where the vehicle drifting in and out of the right lane, police said. Darien police described what happened with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

At 2:36 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, police officers saw a white 2007 Ford Escape being driven east on Tokeneke Road. The SUV seemed to be going fast, then it made a sudden right turn onto the I-95 entrance near Exit 12 without signaling. The officer followed the vehicle. An officer saw the Escape drift in and out of the right lane several times, then pass another vehicle on the right just before the Darien South rest area.

Jorg Canola arrest photo mug shot 06-06-17

Police: DUI for Man, 22, Who Repeatedly Drove Without a Driver’s License

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A 22-year-old man was charged with driving under the influence after a police officer found he had been drinking and smoking marijuana, couldn’t complete a field sobriety test, and a records check revealed the state had revoked his privilege to drive, police said. Darien police described the incident and arrest with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

At 12:26 a.m. on Thursday, June 1, a police officer stopped on the Post Road near Noroton Avenue saw a red 1998 Toyota Camry driving west, then turn right onto Old Kings Highway South, but from the left lane. That’s a violation of street markings and resulted in the officer stopping the vehicle. The driver, Jorge Canola of Norden Place in Norwalk, said he had just been picked up from work by the woman in the passenger seat, and they were headed home. She said he was driving because it had rained earlier in the evening.

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Police: DUI for Man Found Unconscious in SUV in Middle of Road at 1 PM, Car in Drive

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Not only was a man, later charged with driving while intoxicated, found unconscious behind the wheel of his SUV at 1:19 p.m. last week, in the middle of the roadway, with the vehicle in drive gear, but when a police officer woke him up, the vehicle suddenly started moving forward, police said. Darien police described the incident with this account (including accusations not proven in court):

Police were first called to Stephen Mather Road at 1:19 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30 on the report of a driver in a gold-colored SUV who appeared confused. Other calls came in to police, with more than one caller saying the man was unconscious. That’s how police found the man, a 38-year-old Stamford resident, when they found the 2002 gold-colored (or tan) Ford Explorer on Talmadge Hill Road, in the middle of the roadway, stopped but still running. A police officer tapped on the side window to try to rouse the driver, who opened his eyes but appeared disoriented.

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Police: Intoxicated Man, 56, Charged with DUI After Driving Erratically on Post Road

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When a police officer saw a vehicle being driven erratically on the Post Road at about 9:15 p.m. last Friday, the officer pulled the car over and soon charged the 56-year-old man behind the wheel with driving while under the influence. Police described what happened with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

The officer first saw the vehicle being driven extremely close to the vehicle in front of it; then it failed to turn right in a right-turn-only lane; then it swerved suddenly, almost completely into another lane. The officer stopped the driver on the Post Road near its intersection with West Norwalk Road. The driver, a Fairfield resident, had slurred speech, but when asked how many drinks he had that night, he at first said “None.” Asked again, later, he said, “One.”

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Police: Man, 42, Charged with DUI After Officer Saw Him Swerving from Lane to Lane

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A 42-year-old man, stopped when a Darien police officer saw his vehicle swerving from lane to lane, told the officer that he’d had only two drinks, but a breath test showed his blood-alcohol level at more than twice the legal limit. Darien police described the arrest with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

At 1:02 a.m., an officer 0n patrol was driving on the northbound-traffic side of Interstate 95 when the officer saw a vehicle swerving several times, crossing into the right and left lanes before returning to the middle lane. The officer stopped the vehicle. The driver, a 42-year-old Norwalk man, said he was headed home after a soccer game in Stamford. Asked how much he had to drink, the man said, “Two beers.”

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Police: DUI for Man, 23, Who Believed He Was in New Canaan

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A driver smelling of alcohol told the Darien police officer who stopped him near Interstate 95 that he lived just around the corner — on Snowberry Lane in New Canaan, the town where the driver thought he already was, police said. Police described the incident with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

At 2:38 a.m., the police officer saw a van fail to stop before it turned left onto Tokeneke Road from the Interstate 95 Exit 12 ramp. The officer stopped the van near the intersection of Old Kings Highway South and Locust Hill Road. The driver, a 23-year-old New Canaan man, told the officer that he didn’t see any stop sign. The officer smelled a very strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the van and saw that the driver had glassy, red eyes and difficulty focusing his attention as he spoke.

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Police: Parents Should Keep Their Legal Obligations in Mind When Their Teens Host Parties

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At this time of year, the Darien Police Department typically sees an increase in the number of calls for gatherings where minors are possessing and/or consuming alcohol. This increase can be attributed to prom season, the end of the school year, and the return of college students to town. The Darien Police Department is taking this opportunity to remind parents and homeowners about the criminal and civil consequences of allowing or permitting the possession/consumption of alcohol by minors at their homes. ______________

— This announcement from the Darien Police Department was prepared by Youth Division Detective/Public Information Officer James Palmieri, who was, until recently, the school resource officer at Darien High School. ______________

Various social-host and underage-possession charges can be brought against any parent or homeowner who either actively participates in allowing minors to possess or procure alcohol or even passively allows the possession or consumption to take place.

Jamie Roach-Murray New Canaan event 03-16-17

Commentary: Think Europe Has the Right Approach to Teen Drinking? Here’s Evidence They Don’t

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The Thriving Youth Task Force and The Community Fund of Darien must be commended for providing reliable information about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption. ____________

Editor’s note: This commentary by Dr. Jamie Roach-Murray of Darien, who has been a practicing pediatrician in Darien and now concentrates on public health and health policy. It was submitted as a letter to the editor by the Thriving Youth Task Force, of which she is a member. Darienite.com is treating this as an op-ed, adding subheadings, weblinks and images. At the bottom, we’ve added a video of a recent panel discussion in New Canaan where Roach-Murray spoke.

Carrie Bernier 01-30-17

DRINKING IN DARIEN: Worse than Elsewhere for Both Teens and Adults — and the Problem is Growing

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Darien teens drink more than their peers in similar towns, across Fairfield County, across Connecticut and across the United States. Their parents are drinking more than adults in other places, too. And drinking has become more prevalent among middle school and high school kids between 2011 to 2014, especially among high school juniors and seniors. Those are the results of surveys taken for or cited by the Thriving Youth Task Force, a coalition of Darien youth-related groups and professionals in the substance abuse and mental health fields serving Darienites. Later this week, the task force is expected to announce a campaign to turn that around in town.