drunk driving

Tyler Peters

If you're in Casper and you’ve too drunk too much to drive home, you now have options. You can call a cab, or you can call Hammered Helper: a car service that will ferry you around town free of charge--although they do take tips. Hammered Helper is the brainchild of Tyler Peters, a 24 year old Casper native. Peters started the service in selling pot. Now clean and sober, Peters dedicates five nights a week to Hammered Helper. Wyoming Public Radio’s Miles Bryan spent a Friday night with him, and has this postcard.

Under the program, individuals who are awaiting trials or hearings for alcohol-related misdemeanors would be released from jail provided they agree to a once- or twice-a-day sobriety test.  Judges may also order the individuals participate in the program after adjudication.

Jackson Representative Keith Gingery says that South Dakota piloted the 24/7 Sobriety Program.  He says when a group of legislators went to Rapid City to see the program first hand, they saw a line of people waiting for their turn at an intoximeter.

Governor Matt Mead says the number of highway fatalities has been decreasing. 

"Wyoming began tracking highway fatalities in 1967 and if we finish the year up well we will have had 82 highway fatalities, which will be the lowest number since 1967," Mead said.

At this time last year, there were already 112 fatalities.

However, Mead warned that the holiday season tends to be the deadliest in Wyoming and drivers can expect a lot of enforcement out on the roads to help keep that number from growing.

The Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving kicked-off a new anti-drunk-driving ad campaign this week, featuring print, radio and television ads that tell the story of the eight University of Wyoming Cross-country runners who were killed by a drunk driver south of Laramie in 2001.

Their deaths marked the single most fatal drunk driving accident in state history.

Council Co-chair and Natrona County District Attorney, Mike Blonigen says that the campaign can be summed up by the final line of its print ad: “Drunk driving kills; Stop driving drunk.”

Irina Zhorov

A new program will allow Laramie and Cheyenne police officers to help one another during the Jubilee and Frontier Days weekends this month.

The arrangement allows an employee of one city to work in another city as needed. The police departments have decided to pilot the program with a focus on preventing drunk driving during the two popular festivals, beginning this weekend.

Commander Mitchell Cushman of the Laramie Police Department says that while the Cheyenne officers will be actively patrolling for impaired drivers, they will be able to enforce all Laramie laws. 

Governor Matt Mead and First Lady Carol Mead say they hope a hard hitting media campaign will reduce the number of alcohol related crashes and deaths in the state. 

The Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving is rolling out advertisements that emphasize how much it costs to get cited for drunken driving, and that people convicted of the crime stand may lose their license. It will also focus on the eight members of the U-W track team that were killed by a drunk driver.

The Wyoming Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a recent state law that allows judges to give permission over the phone to police officers to draw blood or perform other tests on people suspected of drunken driving.
Two drivers who submitted to testing after a Teton County judge authorized officers over the phone are contending the tests should be disallowed in their cases because the search warrants don't meet constitutional requirements for written affidavits.

Albany County District Judge Jeffrey Donnell has dealt a blow to Laramie’s ordinance that mandates jail time for anyone who refuses chemical testing if they are suspected of driving under the influence. 

Laramie approved the law in an effort to stop people from refusing chemical testing.  But Laramie Attorney Michael Vang challenged the ordinance in a case surrounding his client Raymond Sandoval.