WRDW reporter arrested at DUI checkpoint

Saturday, July 13, 2013 5:50 PM
Last updated 9:30 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

A WRDW-TV reporter has been suspended after her arrest at a Richmond County DUI checkpoint, the channel said Saturday.

Christie Ethridge registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.075 in a field sobriety test, according to WRDW’s Web site. Georgia’s legal limit is 0.08.

The Augusta-Richmond County Jail’s booking desk couldn’t say when or why Ethridge was booked because she had already been released on bond earlier Saturday.

The University of Georgia graduate has been with WRDW since July 2012, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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justthefacts
25062
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justthefacts 07/14/13 - 08:04 am
10
1
ruger

I think rugerguy had a 2.5 GPA and thinks he is a B student.

seenitB4
97596
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seenitB4 07/14/13 - 08:05 am
6
1
This did happen to this woman

A few months ago, the Iowa Supreme Court made the surprising decision that women can be fired from their jobs for being too attractive, regardless if they've engaged in activity that compromises their job performance.

Melissa Nelson, a thirty-three year old dental assistant from Fort Dodge, was fired after the dentist she worked for, Dr. James Knight, believed that she was too tempting to be kept around the office, lest he decide to sleep with her. Because Nelson would be totally into it, obviously.

I am not talking about this case with the policeman.......in general it seems a woman can lose her job over her looks... now I have worked with some DANG good looking men & not a single man was ever fired for distracting me....haha...

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 07/14/13 - 08:33 am
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1
Good one, justthefacts
Unpublished

It just tickles me silly when someone complains about the lack of others' education while making a completely erroneous statement.

justthefacts
25062
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justthefacts 07/14/13 - 08:16 am
5
1
Really?

I bet it was Dr.Knights's WIFE who thought she was too good looking to be kept around the office. Just sayin.

seenitB4
97596
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seenitB4 07/14/13 - 09:03 am
4
1
Maybe JTF

But how would YOU like to be fired for being too pretty?

justthefacts
25062
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justthefacts 07/14/13 - 08:35 am
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2
HA!

"But how would YOU like to fired for being too pretty?" Happens all the time. It's a curse.

seenitB4
97596
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seenitB4 07/14/13 - 09:03 am
2
2
^^^haha

You have been flying TOO high ..:):)

fatboyhog
2104
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fatboyhog 07/14/13 - 09:04 am
3
1
"Per the rules of math

"Per the rules of math rounding, 0.075 IS 0.08. The DUI spec is 0.08 NOT 0.080. Once again the public's (lack of) education is showing. That being said, there may be more information in the case and speculation regarding drugs or other matters is not appropriate until it all comes to light."

Actually, the last digit is dropped and the reading would be 0.07. Even it it showed 0.079, it's still 0.07 in the eyes of the law.

And, to set the record straight, I am not speculating (if that was directed at me. If not, this will just be another disclaimer). I am merely pointing out how someone could be arrested for DUI and be less than the legal limit (0.08 is for alcohol content). It is not my desire, nor intent, to imply or speculate, that drugs were involved in this case.

soapy_725
44121
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soapy_725 07/14/13 - 09:05 am
0
0
The woman making out at the Evans Theater? Yes or no?
Unpublished

The woman making out at the Evans Theater? Yes or no?

soapy_725
44121
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soapy_725 07/14/13 - 09:09 am
0
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How 'bout dem Dawgs. Party Town. LOL LOL
Unpublished

How 'bout dem Dawgs. Party Town. LOL LOL

soapy_725
44121
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soapy_725 07/14/13 - 09:10 am
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augustacrime.com Gotcha. Cha Ching
Unpublished

augustacrime.com Gotcha. Cha Ching

Cameron Poe
1039
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Cameron Poe 07/14/13 - 09:17 am
7
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Can we maybe use this

Can we maybe use this situation and the many others resulting from ORT and the many other DUI checkpoints to also address the issue of the cabs in Augusta? Im not passing judgement on this particular case or any other case in particular. But, if anyone has ever attempted to get a cab in this town, especially from Richmond county to Columbia County or vice versa you know the hassle it is. You can wait over an hour and that is if they even decide to pick you up. If we want people to look to cabs and other safe ways home at night when impaired then we also have to make sure these options are readily accessible and available to them. People will be more inclined to take the safe route home if they dont have to stand on a dark corner for an hour waiting, knowing there's a chance they may not be picked up at all.

Just some food for thought. I am in no way condoning driving under the influence or anyone who does. I am simply saying maybe we also have an issue with our cab services and other public transport.

csralookout
332
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csralookout 07/14/13 - 10:10 am
7
1
Hang in there

Christie does a great job reporting stories for Augusta. I'm wondering if they have arrested any of the kids who shot up that neighborhood she did the story on a few weeks back??? She's young and has a bright future a head of her. We all make mistakes & it looks like she did not do anything wrong except have a few drinks. And she is 21 & blew under the legal limit. From looking at the comments before me, looks like most readers are behind her. Good luck Christie & don't let any negative comments get to you.

Riverman1
93727
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Riverman1 07/14/13 - 10:41 am
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Fatboyhog, thanks

Fatboyhog, thanks for clarifying that you are simply explaining and speaking in general. No problem. Hey, I bet Toothless Tom Turnip, wearing his farm dirtied overalls, with a .075 wouldn't have been put in the backseat of the car and taken in.

daphne3520
950
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daphne3520 07/14/13 - 11:09 am
1
0
Something absolutely "fishy," here
Unpublished

First, somebody cant compute simple arithmetic and...
Second, WHY didnt the TWO Richmond County cops that she was arguing with, before her arrest, arrest her?

She should sue those cops and a slew of others, in my humble opinion.
Let the flames begin!

rugerguy
216
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rugerguy 07/14/13 - 11:29 am
1
5
Round up to 0.1 why?

Riverguy you would not round all the way up to 0.1 because the DUI spec is 0.08. Not dropping the last digit (where does that come from) may classify as erroneus perhaps but when someone starts discussing numbers and I see bad science, I call it. Sorry but 0.075 is 0.08. I think this is where a warning should be issued but I was not on the scene. Too bad all of the real drunks swaying all over the road July 4th night after the downtown fireworks were not caught and a borderline case such as this was. But, again, there may be more to the matter.

itsanotherday1
48335
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itsanotherday1 07/14/13 - 01:34 pm
5
0
Dittos Ruger

"Too bad all of the real drunks swaying all over the road July 4th night after the downtown fireworks were not caught"

This case is a good example in my ongoing complaints about checkpoints. Too many people get caught up in them who haven't been witnessed driving erratically. All the while they are dealing with this .075 person, another 10 @ >.15 are wobbling down the back streets on their way home 10 miles away. You will miss most of those camped out at a checkpoint.

myfather15
56766
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myfather15 07/14/13 - 01:40 pm
3
3
People read an extremely

People read an extremely short article on a DUI arrest and form some seriously biased opinions; that much I can tell you!

fatboyhog; has done a pretty good job of explaining the difference in per se DUI and DUI less safe, even though it appears many didn't like his explanation. The only problem I seen with his explanation was when he said "Field sobriety tests" are not admissable. I know what he was saying; but on THIS website, you've got to be careful with what you say because people will go crazy with it.

An Alco-sensor field test results are NOT admissable in Court, Stardardized Field Sobriety tests ARE admissable, especially if your certified in SFST!! The SFST tests are Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk&Turn and One leg stand!

If the 0.075 results were registered on the field alco-sensor; the officer can't testify to the numerical results, only that the suspect registered positive for alcohol on the alco-sensor; because the alco-sensor is NOT a scientific device, it's only a field test. The SFST is what actually determines whether the person is "less safe". A GOOD deputy or officer, doesn't even need the alco-sensor and will make their decision based upon driving manor (which in road checks isn't there), suspects appearance (bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, swaying in their stance, odor of an alcoholic beverage on their breath and so on); then the results of the Standardized Field Sobriety tests.

Most people actually have NO CLUE what we are looking for when administering SFST's. They are called DIVIDED ATTENTION TESTS!! People who are impaired with alcohol or drugs have a VERY hard time paying attention to more than one thing. The fact they step off line or put their foot down on the one leg stand is NOT the biggest factor we are looking for. We are observing if they are doing the test EXACTLY how we described AND demonstrated!! There are a set amout of clues assigned to each SFST; with each CLUE the person demonstrates, the percentage and level of intoxication GOES UP!! A good deputy will notate all clues the person demonstrates and as I stated; doesn't even need the alco-sensor to determine the level of impairment.

As a matter of fact, with HGN (Involuntary jerking of the eye, exagerated by alcohol) a deputy can estimate VERY closely to what the person will register on the Intoxilyzer; which is the State administered test!! HGN IS a scientific test!! It's the ONLY test in which you MUST be trained and certified in order to administer the test!! The other SFST, anyone can administer, but they can't testify to the CLUES the suspect demonstrated, if they aren't certified to do so.

myfather15
56766
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myfather15 07/14/13 - 01:48 pm
5
1
Why are people talking about "Rounding up"?

You NEVER round up the Intoxilyzer 5000 results!! Which is the State administered test!! You take TWO breathe samples and the State requires you take the lower of the two samples!! Why continue with this "rounding up" debate??

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 07/14/13 - 02:20 pm
8
0
There's only one person
Unpublished

There's only one person rounding up here. Everyone else is stupefied by the assertion.

Just My Opinion
6264
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Just My Opinion 07/14/13 - 06:06 pm
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0
ruger, I'm NOT trying to jump

ruger, I'm NOT trying to jump on you about this....but you said "..Sorry but 0.075 is 0.08.". What?? I think the problem here is that this is a LEGAL issue, and you CAN NOT "round up" when a legal issue is involved. If a teacher wants to round up, then that's their prerogative. But this is not a classroom. No sir...a lawyer would eat this crud up and it would be spit out quick.
Anyway...bottom line is there just has to be something else to this that we aren't being told....yet.

Little Lamb
49080
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Little Lamb 07/14/13 - 06:46 pm
1
0
Lower Limit

Hey, did you guys catch that the MADD folks are lobbying to lower the DUI breathalizer limit to 0.05% ?

myfather15
56766
Points
myfather15 07/14/13 - 08:08 pm
4
2
Just my opinion

The bottom line is, the Intoxilyzer 5000 is a computer that stores the exact number of EVERY suspect who is tested on the device!! Each suspect is supposed to give two breathe samples. There is NO rounding up, you take the EXACT number of the lowest sample. Obviously, Ruger is NOT in law enforcement and doesn't know what they're talking about.

Now, where it get confusing (if it is confusing at all) is that a LE officer CAN still charge someone DUI less safe, below .080. There are too many contributing factors to list, which would substantiate a "less safe DUI" charge. I know some people don't like the idea of a less safe DUI charge being the decision of the officer, but that's the way it is. He still has to prove the person was less safe in court.

If a person is driving the wrong way on the Interstate, say they are going to Augusta, but are going the opposite direction away from Augusta; then field sobriety tests indicate their impaired; it doesn't matter if they are at a .06 or below, they can still be charged DUI less safe!! Again, I know this doesn't comfort some people, but I'm not hear to comfort people, I only want to tell you guys the truth!!

.08 is the per se DUI level in the State of Georgia! What that basically means is the State CONSIDERS you under the influence of alcohol if you are at or above this level. Anything below this level, the State does NOT automatically consider you DUI and the burden of PROOF falls on the officer to PROVE you were indeed less safe to drive a vehicle on the roadways.

csrareader
1288
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csrareader 07/15/13 - 03:56 am
2
2
Under the limit. Judge will

Under the limit. Judge will toss it. Slow news day at the Chronicle.

myfather15
56766
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myfather15 07/15/13 - 07:58 am
1
1
csrareader

You couldn't be more wrong!! I've been in court for many trials on DUI and they do NOT automatically throw them out because they are below .08.

Like I said; the deputy, officer or trooper will have the burden of PROVING this person was under the influence. Below .08 makes it harder to prove but I've seen MANY convictions below the legal level. Again, I won't get into ALL the contributing factors, but DUI enforcement officers are VERY well trained on detecting, processing, charging and testifying on DUI arrests. This case is NOT going to be easy, for either side!!

itsanotherday1
48335
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itsanotherday1 07/15/13 - 11:47 am
5
1
Less safe?

I despise those laws that allow that kind of LE discretion. Like "too fast for conditions", it can be a catchall for the officer to fall back on if they are bent on charging you with something.

In '74 I was ticketed for TFFC when a motorcycle cop observed me going down Central Ave. He was coming up a side street and saw/heard me accelerating. I had just unloaded my bike, getting it back from the shop, and had goosed it through first and second to see if they had fixed the carburetor issue. I never sped, nor did he do anything but observe me passing in front of him.

I think it should be law that any dui related charges be accompanied by video since it is a serious matter that can ruin your career, family, finances, etc.

corgimom
38457
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corgimom 07/15/13 - 02:40 pm
0
4
I don't know, I wasn't there,

I don't know, I wasn't there, but I'm thinking that they videotaped her, and that's what's going to convict her.

Because my guess is that she clearly acted under the influence when they taped her.

I'm just glad that they got her off the road, a DUI can be handled. You can't fix death. She was lucky.

Some people want to read "conspiracy" into everything, when none exists.

She's a big girl, if she's old enough to drink, she's old enough to handle this. She did this, let her handle it.

To suggest that RCSO has a vendetta against her is ridiculous. Do they follow every employee of WRDW? She's a newscaster, her job is to read the news, she isn't the producer or the owner of the station. Do they follow AC reporters? Spirit reporters? Reporters of the other news station? Austin Rhodes?

Get real, people. She messed up, but nobody got hurt. That's the main thing. She's a newbie reporter, on her way up, she won't be in Augusta for long.

The RCSO doesn't care one bit about her. Why would they?

corgimom
38457
Points
corgimom 07/15/13 - 02:44 pm
1
3
There are so many drunks in

There are so many drunks in Augusta, so many criminals, so many idiots, that the RCSO doesn't have to single out anybody. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. they could set up on a dirt road out in Blythe and they'd catch people.

rugerguy
216
Points
rugerguy 07/15/13 - 04:05 pm
0
3
Slam ahead

Wow let me pull the daggers out of my back. I was just saying the math I have heard tossed about in this string is horrible. I hear the limit is 0.08 and then 0.080 (which are NOT the same, people). Then I hear the final digit is dropped and the lesser value is taken of the two. Hopefully these breathalyzer instruments are calibrated with some measure of science because their implementation is definitely NOT scientific. And somebody tell me when good math or any good science is not legal and has no place in a court room? Does this apply to ballistics reports, DNA scans, and trace chemical levels? When these are unsound scientifically it is OK also?

OK, class is in session:
0.08 = 0.075 to 0.084
0.080 = 0.0795 to 0.0804

Fiat_Lux
16440
Points
Fiat_Lux 07/15/13 - 05:34 pm
2
0
@Rugerguy

Read what the actual LEO said about rounding. That pretty much covers it.

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