Stoned drivers pass the drunk ones

STONED DRIVERS may be a bigger threat on the road than drunk ones.

Maybe we need a “MADS.” The original group of Mothers Against Drunk Driving had a big impact and has pressured states into tougher drunk driving laws.

But, according to new statistics, Driving Stoned is an even bigger problem. In announcing a DUI/Drivers’ License checkpoint in Huntington Beach from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. on Saturday, the HBPD passed along the news that drugged-up motorists surpass those who’ve had a beer or two.

A study of California drivers showed that – in fatal accidents – more tested positive (14 percent) for having drugs in their system than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Marijuana was the “most popular” drug at 7.4 percent.

Is this a result of the legalization of marijuana in California? Don’t know, but it seems like the last thing we need is more ways for people to get stupid while operating a motor vehicle.

WESTMINSTER Police Chief Ralph Ornelas (City of Westminster photo).

Police chief being investigated

We’re looking into this ourselves, but published reports emerged Tuesday morning that Westminster Police Chief Ralph Ornelas has been place on administrative leave for investigation of “possible policy violations.”

Here’s the e-mail reply to The Tribune from Assistant City Manager Chet Simmons:

“Effective February 17th at Noon, Police Chief Ralph Ornelas was placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an outside investigation into possible policy violations.  As with any ongoing personnel matter, the City is limited by law regarding the information we can provide.

“While the Chief is on administrative leave, Deputy Chief Mark Lauderback will serve as Acting Chief of Police.

“The City has every confidence in the Westminster Police Department and their ability to continue to maintain the outstanding level of service our community has come to expect.”

The Task of Tracking Trask

One of our local history buffs, Josh McIntosh, posted an article from ochistorical.blogspot.com about the namesake of Trask Avenue, with runs through Garden Grove and Westminster.

According to the article, the street was probably named after Judge D. K. Trask, a jurist of some reputation in Southern California.

In 1910, he bought 70 acres in Westminster, bordered by today’s Trask Avenue on the north, today’s Westminster Boulevard on the south, Beach Boulevard to the east and Richardson Way to the west.

Three fascinating facts about Trask. Mr. Trask died of a stroke in the middle of a lawsuit in probate court, and the word “Trask” comes down from the Norse name “tresc” or “trask,” which means “marsh,” which certainly seems appropriate for the area.

And the third thing. The judge’s full name was Dummer Kiah Trask. Honest.

Usually Reliable Sources usually is posted on alternate Wednesdays.


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