Fifty-seven year old Daniel Howell of Joshua Tree now faces charges including felony hit and run, vehicular manslaughter, and DUI after careening off the road, hitting Alberto Jose Serejo, and leaving the scene. [Read more…]
The California State Assembly unanimously passed a bill to initiate a program to require an ignition interlock device in the car of anyone convicted of any DUI offense. The bill goes to the Governor’s desk for signature.
It is an open question whether roadside sobriety checkpoints, also known as DUI roadblocks, are an effective use of police resources in stopping drunk drivers.
The high court of California ruled this week that people charged with DUI can challenge evidence from breathalyzer tests. Because many DUI cases are built on the evidence from these often unreliable machines, this is great news, and presents important new opportunities in court, and giving DUI defendants a fair shake.
When building a DUI defense, a defense attorney looks at all of the aspects of your arrest. Often the prosecution’s entire case is built on the results of a breath test. While field sobriety tests and your driving behavior can also come into play, the breath test result can be a “nail in the coffin” for a DUI case. But now, that evidence and the supposed infallibility of this magic number can be challenged. [Read more…]
Lately it seems there have been several drunk driving fatality cases being reported in the Sacramento area. Scanning just one day’s headlines I encountered two stories surrounding such incidents.
The first case involves an accident that just happened over the past weekend. Matthew Smith was driving his pickup truck with a friend in the passenger seat. He was speeding when he careened off the road, hitting a tree. [Read more…]
Yes, Even Doctors Commit DUI
A Sacramento Physician has lost his license to practice medicine and his license to drive after allegedly being caught drunk behind the wheel for a fifth time. According to CBS13, Dr. Kyle Robert Krueger has 5 DUI arrests on his record and has just lost his medical license. [Read more…]
According to the Los Angeles Times, the number of L.A. County Sherriff’s Deputies being charged with alcohol related crimes is on the rise. In 2008, 70 sworn officers were arrested, mostly for DUI. This is compared with 24 in 2004.
What is frightening about this trend is that in many of the cases, the officers were carrying firearms at the time. While most of the arrests didn’t end with additional firearm related charges, some did and these are what has prompted Sherriff Baca to put tougher policies in place, perhaps the toughest in the nation.
In the high stress career of law enforcement, drinking has always had its place. Now, however, attitudes towards drinking to excess have changed. Both colleagues and upper management are less likely to turn a blind eye to an officer’s drinking problems or incidences leading to arrest.
In situations where the deputy was armed and intoxicated, it creates a frightening scenario both for the public and for the department looking to uphold an air of respect and professionalism. The incident described in this article where an officer kissed a bar patron and showed his weapon before kissing her again likely put her in serious fear and forever changed her view of law enforcement. [Read more…]
A new change to an old California DUI law went into effect on January 1, 2009. In the past a judge was told, by law, to give “heightened consideration” to applying an ignition interlock device to offenders’ cars that had been caught with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of greater than .20%. What changed is that threshold, the percentage at which a judge should heighten his consideration.
Now, if you are caught with a BAC greater than only .15% you may be sentenced to an ignition interlock device. When the law says a judge should give “heightened consideration” to something it doesn’t mean the judge has to impose this sanction but it is almost like the law strongly recommends it.
The legal limit for DUI in California is .08% so this heightened consideration will be applied if you are less than twice the legal limit. [Read more…]
In California and across the country, Super Bowl weekend will bring parties and get-togethers. People will gather at homes and at bars and in most circumstances, there will be drinking going on. Pay attention to most of the Super Bowl commercials and you will see that beer is quite popular with fans across the country!
The Salinas Police Department issued some statistics as well as tips in this article from The Californian. Because the incidences of driving while impaired increase so much over Super Bowl weekend, police are beefing up the ranks and getting prepared for a busy time.
In an effort to keep the roads safe they will be setting up checkpoints and increasing staffing to stop drunk drivers. Increasing patrols to combat drunk driving over the weekend will hopefully prevent DWI related accidents and deaths. [Read more…]
On probation for DUI? Be wary of this new California law
As of January 1st, 2009 a new penalty hit the books for probationers caught driving while under the influence. If someone has been put on probation for a DUI conviction in California and gets pulled over, his or her license can be immediately taken if they have any alcohol in their system.
This new law means that your blood alcohol content can be as low as 0.01% and you can still lose your license and possibly your vehicle. This penalty also applies if the probationer refuses to submit to a breath test.
AB 1165 alters the wording of the existing law to increase penalties and decrease the threshold at which someone on probation can be penalized for drinking and driving. While the intentions of this bill are likely in the right place it is an extremely harsh penalty that probationers should definitely take notice of. [Read more…]