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There are many things that people picked up for a DUI in Los Angeles would probably like to say to the officers who arrested them. “Thank you” is usually not one of them. But one California woman had a different reaction. Six months after her arrest, Mariya Fair returned to the police station to express her gratitude to the cop who had previously charged her with DUI.dui-los-angeles-thanks

Officer Wayne Blessinger of the Fontana Police Department arrived at an accident scene on New Year’s Eve 2014. Fair, 36, had gone through a light and had crashed into two other vehicles. Fortunately, she didn’t injure anyone, but Blessinger arrested her for DUI and took her to jail.

According to Los Angeles’ ABC 7 Eyewitness News, Fair said that Officer Blessinger looked at the needle tracks in her arms and told her, “You know you’re so young. I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but you need to get yourself in order, you need to get your life in order.” Blessinger said he didn’t think he was getting through, but his words made a big impression on Fair. She had attempted suicide earlier in the month and was already planning another try when the cop spoke to her. After her arrest she turned her life around.

Fair, who is the mother of two, said Officer Blessinger was the first person to really notice her and to express concern. So the day after Mother’s Day she returned to the police station to thank Blessinger. It was a real surprise to Blessinger, who said he never expected to be thanked for arresting someone.

Do you need assistance constructing an appropriate response to a DUI charge? Look to the Kraut Law Group’s Michael Kraut for insight and peace of mind. Mr. Kraut is an experience Los Angeles DUI attorney with many relevant connections in the local legal community.

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A blood alcohol content reading of .08 or higher is enough to get you charged with a DUI in Los Angeles. You face the same penalties whether or not your BAC is .09 or .16.super-DUI-los-angeles

But that’s not the case in Michigan. The Great Lake State has what’s commonly referred to as the “super-drunk” law that applies to DUI arrests. Anyone who’s driving with a BAC of .17 or higher may face more severe consequences if arrested, even if it’s a first-time offense. One off-duty Michigan cop is discovering just how seriously the state takes such incidents.

Jamie Dubay, 39, is a 14-year veteran of the Sterling Heights Police Department. It was 1:30 in the morning of April 22 and Dubay was off duty when his 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck left the road, hit several sections of a privacy fence and then ended up against a tree. An ambulance transported Dubay to the hospital, which admitted him for non-life threatening injuries.

The Macomb County Sheriff’s office, which took over investigation of the case from the Sterling Heights Police Department, charged Dubay with operating a vehicle with a high blood alcohol content. Although this is a misdemeanor charge, Dubay could face higher penalties than because his BAC was .27–more than three times the legal limit.

Of course, those are not the only consequences that Dubay may suffer. The Sterling Heights Police Department has suspended him, and he faces an internal investigation to determine how/if he has violated department policies and discipline.
Locating a seasoned and qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer is a critical part of the process of reclaiming your life, your time and your peace of mind. Call ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut for a free consultation right now.

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Most people accused of a DUI in Los Angeles would make a point of making a good impression when their cases comes up for trial. That would include, of course, coming to court sober. Ignore that basic rule, and you could find yourself in even more trouble.Patricia-Rotter-DUI

Just ask Patricia Rotter. According to ABC 7 in Denver, Rotter came to court for her DUI trial noticeably under the influence—and then ducked out during recess to drive to the liquor store. But her unsteady trip to buy booze did not go unnoticed. A sharp-eyed, off-duty deputy observed Rotter’s condition in court and then spotted her again when she was behind the wheel of her blue Toyota sedan. She was swerving all over the road.

The deputy called in the local cops, who followed Rotter and watched her narrowly avoid hitting a curb. She was also going 56 mph in a 36 mph traffic zone. The officers flashed their lights and eventually got Rotter to pull over. Although she refused to take a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test, she did take a field sobriety test. Not too surprisingly, she didn’t pass.

It’s doubtful that Rotter made it back to the courtroom in time for her trial, since she was down at the police station. The police booked her this time for DUI, speeding, unsafe lane change and failure to yield. Rotter had previous DUI arrests in both 2013 and 2014. Maybe when she goes on trial for these newest charges, she’ll remember to show up sober.

What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.

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Ever wonder how much training a police officer gets before administering a field sobriety test to a driver suspected of DUI in Los Angeles? Are they really qualified to make a judgement about whether or not someone is really impaired? How much experience do they have in determining who is under the influence and who is not?LAPD-dui-class

In Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, the District Attorney’s office sponsored a special DUI detection class for area officers. According to The Sentinel newspaper, the DA asked for civilian volunteers willing to get a little drunk to make sure that the cops got some real, hands-on experience. (The class organizers monitored the test subjects closely to make sure the volunteers’ alcohol consumption didn’t get out of control.)

After spending some time in regular classroom work, the cops in the training session had the opportunity to take a close look at the drinking volunteers’ eyes, to watch them walk and turn and stand on one leg. Officers who took the class said that they realized that they had been missing some of the cues that intoxicated drivers provide about their condition when they take a field sobriety test. In some cases, they let people drive off who probably should not have been driving.

The volunteers who agreed to drink on cue discovered something as well. They found that after a few drinks, their level of impairment was greater than they realized. Some said that the amount that they normally drink would actually make them too impaired to drive.

How should you respond to your recent and disarming charges? Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer (and ex-prosecutor) with nearly two decades of relevant legal experience.

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There are a few things that drivers should never do before or during their time behind the wheel. One is imbibing to excess; others include tweeting or texting while they’re on the road. (Anyone charged with a DUI in Los Angeles could suffer some additional legal problems if they’re also texting at the same time.) In the last few years, two women in Florida learned there can be deadly consequences from this behavior.Kayla-Mendoza-DUI

Kayla Maria Mendoza, 22, will be spending 24 years in jail as a result of a 2013 head-on collision in which she killed two young women, Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio. Shortly after tweeting “2 drunk 2 care,” Mendoza headed her Hyundai Sonata the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expressway in Coral Springs, eventually slamming into the Toyota Camry driven by Ferrante.

Mendoza, whose blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, had been drinking two large margaritas before she got behind the wheel. She was also drinking illegally, being under 21 at the time.

Earlier that year, in August 2013, 22-year-old Mila Dago, drowning her sorrows after breaking up with her boyfriend, ran a red light in Miami and crashed into a truck. The collision killed Dago’s friend and passenger, Irina Reinoso. A police investigation revealed that shortly before the accident, Dago had texted her former boyfriend with messages such as “Driving drunk woo… I’ll be dead thanks to you.”

Like Mendoza, Dago’s blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit. Dago is facing charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and DUI with damage to a person.

Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group is standing by to offer critical insight into your case and potential defense options. Call him and his team today to begin regaining control over your case and your life.

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Anyone charged with a Los Angeles DUI hopes that the charges get thrown out of court and that they’ll go free without any repercussions to their jobs and their lives. That doesn’t happen as often as defendants would desire, but here are two cases from other states that demonstrate that DUI defendants sometimes do have their wishes come true.P-J-Williams-DUI

According to the WRBC 3 TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a judge dismissed DUI charges against a local man whose blood tests revealed that he had no alcohol and no drugs in his system. Steven Harris said he explained to an officer that cancer treatments when he was a young child had affected his balance, which was why had difficulty passing a field sobriety test. Harris agreed to blood tests, but when the first results came back negative the state chose to conduct further tests. When those tests showed that Harris was clean, a judge finally threw out the charges against him.

Harris said he had missed several job opportunities because of the false DUI charge against him.

Meanwhile, in Florida, state officials dismissed charges against Florida State cornerback P. J. Williams, anticipated to be a top pick in the NFL draft. The Florida state’s attorney’s office decided not to pursue charges against Williams for an incident that had occurred on the night of April 3rd. Prosecutor said that the video of the arrest didn’t corroborate the arresting officer’s story, since the angle of the camera blocked the views of the field sobriety test.

Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group is standing by to offer critical insight into your case and potential defense options. Call him and his team today to begin regaining control over your case and your life.

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How much is too much when it comes to punishing drivers caught driving under the influence? People who have lost family members or suffered serious injuries in a Los Angeles DUI would probably argue that the current laws don’t do enough to discourage driving under the influence. But people who have lost their licenses or their jobs because of a DUI offense would probably say they were punished too severely.alcohol-ban-for-DUI-drivers

A lawmaker in Oklahoma wants to add another penalty for anyone convicted of the offense in his state. He’s introducing a bill that allows a judge to ban DUI drivers from buying or consuming alcohol for a set period of time.

According to the Washington Times, State Senator Patrick Anderson wants convicted DUI drivers to carry a special identification card that would alert alcohol sellers like bartenders and liquor store clerks to the restriction. Any seller that didn’t comply could face fines up to $1,000 and up to a year in prison.

Anderson said he modeled his bill on Alaska’s current law, which permits judges to restrict convicted DUI drivers from alcohol purchases. These drivers must carry a license marked with a “J” and carrying the words “Alcohol Restricted.”

In New Mexico, State Rep. Brian Egolf has introduced a similar bill for the second time. It would ban the sale of alcohol to anyone required to use an ignition interlock system after a DUI conviction.

Meanwhile, in Tennessee, the state Senate defeated a proposed bill to ban alcohol sales to people who have had more than three or four DUI convictions.

How should you respond to your recent and disarming charges? Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer (and ex-prosecutor) with nearly two decades of relevant legal experience.

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When someone’s convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles for the third or fourth time, the penalties can be steep and include up to 16 months in state prison. If a death resulted from that DUI, the punishment for the offender can rise to five years in jail.Thomas-Gallagher-Jr-DUI

But California’s DUI punishments are very light compared to those imposed by a Pennsylvania judge on a man convicted of DUI in his courtroom. Thomas Gallagher Jr., age 29, will be spending 20-50 years in prison after killing 18-year old Meredith Demko in an accident last July. The crash also injured one of the two passengers in Demo’s car, although the injuries were not life-threatening.

Gallagher was speeding and weaving through traffic on the afternoon of July 8th when he rammed his Volkswagen Jetta into Demko’s Toyota Prius. At the time of the accident, Gallagher was driving on a suspended license due to a previous DUI conviction. His blood alcohol content was measured at .26—nearly triple the legal limit—and he admitted consuming vodka before he took to the road. Just in case that didn’t impair his driving skills sufficiently, Gallagher was using heroin at the time as well.

The sentence of 20 to 50 years in jail was the result of a deal with the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office. Gallagher pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, DUI and related counts in return for a prison sentence that the local press is calling the longest ever ordered in the county for a DUI fatality.

What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.

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Getting pulled over for a DUI in Los Angeles is nothing to smile about. Neither is causing an accident in which someone is killed. Twenty-five-year-old Michael J. Vanwanger of Coons Rapid, Minnesota, who posted a smiley face on Facebook after his involvement in a fatal accident, may spend some of his time behind bars regretting his lighthearted comment.smiley-face-DUI-charge

Vanwanger had already sideswiped another car when he plowed into a vehicle driven by 16-year-old Jason McCarthy of Brooklyn Center last summer. Cross-country runner and guitarist McCarthy was waiting in a left turn lane when Vanwanger’s car, speeding at 62 miles per hour, smashed into him from behind. The teen lingered a week in the hospital before succumbing to his injuries.
Police at the scene said that Vanwanger, who was slightly injured in the accident, smelled of alcohol. They conducted a blood alcohol content test after taking him to the hospital.

According to the Star Tribune, Vanwanger made a very bad situation even worse by posting the day after the accident a photo of his wrecked car on Facebook with the caption “That’s her front end after I got done with her lol.” It was followed by a smiley face. Another post said that he was “all good” after sleeping a day in the hospital.

At the time of the accident, Vanwagner was driving on a suspended license and was on probation after a conviction for making terroristic threats.

Vanwanger said that when he made the comments he didn’t realize that anyone was hurt. He eventually pled guilty to felony criminal vehicular homicide. A county judge recently sentenced him to nine years in prison, considerably more time than the six and a half years called for under state sentencing guidelines.

Do you need help defending against a drug or DUI charge? Michael Kraut of Los Angeles’s Kraut Law Group is a trustworthy, highly qualified former prosecutor. Call a Los Angeles DUI attorney today to strategize for your defense seriously.

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Most drivers arrested for a Los Angeles DUI prefer keeping the legal proceedings quiet to avoid possible employment and social repercussions. But when an alleged DUI driver hits a utility pole, knocking out power to hundreds or thousands of people, it can be harder to keep the arrest under wrap.power-line-down-dui

At least some of Avista Utilities’ customers in North Spokane, Washington, have probably heard the name Hailey Barker in conjunction with DUI. The 20-year-old driver hit a telephone pole around 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 19th. More than 300 customers lost their power, some for a few hours and some for almost 10 hours. Fans of country music, who missed out on the 50th anniversary broadcast of the Country Music Awards, were probably not displeased to learn that police arrested Barker on suspicion of DUI and impounded her car.

Across the country, in Burlington, Vermont, John D. Callahan went up against not one utility pole but two on earlier that same day. Police found the 24-year-old man in his car, surrounded by downed wires, at a pole on Hinesburg Road around 3 a.m. Callahan’s roadside breath test registered 0.176 blood alcohol content, but the driver refused to take an evidentiary blood test during processing on a DUI charge. Green Mountain Power responded to the accident scene to restore power.

Finally, in Omaha, Nebraska, 29-year-old Darrell McElderry led police on a high-speed chase before hitting a street light and sending electrical wires onto 13th Street. Police arrested him early Sunday morning for a third-offense DUI, driving on a suspended/revoked license and driving the wrong way on a public road.

Do you need assistance constructing an appropriate response to a DUI charge? Look to the Kraut Law Group’s Michael Kraut for insight and peace of mind. Mr. Kraut is an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney with many relevant connections in the local legal community.

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