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Although there’s no such thing as a typical arrest for DUI in Los Angeles, most cases don’t stand out as memorable for police officers. But sometimes they come across a DUI suspect that they will remember—and are likely tell stories about—for years to come.

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Once such incident occurred recently in Santa Rosa, California. California Highway Patrol officers stopped Christopher McFarlane near College Avenue in the early morning hours of Saturday, August 8th. According to the Press Democrat, they had seen him an hour or so before; he was a passenger in a car they previously pulled over.

Officers eventually arrested the female driver of that car on DUI charges and warned McFarlane—who allegedly appeared drunk—not to attempt to drive for a while. He agreed. But a short time later, as officers were leaving the jail where they had booked McFarlane’s friend, they noticed him behind the wheel of another car. He failed a field sobriety test and the police eventually booked him not only on DUI but also on driving on a suspended license and violating his probation. (McFarlane was on probation because of a previous DUI conviction.)

In Wildwood, Florida, 33-year-old Christina Anne Marie Lamoreaux told officers who charged her with DUI that they should arrest her dog and not her. Lamoreaux had fled the scene after hitting an apartment building with her car. When police caught up with her later in her own apartment she said she had intended all along to pay for the damage. She insisted that the accident wasn’t her fault—if they wanted to arrest someone, they should arrest the dog, who (she claimed) had caused the accident.

But officers, noticing that Lamoreaux smelled of alcohol and appeared confused, asked her take a sobriety test. When she refused, they hauled her off to jail, charging her with DUI, hit and run involving property damage and resisting arrest. (The dog apparently won’t face charges.)

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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Could ride-sharing apps like Uber make a significant dent in the number of fatal accidents related to DUI in Los Angeles? Two students at Temple University are saying they already are.uberx-dui-accident-prevention

Brad Greenwood and Sunil Wattal wrote a paper investigating how the entry of Uber influences the rate of alcohol-related motor vehicle homicides. Their findings—shared in a paper called “Show Me the Way to Go Home: An Empirical Investigation of Ride Sharing and Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle Homicide”–show a significant drop in the rate of DUI homicides between 2011 (when Uber entered the California market in San Francisco) and 2013.

According to The Daily Signal website, the study states that “the entrance of UberX results in a 3.6 percent–5.6 percent decrease in the rate of motor vehicle homicides per quarter in the state of California.” The authors extrapolated this data to a national level: “With more than 13 thousand deaths occurring nationally each year due to alcohol-related car crashes at a cost of 37 billion dollars, results indicate that a complete implementation of UberX would create a public welfare net of over 1.3 billion dollars to American taxpayers and save roughly 500 lives annually.”

Uber X is the least expensive level of the Uber service. Greenwood and Wattal say that the affordability of the service (as opposed to more expensive taxis or higher levels of Uber service) is keeping the DUI homicide rate down.

The Daily Signal story noted that police made only two DUI arrests in San Francisco over the 2015 New Year’s Eve holiday period, the lowest number since 2009. But those numbers didn’t hold up all over the state. According to an article last January in the Los Angeles Times, the California Highway Patrol made 219 DUI arrests in Los Angeles County during the New Year’s Eve holiday, up from 104 in 2014. Across the state CHP made 1,072 DUI arrests during the holiday in 2015 compared with 457 in 2014.

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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DUI-related accidents in California resulted in several fatalities in early August. Although police didn’t report any deaths due to DUIs in Los Angeles proper around that time, motorists in other parts of the state weren’t as lucky.Carmen-Venegas-DUI-crash

According to Long Beach Patch, 28-year-old Alvin B. Shaw had a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 when he headed west in the eastbound lanes of the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach around 7 a.m. on August 1. He slammed his 2012 Mercedes-Benz into two other vehicles, a 2014 Ford Fusion and a 2010 Nissan pickup. Both Shaw and the Fusion driver ended up in the hospital with critical injuries. But 30-year-old Miguel Gonzalez, the Nissan driver, wasn’t as lucky. Emergency workers pronounced him dead at the scene.

Shaw allegedly was driving on a suspended license, which he had lost because of a previous DUI conviction in 2014. He faces charges of murder and DUI causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense.

On August 10th, 44-year old Carmen Venegas of Fremont, driving an Acura, hit a Toyota Scion that was stopped perpendicular to traffic on Highway 101. According to witnesses, the Scion had hit the center divider of the road before ending up on the second lane from the right facing the shoulder. That’s where the car was when Venegas broadsided it. After screening Venegas at the scene, police booked her on suspicion of DUI felony driving, driving without a license and felony manslaughter. She had two 14-year old boys plus another adult passenger in the car when the accident occurred.

Garrett James Gelrud, 34, caused a head-on collision near Pala on August 5th, killing the driver of the other car. His Chevrolet Suburban crossed the double yellow lines on Old Highway 395 and rammed into a Nissan Versa driven by 62-year-old Juan Corza Gonzalez. Gelrud ran from the scene but police caught up with him. He faces charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury.

Designing and executing an effective defense against DUI charges (even simple ones) is not intuitive. Fortunately, you can trust the seasoned, highly successful Michael Kraut. Call a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles with nearly two decades of experience.

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People out on bail after an arrest for a DUI in Los Angeles may try to avoid going to court (and possibly to jail). But few can match David Doyle Abbey Jr.’s ability to evade capture. Until mid-August, he had managed to dodge a court appearance on DUI charges for more than 20 years.phelps-DUI-selfie

Abbey was riding a bike along a street in Anderson, California, when police stopped him as they searched for a stolen bike. When officers ran his name through the system, they discovered that Marin County had an outstanding felony warrant against him for causing injury while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The police escorted Abbey to jail—21 years late—and he’s likely to remain there because the courts haven’t granted him bail.

While Abbey managed to stay out of the police spotlight for more than two decades, Gilbert Phelps of Iowa City, Iowa, apparently enjoyed the chance to hang out with them. According to KCCI TV authorities pulled over the 20-year old around 2 a.m. on August 6th for speeding. The arresting officer noticed a strong smell of alcohol, and Phelps admitted that he had been smoking pot before driving. As the officer prepared to give Phelps a breathalyzer test, the young man asked if he could take a selfie with him.

It’s not clear which is more bizarre–the fact that Phelps, smiling broadly, wanted to memorialize his moment of infamy via a selfie posted to Snapchat—or the fact that Iowa City Police Officer Ben Hekoten also appears in the background of the shot with a big smile and a thumbs up sign. (Maybe he had just met his DUI arrest quota that month?)

Police charged Phelps with a DUI. He’s scheduled to appear in court in mid-August; family and friends may want to watch for a selfie of that memorable moment in his life as well.

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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When police pull someone over on suspicion of a DUI in Los Angeles, they rarely find that the driver has a blood alcohol content that measures 0.0. While most people would be angry or upset if police stopped them unjustly, a woman in Frisco, Texas, should be thankful that the officers took action. The arrest set off a chain of events that probably saved her life.brain-tumor-los-angeles-DUI-defense

On July 31, Julie Cunningham hit a curb and crashed her car into a fire hydrant after dropping her kids off at daycare, according to KAGS TV. Despite the fact that the breathalyzer showed her BAC at 0.0, police arrested her for DUI, and she spent the night in jail.

Cunningham’s family insists that she doesn’t drink and isn’t taking any medication, so police had no good reason to make the DUI arrest. But they do admit that when her brother picked her up from jail the next morning, Cunningham had slurred speech and no recollection at all of what had happened the day before.

Cunningham’s family took her to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where tests revealed that she had a tumor the size of a lemon lodged in her brain. Surgeons removed it right away; while the growth wasn’t cancerous, there is some evidence of abnormal cells in the area.

Cunningham has faced some difficult situations before; she enlisted in the Navy after 9/11, spent four years in the service and is currently raising four kids on her own. Although her in-hospital recovery after brain surgery took more than three weeks, there’s one trauma she isn’t facing right now; she has no memory of her arrest or her night in jail. Meanwhile, Frisco police officers haven’t filed any DUI charges against her; while it’s likely they will dismiss the matter, they do have to wait for the toxicology results before they can completely clear her.

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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Drivers at risk of a charge of DUI in Los Angeles take note: if you want to avoid police notice, don’t drive a vehicle that looks like it’s been involved in a wreck. Had Jonathan Bruno of Raritan Township, New Jersey, followed that advice he might not be facing some serious criminal charges today.wrecked-car-los-angeles-DUI

According to the Hunterdon County Democrat, Bruno, age 19, had sideswiped a guardrail along Route 202-31 north just before he met Patrolman Anthony Moreno. The officer wasn’t looking for drivers under the influence; he was on the scene because a fallen tree limb had hit some electrical wires.

But the officer couldn’t help noticing Bruno’s car. It had come out the worse for wear in its encounter with the guardrail, with the passenger side damaged and the front tire on that side flat.

It didn’t take Patrolman Moreno long to figure out that Bruno was in no shape to drive, perhaps due to the heroin and syringe that the officer found in the back of his vehicle. Police eventually charged Bruno with possession of those items and with a whole list of other offenses, including careless driving, reckless driving, leaving the scene of a motor-vehicle crash, failure to report a motor-vehicle crash, driving an uninsured vehicle, violating the terms of his probationary driver’s license and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a motor vehicle.

A friend came to pick Bruno up from the police station. Since Bruno isn’t likely to get his driver’s license back soon, he may be relying on such rides in the foreseeable future.

In a similar case, police in Hendersonville, Tennessee, responded to a call about a possibly intoxicated driver sitting at a traffic light. When they spotted 19-year-old Ben Steele’s damaged car, they decided to take a closer look. Steele couldn’t tell them what happened—and couldn’t pass the sobriety tests either—but officers eventually traced the damage back to a mailbox he had hit. Officers charged him with failure to report an accident, leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence and underage consumption.

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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Police officers know that that they may be at risk when they’re called to pursue someone suspected of DUI in Los Angeles. If the driver suddenly takes a turn or doesn’t stop at a DUI checkpoint, their vehicles can suffer damage—and so can they. Last May, for example, a DUI driver injured two Detroit police officers when he smashed his truck into the rear end of their police car. But the damage didn’t end there—the truck also hit two officers who were standing nearby.boise-pd-dui-accident

But not many DUI drivers hit two separate police cars—at different sites—in the same evening.

A 17-year old girl in Boise, Idaho, managed to do it. She first rear-ended a white Honda at Cole and West Ustick Roads; the Honda, pushed forward, then rear-ended a patrol vehicle driven by a deputy from the Ada County Sheriff’s Department.
Instead of stopping when the deputy got out of his car, the teen drove off, hitting several garbage cans on a sidewalk along the way. She eventually ran a red light on Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and slammed into a Boise Police Department vehicle. The officer suffered a head and a leg injury (fortunately not too serious).

When other officers arrived at the scene they noticed the young woman appeared to be intoxicated. So after a quick stop at the hospital to ensure she wasn’t injured badly, and to take a sample of her blood to check the blood alcohol content, they took her to ADA County Juvenile Detention Center.

The teen faces charges of felony aggravated DUI and three misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of an accident. Since she is under the age of 21 she’ll automatically lose her license for at least 60 days if her BAC registered .02 or higher.

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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Drivers charged with a Los Angeles DUI often end up crashing into other vehicles (parked or moving). They may occasionally hit a storefront, a light post, a mailbox, or a home. But there aren’t many reports of people driving under the influence going off the road and driving into the Los Angeles River or some other body of water.dui-los-angeles-drive-into-water

But police in Kennewick, Washington, can now say they’ve had such a driver.

On Wednesday, July 29th, around 3 p.m., emergency workers in that city received a 911 call saying that a car was in the river at the East Boat Launch at Columbia. NBC KNDU said that the caller reported that he and his mother had been on a nearby bridge when they saw the car slipping into the water. The witnesses ran to the scene, where the woman walked into the water and yanked open a rear door to attempt a rescue. But the car was empty.

That’s because the driver, identified only as a man in his late 20s, had apparently made it out of the car and run up a hill—dripping wet—until he reached a gas station and called for help. The Columbia Basin Drive Rescue, the Kennewick Police Department and fire crews all responded to the summons.

When police caught up with the driver, he insisted that he had been trying to take a photo of the river and—probably because he wasn’t paying close attention—he hit the car’s accelerator instead of the brake. That plunged him—and the rental car he was driving–into the water.

While police may have believed that story, they obviously thought there were other factors at play. They charged the driver with DUI.

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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Some people claim that full moons can influence people in strange ways, causing unusual behaviors around the time that they appear. July 2015, with its two full moons (the second is known as a blue moon), saw more than its share of unusual DUI stories from around the country. (No word yet on any weird arrests for DUI in Los Angeles during this time.)blue-moon-los-angeles-DUI

Police in Shelbyville, Tennessee, certainly had their hands full when they arrested Lawrence Howard, Jr., age 52, on a charge of DUI. The timesfreepress.com reports that Howard kicked and screamed in the back of the patrol car after the officer hauled him inside. When that didn’t get Howard any results, he started yelling that officers had messed up because he was the one keeping ISIS out of Shelbyville. The cops apparently were unalarmed by the warning, presumably because they had previously seen Howard run a stop sign and fail field sobriety tests.

The police charged Howard not only with DUI but also with running a stop sign, disorderly conduct, refusing a blood test, and failing to have proof of insurance.

In West Windsor, Pennsylvania, meanwhile, a golfer who had probably spent too much time at the 19th hole decided to take his golf cart out for a drive. Geoffrey Kleid, age 43, apparently didn’t like the fact that a golf course ranger who saw him driving erratically tried to make him stop the cart. Instead of coming to a halt, he veered onto Village Road West where he struck a car.
Police charged Kleid not only with DUI but also with reckless driving, careless driving and failure to stop or yield.

Do you or a family member need insight from a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney? Contact Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group to set up your free consultation.

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A Los Angeles DUI may earn a first-time intoxicated driver a brief stint in jail and a hefty fine. But if you throw in a theft charge and attempted bribery, the consequences could be a lot more severe. A 25-year-old California man, Michael Kelly, may soon find out just how severe.bribe-los-angeles-DUI-arrest

According to the website Steamboat Today, the disturbing events all started around 2 a.m. on July 15th, when Kelly’s roommate called police in Steamboat, Colorado, and told them that Kelly had stolen his 2004 Grand Jeep Cherokee. After a brief search, the cops found the vehicle with its lights on, stopped in the parking lot of a local park. Kelly was standing beside the Jeep. Officers pulled their guns, ordered Kelly to the ground, and arrested him.

Kelly said that his roommate had lent him the car (which apparently was news to the roommate). During this conversation, however, the officers began to suspect that Kelly was under the influence. He denied drinking, but his roommate told the cops that Kelly had actually consumed half a pint of whiskey that night.

At that point, it must have dawned on Kelly that he was in a bit of trouble. But he had an idea (not a good one) on how to get out of it. Telling police he had $400 in his wallet, he offered them $50 if they would just give him a ride home.

The police declined his generous offer and opted to take Kelly to jail instead. Once there, after Kelly refused a breathalyzer test, the police charged him with DUI, driving without a license, felony motor vehicle theft and felony bribery.

Designing and executing an effective defense against DUI charges (even simple ones) is not intuitive. Fortunately, you can trust the seasoned, highly successful Michael Kraut. Call a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles with nearly two decades of experience.

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