Articles Posted in Celebrity DUI

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The media often popularizes driving under the influence (DUI) arrests, using them as plot points in comedies, action films, and crime mysteries. You have probably seen or read about fictional DUIs before, but experiencing a DUI in person is much different. Still, we can learn what not to do from examining famous fictional arrests.los-angeles-DUI-in-fiction

1. The Longest Yard: Paul Crewe’s DUI Car Chase

The Arrest: In the Adam Sandler comedy, The Longest Yard (2005), police arrest Paul Crewe after a police chase and car accident. Crewe mocks one officer for his large ears and reveals an open container of beer. A televised police chase ensues, ending in Crewe crashing the Bentley and getting arrested.

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Under the terms of Section 23550 of the California Vehicle Code, a driver convicted of DUI in Los Angeles three or more times within 10 years faces felony (rather than misdemeanor) DUI charges, which can result in anywhere from 16 months to four years in prison. Many states have similar laws. But what happens when those laws change? kentucky-law-DUI-los-angeles

Should the count of DUI convictions start when the law goes into effect, or does the lookback period extend all the way back 10 years prior to its implementation?

That question is playing out in Kentucky courtrooms today, according to an article on Louisville’s WDB.com website. Until the Kentucky State Legislature passed Senate Bill 56 earlier this year, the state’s lookback period for DUI charges had been five years. The new law extends that period to 10 ten years. But is it retroactive? Judges in different Kentucky counties have different interpretations, since the law did not specifically address that issue.

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The Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state, has ruled that parents who knowingly let underage teens drink in their home are liable for damages if a teen injures someone or suffers injuries while under the influence. Although the ruling does not have a direct effect on cases of underage DUI in Los Angeles, justices in state courts do take note of the decisions of their peers in other states. Maryland-court-of-appeals-DUI

The ruling by Maryland’s Court came in two cases. One involved Manal Kiriakos, who had been out walking her dogs when she was hit by a car driven by 18-year-old Shetmiyah Robinson. He had been drinking vodka and orange juice at a co-worker’s home. Although the homeowner, Brandon Phillips, knew that Robinson was underage and expressed concern about Robinson’s sobriety, he let the teen drive himself home. When Robinson hit Kiriakos, she suffered life-threatening injuries and is still in pain. So Robinson sued Phillips for serving the teen alcohol.

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Police arrested thousands of people for DUI in Los Angeles and other cities throughout the country this month. Here are a few that made national headlines.Rikki-Cheese-DUI

•    Authorities in Orlando, Florida, reported that they picked up a minivan with five underage teens—including a 17-year-old driver—obviously under the influence. This traffic stop was unusual, however, because teens were all Amish, and their vehicle had been traveling at speeds of more than 100 mph. The driver reportedly didn’t even have a license; he was operating the vehicle on a learner’s permit.

•    The afternoon news anchor of KTNV-TV Channel 13 in Law Vegas made headlines when her own station reported on her arrest on a misdemeanor DUI charge. Rikki Cheese had a previous arrest for DUI in 2009.

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A Texas judge has finally sent Ethan Couch, the “affluenza” teen, to jail. Most drivers convicted of a deadly Los Angeles DUI would have been grateful to receive Couch’s original sentence—10 years’ probation for causing four deaths while DUI. But Couch didn’t appreciate the break he received.affluenza-kid-DUI-punishment

Judge Wayne Salvant ordered Couch to report to jail to serve a sentence of 720 days, which amounts to 120 consecutive days for each of the four people that he killed. Couch, who was 16 at the time, also injured nine other people when he plowed into a disabled SUV on the side of the road.

Couch pleaded guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and other crimes. During the sentencing hearings, Couch’s lawyers contended that he suffered from “affluenza” and therefore couldn’t be held accountable for his behavior. That defense, and the juvenile court judge’s sentence of 10 years’ probation, led to a storm of criticism throughout the country.

In late December, however, a video surfaced that showed Couch breaking the terms of his parole by drinking at a party. Rather than face the consequences, he fled with his mother to Mexico. Authorities there picked him up a month later and extradited him to the U.S.

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Arrests for DUI in Los Angeles frequently have a twist–a celebrity arrested, an incident involving some unusual circumstances. But L.A. doesn’t have a monopoly on strange DUI arrests, as evidenced by this East Coast case.
A judge in New Jersey didn’t buy the excuse given by Sister Kimberly Miller, age 41, for her DUI arrest. Miller, who lives in Philadelphia, claimed that she hadn’t even known she was behind the wheel when police picked her up on November 7th in Gloucester County. She said that the combination of a glass of wine and a dose of the sleeping medication Ambien at bedtime had left her “sleep driving,” and she had no recollection of how she got to New Jersey or in police custody.

Sister Kimberly Miller of Little Flower H.S. is organizing its 1st Little Flower Teen Author Festival. Photograph in school library with display of books written by young authors that will attend the festival. Picture taken on Thursday afternoon February 20, 2014. ( ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER )

Sister Kimberly Miller of Little Flower H.S. is organizing its 1st Little Flower Teen Author Festival. Photograph in school library with display of books written by young authors that will attend the festival. Picture taken on Thursday afternoon February 20, 2014. ( ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER )

Police arrested Miller after witnesses saw her backing into the glass door of an auto repair store–breaking it–and leaving the scene. When the officers caught up with the nun, she had a half-empty bottle of wine behind the front seat. She blew a .16 on a breathalyzer test, but the judge threw out that evidence because police had not followed the proper procedures–observing Miller for 20 minutes–before administering the test.

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With dash cams and body cams becoming the norm for police departments everywhere, people charged with DUI in Los Angeles may now find a video of their arrest posed online. The results can be embarrassing—just ask Georgia State Representative, Tom Taylor.Tom Taylor DUI Georgia

On the afternoon of April 7th, police in the city of Clayton, Georgia, stopped Taylor for going 72 mph in a 45 mph zone. The officer said Taylor had red eyes and smelled of alcohol, which the legislator said was due to the fact that he had been drinking the night before. The officer didn’t buy that excuse, however, and turned up a water bottle in the vehicle that smelled of alcohol. Police asked Taylor to take a field sobriety test, but Taylor didn’t comply.
The officers arrested Taylor, and, using a breathalyzer, measured his BAC at .225—almost three times the legal limit.

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Would it be good news or bad news if the Los Angeles Times reported a large drop in arrests for Los Angeles DUI? The answer might depend on whom you ask.DUI-decrease-why

Washington State’s Kitsap Sun Business Journal recently ran a story about the decrease in Kitsap County’s DUI arrests–1,000 fewer in 2015 than in 2006. The article suggests that one reason for the drop might be more education about the dangers of DUI driving. Accident statistics seem to bear this out; in 2006, Washington State saw 8,202 DUI-related crashes; that number decreased to 5,586 in 2015.

But lack of police manpower, the complexity of the DUI laws, which require extensive police training, and the time-consuming need to obtain blood samples to detect the presence of marijuana also appear to be contributing to the drop in DUI arrest rates. At least one police official said he simply doesn’t have the manpower to keep troopers patrolling the roads like they did previously.
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Judges will often waive jail time and place drivers on probation when they’re charged with a first-offense DUI in Los Angeles. But some people don’t appreciate that kind of leniency; they take advantage of it. What’s worse, the ingrates often don’t receive any punishment.ethan-couch-dui-los-angeles

Ethan Couch of Tarrant County, Texas, made international headlines after his attorneys claimed that he was suffering from “affluenza” when he killed four people in a horrific DUI accident in 2013. (According to the lawyer, Couch wasn’t to blame because his family’s money had shielded him from the consequences of other bad behavior.)

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Residents of Southern California may have to worry about drought, but there’s one problem we’re not going to face. Even in these times of climate change, police won’t be charging any drivers for a DUI in Los Angeles while a blizzard is going on.blizzard-los-angeles-DUI

That’s not the case in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, however. The snow that those regions received during at the end of January apparently didn’t deter drivers from getting behind the wheel while they were under the influence. Considering the amount of snow that came down in a short time, they were lucky (or maybe unlucky) to be able to get out onto the streets.

In Delaware, police had parked an official vehicle in the roadway at the scene of a domestic dispute. (With more than a foot of snow on the ground already, they didn’t have a choice of parking areas.) That’s when Daryl Holcomb, age 33, allegedly plowed his sports utility vehicle right into their patrol car. Fortunately, the officers suffered no injuries. Holcomb, on the other hand, is looking at charges for driving under the influence, failure to have insurance identification and operating a motor vehicle during a declared emergency.

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