Articles Posted in Celebrity DUI

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“You can’t arrest me, I’m a rockstar.” –Sid Vicious

Vince-Vaughn-DUI-lessonsGetting arrested on suspicion of DUI is not a pleasant experience. Resisting the police, however, almost always makes a bad situation worse. As a case in point, let’s look at the recent charges against 48-year-old actor Vince Vaughn.

On the early morning of June 10, Vince Vaughn was stopped at a DUI checkpoint, where he was subsequently arrested. Last month, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles County prosecutors announced Vaughn was facing three misdemeanor charges: driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher and refusing to comply with a peace officer.

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alcohol-in-the-body-los-angelesDUIHumanity’s relationship with alcohol has always been a complicated one. Even before we had vehicles to operate—even before DUI became a significant risk—human beings have enjoyed the immediate effects of alcohol consumption only to “sober up” to extended risks like addiction, health issues and death. One key ingredient to avoiding DUI for the long term is understanding how alcohol interacts with your body. Most of us know that alcohol can damage the liver, but that’s not the only danger. Let’s look at 12 other facts about how the body responds to alcohol that you might not have realized.

1. Alcohol in Moderation Can Actually Be Good for You.

Are you surprised that we started with something positive? As Time reports, multiple studies have indicated that moderate amounts of alcohol may actually provide a few health benefits, decreasing our risk for heart disease and possibly even helping us live longer. This information comes with some caveats, though, because every human has a different tolerance level for alcohol—meaning the amount considered “moderate” may be different for each of us. It also doesn’t negate some of the other health risks associated with alcohol. And of course, even “moderate” drinking can raise your blood alcohol content above the legal limit, so you should still avoid driving after indulging.

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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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