Articles Posted in DUI checkpoints

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Many state legislators hope that the new DUI law in California, which mandates ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles or any other part of the state, will help reduce the number of repeat offenders. California Vehicle Code 23152 already requires tougher penalties for anyone with multiple DUI convictions on their record. denver-post-DUI-editorial

In some states, however, new laws have failed to discourage repeat DUI offenders. On September 14, the Denver Post published an editorial entitled. “Colorado’s new felony DUI law needs another look.”

The editorial pointed out that “long-overdue” legislation passed in 2015 brought Colorado in line with 45 states that already had felony DUI laws. But it said that the new law “too often results in letting repeated drunk-driving offenders get away from serving any real time—and away from the roads and the lives they put at risk.”

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You might think that drinking lots of caffeine along with alcohol would help a driver avoid charges of DUI in Los Angeles. But a recently published study in a scientific journal (Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research) suggests that may not be the case; in fact, the more super-caffeinated beverages a person has, the more likely it is that he/she will drive under the influence.  energy-drink-DUI-los-angeles

According to the Arstechnica website, researchers at the University of Maryland conducted a six-year study of 1,000 college students. They questioned the students every year, asking them about their alcohol use, their energy drink use and DUI driving frequency in the previous 12 months. The researchers found that:

•    Nearly all of the students (most were about age 23) reported that they drank alcohol at least once the previous year
•    25 percent said they had driven while under the influence
•    57 percent said they had drunk at least one energy drink; of that number, 56 percent said they drank the energy drinks both alone and with alcohol, 15 percent said they drank them only when mixed with alcohol and 27 percent said they drank the energy drinks and alcohol separately.

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Poor motor skills, the smell of alcohol and red eyes are all signs that someone could be DUI in Los Angeles. But police officers don’t always have to use those clues to know that something is wrong; the situations themselves can make it pretty obvious that the drivers have a problem.car-on-fire-and-other-DUI-los-angeles-stories

•    Ronald Brundige, age 26, of Depauville, New York, was pulling a car behind his vehicle when police stopped him on September 20th. They noticed what Brundige apparently did not—the car he was pulling was on fire. The officers towed Brundige off to jail, charging him with DWI, aggravated unlicensed operation and refusing to take a breath test.

•    People who want to avoid DUI charges should try not to do anything that will attract police attention. A 16-year-old teen from Virginia learned that lesson the hard way when he drove into a lake near his home. The teen and a friend had been drinking by the water, but when they decided to leave the young driver put the car into reverse gear by mistake. The vehicle went backwards 25 feet into the lake.  The teens made it out safely, but police had to send a rescue team to get the car out of the water the next day. The teen is now facing DUI charges.

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When New York State passed the nation’s first DUI law back in 1910, automobile owners weren’t the only drivers that authorities were targeting. At that time, plenty of horse-drawn vehicles still traveled the roads, and their drivers could cause a fair amount of damage to people and property if they were under the influence while holding the reins. Fast forward more than 100 years, and police officers rarely (if ever) arrest someone for a DUI in Los Angeles when they’re riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn carriage. But it can and does happen elsewhere.

Pennsylvania, Lancaster County, Amish Horse And Buggy. (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

Pennsylvania, Lancaster County, Amish Horse And Buggy. (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, police arrested Robert Miller, 18, on suspicion of DUI. Miller, a member of the Amish church, was driving one of the plain black buggies that the Amish favor.

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Incidents of DUI in Los Angeles can result in drivers exhibiting some very unusual behaviors. But when someone who saw the event tries to describe what happened, other people may find their story hard to believe. Fortunately for police officers in Rowland Heights, California, they can produce video evidence to confirm that what they said happened to cause a crash actually did occur.Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.42.01 PM

The dash cam on the car following Jasmine Lacey’s 2010 Hyundai Sonata on Harbor Boulevard captured the whole incident. (The car’s owner posted it on YouTube, where almost two million people have viewed it.) In the video, you first can see Lacey’s car traveling in the left lane but swerving over the center line several times. All of a sudden the car comes to an abrupt halt and the 22-year-old Lacey hops out and runs to the median strip. (Fortunately the driver behind had maintained a safe driving distance and could stop his own vehicle in time.)

But Lacey had neglected to do one important thing—turn the car off. So with the front door still swinging wide open, the car kept moving downhill on the right side of the highway for a short time before crossing the median strip. The Sonata then headed into traffic going in the opposite direction, colliding with an SUV. (Another vehicle, unable to stop in time, then rear-ended the SUV.) Lacey’s car, meanwhile, traveled across the traffic lanes to the side of the road, where an encounter with two small trees finally ended its journey.

By some miracle, neither driver involved in the crash with Lacey’s car suffered serious injuries. Police officers arriving at the scene took Lacey to the hospital and eventually charged her with DUI. But officials dismissed charges against her the next day citing lack of evidence.

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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Under most circumstances, police officers might welcome the opportunity to nab two DUIs with one traffic stop—at a checkpoint for DUIs in Los Angeles, for example. But Denver Police Officer Daniel Swint, a member of a special DUI unit, would probably have been content with his initial DUI pickup. The second one landed him in the hospital with serious injuries.Heidi-Jewell-DUI

According to Denver’s Channel 9 news, Officer Swint had pulled over 27-year-old Jennifer Beauregard on suspicion of DUI around 4 a.m. on a Friday morning. Beauregard halted in the left lane of I-25 so Officer Swint stopped his car there as well. After determining that Beauregard was probably DUI, Swint placed her in his cruiser. He was making a call on his microphone when 28-year-old Heidi Jewell came along in the lane and rammed him.

Swing’s patrol car slammed forward, banging into the car ahead of it and causing a four-car chain reaction. Despite his injuries, Swint was able to radio for help. After medics arrived on the scene they rushed Officer Swint to the hospital, where doctors treated him for a fractured jaw, spinal cord fracture and five broken ribs.

The police officers investigating the crash said there was no evidence that Jewell had tried to swerve or break to avoid a crash. She said she had not been drinking, which officers found hard to believe since she was slurring her words and swaying as she stood. She initially refused to take a blood alcohol test but after talking to a lawyer agreed to cooperate. The officers charged her with vehicular assault; more charges may come after the BAC test results come in.

News reports later revealed that police in Tennessee had previously arrested Jewell for DUI, but she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless endangerment.

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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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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You can never tell what someone will do when they’re operating under the influence. Police who deal with drivers accused of Los Angeles DUI can probably tell many stories about motorists trying to flee, becoming belligerent and/or fabricating some pretty creative excuses about why they shouldn’t be arrested.captain-america-los-angeles-DUI

But it would probably be difficult for most police officers to top a recent story from Central Pennsylvania. In late May, 19-year-old Logan Shaulis allegedly imbibed a bit too freely before deciding it would be fun to set up his very own, do-it-yourself DUI checkpoint.

The website wearecentralpa.com reports that at about 3 a.m. on May 31st, Shaulis took a BB pistol, handcuffs and a portable scanner out to an intersection in Lincoln Township. He parked diagonally across the road, set out some flares, and started waving motorists over.

One motorist said that Shaulis demanded to see his driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance cards. The fake officer identified himself as Pennsylvania Police Trooper Steve Rogers. (In case you’re not familiar with The Avengers movie, that’s the name of Captain America.)

When the real cops showed up, Shaulis tried to hand the BB pistol off to the motorist he had stopped because he didn’t want to get caught with the weapon.

It didn’t take the officers long to figure out that Shaulis was under the influence, and it probably didn’t take Shaulis long to figure out that he was in big trouble. Police arrested him for DUI, carrying a firearm without a license, impersonating a public servant, harassment, disorderly conduct and several other charges.

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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Los Angeles DUI blogs like this one are inevitably attracted to stories about celebrity DUI arrests. But is our coverage biased? Do NFL players, for instance, get arrested for crimes like DUI at unsually high rates?demetrius-cherry-dui

Over the weekend, police in Tempe Arizona arrested Demetrius Cherry, a junior defensive end for Arizona State. According to reports, police stopped him at South McAllister Avenue and University Drive at around 1:46 in the morning. Details of the arrest – such as what his blood alcohol concentration allegedly was and why police stopped him in the first place – have not been made public.

Cherry’s coach suspended him from Saturday’s game against Utah.

The arrest stimulates interesting thinking about the relevance of NFL and collegiate football DUIs to the national conversation about DUI. News agencies and blogs like this one seem to constantly be discussing NFL and collegiate football DUIs, because they’re often in the news, and because people tend to be curious when celebrities mess up.

However, just because such stories appear in the news frequently does not necessarily mean that NFL players, on average, break DUI driving laws more frequently than average citizens do. The problem is an availability bias. Since we constantly see news stories about football players getting arrested for DUI, we tend to think that DUI must be epidemic among them.

But what’s really epidemic is the COVERAGE of these arrests.

When an IT worker drives while over the legal limit, and police pull him over an hour later and test him to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.12 percent (one and half times the California legal limit), that story will not make the news… unless of course the IT worker does something extraordinary, like kill someone or make a ridiculous comment to the police.

But when a NFL player is busted for DUI, for any reason, it’s news.

For help understanding your legal situation, turn to an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer with the Kraut Law Group. Schedule a free consultation with a former Deputy District Attorney (high-level prosecutor) about your case.

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text-message-dui-los-angeles-scandalWhen you’re stopped and arrested for Los Angeles DUI, you’re probably more terrified of going to jail than you are of somehow being embarrassed by the police.

However, while most California Highway Patrol officers and LAPD officers operate respectfully and follow appropriate protocol, some “bad apples” cause problems.

35-year old Shawn Harrington, a CHP officer, recently admitted to sending nude and semi-nude photos of suspects arrested for various crimes, like Los Angeles DUI, to his friends on the force. According to a Huffington Post report “[Herrington] said this was a game between him and two others CHP officers… one Harrington engaged in at least six times. Several of the owners of these phones were DUI suspects. One was hospitalized when Harrington took bikini photos from her phone, and another gave permission to search her device after a DUI arrest, which was apparently interpreted as a green light for shady behavior.”

Joe Harrow, the Commissioner for the California Highway Patrol, said that he is taking these photo-trading games very seriously. Journalist Matthias Gafni reported on similar police privacy violations for the Contra Costa Times. Per the Huffington Post, Gafni said that “in one incident, a woman received a $75,000 settlement after police uploaded a semi-nude photo of her to Facebook and deleted a photo she had taken of an improperly parked patrol car. None of the incidents resulted in criminal charges, though several officers were fired (one even later sued in protest).”

Hopefully, officials at CHP will extinguish this nasty behavior and protect the rights and dignity of people arrested for crimes like DUI.

If you or someone you love believes that the police acted inappropriately or even illegally during your DUI stop, you may need to act swiftly and aggressively to preserve your rights and to ensure justice. Call an experienced and highly qualified Los Angeles DUI criminal defense lawyer with the Kraut Law Group right now to set up a confidential, free consultation. We can help plan your strategy, protect your privacy and fight aggressively for your freedom.

 

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