Articles Posted in DUI

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In most cases, only a few passing motorists, pedestrians or nearby residents catch a glimpse of the grisly details when a driver who is DUI in Los Angeles causes a fatal crash. But when Richard Anthony Sepolio’s truck plunged over the guardrails on the Interstate 5 bridge between San Diego and Coronado Island, dozens of people may have witnessed the horrific results. bridge-fall-los-angeles-dui

Around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 15th, Sepolio’s GMC pickup went off the bridge and landed below in Chicano Park, where a crowd was gathered for the La Raza Run motorcycle festival. The truck crushed a vendor booth, killing two couples: Cruz Elias Contreras, 52, and Annamarie Contreras, 50, of Chandler, Arizona, and Andre Christopher Banks, 49, and Francine Denise Jimenez, 46, both from Hacienda Heights near Los Angeles. Nine other people, including Sepolio, suffered injuries.

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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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Having a friend on the force may occasionally help someone avoid charges for a Los Angeles DUI. But that’s not the case when the aftermath of the drinking and driving includes two deaths.elner_DUI

In Cook County, Illinois, a jury found 47-year-old Lisa Elner guilty of charges stemming from a January 2013 crash. Elner and two friends, Michelle Miranda, 37, and Sandra Frankum, 36, had been out celebrating Frankum’s birthday at a local bar. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors said that Elner was under the influence of both alcohol and cocaine when she grabbed her keys and said she was okay to drive because she had her “cop card.” She was referring to the business card of her husband, a Chicago police officer.

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Would closer monitoring of drivers convicted of repeated Los Angeles DUIs make the roads any safer? It probably couldn’t hurt. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration says that “Drivers with prior DWI convictions are also overrepresented in fatal crashes and have a greater relative risk of fatal crash involvement…Intoxicated drivers with prior DWI convictions had 4.1 times the risk of being in a fatal crash as intoxicated drivers without prior DWIs. Another study showed that fatal crash risk increases with the number of prior DWI arrests.”Tulare County DUI

California’s Tulare County is going to monitor drivers with multiple DUI convictions more closely in an attempt to avoid DUI and drug-related crashes, according to an online article in the Porterville Recorder. In 2015, DUI-related crashes in the County killed 20 people and injured 298.

The California Office of Traffic Safety has given the County $168,301 as part of its Intensive Probation Supervision for High-Risk Felony and DUI Probation program. With these funds, the county is launching a DUI Probation Supervision Program to “quickly and aggressively” respond to felony DUI offenders. Probation officers will monitor their assignees by:

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Usually police officers have a fairly easy time identifying the person to arrest for an accident involving a DUI in Los Angeles. But what if they arrive on the scene of the crash several minutes after it occurred? All they can do then is take the word of the driver (and any passengers) about who was behind the wheel.Shelby County Tennessee-DUI

In Shelby County, Tennessee, police arrested 24-year-old Elisabeth Blackwood on September 28th for leaving the scene of an accident and failing to yield the right of way. The crash resulted in the death of a motorcyclist and the hospitalization of his wife.

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Any driver convicted of DUI in Los Angeles should receive equal treatment in a courtroom regardless of gender or race. Of course, since judges are human and every defendant’s driving record is different, two people convicted of the same DUI offense may receive dissimilar sentences.Jamesville Elementary School-DUI-los-angeles

Employers should also have a written gender and race-neutral policy that clearly spells out what will happen if an employee faces DUI charges. But that’s not always the case, and it can leave those employers open to charges of discrimination.

In Syracuse, New York, Colleen Tedeschi, former principal of Jamesville Elementary School, is claiming that the Jamesville-DeWitt school district has practiced gender discrimination after firing her from her job. According to the website Syracuse.com, Tedeschi said the district treated her differently than it treated a male employee arrested on similar charges.

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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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Drivers who want to party on New Year’s Eve but don’t want to risk an arrest on a charge of DUI in Los Angeles usually have some options: free rides on public transit, or a “Tipsy Tow” offered by a local AAA driving club. free-ride-los-angeles-DUI

But what if drivers who had a few too many beers or too many glasses of wine at their local bars always had the option of getting a no-cost ride home? Would it make a difference in the number of drivers arrested for DUI? Two towns in New Jersey tried that experiment and the results have been promising.

According to an article on NJ.com, the Evesham Saving Lives program has provided over 2,000 free rides home for residents of Evesham Township and the neighboring Voorhees Township. Introduced more than a year ago as a 30-day pilot, the program has reduced the number of residents arrested for DUI driving by 50 percent. The townships have also seen a 16 percent decrease in alcohol-related car accidents.

Only residents of the two townships are eligible for the free rides. They can request a ride seven days a week, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., from any establishment that sells liquor. Uber and the driving service BeMYDD provide the rides. Funding for the program comes from various local donors.

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For most parents, the chilling prospect of losing a child in a car crash would be enough to persuade them from DUI in Los Angeles when their son or daughter is riding with them. But that didn’t deter one father in Cortland, New York, from getting behind the wheel when he had too much to drink. His six-year-old daughter paid for his bad decision with her life—and now the man will have plenty of time to think about his deadly mistake.DUI-los-angeles-child

Daniel Haynes III, 30, could spend up to 21 years in state prison in New York under a plea deal he accepted in August.  On the evening of April 24, 2015, Haynes was driving from one house to another on West State Road with his three daughters in the back seat. None of them—Alexia, age 6; Asia, age 8; or Arianna, age 10—were wearing seatbelts.

Witnessed said that Haynes had drunk a few beers before getting into the car, and once behind the wheel he began driving recklessly. One report said that his daughters were begging him to slow down. But Haynes, jetting along at 100 miles per hour, blew through a stop sign, lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a utility pole. After the crash he tried to drive away, apparently unaware of his daughters’ injuries. (Emergency responders took the two younger girls to the hospital; they had non-life-threatening injuries.)

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The only surefire way to avoid a conviction on DUI in Los Angeles is not to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking or using drugs. But if you’ve made an error in judgment, and the police arrest you on a DUI charge, your best option is to work with an attorney well versed in these laws who can help ensure that your rights are protected during the judicial process. What we don’t recommend is getting your ticket fixed by a clerk of the court.jose-lopez-los-angeles-DUI-defense

In California, Jose Lopez Jr., a clerk in the Orange County Superior Court, is facing federal charges for allegedly running a network that fixed the tickets of more than 1,000 people charged with various traffic offenses, including DUI. According to a story in the Orange County Register, Lopez had 11 “recruiters” who would go to car and truck clubs and post notices on Craigslist to let drivers know that traffic tickets could be tweaked in their favor in the Superior Court.

Lopez charged drivers up to $8,000 to put in the fix. He would change computer records so it would appear that a defendant convicted of a traffic violation had paid the required fines, had spent the mandated time in jail or had performed court-ordered community service. For a driver convicted of DUI, Lopez would edit the court record to show that he/she had pleaded guilty to reckless driving, which is a lesser charge.
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