For years, we have been treated to a media spectacle: a seemingly endless parade of celebrity Los Angeles DUI violators apologizing to us on TV, on radio, and in print. Although Tiger Woods’ mea culpa last Friday had nothing to do directly with the string of celebrity DUIs that have graced our tabloids recently, his apology is in many ways one-of-a-piece with other celebrity self-flagellations we’ve collectively endured.
What is behind the following cycle?
#1. A celebrity does something obviously wrong. (From Nick Nolte to Mel Gibson to Lindsay Lohan to Stephanie Pratt, that “something” has been a Los Angeles DUI. For Tiger Woods, it was a string of infidelities.)
#2. Deny the wrongdoing or diminish it somehow.
#3. When the evidence becomes so overwhelming that the celebrity cannot get out from the glare of the spotlight, capitulate and make public amends.
#4. The public grants absolution (or not), and the celebrity gets off the hook (or not).
#5. The public gets distracted by the next celebrity crime/gaffe/outrageous statement.
If Tiger Woods’ infidelities and celebrity Los Angeles DUI events were victimless crimes, this cycle would be nothing more than frivolous theater for the masses. But real people can and do get hurt. In Tiger’s case, no one was actually physically injured. But in cases of celebrity hit and run accidents, for instance, people and property get damaged.
Moreover, when we see authority figures (celebrities, politicians, athletes) behaving badly, it gives other people a kind of permission to behave badly as well, indirectly.
So how can we solve the seemingly intractable problem of celebrities behaving badly — committing public infidelities, lying to confidantes and to the public, and driving under the influence in Hollywood and elsewhere in Los Angeles?
Obviously, this blog cannot on its own solve the mess. But what we can do is to sketch out the law a little clearer, so that people can understand it and abide by it better.
Two key laws are found in the California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and 23152(b). According to 23152(a), if the Southern California police stop you while you are driving DUI or under the influence of drugs, you can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony. If you wind up convicted of this crime, you can lose your California drivers license, be forced to pay significant fines and court costs, get points on your DMV record, and suffer all sorts of indirect consequences from the arrest and conviction.
23152(b) defines the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration at 0.08%. In other words, if you drive with this BAC or higher, you can be arrested and convicted for driving under the influence.
Building a stout defense to charges of driving under the influence in Beverly Hills or anywhere else in Southern California can challenge even veteran attorneys. The law is complex, and prosecutors tend to come down hard on DUI offenders — even first time offenders. Fortunately, a good attorney can make a real difference.
Look to attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group for a free and confidential consultation about your Beverly Hills DUI matter. Attorney Kraut has appeared on numerous national news programs as an expert in DUI Law, he is Harvard Law School educated, and he has a tremendous amount of experience both as a defense attorney and as a criminal prosecutor.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Beverly Hills or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.