On July 3, 2009, former WNBA Rookie of the Year Diana Taurasi was pulled over for allegedly driving under the influence in Phoenix. The Chino, California native plays for the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team. Prior to her arrest, she had never been charged with DUI in Southern California or Arizona.
Taurasi’s long and illustrious basketball career dates back to 2001, when she led the US Junior Olympics team to a bronze medal. In the 2004 Athens Olympics, she helped the Americans triumph over the Australians in the finals and secure gold medals for the U.S. squad. On the night prior to her arrest, Taurasi scored 22 points against the Seattle Storm and led the Mercury to a 12 point win (93-81) against their league rivals. Several hours after this victory, however, a police officer spotted Taurasi recklessly cruising the Phoenix, Arizona streets and pulled her over. According to reports, the officer noted that the suspect failed field sobriety tests and smelled strongly of alcohol. Had a competent Los Angeles DUI defense attorney been advising the WNBA star, he or she might have counseled Taurasi to cooperate better with law enforcement.
Since punishment for Los Angeles DUI can be so severe, defendants should understand the criteria by which officers evaluate DUI suspects. So-called “objective” symptoms of DUI can include: poor motor control; reckless or negligent driving; incoherent speech; smell of alcohol on the breath; fumbling and stumbling; non-sequitur storytelling; and slow reaction times.
The problem with judging Southern California DUI suspects based on the above criteria is that different individuals manifest different physiological and behavioral reactions to alcohol. A very tall woman like Taurasi, for instance, might process alcohol at a faster rate than might a shorter woman. Height, weight, metabolic predispositions, medications, and emotional state can all influence behavior.
Given how many variables can be at play in even seemingly straightforward Los Angeles DUI cases, defendants are well advised to connect with reliable legal representation. The Law Offices of Michael Kraut can provide uniquely effective services. Since Mike has had experience prosecuting suspects as well as defending them, he understands how prosecutors think and operate and can use this knowledge to develop practical solutions.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles 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.