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“Come on, it’ll be okay. You haven’t had that much to drink. And anyway, I’ve seen you drive after you’ve had six or seven beers—you’ll do just fine.”los-angeles-DUI-risk-300x134

Ever had a conversation like that with a friend when you’ve been out socializing for the night? Chances are that you’ll yield to your friend’s persuasions and get behind the wheel, ignoring the small voice of reason inside your head that’s warning you’re about to do something stupid.

So if we know something is a bad idea, why do we do it anyway? Why don’t we choose to hang out with somebody who would give us better advice and encourage us to engage in less risky behavior? It’s a complicated answer that relates to the way our brain works and how we interact with those around us.

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Both California and U.S. laws offer victims of domestic violence some basic legal protections, including the ability to obtain restraining orders. These laws are not perfect, nor are they always effective, but in general they work and they have the approval of society behind them. Police will arrest domestic violence offenders and the state will prosecute them under criminal statutes. If convicted, the abusers face imprisonment and/or fines. domestic-violence-los-angeles-around-the-world-300x187

According to the World Bank, three-quarters of the world’s countries have laws against domestic violence, but enforcement of them can be spotty since abuse is at often culturally (if not legally) sanctioned. At least 45 countries, most in the Middle East and sub-Sahara Africa, have no laws forbidding domestic violence, according to the World Atlas. The countries include Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, the Ivory Coast, Haiti, Latvia, Kenya, Pakistan and Yemen.

•    In Kuwait, 35 percent of women have reported spousal abuse. In a Kuwait Times online article, an attorney from that country says that when it comes to domestic violence, the criminal intent is what matters in the eyes of the law. “If the violator (father, husband or other) hits his wife or child by hand lightly, this is not considered a crime as it’s his right do to so according to Islamic sharia. But if he burns the child or attacks his wife with a knife, it would be clear that the criminal intent was to cause harm. But if he hits his wife while they are fighting, he may claim that he only tried to threaten her and didn’t intend to cause serious harm. The verdict in these cases usually is ‘exchanging blows’ and each of the parties pays a KD 50 fine, as each of them claims self-defense,” the lawyer said.

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For some people, the thought of autonomous vehicles opens up a range of partying possibilities. They imagine hanging out all night with friends, drinking whatever they’d like, and then getting into their own cars, which will drive them safely home. They won’t have to worry about getting pulled over for a DUI because the vehicle won’t swerve, run stop lights or travel erratically. The artificial intelligence that’s controlling their vehicle won’t be affected by its owner’s alcohol consumption. self-driving-car-los-angeles-DUI

While that scenario could become a reality at some point, it’s not likely that it will occur any time in the immediate future. For one thing, self-driving vehicles have a long way to go before they become feasible and/or widely accepted everywhere in the U.S. Plus, under most current scenarios, at least one human occupant has to sit behind the wheel of the vehicle and that human occupant (not the computer) is ultimately responsible for its operation. To accept that responsibility, that person will have to remain sober.

Autonomous Vehicles Today

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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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los-angeles-dui-defense-processWhen you see a police car’s flashing lights in your rearview mirror, your first thought is probably something like “I hope they’re not after me.” But when it becomes clear that your vehicle is indeed the one that the officer is motioning over to the side of the road, you may start to panic—especially if you’ve spent the last few hours in the company of friends and have enjoyed an alcoholic beverage during that time.

Your behavior during the traffic stop and in the hours immediately following that stop could have a significant impact on your life, affecting everything from your ability to drive to your bank account. Follow these guidelines to ensure that you are taking every possible step to protect your rights and your future.

When the officer motions you over:

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domestic-violence-los-angeles-300x300Last night, after a long and heated argument with your spouse, you hit him/ her. You had heard about people who use violence against a spouse, but you deplored it. You never thought you would do it yourself. Now you feel guilty about what you’ve done, frightened that you might do it again and fearful about what the future might bring for you and for your family.

What can you do to prevent this violence from recurring? How can you turn the situation around? There are community resources throughout the Los Angeles area that can teach you how to deal with anger and frustration in more constructive ways. You can also seek out services that will help you get at the root of the problems that are causing the stress in your life and your relationship.

Managing anger to stop the violence

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Was one of your resolutions this year not to get behind the wheel of your vehicle if you’ve been drinking? How are you doing at keeping it? If you’re like most other people, now that we’re almost one month into 2017 many of your well-intentioned goals for changing your life have already gone by the wayside.  if-then-los-angeles-DUI-300x169

But there is a way to increase your success dramatically—and it’s not that hard to put into practice. It’s a technique that psychologists call implementation planning (or in less formal terms, if-then planning). You can employ this technique when you’re trying to lose weight, get a better handle on your emails at work or even when you’re trying to ensure that you don’t end up with a DUI conviction on your driving record.

The concept of using if-then statements to achieve a goal is not new; Peter Gollwitzer, a psychology professor at NYU, introduced the idea back in the 1990s. But people are revisiting the technique because studies have shown that this technique works extremely well in changing habits and helping people achieve desired behaviors.

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Judges will often grant postponements of cases involving DUI in Los Angeles if the prosecutor or the defending lawyer can provide a good reason for the delay. But a judge in Shasta County, California, finally reached her limit on granting reprieves and ordered a defendant to be ready for her day in court. anderson_dui

According to the Record Searchlight, Judge Cara Beatty was determined that Virginia Lyn Anderson of Redding, California, would have her day in court during the last week in October. Police say that Anderson was driving under the influence of methamphetamine and other drugs back in April 2014 when she collided with a motorcycle ridden by Hayley Marie Riggins. The crash killed Riggins, 27.

Anderson was initially supposed to stand trial in November 2014, but the judge has postponed her trial seven times since then. Most recently, the defense sought to get the trial postponed another time while they were appealing the specific charges filed against Anderson.

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Since the penalties can be so severe, drivers convicted of causing death or injuries in crashes involving a DUI in Los Angeles and other jurisdictions usually seek out every avenue of appeal. Many of their arguments center around the way that police and other personnel collect, store and handle the blood samples used to determine blood alcohol content.john-goodman-appeal-DUI

In mid-October, the Florida Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by John Goodman of his conviction on DUI manslaughter. According to the Florida Sun Sentinel, Goodman is arguing (through his lawyers) that the state’s rules for collecting and analyzing blood are inadequate and that they violate the rights of drivers charged with DUI.

The Goodman case is attracting a great deal of attention in Florida because the defendant is a millionaire known for founding the Wellington polo club. He’s currently serving a 16-year sentence in the death of Scott Patrick Wilson, age 23. Goodman’s Bentley slammed into Wilson’s Hyundai, sending the vehicle into a canal. Wilson drowned in his vehicle.
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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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