Articles Tagged with drug dui

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Police officers are accustomed to finding illegal drugs, guns or open alcohol containers when they arrest someone for a DUI in Los Angeles. But few start out investigating a DUI-related crash and end up with a gruesome homicide case.dui-los-angeles-lightpole-death

On the evening of June 27th, officers in Anchorage, Alaska, responded to the scene of what appeared to be a crash involving a DUI. Benjamin Wilkins, 34, had run his vehicle into a light pole. He was next to the car and talking into a cellphone. After some conversation with him, officers arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

The website reports that police were waiting for a tow truck when they looked in the back seat of Wilkin’s car. They saw what they thought was a sleeping passenger, but when they took a closer look they found the bound and beaten body of 30-year old Jacqueline Goodwin.

Police eventually went to Wilkins’ home, where they found a multitude of illegal drugs, including heroin, mushrooms, methamphetamines, cocaine, marijuana and prescription drugs. Further investigation led them to believe that Wilkins had killed Goodwin in the basement of the home and then enlisted the assistance of his mother, Jacqueline Stefano, and his brother, Connor Stefano, in cleaning up the scene of the crime and helping Wilkins move the woman’s body to his car.

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amanda-bynes-drug-DUIOf all the celebrity Los Angeles DUI cases that we’ve covered on this blog over many years, the peculiar case of Amanda Bynes has stood out, because the actress’ encounters with the law have had less to do with willful rule breaking and more to do with mental illness.

The ex-child star, who earned fame in movies like Hairspray, found herself in handcuffs again on Monday, after police arrested her for driving under the influence of drugs. According to news outlets, the actress had stopped taking her antipsychotic medication and “started smoking pot again and drinking again.” Previously, she had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, after she threw a bong out of an apartment building in New York City and later lit a fire in the driveway of a complete stranger. She had enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Southern California after completing a court-ordered parentally supervised conservatorship. An anonymous source claimed to RadarOnline that the 28-year-old actress “is absolutely out of control.”

Per, Bynes had been driving high on the drug Adderall when police stopped her in the San Fernando Valley. They administered toxicology tests, and police said it will take 60 days to determine what, if anything, she had been using. Leland Tang, an officer for the California Highway Patrol, said “we would have released [information about what drugs she had in her possession] if we knew it was a stimulant…we won’t know for sure until the toxicology comes back.”

Getting arrested for drug DUI can be complex, but you may be able to challenge the arrest on multiple grounds. An experienced, strategic and compassionate Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, such as ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers, can help you understand your options and develop and execute a consistent defense.

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The annals of Los Angeles DUI history are replete with stories of famous politicians, business owners, celebrities, and athletes busted for driving under the influence in sordid situations. This alone should debunk the myth that only incompetent or irresponsible people get busted for this crime.jim-irsay-dui

Add another iron to that fire: Jim Irsay, the owner of Indianapolis Colts, found himself in handcuffs on Sunday night in Carmel, Indiana, facing four felony counts. Authorities say that the 50-year-old football club owner had been driving at a very slow rate of speed. He stopped in the middle of the roadway and failed to turn. A Police Department spokesperson, Lieutenant Joe Bickel, said that “during the course of the investigation, Irsay subsequently failed several roadside field sobriety tests … [and then police found] multiple prescription drugs … and pill bottles” in his vehicle.

Irsay made his bail bond of $22,500 and got released at 1:30 PM on Monday. He publicly admitted to battling a prescription addiction in the past. In a statement he made back in 2002, he said “after several years of orthopedic operations and procedures, accompanied by long bouts of chronic pain, I became dependent on prescription pain medications … this summer I sought professional help at a nationally recognized facility located outside Indiana. I have successfully dealt with my dependence and my chronic pain issues.”

If convicted of his felony charges, Irsay will face punishments like jail time, the loss of his license, mandatory alcohol classes, and major fines and fees… as well as disciplinary action from the National Football League.

The Colts released a statement about the arrest: “the team will issue additional statements when facts are sorted, and we are aware of the next steps to this process … the club continues to fully support Mr. Irsay but must refrain from commenting further at least until formal charges have been filed. A hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 26.”

In 2010, Tom Lewand, the President of the Detroit Lions, paid a $100,000 fine to the League and faced a 30-day suspension after he pled guilty to driving under the influence.

Irsay recently separated from his wife of 33 years – Meg Irsay – in November 2013. Sometimes traumatic life events, like a new divorce, can lead to addictive behavior and to drug DUIs.

In Southern California, if you’re arrested for a similar crime, you’ll face charges per California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), which makes it a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs and illegal narcotics as well as prescription or OTC pain meds.

Of course, there are no breath tests that can be used in cases like this – instead, a police officer will administer a blood or urine test, if you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs. Your performance on field sobriety tests and the officer’s judgment of your sobriety can also play a role in determining your guilt. For help defending a Los Angeles DUI drug case, call Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers immediately. Mr. Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor, and he regularly consults with major media (e.g. KTLA, the New York Times, Good Morning America, etc) about big DUI news events.
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Los Angeles DUI analysts are always keen to follow legal developments in the state of Colorado, which often stands on the “leading edge” of curious new DUI-related developments, legally and culturally.marijuana-DUI-los-angeles-laws

Recently, Colorado passed a statewide law that legalized recreational marijuana use. However, the CO government wants to prevent stoned drivers from causing accidents on Rocky Mountain highways. To that end, the Colorado Department of Transportation just aired a series of TV ads as a part of an ambitious “drive high, get a DUI” safety campaign.

The CDOT campaign is rich with cheeky, gallows humor. One ad features a man trying to put up a TV set, which comes crashing down. The ad copy reads: “installing your TV while high is now legal … driving to get a new one isn’t.”

The Colorado State Patrol’s Chief of Police, Scott Hernandez, emphasized a “safety first” message: “as Coloradoans now have more access to marijuana, we want you to be aware that law enforcement is trained to identify impairment by all categories of drugs and alcohol.”

The CDOT limits blood marijuana to just 5 nanograms of THC (active) per milliliter of blood. A survey from September of last year found that more than one out of five Colorado drivers had driven after consuming or smoking marijuana within a month from when the survey was taken. That’s a crazily alarming statistic.

Advocates on both sides of the debate worry that the 5 nanogram limit may be too hard to enforce. One spokeswoman for the CDOT told USA Today “one hit could put someone over the limit.” Meanwhile, Mason Tvert, a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, told USA Today “too much evidence suggests that [the 5 nanogram limit] would result in people being unfairly convicted of a DUI when they are not actually impaired.”

In Los Angeles, driving under the influence of drugs can be charged as a crime per CVC Section 23152(a), which defines “under the influence” as an umbrella term — it includes not only alcohol but also drugs like marijuana, prescription narcotics, illegal drugs, and over-the-counter medications.

Authorities cannot use a breath test to measure the presence of marijuana or other drugs. Instead, they give suspected drivers urine or blood tests. Juries then examine these chemical analyses to determine guilt and sentencing.

For help defending against a Los Angeles DUI drug charge, call attorney Michael Kraut today with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers. Mr. Kraut has an excellent reputation; he served as a prosecutor for 14 years before working with defendants, so he really understands how prosecutors act and think.
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