Articles Tagged with dui

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dumb-los-angeles-DUI-300x300Let’s start by acknowledging the obvious: No one begins with the express intention, “I’m going to get arrested for DUI tonight.” Although sadly, some people don’t care one way or the other, the average person doesn’t set out with an intent to drive under the influence. Usually, a DUI arrest happens as a result of bad judgment, bad choices, unforeseen circumstances or a combination of these things.

Unfortunately, once you’ve been arrested, you can’t hit the “rewind” button on the bad choices that led to that moment. Additionally, if your arrest ends in a conviction, the consequences may be long-lasting and permanent. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” as the saying goes—so let’s discuss a few of the ill-advised ways people set themselves up for DUI and how to avoid them.

1. Hanging Out with the Wrong People

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DUIs in Los Angeles often involve collisions between vehicles, between a vehicle and a pedestrian or between a vehicle and some building. But the DUI driver rarely hits the same object more than once–at least not on purpose.bumper-cars-DUI-los-angeles

In Naperville, Illinois, however, John Chiampas was apparently determined to get the vehicle that blocked his route out of the way. According to the Chicago Tribune, Chiampas was driving his 2011 BMW when he struck a Volvo that was stopped by the side of a road. Chiampas hit the Volvo once, and it rolled forward. He proceeded to strike the car from behind several times, at one point backing up and then moving forward again to slam into it.

Fortunately, the family inside the Volvo—a man, a woman and their three children—were not injured.

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Police erected Los Angeles DUI checkpoints around the city throughout Super Bowl weekend. Super Bowl Sunday is known for its high DUI rates, which are similar to the arrest rates for holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day. According to a new article in Forbes, drivers can take advantage of two powerful tools to protect themselves and others on the road during what some authorities have been cheekily calling “drinking season,” the stretch of the year from December to March that includes some of the most dangerous holidays for DUI.BACtrack

So what can be done to deal with this societal problem? The mobile apps, BACtrack and Uber, could help us collectively crack down and save lives. Consider the following statistics:

  • BACtrack, a breathalyzer app that works with a smartphone, tracks data from users and lets law enforcement officials as well public safety and auto safety experts analyze these data to inform policy. BACtrack, for instance, helped quantify last year’s Super Bowl Sunday DUI issues by calculating that the average DUI driver had a BAC level of .091%.
  • 43% of BACtrack users report buying the product to avoid DUI.
  • Drivers whose BAC levels are at or above the legal limit of .08% are responsible for 21% of deadly crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • BACtrack identified December through March as the peak drinking season, when accidents are more likely to involve significant alcohol consumption.

Together with ride share apps, like Uber, technological aids like BACtrack can potentially help drivers make more responsible decisions when going out.

Thanks in part to highway patrol checkpoints and PSAs, awareness about DUI driving dangers has spread recently. Many cities in the Southland and beyond hosted extensive DUI checkpoints starting the Friday before Super Bowl Sunday. The Auto Club of Southern California also provided a “Tipsy Tow” service free for anyone who lived within a 7 mile radius of the pickup location.

The wildly successful (and somewhat controversial) rideshare program Uber, meanwhile, claims that the company can help gimp DUI rates by simplifying and streamlining the “designated driver” concept. To Uber’s credit, statistics show that DUI related accidents have indeed been declining in cities where Uber offers its services.

Do you need help defending against a drug or DUI charge? Michael Kraut of Los Angeles’s Kraut Law Group is a trustworthy, highly qualified former prosecutor. Call a Los Angeles DUI attorney today to strategize for your defense seriously.

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How should you handle your Los Angeles DUI charges?good-enough-dui-losangeles

That question might sound trite. Obviously, you want to minimize/avoid punishments that prosecutors might ask for, which could include jail time, cumbersome probation terms and alcohol school, as well as unfortunate spikes in your insurance rates.

In an ideal world, your DUI lawyer could just snap his fingers and make it as if police never pulled you over on the 210 for cutting across lanes or stopped you at a checkpoint near Caltech. But we don’t live in an ideal world, so “good enough” has to be enough.

Perfection Vs “Good Enough” — Why the Debate Matters for Your DUI Defense

In the world of math, the search for a perfect solution is called an “optimization problem.” Here is a vivid example. Imagine it’s raining torrentially. You need to seek shelter at a high place or you’ll drown. How high do you need to climb above the flood plane to save your life? The answer depends on an astonishing number of variables, including the amount of rain, your swimming ability, how far it is to the nearest high place, whether you can climb aboard a lifeboat or not and just float it out, etc.

The IDEAL solution would be to hike up to the top of Mount Rainer, where the rain is least likely to drown you in the U.S. Obviously, this solution is impractical for many reasons: you just want to find a “good enough” solution, so you can ride out the storm in relative safety.

Likewise, you want to think of your defense in the same way. What does the equivalent of “not drowning” look like for you? Would it mean avoiding a lengthy jail term? Would it mean being able to keep your California driver’s license? The clearer you are about what success means to you, the easier it will be to create a customized battle plan for your defense.

Talk to Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut and his team at the Kraut Law Group to figure out the next steps for your Los Angeles DUI defense. Continue reading

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