Articles Tagged with dui los angeles

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GPS is usually a pretty handy tool for people to have when they’re driving—especially if they’ve imbibed enough alcohol to get them arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles. It’s a lot easier to have a device calling out the directions than to read them on a map when your brain is a little fuzzy.DUI-GPS

But there are times when GPS is less than helpful. Just ask Richard Schnee and Ardean Marie Smith about their experience in Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania.

Schnee, age 41, and Smith, age 44, are both out-of-towners who were trying to reach the Hilton Garden Inn in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Both were driving their own cars, with Schnee following Smith, who had supposedly programmed her GPS with the hotel address.

No one quite knows how Smith ended up leading Schnee to the Upper Dublin police station—and into an area that was restricted to cops only. The officers who challenged them soon realized that there was something more going on than an incorrect GSP route; they smelled alcohol on both drivers. Schnee and Smith failed the field sobriety test and ended up spending some time in the police station—charged with DUI—instead of at the hotel.

Upper Dublin police officers said they didn’t know why the pair had ended up at their station, but they were glad that it was so easy to get the pair of them off the road. One cop tweeted a photo with the caption: “GSP tells two DUI suspects to drive to police sally port. Same GPS tells @Upperdublinpd to lock them up. #OneSmartGPS!”

To respond effectively to your charges, call a qualified Los Angeles DUI lawyer with the Kraut Law Group today to schedule a free consultation.

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There are many things that people picked up for a DUI in Los Angeles would probably like to say to the officers who arrested them. “Thank you” is usually not one of them. But one California woman had a different reaction. Six months after her arrest, Mariya Fair returned to the police station to express her gratitude to the cop who had previously charged her with DUI.dui-los-angeles-thanks

Officer Wayne Blessinger of the Fontana Police Department arrived at an accident scene on New Year’s Eve 2014. Fair, 36, had gone through a light and had crashed into two other vehicles. Fortunately, she didn’t injure anyone, but Blessinger arrested her for DUI and took her to jail.

According to Los Angeles’ ABC 7 Eyewitness News, Fair said that Officer Blessinger looked at the needle tracks in her arms and told her, “You know you’re so young. I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but you need to get yourself in order, you need to get your life in order.” Blessinger said he didn’t think he was getting through, but his words made a big impression on Fair. She had attempted suicide earlier in the month and was already planning another try when the cop spoke to her. After her arrest she turned her life around.

Fair, who is the mother of two, said Officer Blessinger was the first person to really notice her and to express concern. So the day after Mother’s Day she returned to the police station to thank Blessinger. It was a real surprise to Blessinger, who said he never expected to be thanked for arresting someone.

Do you need assistance constructing an appropriate response to a DUI charge? Look to the Kraut Law Group’s Michael Kraut for insight and peace of mind. Mr. Kraut is an experience Los Angeles DUI attorney with many relevant connections in the local legal community.

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When the police recently stopped you at a checkpoint or pulled you over on the freeway, you probably didn’t need a Los Angeles DUI attorney on hand to tell you to avoid saying obviously incriminating or stupid comments, such as “I only had 8 beers” or “my buddy left me at the bar — what was I supposed to do, walk home?”new-years-eve-2015-DUI

Not everyone shares your restraint and wisdom.

To wit, on January 1st, police pulled over New Jersey resident Daniel Pratts for nearly running into a police vehicle. When the cops approached the car, they allegedly smelled alcohol on Pratts’ breath. They say that he failed field sobriety tests, prompting his arrest. Pratts refused the breathalyzer and then reportedly made an astonishing statement to an officer: “It’s New Year’s Eve, everyone drives drunk.”

Okay, that’s not smart. But what IS the right strategy? What should you do if you’re pulled over, and you believe you might be intoxicated or buzzed?

Even though it’s hard, try to stay calm. Excessive anxiety about a possible DUI could just incite unhelpful behaviors or lead to dumb comments that can make the situation worse. Avoid exhibiting anger toward the officer. Stay silent as much as possible.

Refusing a breathalyzer may provide enough probable cause for an arrest, and that information can be used against you in court. In many states, including California, refusing a chemical test can likely result in license suspension. It’s important to note that you can refuse a breathalyzer without jeopardizing your license if you inform the officer that you will take a blood or other test at the station, which will be more reliable.

When you are released, the first thing you should do is contact a qualified attorney, who could potentially reduce the charges to reckless driving or fight for exoneration of all charges.

First-offense DUI cases that don’t involve recklessness or result in injuries are fairly common, although each case has its own important subtleties. Call a Los Angeles DUI lawyer with the Kraut Law Group today for a free consultation about your challenges.

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Driving DUI in Los Angeles — as defined by California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 (a) and 23152 (b) — is dangerous, destructive, and potentially lethal. mental-chatter-los-angeles-DUI

When you are under the influence of alcohol, your ability to process and react to events on the road changes in bad ways. For instance, alcohol slows your reaction time. (The difference between a fatal, fiery crash and a scary “swerve at the last minute” near-miss might be just a few fractions of a second.)

Also, consumption of alcohol can lead you to engage in other risky behaviors, such as shouting on the cellphone while driving. For instance, if you are sober, and you get into an accident, you might do the smart thing and stop and wait for police. But if you are DUI, and you get into an accident, you might impulsively leave the scene and later get charged with a felony hit and run, which obviously would make your defense much more tricky.

But DUI driving is not the only bad type of driving. Here are two other subtle mistakes that many people make behind the wheel:

•    They drive while not well rested.

An Australian study found that sober drivers kept awake for over 24 hours drove worse than DUI drivers. We all know that acute under-sleeping is bad for you, but chronic under-sleeping may also be bad. Perhaps the aggregate risk of sleeping one or two hours fewer than your need, day in, day out, may be worse than the risk of a single drive while exhausted.

•    They drive while distracted by their own thoughts.

Driving while distracted by anything can also incrementally increase your risk. Distractions can include: loud music on the radio, a cellphone in your hand, a chitter-chattery passenger, and even the clamor of your own internal monologue. Everyone knows that texting and chatting on the cellphone while driving is a no-no. But how many accidents are caused because drivers are busy composing emails in their head or running through an internal monologue of some sort – as opposed to concentrating fully on the task of driving? Again, it’s riskier to text while driving than it is to space out while driving. But the amount of time that people spend spaced out while driving probably vastly exceeds the amount of time people text. So “spacing out” might actually cause more accidents than texting.

The point is that it’s not just our acute bad habits that put us at risk. It’s the chronic bad habits — the “minor” bad habits — that may arguably do more damage because we do them with so much more frequency.

Becoming a safer driver is not something you can do overnight, but there are many lessons that you can learn from your charges, if you are willing to listen and learn. Step one is to get in touch with an experienced Los Angeles DUI criminal defense lawyer, like Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group. Connect with attorney Kraut today for guidance. Continue reading

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This Los Angeles DUI blog, like many other media outlets, is fascinated by ironic DUI arrests.drunk-as-sht-dui-los-angeles

Most people don’t actually know what the word “ironic” means (looking at you, Alanis!), but it defines a situation with a paradoxical discrepancy. For instance, if you are listening to somber, dreary music while an adorable, colorful children’s TV show plays on the screen, THAT is ironic.

Also ironic: trying to plead innocence, after the police pull you over for driving under the influence while you’re wearing a T-shirt with the words “Drunk As Sh**” in enormous bold letters.

Yet that’s exactly what happened to 21-year-old Ross McMakin of Oregon over the weekend.

On Sunday morning, authorities say that McMakin drove his Ford Ranger pickup truck onto the curb and smashed into a parked car. His ex-girlfriend then tried to grab the keys, but he allegedly choked her and drove off by himself. Police were notified at around 3:30 in the morning, and they stopped him.

Per the Corvallis Gazette-Times, McMakin’s BAC level was over twice the legal limit (in Southern California, as in Oregon, that number is 0.08% BAC). He allegedly told police that his “girlfriend didn’t know how to drive stick shift,” so that was why he was driving. He faces a rouge’s gallery of intense charges, including harassment, strangulation, reckless endangerment, and DUI driving.

He also faces instantly infamy, thanks to his T-shirt — that he wore in his mug shot — which read “Drunk As Sh**.”

McMakin obviously is hoping his ironic arrest will fade and be forgotten. Unfortunately, the internet has a memory like an elephant – if you are arrested for DUI wearing an ironic T-shirt – that picture will unfortunately likely live forever in infamy, since it has a “viral element” to it.

On the other hand, someone like McMakin can seek to fight some or all of his charges. One option – which may or may not be available for the 21-year-old – is to seek something called expungement. Basically, if you plead no contest to a DUI (or guilty), in some cases, the court can later allow you to dismiss your case and remove it from the record. Obviously, this won’t help with the public humiliation factor, but it can help you when it comes to applying for a job or insurance. Plus, if you ever get arrested again for a crime like DUI (or something else), the expungement will prevent the court from “seeing” what you did in the past.

For help managing the aftermath of your arrest, call a Los Angeles DUI criminal defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group immediately for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
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Some disturbing Los Angeles DUI news: An LAPD officer, 29-year-old Jonathan Chel of Fullerton, was arrested on Friday, after he slammed his car into a McDonald’s drive through in Diamond Bar while DUI.lapd-dui-los-angeles-mcdonalds

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Chel had been exiting the 60 freeway at Golden Spring’s Drive at around 1 in the morning, when his Mazda slipped off the exit ramp, “launched” across a 50-foot gulf, crashed the McD’s, and finally stopped at Brea Boulevard in Golden Springs.

Per a California Highway Patrol report, rescue workers took Mr. Chel to UC Irvine Medical Center for his injuries. Fortunately, they were not too severe. A CHP officer arrested him at the hospital for DUI. Mr. Chel had been off duty. No one else was hurt in the incident, no other vehicles suffered damage.

“Do you want fries with your DUI?”

The image of a rouge, off-duty LAPD officer smashing through a McDonald’s drive through while DUI sounds almost comical – like something you might see in a spoof movie. However, this incident obviously is no laughing matter. It does, however, allow us to segue into an interesting conversation about the relationship between DUI and food consumption. The rate at which your body processes alcohol depends on many factors, including:

•    Whether or not you eat a meal when you drink;
•    Your metabolic state;
•    Your genetics;
•    Whether you’re a man or a woman;
•    The amount of alcohol you’ve consumed recently and throughout your life — chronic alcohol consumption can also affect your metabolic rate.

Police officers are subject to the same exact DUI laws that citizens must obey, including California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and 23152(b), and they, too, can face punishments such as DUI alcohol school, jail time, forced license suspension, and mandatory installation of an Interlock Ignition Device (IID). In addition, a police officer who violates the law – e.g. causes a catastrophic DUI accident — can lose job responsibilities and/or get fired. In fact, if the news reports prove accurate, it would highly unlikely that Mr. Chel would not face serious repercussions at his job — e.g. a suspension, if not an outright termination.

No matter what happened with respect to your Los Angeles DUI arrest, the team here at the Kraut Law Group can provide a free, confidential case assessment. Mr. Kraut is a former Los Angeles prosecutor with relationships with many experts in the field, and he can help you contrive a smart and ethical defense.

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Los Angeles DUI stakeholders – police, attorneys on both sides, judges, criminal defendants, and victims of DUI tragedies alike – don’t know what to make of a Twitter user who goes by the handle “Mr. Checkpoint.”mr-checkpoint-los-angeles-dui

Also known as Sennett Devermont, the 25-year old Santa Monican has taken to calling himself “the drinking crowd’s Batman,” according to a recent article in the LA Weekly.

Devermont has over 42,000 followers on Twitter and an additional 20,000 text subscribers. His free cell phone app, Mr. Checkpoint, has been downloaded thousands of times. Why?

Devermont reveals the locations of upcoming Southern California DUI checkpoints.

Unsurprisingly, representatives from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have been less than thrilled with Devermont’s mission. The Group’s Director of Communications, Anna Duerr, said “We don’t want apps out there that allow people to evade checkpoints.” MADD’s Regional Director for Los Angeles, Pat Rillera, told the LA Weekly: “While we support the publication of checkpoints as a deterrent to drunk driving, sites like Mr. Checkpoint alert drunk drivers so they can evade arrest. It’s not meant as a positive.”

Devermont disagrees. He’s found support from among many people who passionately want to punish DUI drivers and make streets safer. Defenders believe this app can deter people who are on the bubble from driving — that is, to encourage tipsy folks to take a cab, find a designated driver or walk home.

Devermont usually starts sending out his alerts during the evening, based on information provided by Sheriff and Police Departments in Los Angeles and San Diego. The app does have a box — which you must check — wherein you agree that you will not drive under the influence.

Devermont said he came up with the idea while enrolled at San Diego State University. Police pulled him over after a party. He was 18 at the time. Police forced him to go through the paces of several field sobriety tests. (These can include the finger to the nose test; the stand on one leg test; the count backwards by threes test and the horizontal gaze test).

Police told Devermont that he failed, but he hadn’t consumed any alcohol! When he blew into a breathalyzer, sure enough, he scored a 0.00 BAC. Still, he told the LA Weekly “it was humiliating and intimidating. I felt violated. After that, I looked up my rights.”

Do you need help understanding and protecting your rights after a Los Angeles DUI arrest? Please get in touch with Harvard Law School educated attorney, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group, for a thorough, free consultation.

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