Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI

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The police recently picked you up for DUI—maybe even for the second or third time—and you’re finally ready to admit that you have an alcohol problem. You know you need assistance, but where do you go to find it? And how do you know which program is most likely to help you?treatment-for-alcoholism

These seemingly simple questions can lead to a raft of conflicting, challenging decisions. It is almost shockingly difficult to find objective reviews of the various treatment options available as well as clear data about which approaches work best for different types of people.

This post aims to shine a light on this murky subject. Let’s explore. Where can you go for help? What programs are even out there?

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How do officers working for Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) determine whether they should stop someone for a DUI? LAPD-DRE-training-overview

All LAPD officers receive substantial training that helps them understand what to look for when patrolling L.A.’s freeways and surface streets for dangerous drivers—and drivers who might be under the influence. Police officers are human, however, so they can forget what they learned (or just ignore proper procedure) and make errors during the arrest process itself.

LAPD officers’ DUI training has changed considerably over the decades, according to the department’s website. Back in the 1970s, police departments in most jurisdictions, including Los Angeles, had no standards-based roadside sobriety tests to help them determine and document whether or not a person was driving while under the influence of alcohol. So different states (and different officers) developed their own versions of the sobriety tests.

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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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Any driver convicted of DUI in Los Angeles should receive equal treatment in a courtroom regardless of gender or race. Of course, since judges are human and every defendant’s driving record is different, two people convicted of the same DUI offense may receive dissimilar sentences.Jamesville Elementary School-DUI-los-angeles

Employers should also have a written gender and race-neutral policy that clearly spells out what will happen if an employee faces DUI charges. But that’s not always the case, and it can leave those employers open to charges of discrimination.

In Syracuse, New York, Colleen Tedeschi, former principal of Jamesville Elementary School, is claiming that the Jamesville-DeWitt school district has practiced gender discrimination after firing her from her job. According to the website Syracuse.com, Tedeschi said the district treated her differently than it treated a male employee arrested on similar charges.

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The only surefire way to avoid a conviction on DUI in Los Angeles is not to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking or using drugs. But if you’ve made an error in judgment, and the police arrest you on a DUI charge, your best option is to work with an attorney well versed in these laws who can help ensure that your rights are protected during the judicial process. What we don’t recommend is getting your ticket fixed by a clerk of the court.jose-lopez-los-angeles-DUI-defense

In California, Jose Lopez Jr., a clerk in the Orange County Superior Court, is facing federal charges for allegedly running a network that fixed the tickets of more than 1,000 people charged with various traffic offenses, including DUI. According to a story in the Orange County Register, Lopez had 11 “recruiters” who would go to car and truck clubs and post notices on Craigslist to let drivers know that traffic tickets could be tweaked in their favor in the Superior Court.

Lopez charged drivers up to $8,000 to put in the fix. He would change computer records so it would appear that a defendant convicted of a traffic violation had paid the required fines, had spent the mandated time in jail or had performed court-ordered community service. For a driver convicted of DUI, Lopez would edit the court record to show that he/she had pleaded guilty to reckless driving, which is a lesser charge.
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Drivers found guilty of a DUI in Los Angeles often avoid jail time if it’s their first offense. But some motorists in California and other states also get off lightly even when it’s their second or third offense or when they’ve caused someone’s death.

Drake Bell, former star of the Drake and Josh show on Nickelodeon, served only one day of a mandatory four-day jail term for his second DUI offense. Police officers in Glendale, California, stopped the 30-year-old actor last December after they saw his vehicle swerving and then abruptly speeding up. Bell failed a field sobriety test but refused to take a chemical test. drake-josh-dui

Bell’s previous DUI conviction stems from a May 2010 incident in San Diego. Since this was his second DUI offense, Bell could have faced up to one year in county jail under California Vehicle Code 23512. But the judge accepted a plea deal, sentencing Bell to 96 hours in jail. Bell apparently served a reduced sentence because of his good behavior, but he will still have to complete an alcohol treatment program and remain on probation for four years.

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Under the terms of Section 23550 of the California Vehicle Code, a driver convicted of DUI in Los Angeles three or more times within 10 years faces felony (rather than misdemeanor) DUI charges, which can result in anywhere from 16 months to four years in prison. Many states have similar laws. But what happens when those laws change? kentucky-law-DUI-los-angeles

Should the count of DUI convictions start when the law goes into effect, or does the lookback period extend all the way back 10 years prior to its implementation?

That question is playing out in Kentucky courtrooms today, according to an article on Louisville’s WDB.com website. Until the Kentucky State Legislature passed Senate Bill 56 earlier this year, the state’s lookback period for DUI charges had been five years. The new law extends that period to 10 ten years. But is it retroactive? Judges in different Kentucky counties have different interpretations, since the law did not specifically address that issue.

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DUI drivers usually lack the necessary control to demonstrate the finer points of the vehicles they’re driving. But that doesn’t stop them from trying, as police officers who have arrested drivers for DUI in Los Angeles can attest.DUI-donuts

In the past month, two drivers have tried to impress their passengers and/or onlookers by making circles or “donuts” with their cars. In Oklahoma, Fox 25 reports that Michael Dean Sharpe was trying to impress a date when he entered a church parking lot and turned off the traction control in his Pontiac G8T so that he could perform a series of donuts in the lot. Sharpe forgot, however, to turn his traction control back on when he had completed his performance. Sharpe allegedly zoomed out of the parking lot at a high speed and lost control of his car, hitting a curb and damaging at least one tree along the roadway.

While Sharpe’s date will probably never forget the evening, it’s doubtful that he made the impression he had hoped. First of all, the crash smashed the windshield and caved in the vehicle’s passenger side where the woman rode. Plus watching your date carted off to jail on DUI charges is not an experience most women hope to repeat. (Even Sharpe is quoted as saying that he was acting like a “dumbass.”)

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Under California’s vehicle codes, police can charge a driver who is DUI in Los Angeles with a felony if that driver has had three previous convictions for driving under the influence in the last 10 years or if the driver has had a previous conviction for a felony DUI. The law does not specify what type of motor vehicle the person has to be driving for that felony charge to stick.scooter-DUI-los-angeles

The DUI laws in Montana have a similar provision, which is unfortunate for 64-year-old John Adrian Langstaff of Missoula. He wasn’t behind the wheel of a car, but was on a scooter when police picked him for DUI.

According to KGVO radio, the Missoula police department sent an officer to a post office when callers reported they had seen a man drinking a can of beer while he was driving a scooter. Witnesses said he spilled part of the beer when he parked and finished the rest up before he went inside the post office.

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