Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI law

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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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Would it be good news or bad news if the Los Angeles Times reported a large drop in arrests for Los Angeles DUI? The answer might depend on whom you ask.DUI-decrease-why

Washington State’s Kitsap Sun Business Journal recently ran a story about the decrease in Kitsap County’s DUI arrests–1,000 fewer in 2015 than in 2006. The article suggests that one reason for the drop might be more education about the dangers of DUI driving. Accident statistics seem to bear this out; in 2006, Washington State saw 8,202 DUI-related crashes; that number decreased to 5,586 in 2015.

But lack of police manpower, the complexity of the DUI laws, which require extensive police training, and the time-consuming need to obtain blood samples to detect the presence of marijuana also appear to be contributing to the drop in DUI arrest rates. At least one police official said he simply doesn’t have the manpower to keep troopers patrolling the roads like they did previously.
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Late last year, a grand jury in Arapahoe County, Colorado, indicted Denny Lovem on several charges related to a DUI incident. That kind of judicial action wouldn’t normally attract a great deal of attention unless the accused was a politician or a celebrity, but this story received extensive coverage in the state. The reason for Lovem’s notoriety? The 57-year-old has been arrested 20 times on DUI charges but has never been faced felony charges because of the provisions of Colorado’s DUI law. (It’s not like that in California, where anyone arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the state could face be looking at felony charges if the DUI incident results in someone’s death or injury.)george-brauchler

A local district attorney in Colorado, George Brauchler, expressed his frustration with the Colorado statutes, which don’t allow judges to sentence repeat DUI offenders to more than a year in jail. So Brauchler sought more prison time for Lovem in a different way. He asked the grand jury to indict Lovem on nine charges, including attempted first degree assault and attempted manslaughter.

Lovem was first charged with driving under the influence in 1983. In the latest incident, the habitual offender allegedly hit a car and then drove off without stopping. When police caught up with him, he admitted that he probably shouldn’t have been driving.
The attention surrounding Lovem’s arrest may have helped accomplish what frustrated prosecutors like Brauchler have been unable to do. A bill making some third DUI offenses and all fourth DUI offenses a felony is currently making its way through the Colorado House of Representatives. Anyone convicted could face up to seven years in prison. The bill appears to have a greater chance of success thanks to testimony presented to a legislative committee by families of DUI victims.

Respond strategically to your arrest and charges by calling a former Senior Deputy D.A. and highly successful Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers today for a complimentary consultation.

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This Los Angeles DUI blog constantly scours the national landscape (or at least attempts to do so) to identify important legal trends in the field. State lawmakers – often out of desperation – sometimes decide to “get tough” on DUI by arbitrarily imposing harsher sentencing.ok-dui-law-proposed

The general efficacy of this tactic is dubious, as this blog has argued in the past. If nasty anti-DUI punishments are failing as deterrents, why would slightly nastier ones suddenly succeed as deterrents. As Will Rogers once quipped, if you’re in a hole, stop digging.

In any event, let’s turn to Oklahoma, where Patrick Anderson, a local Republican Senator, just wrote and started promoting Bill 30, a measure that would ban DUI offenders from purchasing alcohol for a specified amount of time. The bill parallels a similar law in Alaska.

If Bill 30 passes, the legislation would mandate that an offender’s driver’s license be altered to include a stamp that restricts all alcohol purchases. If that person buys alcohol while banned, he or she will be sent back to court to face probation violation charges. Furthermore, the owner or managers of the establishment that sells alcohol to a restricted license holder could face felony charges.

Other laws that address issues like repeat DUI offenses and levels of intoxication would have to be revamped to accommodate the Bill 30 related changes. Further legislation modifications might be needed to address issues concerning:

•    Repeat offenders
•    Timeframe for the purchasing restriction
•    Exceptions regarding religious services
•    Etc.

Opponents of the law maintain that Bill 30 is a form of public shaming. They worry that the myriad of changes to current legislation would create confusion and sew public distrust. Opponents also complain that the law would put strain on bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, because every patron would have to be carded, including those clearly over the legal drinking age. Advocates argue that this legal tactic could serious deter potential repeat DUI offenders.

Debate over the new bill is set to open in February.

Currently, California DUI laws impose no such restrictions. The Golden State does have strict DUI laws that permit harsh sentencing. To protect yourself and your rights, contact a trusted, respected Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers to explore your possible defenses and responses.

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As regular readers of our Los Angeles DUI blog know, penalties for getting convicted even for misdemeanor DUIs can be quite intense and can lead to lengthy license suspensions, substantial time behind bars, massive fees, spikes on your insurance rates, unpleasant probation terms, and more — and that’s just for first time offenders who don’t hurt anyone or commit other crimes.dui-law-passes-15-0

But DUI law is constantly in flux.

Consider, for instance, a new proposed law out of Springfield, Illinois, where members of the state House voted last Wednesday 15-0 to approve legislation to allow DUI offenders with revoked licenses to get a second chance to get behind the wheel.

Even members of the anti-DUI advocacy group, Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, backed the legislation, because it gives deserving people a second chance. The legislation would let people who have been convicted for DUI up to four times obtain restricted permits to drive… with lot of caveats:

•    First of all, they must wait five years.
•    Secondly, they must demonstrate that they have been sober for three years by completing alcohol treatment programs.
•    Finally, they need to install breathalyzer devices in their vehicles permanently.

State representative, Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook, sponsored the bill, and it will now be sent to the floor for a vote.

Is SB 1996 a “good thing” for the community? Does it create hazards for drivers? Should motorists and pedestrians applaud it or condemn it?

These are all very important questions, and they speak to a critical point, which is that DUI legislation really should be based on good science and objective research.

What actually works, in the real world, in terms of reducing fatalities and DUI related accidents on the road?

What actually works in terms of rehabilitating drivers and preventing them from repeating their mistakes behind the wheel?

What actually works in terms of developing auto and road engineering systems to minimize the likelihood of crashes?

California law punishes recidivist (repeat) DUI offenders more harshly than it does first time offenders. For instance, if this is your first DUI, and you are convicted, you may face 48 hours in custody (up to six months behind bars), a one year license suspension, a minimum of six weeks of alcohol school and other penalties.

However, if this is your third or fourth arrest within 10 years, your minimum jail time, license suspension time, and alcohol school time will be jacked up significantly. You may lose your license for three or more years and face way more 48 hours behind bars, depending on circumstances.

No matter what happened in your case, an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers is standing by to assist and help you make smarter decisions. Call or email us today for a free consultation.
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