Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI

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undocumented-DUI-los-angelesBeing arrested, charged and/or convicted for DUI comes its own set of challenges, even if you are U.S. citizen. But for undocumented immigrants, a DUI arrest can open up a whole new set of complications. Undocumented immigrants face a certain amount of risk anytime they get behind the wheel because even a routine traffic stop can put them on the radar of government authorities. But since the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) places a higher priority on deporting undocumented people with criminal records, a DUI arrest or conviction can heighten the chances of deportation considerably.

When/How Does ICE Get Involved?

Technically, a DUI is a municipal or state offense enforced by local or state police, not by ICE. Some people might gain a false sense of security over a DUI arrest because the local police and ICE are two different departments. However, a DUI arrest and/or conviction can get the attention of ICE quicker than you might think. ICE may get involved with your case in one of three ways:

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Motorcycle-DUI-Los-Angeles-300x169Here in California, motorcycles have become a highly popular alternative to driving an automobile. Some people use them for their work commutes because of their fuel efficiency and ability to navigate through heavy traffic. Others use them simply because they are fun to ride. Unfortunately, some people also ride motorcycles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, perhaps assuming they are good to drive, or that the DUI laws don’t apply in the same way to motorcycles as to other vehicles. Many times, the decision to ride under these conditions can be deadly. If you own a motorcycle or are thinking of buying one, let’s discuss what you need to know about motorcycle DUIs in California.

The Same DUI Laws Apply to Motorcycles as to Other Vehicles

Under California Vehicle Code 23152, it is illegal to operate any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law further defines a vehicle as “a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.” Under this definition, a motorcycle is considered a motor vehicle in California, and the DUI laws apply in the exact same manner as driving an automobile. What does this mean for you as a motorcyclist?

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California-SB-1046-IID-law-300x200On January 1, 2019, California became the 33rd state to expand its ignition interlock device (IID) program. Enacted by Senate Bill 1046, the new law aims to deter repeat DUI offenses by requiring repeat offenders to install IIDs in their vehicles, as well as giving first-time offenders an alternative to having their licenses suspended.

While IID technology has been in existence for some time, it has gained rapid momentum in recent years as a preventative measure against DUI. An ignition interlock device is effectively a breathalyzer installed in the vehicle. Before starting the car, the driver must breathe into the device which quickly calculates your blood-alcohol content. If the BAC is above 0.04 percent, the car simply will not start. (The legal BAC limit in California is 0.08.) The device will also require a retest every 30 minutes while the car is on.

Since this law will likely change the way DUI is enforced throughout the state, let’s discuss the important points and takeaways of the expanded IID program. Here’s what you need to know.

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dean-marti-300x214These days, the term DUI almost always has a starkly negative connotation attached to it. In an earlier time, however, pop culture essentially winked the eye at driving under the influence. Comedians of the day would feign intoxication for a laugh or offer a sideways remark toward Dean Martin—who despite playing the “lovable drunk” for laughs, was usually holding a glass of apple juice and rarely got tipsy. It seems this “light touch” toward intoxication made its way into public attitudes toward DUI, which we generally passed off as a “fact of life.”

However, beginning in the 1980s, some elements of pop culture began going on the offensive against these permissive attitudes toward DUI, shining a light the gruesome statistics of injury and death that DUI frequently caused. As a result, public opinion has shifted dramatically, and our books, movies, songs and TV shows have begun reflecting a different view.

Even so, despite all the PSAs, ad campaigns and highway warning signs, DUI remains an ongoing issue in our world. Over this post and the next, we’ll examine DUI as reflected in popular culture then and now, looking at what our entertainment media has gotten right, where it’s missed the mark and where we might go from here.

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top-3-DUI-300x206When you get pulled over by police and asked to perform a field sobriety test, the issue of DUI becomes very real to you and affects you directly. However, sometimes it helps to put the topic in a greater context. How has DUI enforcement changed over the years? How does drug DUI now come into play with the legalization of pot in California and other states? Are the current laws and technologies doing a good job in deterring people from making a mistake? If not, what can we do better?

To explore these questions, let’s take a look at some the most significant DUI stories from the past decade—not just high profile cases like celebrity arrests, but stories that help paint a picture of different aspects of the issue—to see what we can learn from them. We’ll start with a recent news story that actually discusses an eye-opening trend over the past decade.

1. DUI Convictions Drop, DUI Dismissals on the Rise

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DADSS-los-angeles-DUI-296x300In almost every industry and field, technology continues to disrupt old systems and open up new pathways for advancement. None more so than in the field of law enforcement, where researchers, inventors and tech geniuses are working on more advanced tools not only to enforce DUI, but also to prevent it. Perhaps the most promising of these initiatives is the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), a federally funded research program developing a technology that will automatically prevent an intoxicated driver from operating a motor vehicle.

How the Technology Will Work

Intoxication occurs because our bodies are unable to metabolize alcohol at the rate at which we drink it. As a result, most of the alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the walls of the stomach and intestines. This blood alcohol content (BAC) can actually be measured by the amount of alcohol on our breath, and even through the membranes of our skin.

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alcohol-in-the-body-los-angelesDUIHumanity’s relationship with alcohol has always been a complicated one. Even before we had vehicles to operate—even before DUI became a significant risk—human beings have enjoyed the immediate effects of alcohol consumption only to “sober up” to extended risks like addiction, health issues and death. One key ingredient to avoiding DUI for the long term is understanding how alcohol interacts with your body. Most of us know that alcohol can damage the liver, but that’s not the only danger. Let’s look at 12 other facts about how the body responds to alcohol that you might not have realized.

1. Alcohol in Moderation Can Actually Be Good for You.

Are you surprised that we started with something positive? As Time reports, multiple studies have indicated that moderate amounts of alcohol may actually provide a few health benefits, decreasing our risk for heart disease and possibly even helping us live longer. This information comes with some caveats, though, because every human has a different tolerance level for alcohol—meaning the amount considered “moderate” may be different for each of us. It also doesn’t negate some of the other health risks associated with alcohol. And of course, even “moderate” drinking can raise your blood alcohol content above the legal limit, so you should still avoid driving after indulging.

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No one especially likes to be pulled over by a cop—and for most of us, the experience can be highly intimidating, even if we feel we have nothing to worry about. We go through a litany of internal questions: Was I speeding? Is my tail light out? Did I not come to a complete stop? Was I swerving? If you had anything to drink before getting behind the wheel, these concerns can multiply: Did I drink more than I thought? What if I’m asked to take a test? Could I pass a breathalyzer?

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Policeman giving driver speeding ticket

That said, most of us think of a traffic stop or even a DUI arrest as something that is happening to us—we don’t necessarily look at it from the perspective of law enforcement. So let’s take a few minutes to explore that experience in the mind of the police officer—look at her rationale and thought process when pulling someone over, to see what insights we might gain from it.

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If you’ve been charged with any crime—whether the charge is Los Angeles DUI, domestic abuse or something else—neither the prosecutor nor your defense attorney will rely solely on physical evidence to prove your guilt or innocence. Much of the evidence presented comes in the form of verbal testimony from witnesses—people who saw what happened, people who can attest to your whereabouts, experts called to weigh in on certain matters, etc. The problem is this: Verbal testimony is based mostly on memory, and memory can be a fleeting thing.rashomon-defense-los-angeles-DUI

And the result is that, many times, when different witnesses offer conflicting testimony, it doesn’t necessarily mean one of them is intentionally lying. Sometimes it’s simply that those people remember the events differently. The jury then has the unhappy task of figuring out the truth, by listening to these alternative versions.

The Science of Memory and the “Rashomon Effect”

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Have you heard the one about the driver who was arrested for DUI because he had a caffeine high? Or about the state legislator who successfully argued that cough syrup and a breath spray caused a false positive DUI breathalyzer reading?auto-brewery-dui-300x169

While law enforcement officers and courts generally accept breathalyzer tests as proof that someone was driving under the influence, those tests can sometimes give false positive readings. As absurd as these stories sound, to the people wrongfully arrested for DUIs, these incidents are no laughing matter.

Betrayed by their bodies

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