Sunday, December 21, 2014

2 busted at Encinitas DUI checkpoint on Coast Highway last night, California attorneys report

Christmas Holiday Season means cops are busing folks for DUI in California, lawyers warn.  To avoid the local San Diego county drunk driving checkpoints, you can check this free San Diego DUI attorney resource location site.

Last night, San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a driving under the influence and driver’s license checkpoint on Saturday December 20, 2014, from about 8:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. in the 1800 block of South Coast Highway 101 in the city of Encinitas. Funding for the grant was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety.

The following are the San Diego California DUI checkpoint results:

VEHICLES CONTACTED: 490
VEHICLES THROUGH WITHOUT CONTACT: 4
TOTAL VEHICLES THROUGH: 494
VEHICLES SENT INTO SECONDARY: 20
FST GIVEN: 4
DUI ARREST TOTAL: 2
OTHER ARREST TOTAL: 0
VEHICLES STORED: 2
CITATIONS ISSUED: 8
SUSPENDED LICENSE CITE: 1
UNLICENSED DRIVER CITE: 1
OPEN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CITE: 2

Friday, December 19, 2014

San Diego Police Department launches "My BAC" California DUI campaign, attorneys share

San Diego Diego County DUI Law Center notes Fox News reports the San Diego Police Department launched its “My BAC” campaign last night, designed to prevent drinking and driving during the holiday season.

Partygoers in the Gaslamp district volunteered to take a blood alcohol test as a learning experience, California DUI lawyers are told.
Chief Shelley Zimmerman hopes the test will serve as a wake-up call.
“They don’t think they are over the limit. This showed that they were and now they can make an appropriate decision not to drink and drive,” Zimmerman said.
Fourteen people have been killed by drunk drivers in San Diego in the past three years, California DUI attorneys remind.
“We all had a sip of Godiva liquor tonight and it was scary to blow into it,” said Elaine Montenegro.
This was the first time they have tested their BAC. They said it was a memorable experience.
“We learned tonight that it takes a while for the alcohol to process in your bloodstream,” said Jay Montenegro.
The display will move to different parts of the city throughout the holiday season.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Driving with drugs or marijuana in California is different than drunk driving / DUI - alcohol, San Diego Tribune article relates

There is a big difference between a California DUI for alcohol and a California DUI for drugs, even marijuana, San Diego DUI lawyers point out.  Laws, evaluations, procedures, testing and approaches differ between the drinking motorist and the drug-using driver, San Diego DUI attorneys remind.

The San Diego Union-Tribune recently looked at the issue in this article:  "How stoned is too stoned":

"Everyone knows the rules surrounding drunken driving. The legal limits are clearly defined and well-established by science. But how do you know when someone’s too stoned to drive?
It’s a critical question given the spread of legal marijuana use, but there’s no easy answer. Measuring impairment from cannabis, it turns out, is difficult and scientifically complex.
Drugged driving is on the increase. Nearly twice as many California drivers tested positive for drugs than alcohol in a recent study, and 30 percent of drivers in the state’s fatal crashes tested positive for an impairing drug, according to state officials.
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials say what’s needed is a DUI-like benchmark to provide drivers with a clear limit and prosecutors with an objective standard that can be used in court. Six other states have come up with firm limits on THC blood levels — measuring the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — and 14 others have established zero-tolerance laws. But California lawmakers have yet to find the right yardstick.
San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who used to be a Superior Court judge, said there’s a “huge difference” trying to prove alcohol DUIs, which sets a clear legal limit at 0.08 percent blood-alcohol level, versus drug DUIs.
“You don’t have the 0.08 level, which is a somewhat objective level that can be proven. … And you have to have officers who are particularly trained to look for this, and how do you prove this in front of a jury?” he said. “I have seen the impact on jurors particularly when it is prescription drugs, which is even more difficult.”
With alcohol, it’s much easier.
Alcohol impairment depends on the level of alcohol in the brain, which can be measured by Breathalyzer tests or determined by a simple blood test. The impact can be predicted with a simple guideline that compares a person’s weight to how many drinks they’ve consumed over two hours.
Scientists disagree on how best to measure marijuana impairment.
Studies show marijuana intoxication is shorter, with concentrations of THC peaking about 13 minutes after smoking, while impairment is at its highest levels about 20 to 40 minutes after smoking. Critics say THC can be detected in blood and urine after a driver is no longer impaired.
Opponents of setting THC limits in the law say California’s existing law, which focuses on driver impairment, is a good way to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. They say frequent users will always have some level of THC in their blood, whether they are impaired or not.
“They want something they can convict somebody on and it seems to me until we know how to measure cannabis intoxication chemically and until we know what the level of driving impairment that corresponds to a given dosage of cannabis, it is premature to rush into creating crimes,” said UCLA public policy professor Mark Kleiman, the so-called “pot czar” who helped advise the state of Washington on policy issues related to the legalization of recreational marijuana use.
Kleiman said perhaps a better rule might be to make it illegal for anyone to drive within a few hours of using cannabis.
California lawmakers have twice introduced bills focused on the amount of THC in a driver’s system, but the bills have died in committee.
A zero-tolerance bill introduced in 2012 would have made it a crime for a person with any level of cannabinoids or synesthetic cannabinoid compound in their blood or urine to drive a vehicle. This year, Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, carried a new version that would have set intoxication limits for marijuana and a number of other drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Using Nevada’s law as a model, it would have made it illegal to have 2 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.
Frazier said he’d like to see California be proactive in setting firm limits, especially with recreational marijuana use legal in Colorado and Washington and voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. recently approving similar decriminalization measures.
“At some point if California does legalize marijuana also, shouldn’t there be an opportunity for law enforcement to say you aren’t safe on the road right now, as they would a drunken driver, and be able to say we need to get you off the road?” Frazier said.
Prosecutors say having a clear standard would make it easier for them to present cases to jurors. For now, they rely on the expertise of toxicologists and arresting officers, some of whom are specially trained as drug recognition evaluators.
The City Attorney’s Office this year changed the way it approaches drugged driving cases in an effort to prepare stronger cases and secure stiffer sentences. It will now have one prosecutor and one investigator familiar with drug toxicology and the signs of drugged driving handle its prosecutions, thanks to a $263,000 state grant.
Previously, the cases were spread out among many lawyers in the office from arrest through sentencing.
Goldsmith said the grant should help prosecutors anticipate defense tactics and better use drug toxicology to prosecute the cases.
Even as lawmakers debate changing the legal landscape, others are working to provide better tools to those on the front line. Washington State University is working to develop a breath test that will detect recent marijuana use, while several police agencies in California have started using cheek swabs to test saliva of motorists suspected of being under the influence of marijuana or other drugs. The roadside testing kits provide far quicker results than waiting for labs to process blood samples.
“I do not believe it has actually gone through the courts yet to be either verified as good or bad,” said Chris Cochran, a spokesman with the California Office of Traffic Safety, which funded the pilot program.
For young people growing up in a society where marijuana use is growing and being decriminalized by some jurisdictions, it doesn’t matter what laws are on the books if they don’t realize that driving stoned is dangerous, said Jim Lange, director of San Diego State University’s health promotion department, who is working as a consultant on a national drugged driving awareness campaign.
“A lot of people don’t understand that you can be impaired by drugs in a way that make you a risk on the road so they think it is safer to use marijuana or things like that,” Lange said. “Some literally feel it improves their driving to use some of the drugs — so we want to expose folks to the evidence that says otherwise.”

Sunday, November 30, 2014

45 California Highway Patrol arrests in San Diego, say lawyers



California Highway Patrol officers arrested 45 suspected drunk drivers on San Diego County highways and freeways between the start of the long Thanksgiving Day weekend and Sunday morning, San Diego California DUI attorneys say.

This is an update from the 1/2 way point San Diego DUI arrest status posted by San Diego DUI lawyers a couple days ago here 
The California Highway Patrol reported that the number of suspected drunken drivers arrested between 6:01 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. today was just two higher than were made in the same time period last year.
Statewide, the CHP made 594 DUI arrests this year compared with 724 in 2013.
The CHP tallies do not include arrests made on city streets and other roadways not patrolled by the state agency.

Friday, November 28, 2014

New Smartphone Breathalyzer for $100 gives you idea of possible blood alcohol level, California DUI Attorneys are told




If you can't afford what law enforcement use, you can add "breathalyzer" to the list of functions for your smartphone. With your phone and a small $100 gadget, you can try to determine if you are DUI or figure out if you're sober enough to drive.  But while even police like the idea, the device comes with a serious warning, California dui lawyers are told.

Danger peaks in California and on Central Valley roads during the holidays, and the California Highway Patrol knows it.

"A higher volume of people want to celebrate and enjoy and we can't fault for that," said CHP Capt. Dave Paris. "But the thing is, we have to use common sense."

Common sense to police is to staff DUI checkpoints and try to weed out drunk drivers. Common sense to the rest of us is to avoid driving drunk. And a Burlingame company has built a tool to help.

The "Breeze" is small enough to fit in your pocket, and with one breath and a wireless connection to your phone, it can warn you not to drive.

"When you're out with your friends, prior to having another drink -- at least you know in advance," said Breathometer Marketing Vice President Brian Sturdivant.

Breathometer pitched the product on ABC's "Shark Tank" and got a big investment.

But Mothers Against Drunk Driving hasn't endorsed it, and even though CHP officers say it may be a good investment, they have serious concerns. 

For starters, a reading below .08 could give people a false sense of security.

"[The device is] not accurate," Capt. Paris said. "It's not certified by the Department of Justice, but it gives an individual the opportunity to see what their blood-alcohol level is."

A recent drink could still be driving your BAC up above the legal limit, and some people are impaired even before .08. So the makers of Breeze built in a little cushion.

"Once you've hit a .05 or higher, we actually show 'Get home safe,'" Sturdivant said.

The app will let you know how much longer until you're fully sober, and with one touch, it'll link you to Uber or a cab company to get you a safe ride. You can buy the Breeze at Best Buy or online.

Action News talked to some California DUI defense attorneys about the device, though, and they said its results could never be used in court. One of them called it nothing more than a party novelty.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

San Diego DUI Turkey Busts - California DUI attorney warning



Thanksgiving weekend is among the busiest travel times of the year (U.S. Department of Transportation) and deputies will be working around the clock to keep you safe on San Diego's roadways, say San Diego California DUI lawyers.

Sheriff's Deputies will be conducting additional DUI patrols across San Diego County from Thursday, November 27th (Thanksgiving) through Sunday, November 30th, San Diego California DUI attorneys say.

The goal is to get impaired drivers off our roads and prevent crashes that can cause serious injury or death.
Deputies arrested 29 drivers for DUI during Thanksgiving weekend last year. 26 people were arrested for impaired driving during the same time period in 2012. In 2011, deputies made 28 DUI arrests during Thanksgiving weekend.

So far this year, 1,404 people have been arrested for DUI by the Sheriff's Department. In 2013, deputies arrested 1,888 people for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"This Thanksgiving, do the responsible thing and don't drink and drive." said Sheriff Bill Gore. "Remember: DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER!"

Here are some sober rider options for Thanksgiving:

• Be My Designated Driver
• Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)
• North County Transit District (NCTD)
If you are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will go to jail. To watch a public safety video on the high price of drinking and driving, follow the Sheriff's Department on VIMEO: http://goo.gl/7bhwnJ.

If you are one of the many people driving this Thanksgiving weekend, don't forget to buckle your seat belt.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The “Avoid the 8 on 78” Task Force announced in San Diego, California DUI lawyers told

90% of Californians approve of DUI checkpoints?  Hmmm, wonder California DUI attorneys.  That's what the San Diego Union-Tribune reports here.

8 California DUI law enforcement agencies in North San Diego County just announced Friday the formation of a new task force aimed at reducing drunken and impaired driving along the state Route 78 corridor, from Oceanside and Carlsbad to Escondido.

The “Avoid the 8 on 78” Task Force, whose name references the number of groups joining the effort, will focus for the next year on enhanced DUI enforcement including additional roving patrols and more checkpoints.
“As a result of this campaign, any one of the agencies in the North County can pick up a phone and instantly get what we’re calling the Force Multiplier,” Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter said at a news conference Friday evening. When that call is made, at least eight officers from different departments will head to the community that has requested help and assist with roving saturation DUI patrols or checkpoints.
“The idea here is you can be driving around in Carlsbad or Oceanside or Cal State San Marcos and you’re getting pulled over by an Escondido cop, or the CHP,” Carter said. “You don’t know where we are, but we’re going to be out there and we’re going to be out there in force.”
The task force includes the California Highway Patrol, the Vista and San Marcos sheriffs stations and police departments in Escondido, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Palomar College and at Cal State San Marcos.
Throughout San Diego County last year, 70 people were killed and more than 2,000 people were injured in alcohol-impaired crashes.
Along the state Route 78 alone, more than 1,600 people were arrested for DUI by the CHP from 2010 to 2013. During the same time period, 207 impaired drivers caused collisions resulting in injuries.
In Escondido in 2013, 99 people were injured in DUI-related crashes, including two fatalities.
In connection with Friday’s night’s announcement a checkpoint was set up along North Centre City Parkway. Dozens of officers were scheduled to screen drivers from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Last call for a ride home on a Saturday night in San Diego California - avoid a DUI



San Diego DUI lawyers do not like to hear about a person being arrested for drunk driving, especially if it could be avoided. It’s a Saturday night and a San Diego State student decides to mosey on over to downtown San Diego, California, where he or she will remain until 2 a.m. when all the local DUI cops are around. 

Due to ridiculously expensive parking prices, taking the trolley or the bus seems like a rational alternative. However, when it comes time to head back home, all public transportations have shut down for the night leaving the student with either the expense of cab fares and Uber, or the dangers surrounding drunk driving, relate California DUI attorneys.

Generally speaking, the latest MTS vehicles run no later than approximately 2 a.m., but that’s when they’re heading back to San Diego. So depending on where people live, chances are most will have to leave well before last call. In desperate times when intoxicated individuals don’t feel like taking a cab or getting price gouged by Lyft and Uber are going to get behind the wheel. To ensure the safety of the community, MTS needs to operate 24 hours — at least for nights on the weekend.

The SDSU Police Department has already arrested 37 people this year for driving under the influence, but that’s minuscule compared to the rest of the city. In 2011, there were more than 15,000 DUI-related arrests in San Diego County, making it the third highest in California. To make matters worse, the average person will drive drunk 80 times before an arrest is made, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Clearly, drunk drivers aren’t a rarity, so I’d expect San Diego to take action by making public transportation more accessible to avoid the risk of drunk drivers.

Not only are drunk drivers endangering themselves, they’re putting lives of others in their clumsy hands as well. Society needs to continue educating people about the dangers of drunk driving, while the justice system continues to punish those who break the law. But providing them with the proper resources is a necessary step to add to each of these efforts.

It’d be naive to think this problem can be solved overnight, but providing potential drunk drivers the alternative option of affordable late-night transportation is crucial. Expensive transportation options, such as taxis, Uber and Lyft only encourage more people to drive drunk. At the end of a night out, one can take the trolley or the bus to, and from his or her bars of choice. Wait times might be longer at the dead of night, but that’s a significantly better option than driving under the influence and risking lives.

According to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, when Washington, D.C. extended its metro service by three hours, the city reduced the probability of a DUI-related arrest by approximately 14 percent. As a result, alcohol-related crimes increased by roughly 5.4 percent, but a drunk being a public nuisance is less harmful than driving a two-ton vehicle at high speeds.
MTS covers a lot of ground with the abundance of trollies and buses all throughout San Diego. Referring back to the same study, the effect dissipates the farther away the alcohol vendor is from a metro station. Therefore, the combination of the bus routes and trolley lines offered in San Diego should reduce the amount of drunk drivers and DUI-related arrests.

Extended hours would not only more convenient for everyone using public transportation but it also creates  a heightened sense of safety among individuals who drive late at night. This is a win-win situation for the people of San Diego.

In 2009, the American Public Transportation Association recognized MTS as the most Outstanding Transit System. This change would only make it that much better by increasing safety measures in the city of San Diego. Decreasing the number drunk drivers and DUI-related arrests is as simple as a small schedule fix, and its time San Diego makes the quick switch to save lives.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Today's San Diego California DUI Driver's Lessons

1.   If you drink Saturday night and stay at someone else's place, don't get up too early as alcohol will still be in your system and may put you over the legal limit, remind San Diego DUI lawyers.

2.  If you drink Saturday night, stay at a friend's place and leave at the crack of dawn, do not speed.  If you get stopped for speeding, see #1 above.

3.  If you are DUI early Sunday morning - or any time - refrain from carrying explosives in your vehicle, suggest California DUI attorneys. 

One fifty-two year gentleman did not follow these rules yesterday after getting stopped for speeding in his pickup truck on San Diego's 5 freeway in the Del Mar area just after 6:30 a.m. with a device in his trunk which DUI cops thought was explosive.  Charged with possession of a dangerous device, the man may also have to pay for bomb squad personnel expenses if convicted of San Diego DUI, attorneys are told. 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

San Diego announces California DUI Patrols for Halloween

San Diego Sheriff's California DUI Deputies To Crackdown On Drunk Drivers On Halloween: additional San Diego California DUI Patrols Scheduled

On October 31st, deputies will be conducting additional San Diego California DUI patrols in communities within the jurisdiction of the Sheriff's Department, attorneys are told.

While children have a ghoulishly fun time trick or treating on Halloween, San Diego California DUI Sheriff's Deputies will be busy looking for San Diego California DUI drivers across San Diego County.

Deputies arrested six drivers for San Diego California DUI on Halloween last year. Five people were arrested for San Diego California DUI driving on Halloween 2012. So far this year, 1,311 people have been arrested for San Diego California DUI by the Sheriff's Department. In 2013, deputies arrested 1,888 people for driving drunk San Diego California, lawyers say.

The goal is to get San Diego California DUI drivers off our roads and prevent crashes that can cause serious injury or death.

Here are some sober rider options for Halloween:

• Be My Designated Driver
• Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)
• North County Transit District (NCTD)

"You should never drink and drive, especially on Halloween when children are out on the street." said Sheriff Bill Gore. "If you drink, get a designated driver. Remember: BUZZED DRIVING IS DRUNK DRIVING!"

The message is:  San Diego California DUI, It's Just Not Worth It. Watch the San Diego Sheriff's Department California DUI  public safety video on the high price of drinking and driving by clicking on the image on the right.

Funding for this San Diego California DUI program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.