California DUI lawyer news
December 29, 2007
California Highway Patrol is once again in a maximum enforcement effort to get California DUI drunk drivers off the road.
You should also be aware of a new California DUI law that will take effect next year to further strengthen California DUI drunk driving laws.
Paula Martinez lost her husband Johnny to a drunk driver. The year was 1980.
"The guy was driving down the wrong side of the road with his lights off and hit him head on," said Paula Martinez whose husband was killed.
Each year, an estimated 17,000 people are killed in California DUI drunk driving crashes.
In October the governor signed a California DUI bill that got by-partisan support to strengthen the law against first time DUI offenders.
The California DUI bill requires everyone getting a driver's license to sign a statement indicating they know that driving under the influence is dangerous and could result in death. The statement goes on to read that if they choose to drive impaired and kill a person, they understand they can be charged with murder.
The California DUI bill had backing from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, AAA and the CHP.
Bernard Bray is a California DUI criminal defense attorney specializing in DUI cases. He says the California DUI law will give prosecutors one more piece of evidence in court.
"They've got a signed statement that driving under the influence is dangerous," said criminal defense attorney Bernard Bray.
In Paula's case, the man who killed her husband got less than a year in county jail.
The new law is one more education effort that could change the charges filed in fatal DUI crashes and the punishment.
"All the work that everyone has done and MADD has supported, I think it rally has cut down I don't think it will ever eliminate but it has helped slow it down," said Martinez.
The California DUI law requiring signed statements from driver's lenience applicants takes affect July 1st.
An ordinance sponsored by Oakland democrat Don Perata streamlines the process of impounding cars when drivers are arrested for suspected street racing, or reckless driving.
It will also be illegal for anyone under 18 to use any mobile communications devices while driving, including all cell phones and even hands free models.
It is also illegal now to smoke in the car when anyone under 18 is in it.
California DUI attorneys are worried this may be going too far.