Sunday, August 31, 2008

california dui checkpoint arrests

California dui attorneys report 5 people were arrested on suspicion of california dui/drunk driving Friday night during DUI checkpoints in Healdsburg that involved numerous california dui law enforcement agencies.

The california dui checkpoints are part of a public safety campaign targeting drivers over the Labor Day weekend.

Officials said 594 vehicles passed through the “Avoid the 13” california dui checkpoints set up on north and south Healdsburg Avenue between 7 and 11 p.m. The campaign is named for the number of participating california dui law enforcement agencies.

Thirty-seven drivers were directed into a nearby street or parking lot and further assessed for california dui or driver’s license violations.

Nine people were then screened for possible DUI and five were arrested. One person was arrested on an outstanding warrant and nine people were cited for driving without a license or with a suspended or revoked license. Fourteen vehicles were towed.

The california dui checkpoints were part of a weekend campaign that will also have additional officers assigned to specific DUI patrols during the remainder of the Labor Day weekend.

Among the california dui agencies participating in Friday’s Avoid the 13 campaign were police departments from Healdsburg, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cloverdale, Cotati, as well as the California Highway Patrol, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and Sonoma State University Department of Public Safety, california dui lawyers report.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

CHP in full force for Holiday Weekend - California DUI enforcement alert

California drunk driving criminal defense attorneys report the California Highway Patrol is alerting motorists that officers will be out in force this Labor Day weekend.

Up to 80 percent of CHP officers will be monitoring roadways throughout the state during the California drunk driving maximum enforcement period, which begins 6 p.m. today and ends at midnight Monday.

California DUI Officers will specifically look for motorists speeding, driving under the influence and not wearing their seatbelts.

According to the CHP, the number of fatal crashes during holidays has generally declined despite an increase in the population of the state.

"We believe this is due not only to safety improvements in the vehicles, but also the added public awareness combined with increased enforcement,'' CHP Deputy Commissioner Skip Carter said in a statement. "As a result, thousands of lives have been saved over the past 60 years.''

In addition to the highway patrol's maximum enforcement period, Bay Area California law enforcement agencies will be participating in the Avoid anti-DUI campaign between today and Monday.

Avoid spokeswoman Jan Ford said 138 local law enforcement agencies will be partake in the California dui crackdown in Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Marin, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

People who fail to complete DUI court obligations face warrants & arrests

California drunk driving attorneys report 400 people in northern San Joaquin County are wanted on drunken driving-related warrants. But where those people are now is a mystery.

Extra officers fanned out across Lodi and the surrounding area Thursday, knocking on doors in search of offenders. After visiting 232 homes between 1 and 8 p.m., not a single person was found or arrested.

The results frustrated officers who wanted to arrest violators, but the operation wasn't fruitless. Legally, police must try to find those wanted on warrants, or else the cases can be dismissed due to lack of "due diligence."

The operation was funded through a multi-year grant through the Office of Traffic Safety. Called "Avoid the 10," it coordinates 10 San Joaquin County law enforcement agencies who cross city and jurisdiction lines to team up.

Manteca wrote the grant and runs it, joining forces with city police departments, the Sheriff's Office and the probation department.

On Thursday officers tackled the warrants based in Lodi Municipal Court — which handles everything from Eight Mile Road north to the county line.

About Thursday's operation
Thursday's warrant operation was part of a statewide effort called "California Avoid," a program started in 1973. Currently 45 of California's 52 counties are involved.

The goal is to get law enforcement agencies to team up and crack down on drunken drivers, through checkpoints, roving patrols and following-up on those who don't go to court. Enforcement is increased around major holidays, when more people consume alcohol.

The program is funded through grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

All 400 people had made at least one court appearance, but had then failed to finish the legal proceedings. Some are accused of never completing a drunken driving awareness program, while others didn't pay fines or never appeared after their first arraignment.

"The long-term effect of drunk driving is different than most crimes," Officer Osborn said. "If your house gets broken into, that affects you. But drunk driving affects so many people, including our insurance rates. It causes so many tragedies."

Repeat drunken drivers in Stockton who would otherwise skip out on their required treatment classes now are getting close supervision from a judge under a new court program that began this year.

Not all of them are happy with the new scrutiny.

"I don't think it's right to have to go to these classes," said new Stockton resident Geretta Brown, 55. "But I'm going to go and get it over with. I don't have any money, and I need to get a place to live. It's just everything falling down at one time."

How DUI Court works
• A judge places all Stockton repeat drunken-driving offenders in a court-ordered educational program.

• Each offender has to see the judge after one month, six months and one year to show they are attending their required classes and complying with the terms of their probation.

• Offenders who fail the program or who need more treatment are placed in a more hands-on court program, where the judge can reward offenders for good behavior or threaten them with time in jail.
San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Richard Vlavianos said the DUI Court that began in January already has returned vastly more positive results than he anticipated when he started.

In the first seven months of 2008, 1 percent of repeat drunken driving offenders committed new offenses. That comes in stark contrast to 10 percent in 2005, said Vlavianos, who attributed the improvement to the program that makes offenders report to him.

"They have to come back and show me what they're doing," Vlavianos said. "The anecdotal information we have is that people are doing better."

Vlavianos said the program was needed because repeat drunken driving offenders in San Joaquin County had the worst rate of being in a crash within a year of their arrest out of any larger California county. The program is running only in Stockton.

The court launched the program with the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office, the Office of the Public Defender, DUI defense attorneys, San Joaquin County DUI program providers and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Friday, August 29, 2008

California drunk driving lawyers and California DUI attorneys checkpoint info

California drunk driving lawyers and California DUI attorneys report Palm Desert Police Department, in its continued dedication to public safety, will be conducting a Driving While Intoxicated / Driver’s License Checkpoint on Friday August 29th, from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

According to California drunk driving lawyers and California DUI attorneys, this checkpoint is part of the ongoing public safety awareness effort being made by the City of Palm Desert. The focus of the checkpoint will be to reduce driving while intoxicated and injury collisions, while removing drunk drivers from the roadway, along with apprehending those driving without a valid license, per California drunk driving lawyers and California DUI attorneys .

The Palm Desert Police Department takes a proactive approach in the education of our citizens and enforcement of the laws dealing with drinking and driving. Traffic volume and weather permitting, all vehicles may be checked and drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will be arrested. Our objective is to send a clear message to those who are considering driving a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and/or drugs. The public is encouraged to help keep roadways safe by calling 911 if they see a suspected impaired driver, California drunk driving lawyers and California DUI attorneys are told.

Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The grant provides funding to staff checkpoints at various times throughout the year to reduce drunk driving and apprehend drivers with suspended and/or revoked licenses California drunk driving lawyers and California DUI attorneys learned.

The Palm Desert Police Traffic Team consists of a Sergeant, along with the Motorcycle Enforcement Unit and our Traffic Collision Investigation Officers. Members of the Traffic Team investigate traffic collisions, enforce traffic laws, develop traffic flow plans and assist with special events. Our goal is to provide better public safety through Evaluation, Education and Enforcement, California drunk driving lawyers and California DUI attorneys are reminded.

Nationwide DUI / Drunk Driving Deaths Down

California DUI criminal defense lawyers report that the number of drunken-driving fatalities has fallen nationwide and in 32 individual states, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said yesterday.

"More drivers are getting the message that if you drink and drive, you will be caught, you will be arrested and you will go to jail," Peters said in a news release. "But as good as this progress is, in this day and age there is simply no excuse for someone to drink and then drive."

Even though the number of alcohol-related fatalities has dropped, the number of similar deaths among motorcyclists is climbing in 25 states.

In 2007, an estimated 12,998 people died in accidents where a driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, Peters said, representing a 3.7 percent decline from the 13,491 fatalities in 2006.

Peters said the Transportation Department was working with law enforcement agencies across the United States on a stepped-up drunken-driving enforcement effort during the Labor Day holiday period. The department was investing $13 million in advertising during the holiday weekend with the message, "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

California DUI criminal defense attorney checkpoint post

California Drunk Driving DUI criminal defense attorneys the Pasadena Police Department will be conducting a DUI Saturation program on Friday August 29, 2008. This California Drunk Driving enforcement program will be deployed throughout the Pasadena area. The hours of California Drunk Driving operation will be between 7:00 pm – 3:00 am.

This California Drunk Driving program is an effective tool for achieving the Pasadena Police Department’s goal of reducing impaired/drunk driving related accidents and associated injuries. These California Drunk Driving programs also educate the public in regards to safer driving habits and consequences of drinking and driving. The potential for an impaired driver to become involved in a traffic collision is greater due to a driver’s slowed response or poor decision making while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Funding for this California Drunk Driving program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

On August 26, 2008 from 8:00 PM – 2:00 AM, the Santa Cruz Police Department conducted a California Drunk Driving DUI Sobriety Checkpoint near Seabright Avenue and Murray Street. California Drunk Driving police also conducted a third directed enforcement operation in the lower Seabright area in response to numerous community complaints about an increase in violence stemming from drug and alcohol use. Over the last month, the lower Seabright area has experienced one stabbing, multiple fights, a DUI injury collision involving a pedestrian and various noise violations. The greatest number of calls stem from Tuesday night promotions and activities at the lower Seabright bars and restaurants.

During the California Drunk Driving checkpoint, 529 vehicles entered the California Drunk Driving checkpoint and the drivers contacted to determine if they had been drinking and/or showed objective signs of drug use. The number of vehicles going through the checkpoint is the highest number recorded in a California Drunk Driving checkpoint in 2008. Twenty-nine of those vehicles were directed into the secondary screening area for further investigation. Of the persons sent to the secondary screening area, 18 citations were issued and 2 were arrested, one juvenile for DUI and one for being under 21 with a blood alcohol level of .01 or greater.

During the directed California Drunk Driving enforcement operation from 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM, Police saw a significant decrease in the number of people and problems in the area. Police issued only one citation, which was for an open container. Over the course of 3 directed enforcements, Police issued a total of 26 citations and made 12 arrests. The arrests ranged from felony cocaine possession to public intoxication. Police received compliments from neighbors and business owners about the positive impact that the police presence has had on making the neighborhood safer.

Funding for the California Drunk Driving DUI Checkpoint program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the City of Santa Cruz.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

California DUI checkpoints beginning Early this weekend

California DUI lawyers learned the Downey Police Department will be conducting DUI checkpoints this Thursday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at various locations within the city.

“Traffic volume and weather permitting, all vehicles may be checked and drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will be arrested,” Sgt. Dean Milligan of the Downey Police Department said in a California DUI press release.

A California DUI checkpoint earlier this year at Firestone Boulevard and La Reina Avenue netted five California DUI / drunk driving arrests.

The California DUI checkpoints are being funded through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dealing with a California drunk driving or DUI charge?

California DUI Attorney Q. and A. information provided by a top San Diego California Drunk Driving Attorney for those accused of a San Diego California DUI.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

California DUI checkpoint in Lake Elsinore

California DUI attorneys are told the Lake Elsinore Police Department conducted a DUI/Safety Checkpoint on Lake Street and Lakeshore Drive in the city of Lake Elsinore. The California DUI checkpoint was funded by a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety administered through the Traffic Safety Center at University of California, Berkeley. The California DUI checkpoint was in operation from 1800-2400 hours.

During the California DUI checkpoint hours, a total of 1389 vehicles were screened. Of these vehicles, 185 were diverted into the secondary screening area resulting in the issuing of 138 citations. 35 vehicles were towed or impounded due to unlicensed or suspended drivers. Five persons were arrested for California DUI - driving while intoxicated, one person was arrested for possession of illegal drugs and four arrest warrants were served.

This California DUI checkpoint was conducted with the assistance of Lake Elsinore Police Department Explorers and Riverside County Sheriff Posse.

This California DUI checkpoint concluded a year long grant to fund these events. During the grant year, four DUI / Safety Checkpoints were conducted. As a result of these California DUI checkpoints, 24 intoxicated drivers were arrested and over 100 vehicles were impounded due to unlicensed or suspended drivers

The Lake Elsinore Police Department supports the National Highway Transportation Safety Administrations program Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest and California’s Report Drunk Drivers. Call 911. For further information, the Lake Elsinore Police Department can be reached at (951) 245-3300.

City of Lake Elsinore
Police Department
Date/Time Written: Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 0130
Type of Incident: California DUI DUI / Safety Checkpoint
Date/Time of Incident: Friday, August 22, 2008 from 1800-2400 hours
Location of Incident: Lake / Lakeshore, Lake Elsinore

Sunday, August 24, 2008

California DUI attorneys' report of execution of warrants

California DUI attorneys report that four patrol cars crammed into the drive at a senior mobile home park in Paradise where officers arrested and handcuffed a middle-aged bearded man wearing a black t-shirt. "Unbelievable," the man said as officers placed him in the back of a police car.

He was convicted of driving under the influence and suspected of violating court conditions, and officers conducted many arrests such as his throughout Butte County yesterday as part of a requirement by the Office of Traffic and Safety. Officers from Paradise, Chico, Oroville, Gridley, and Chico State police departments and deputies from the Butte County Sheriff's Department comprised two teams to arrest DUI offenders who failed to cooperate with courts.

Paradise Police Sgt. John Bruschi said the officers had an extensive list of offenders, 76 names throughout the county in fact, but he doubted they would get to all of them in one day. A three-year grant from the Office of Traffic and Safety pays for all personnel and equipment during the DUI taskforce projects, including saturation patrol, DUI checkpoints and warrant arrests.

Most people arrested yesterday were in violation of court conditions following DUI conviction, Bruschi said. These offenders are possibly out there driving and the police officer's goal is to get them back into compliance, he said.

"Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don't comply with the terms and conditions of the court," Bruschi said. "We have the opportunity to go out and put a small dent in the problem out there."
Conducting these warrant arrests also helps the public know that the justice system takes drunk driving seriously, by sending approximately 20 officers out to combat the problem, Bruschi said.

DUI incidents are a common occurrence in Paradise. It's a daily occurrence in Butte County, he said. The overall goal of the grant is to lower the number of DUI-related injuries and fatalities in Butte County while educating the public through media and schools, he said. According to official statistics, 272 people were injured and 16 were killed in DUI-related incidents in Butte County in 2007, according to California DUI lawyers.

"We're trying to make a difference," Bruschi said.

Before heading out into the field, officers gathered at the Paradise Police station yesterday at noon for a briefing, which included instructions regarding the procedure of the day, officer safety and what to do in the event of a critical incident. After that, they drove around to DUI offenders' homes and either conducted arrests or probation searches. The number of arrests conducted throughout the process will be available today.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Risk a hands-free cell phone violation while reporting a DUI driver

You can help keep Central Coast roads and highways safer by reporting California DUI - drunk and unsafe drivers. California Highway Patrol officers said doing so could save a life.

Reporting an unsafe driver is as easy as picking up your cell phone and calling 911. According to law enforcement officers, more and more people are doing just that.

With so many cars on the road, it is impossible for law enforcement officers to be everywhere at once. That is why they are asking for your help in reporting drunk or reckless drivers.

The CHP Dispatch Center in San Luis Obispo receives between 18 and 20 such calls a day. Many of them are from motorists reporting a drunk driver.

Officers said it is not that more people are driving drunk, it is that technology is making it easier for people to report it.

It's because people have cellular phones now. It's made it more easier for people and more convenient for people to be able to report it.

Picking up the phone to report an impaired driver could be the most important call you ever make.

In many cases the report has come in, police found the impaired driver and removed him off the highway and in turn, and maybe it saved somebody's life.

There is an exception to the new law that forbids the use of a cell phone while driving if you are using your phone to report an emergency.

Officers warn drivers that if they are caught using their cell phones without a hands-free device and say they were using it to report an emergency, the story will be checked out. A citation will be issued if the driver is not telling the truth.

Friday, August 22, 2008

California DUI laws & consequences

California DUI lawyer Rick Mueller, at, sets forth the different California DUI / drunk driving consequences. Here's a California DUI attorneys' summary of California DUI statutes:

Prohibited Vehicular Activity:
To 'drive' a vehicle requires volitional movement of the vehicle.

Covered Vehicles or Devices:
A 'vehicle' is defined as a device by which a person or property may be moved on a highway, except a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks.

Covered Locations:
No distinction.

Under the Influence Offenses:
“under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug”

“under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug”

“any person who has 0.8% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood”

“any person who has 0.4% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial vehicle”

“any person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle”

“while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.”

“while having 0.08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.”

“while having 0.04% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood, to drive a commercial vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.”

“under the age of 21 years who has 0.05 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.”

“under the age of 21 years and under the influence of, or affected by, an alcoholic beverage,”

Other Criminal Offenses Involving Under the Influence Offenses:
When a person is driving while under the influence and proximately causes the death of another person, he or she may be convicted of either:

(1) vehicular manslaughter, if the act was without gross negligence;

(2) gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, if the act was with gross negligence; or

(3) murder, if the act was with malice or exhibited wantonness and a conscious disregard for life.

Degree of Impairment Required:
A person is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, drugs, or a combination of the two if the substance ingested so affects the nervous system, the brain, or the muscles as to impair to an appreciable degree the ability to operate a vehicle as would an ordinarily prudent and cautious person in full possession of his or her faculties using care and who is operating a vehicle that is subject to similar road conditions.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence Offenses:

§23152 (misdemeanor):
(1) No Prior Conviction: Between 96 hours, at least 48 hours of which are continuous, and six months in the county jail. Imprisonment will be on days other than days of regular employment. If 48 hours of continuous imprisonment would interfere with the defendant's work schedule, imprisonment will be allowed during time off from work.

(2) One Prior Conviction: Between 90 days and one year in the county jail. If defendant refused to submit to or willfully failed to complete chemical test at time of arrest, jail time enhanced by 96 hours, no part of which may be stayed.

(3) Two Prior Convictions: Between 120 days and one year in the county jail. If defendant refused to submit to or willfully failed to complete chemical test at time of arrest, jail time enhanced by 10 days, no part of which may be stayed.

(4) Three or More Prior Convictions: 16 months or two or three years in state prison OR between 180 days and one year in county jail. In either case, if defendant refused to submit to or willfully failed to complete chemical test at time of arrest, jail time enhanced by 18 days, no part of which may be stayed.

Fines~ In All Cases: Between $ 390 and $ 1,000.

§23153 (felony):
(1) No Prior Conviction: 16 months or two or three years in state prison OR 90 days to one year in county jail.

(2) One Prior Conviction: 16 months or two or three years in state prison OR 120 days to one year in county jail.

(3) Two or More Prior Convictions: Two, three, or four years in state prison.

(4) In All Cases if Current Offense Proximately Caused Great Bodily Injury: Additional and consecutive enhancement term of three years in state prison.

(5) In All Cases If Bodily Injury or Death to More Than One Victim: Enhancement of one year in state prison for each additional injured victim, up to a maximum of three years.

(1) No Prior Conviction Within Seven Years: Between $ 390 and $ 1,000.

(2) One Prior Conviction Within Ten Years: Between $ 390 and $ 5,000.

(3) Two or More Prior Convictions Within Ten Years: Between $ 1,015 and $ 5,000.

(4) In All Cases: Additional penalty assessment of $ 50 for alcohol abuse education and prevention program. Additional assessment of up to $ 50 for cost of blood-alcohol testing, in authorizing counties, and, in most counties, based on ability to pay. Additional assessment of up to $ 100 for county alcohol and drug problem assessment program, in authorizing counties, based on ability to pay.

Penalties for Other Criminal Offenses Involving Under the Influence Offenses:

Statutory Drunk Driving Presumptions:

If the alcohol level was less than 0.05 percent, it will be presumed that the defendant was not under the influence of alcohol;

if the level was 0.05 percent or more, but less than 0.08 percent, there shall be no presumption either way.

A blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more gives rise to a rebuttable presumption of intoxication.

A blood-alcohol test has a margin of error of 0.005 percent and the test indicates an alcohol content of precisely 0.08 percent, thus it is error to instruct a jury to presume that the defendant has been under the influence of alcohol.

Implied Consent Laws:

Must be informed that his or her failure to submit to or complete the test will result in a fine and mandatory imprisonment if convicted, and either:
(a) Suspension of the person's driver's license for 1-2 years;

Arrestee must be advised that refusal to submit to the test may be used against him or her in a court of law.

Arrestee must be advised that he or she is not entitled to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to take a test, before deciding which test to take, or during administration of the chosen test.

Arrestee must be advised by the officer that, if the person chooses a breath test, the equipment does not retain any breath sample and that no breath specimen will be available to be analyzed later. The arrestee must also be advised that he or she will be given an opportunity to provide a blood or urine sample that will be retained at no cost for subsequent analysis.

Chemical Test Laws:
Blood Test. For purposes of the implied consent law, blood will only be drawn at the request of a peace officer and only by a physician, nurse, licensed laboratory technologist or bio-analyst, specified regulated unlicensed laboratory personnel, or certified paramedic. Blood should be taken as soon as possible after the alleged offense, and enough should be taken to permit duplicate determinations. Whatever blood remains after the test must be retained for one year after the date of collection and must be available to the defendant should he or she request it for additional testing.

Urine Test. To obtain an approved urine sample, the defendant must initially void his or her bladder in the administering officer's presence. This first sample is not the approved sample and there is no requirement that it be retained. However, it lawfully may be retained and introduced into evidence at the defendant's trial. At least 20 minutes after the first sample is given, the defendant must urinate a second time, giving the approved sample.

Breath Test. Any breath sample must be collected only after the arrestee has been under continuous observation for at least 15 minutes before its collection. During that time, he or she must not have eaten, drunk, smoked, regurgitated (gas, burped, belched) or vomited. The observation need not be by one single officer, so long as another officer continues to use all of his or her senses (smell/see/hear) to observe for the remainder of the 15 minutes without any lapse, interruption or gap in between.

Independent Test Law:
The retained samples must be made available to the defendant on request for discovery.

Suspension of Driver’s License for Alcohol Related Offenses Statutes:
Administrative Per Se Law: if BAC is above 0.08%, license suspension.

Refusal: If refuses to submit to testing, at least one year suspension.

No priors- License suspended for six months. No reinstatement unless defendant pays applicable fees, gives proof of financial responsibility, and gives satisfactory proof of successful completion of licensed program.

One prior within 10 years- License suspended for two years.
Two priors within 10 years- License suspended for three years.
Three-plus priors within 10 years- License suspended for four years.

Californa DUI - DMV Hearing:

If the person wishes to have the administrative per se hearing (with the California Department of Motor Vehicles) held before the effective date of the suspension order, he or she must request the hearing within 10 days from the pink order of suspension which is usuaally within 10 days of receiving the notice of the suspension order. The person must be served with a notice of the suspension or revocation order. The suspension or revocation does not become effective until 30 days after being given the notice, or until the end of a stay granted pending administrative hearing on the matter.

If the California DMV sustains the suspension order, the person whose license is suspended or revoked may file a petition for writ of mandamus (review of the order suspending license) in the court of competent jurisdiction in the person's county of residence. The petition must be filed within 30 days of the issuance of notice of the order.

Texting while driving is more dangerous than DUI in California

Legislators approve measure to "white-out" text messaging by motorists, despite heavy opposition by Republicans who say the law is unnecessary.

Everyone knows not to get caught DUI, but tech-savvy drivers may soon be outlawed from engaging in DWT -- driving while texting.

Trying to keep pace with advances in technology, a divided state Senate approved a measure Thursday that would outlaw text messaging by motorists in California.

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"Texting while driving is so obviously unsafe that it's hard to believe anyone would attempt it, yet everyday observation suggests there are an awful lot of folks who do," said Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who wrote SB 28. The measure now goes to the governor, who has said he will not sign any bills until the Legislature approves a budget.

The bill was approved on a 25-14 vote, with heavy opposition from Republicans who see the legislation as unnecessary interference in personal behavior. Only two Republicans voted for the measure.

"There is already sufficient law that can be applied if someone is driving while distracted," said Sen. George Runner (R-Lancaster), who voted against the bill. "We don't need a law for everything a driver does. The next one is going to be you can't drive while you are eating a hamburger."

Backers of the bill argue that text messaging has become nearly as ubiquitous as talking on a cellphone -- an activity that the Legislature has already outlawed for underage drivers. (Adults may talk on the telephone while driving, but only if they use a hands-free device.)

The governor has yet to make a final decision on the bill. However, he did voice concerns about text messaging when he signed the legislation that restricting cellphone use by motorists.

Cellphones, BlackBerrys and larger electronic devices all give users the ability to type and deliver text messages. Some 57% of people admit having sent text messages or e-mails while sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle, while 66% have read messages while driving, according to a survey last year by the mobile messaging service Pinger.

The survey found that 89% of American adults believe sending text messages while driving is dangerous and should be outlawed.

Violators of the law would face a potential $20 fine for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. The bill prohibits driving any motor vehicle while "using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication," which includes e-mails. If signed into law, the measure would take effect Jan. 1.

The bill is backed by wireless companies including Motorola and T-Mobile.

The insurance companies Liberty Mutual and State Farm, as well as the California Bicycle Coalition and the Center for Auto Safety, also support the measure.

Simitian said he has been challenged many times by people who wonder why the Senate has to legislate something that is common sense. "Regrettably, common sense isn't always that common," he said.

The text-message bill was passed on the same day the Senate approved dozens of other bills, and unanimously elected veteran Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) as the next Senate president pro tem.

Steinberg called for his colleagues to "rise above partisanship" in trying to solve California's current budget crisis.

He pledged to improve the state's education and healthcare systems and to solve what he called the state's "maddening" financial problems.

"I will give every ounce of my energy, every ounce of my intellect . . . to work with you, to work with the people of California to accomplish great things," said Steinberg, who takes over as leader of the Senate on Nov. 30.

Other bills approved Thursday by the Senate include SB 1230, which would outlaw using detergents with specific levels of phosphorus starting July 1, 2010. Sen. Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) wrote the bill, citing the health risk.

Another measure that was approved would require carbon-monoxide alarms in homes that have fossil fuel-burning appliances, fireplaces or attached garages, starting in July 2010. SB 1386 was written by Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

DUI Nuisance?- lose your car in California

California DUI attorneys remind people who repeatedly drive drunk in California they might soon find themselves instead walking or riding a bus.

Calaveras County California District Attorney Jeffrey Tuttle this month announced his office will seek to take the motor vehicles of people who get more than one conviction for driving drunk or intoxicated.

California Vehicle Code Section 23596 allows a judge in California DUI cases to declare a motor vehicle a nuisance if it is owned by someone who had an earlier conviction.

Once declared a California DUI nuisance, the car can be seized and sold.

Starting this month, the district attorney has promised to file a motion to have the cars declared a nuisance in every possible California drunk driving case. The Calaveras County Sheriff's Department will sell the cars, and the county will keep the proceeds.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Checkpoints for California DUI drivers

California DUI defense lawyer update

In an effort to further crack down on California DUI drunk drivers, police departments all over the Sacramento region are coordinating multiple California DUI Drunk Driving checkpoints starting this weekend.

The California DUI saturation began Friday night, with an unusual twist at the Sacramento-Placer County line. On one side, Citrus Heights police set-up the checkpoint in one direction of Auburn Boulevard. Just across the county line less than one block away, Roseville police established its own California DUI checkpoint for traffic heading the opposite direction.

"It's not just isolated to any one city in our region. It's regionwide, it's statewide, it's nationwide. it affects all our families," explained Citrus Heights Police Sgt. Eric Mattke.

Rancho Cordova also set-up a California DUI checkpoint on Folsom Boulevard west of Sunrise Friday night, with Sacramento and Elk Grove police planning their own for Saturday night.

"It's mostly about education, reminding people about the danger and the cost of a DUI," said Sgt. Jerry Lane of the Rancho Cordova Police Department. "If we can take a few drunk drivers off the road while we're out here at a DUI checkpoint, that's all the better."

In Citrus Heights, police made one California DUI arrest, two arrests for outstanding warrants, and impounded six vehicles within the first hour of their operation. Cars are towed not just when the driver is suspected of California DUI , but also if he or she is found driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Near the California DUI checkpoints, police also stage several motorcycle officers in the area to go after anyone who tries to run through or recklessly avoid the California DUI checkpoint although there is case law which states motorists should be able to avoid the California DUI checkpoints.

California DUI police are all over the region, including Yolo, Solano and Placer counties, and vow maximum California DUI enforcement targeting DUI's from now through the traditional end of summer on Labor Day weekend.

The California DUI goal is not just to funnel California DUI drunk drivers into a lane where officers check their pupils and smell their breath. It's also to pass out educational materials and put everyone on alert that California DUI - drunk driving won't be tolerated.

Even without an accident or injury involving, a California DUI / drunk driving conviction can cost the driver $12,000 in fines, fees and increased insurance. It usually means 24 to 48 hours in jail and three years probation as well.

Traffic experts claim highly visible California DUI enforcement can cut alcohol related fatalities by 20 percent. They point to those efforts as one reason DUI fatalities dropped 5.2 percent nationwide in 2007, the first decrease since 1998.

The statistics continue to be staggering, however. In 2006, California reported 1597 alcohol related deaths. The nationwide toll for that same year was nearly 13,500.

The California Office of Traffic Safety is provides grant funding for the maximum California DUI enforcement effort. Federal funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are also provided, according to California DUI attorneys.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

California DUI crackdown coming up

California DUI defense lawyers are told California DUI sobriety checkpoint in Salinas on Friday, Aug. 29, extra California DUI patrols in Carmel, Monterey, Soledad and California State University, Monterey Bay along with freeway saturation by the Monterey and King City offices of the California Highway Patrol will mark the Avoid the 18 Labor Day weekend county California DUI crackdown.

All police departments in the county will emphasize California DUI enforcement with officers on regular beats, said Sgt. John Lynn of the Salinas Police Dept., campaign coordinator.

CHP cruisers will flood the freeways all weekend as captains of King City and Monterey area commands in the county assign nearly all their officers to road duty.

Officer Jim Covello of the Monterey squad says officers will concentrate on State Route 1 under a grant and mentions that that “the importance of DUI enforcement is addressed several times a week in briefing.”

The four-day blitz over the Labor Day weekend starts at the first minute of Friday and ends at midnight Monday, Sept. 1.

The crackdown is part of a nationwide summer DUI prevention effort sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness.

“A DUI arrest can also do extensive harm to your life, even if you walk away from a crash," Lynn said.

“You can face jail time, lose your license and see your insurance rates go through the roof. Other financial hits include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of your current employment or future job prospects. No employer wants to see a DUI on a job application. People tell me that the personal humiliation is difficult to describe.”

Director Christopher J. Murphy of California Office of Traffic Safety, Avoid the 18’s funding agency, called 2007 “nothing short of a monumental year for traffic safety in California,” citing the drop of the number of people injured on the state’s roadways to the lowest level in 25 years.

After the third annual Click it or Ticket campaign, Murphy saw the state’s seatbelt use increase to 94.6 percent, meaning that more than a million more people are buckling up.

There are 41 Avoid campaigns in California, each named for the number of law enforcement agencies in each county. They involve more than 450 law enforcement agencies and hit the roads again for a 22-day winter holiday crackdown starting Dec. 14 and ending at midnight on January 2, 2009.

California DUI attorneys are impressed by this effort.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Anti-California DUI campaign pushes forward

California DUI attorneys are informed if Inland residents in Los Angeles, San Bernardino or Riverside counties are pulled over during the next several days, the only buzz they have better have come from caffeine or an energy drink.
Friday began the nationwide "Avoid" campaign designed to make motorists think twice about getting behind the wheel intoxicated.

The campaign, which ends Sept. 1, takes on different names in different counties.

According to the California Avoid Web site, the anti-DUI program was started in 1973 as a way to consolidate law enforcement agencies in the fight against drunken driving.

There are 45 law enforcement agencies in California that participate in the Avoid program. Among them are agencies in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties.

For the eastern portion of Los Angeles County the program takes the form of Avoid the 40, in reference to the 40 law enforcement agencies that participate in the Summer Mobilization enforcement period.

Unlike the DUI/driver's license checkpoints that are stationary and rely on motorists to voluntarily go through them, Avoid patrols are not that easy to spot.

Those roving patrols consist of officers who are solely on the lookout for impaired drivers.

La Verne police Sgt. Mark Baca thinks the program has a positive effect on reducing the number of drunks on the roads.

"They (officers) can target a greater number of vehicles," Baca said. "They're only looking



for that one thing."
La Verne will send a two-officer patrol out to search for drunken or drugged drivers, he explained.

Riverside County sheriff's Investigator Jerry Franchville believes all the television spots and other advertisements definitely help make the public aware of the patrols.

"I do think it works," he said. "With all the publicity it gets and all the advertisements you see. A good example of that would be the new cell phone law. The CHP (California Highway Patrol) did not quite get the numbers they thought they would," he said in reference to the number of citations they thought they would write.

Riverside sheriff's deputies are part of the "Avoid the 30" campaign.

Despite all the publicity, Franchville said drunken driving is an unfortunate year-round event. But because of extra patrols on holidays, the number of DUI arrests tends to be higher.

According to information from Wendy Soos, Community Service Officer with the Glendora Police Department, the grant-funded Avoid campaign will run for an additional three years. And, on Oct. 1, the three current Avoid programs in Los Angeles County will come under one umbrella and become the new "Avoid the 100" DUI Task Force.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

California DMV workers "sick-out" as Arnold emails employees: Fantastic Job

California DUI lawyers ask me all the time what is going at DMV and how will it affect the California DUI DMV APS hearings arising out of California drunk driving arrests?

A sick-out staged today by disgruntled Department of Motor Vehicles workers has shut down at least two offices in Los Angeles County and prompted the department to warn customers of delays at many others.

The informal protest is the latest effort by state workers to call attention to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's cutbacks in wages and hours as the state continues to operate without a budget.

DMV officials closed offices in Hawthorne and Bellflower this morning because of staff shortages, and delays of up to two hours were reported at the Inglewood DMV, said Mike Marando, a DMV spokesman in Sacramento.

"We're working though these issues," DMV Director George Valverde said. "We would hope that the public will have some patience with us."

On the DMV's website, officials announced in red letters: "Due to public safety concerns, the Hawthorne Office is currently closed."

In addition, the site warned: "Service levels in many of the Southern California offices are currently impacted due to reduced staffing, also DMV offices will not be open on Saturday, August 16, 2008."

Valverde said more than 200 DMV employees in the Los Angeles area called in sick today. He urged the public to use the DMV website to renew licenses, register vehicles and obtain other services that may be delayed at area DMV offices.

"We rely on our workers to show up to work and that certainly has impacted our wait times," Valverde said.

The total number of offices affected by staffing shortages today was unclear. Marando said fewer than 10 of the state's 169 DMV field offices were affected, all in the Los Angeles area. In order to keep short-staffed offices open, managers transferred 100 employees from other locations, Valverde said.

"When we see a staff shortage in one or more offices, we work immediately to rectify that," Marando said.

Jim Zamora, a spokesman for Los Angeles-based Service Employees International Union Local 1000, which represents the DMV workers, said at least 10 offices were affected by workers calling in sick. He said that union leaders "did not coordinate, organize or sanction" the protest, but that they sympathize with DMV workers who have faced cutbacks as the governor wrestles with state legislators over the budget.

"Our DMV workers are incredibly demoralized and upset right now," Zamora said.

Some DMV workers reached at home today by phone said they had heard that absences caused delays at as a dozen or more offices, including Bellflower, Compton, Hawthorne, Montebello, Rancho Cucamonga, West Covina, Whittier, Bell Gardens and the downtown Los Angeles office on Hope Street. The workers asked not to be named out of concern for their jobs.

At the Hope Street location this morning the line snaked out of the door. Although the DMV's website reported wait times of only 15 minutes for those with appointments and 30 minutes for those without appointments, the reality was far different.

A security guard at one office warned some who were waiting that it could take all day. One employee at the site said only 15 employees reported to work this morning, far under the normal staffing.

Ted Burnett, SEIU's statewide DMV representative, said he also heard of several offices in Orange County, including locations in Costa Mesa and Irvine, as well as at least one in Riverside County, where higher than usual numbers of employees called in sick.

The sick-out came the day before a planned protest that union leaders have called for Saturday morning in order to protest the elimination of Saturday hours and the layoffs of about 1,000 employees.

California cops beef up DUI checkpoints in Riverside

California DUI attorneys at report Riverside County is ramping up patrols to nab drunken drivers today through Labor Day.

The first sobriety checkpoints are scheduled for today in Corona and Riverside, followed by multiple enforcement operations in Blythe, Coachella, La Quinta, Murrieta and Palm Springs, according to Riverside police traffic bureau supervisor Karen Haverkamp.

The effort is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's “Drunk Driving: Over the Limit, Under Arrest'” campaign.

Haverkamp said Riverside County's 30 law enforcement agencies — which include municipal police departments, the Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol — will be adding patrols and setting up checkpoints for the duration of the campaign.

Ben Guitron, Indio police spokesman, said the department will be staffing about six additional patrol officers, but not until Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day usually isn't as busy as Christmas or New Year's, he said.

“A lot of people head to cooler places,” Guitron said.

Officials from the Cathedral City Police Department said they also usually amp up patrol around Labor Day.

The anti-DUI operations are funded, in part, by a $700,000 federal grant.

“All too often, innocent law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life,” said Riverside Police Chief Russ Leach Wednesday. “We'll be especially vigilant during high-risk nighttime hours when impaired drivers are most likely to be on our roads.”

According to national data, 32 percent of motor vehicle driving fatalities are caused by motorists who get behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or above.

In California and every other state, plus the District of Columbia, it's illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a .08 BAC or higher.

California Office of Traffic Safety Director Christopher Murphy said law enforcement officers often rely on law-abiding drivers to “report drunk drivers by calling 911.”

For more info., visit .

Saturday, August 16, 2008

DUI California Checkpoint and Enforcement Crackdown this weekend

California DUI attorneys report that several Sacramento area law-enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for drunken drivers this weekend, part of a nationwide crackdown on impaired drivers that begins today.

Sacramento and Rancho Cordova police, along with officers from eight Yolo County law-enforcement agencies, are among the local authorities participating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's nationwide campaign, titled "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest."

The crackdown begins today and will continue through Sept. 1.

Rancho Cordova police will have a sobriety checkpoint from 8 o'clock tonight until 2 a.m. Saturday morning at an undisclosed location in the city, Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Curran stated in a news release.

On Saturday night, Sacramento police will set up a sobriety checkpoint downtown, Sgt. Matt Young said.

In both places, officers will check motorists for drunken and drug-impaired drivers.

Elk Grove police will be holding a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint at an undisclosed location in the city at 8 p.m. Saturday.

In Yolo County, officers will look for impaired drivers throughout the roughly two-week enforcement period, according to a news release.

"Because we're committed to ending the carnage, we're intensifying enforcement during the crackdown," Davis Police Chief Landy Black said in a written statement. "We'll be especially vigilant during high-risk nighttime hours when impaired drivers are most likely to be on our roads."

In 2006, nearly 13,500 people died throughout the country in crashes in which motorists were legally impaired, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's latest statistics.

There were 1,597 alcohol-related deaths in California in 2006.

More than $30 million in state and federal funds will be spent nationwide on the high-visibility crackdown through television and radio ads targeting young male drivers, who most often drive under the influence, NHTSA statistics show.

An additional $20 million will be spent nationwide on extra police enforcement, including saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints during the enforcement period.

According to the traffic safety administration, well-publicized and highly visible DUI enforcement activities can reduce alcohol-related fatalities by up to 20 percent.

California DUI attorneys also report Chico police and officers from seven other Butte County law enforcement agencies will conduct a saturation patrol on Chico streets tonight targeting drivers under the influence.
The extra enforcement is scheduled to take place between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. Sunday.

In addition to Chico police, personnel from the Paradise, Oroville, Gridley-Biggs and Chico State University police will participate, as well as Butte County sheriff's deputies, California Highway Patrol officers and Butte County probation officers.

Anyone found driving impaired can expect to be arrested, officials said.

The effort is one of three special multi-agency enforcements planned for August.

Police will conduct a countywide warrant search throughout August, and plan a DUI checkpoint somewhere in the Chico city limits on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

California DUI lawyers are also told Fairfield police are already planning for Labor Day weekend by kicking off an anti-DUI campaign today.
The crackdown, a national effort, will extend through Sept. 1.

In 2007, for the first time since 1998, alcohol-involved fatalities dropped by 5.2 percent, police said, adding that high-visibility enforcement has proven to be an extremely valuable deterrent.

The campaign is sponsored by the State of California Office of Traffic Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Friday, August 15, 2008

California DUI attorneys grateful Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is going digital

California DUI lawyers would like to prove more officers exaggerate or overstate if not misstate what happened at the location of the DUI arrest. Drunk Driving field sobriety tests now will meet the Face of Truth.

California DUI attorneys will be able to show officers aren't quite telling jurors things exactly the way they really were.

Nearly 350 Sacramento County Sheriff's Department vehicles have been equipped with video camera systems that promise to aid in prosecutions and provide clarity in civilian complaints against officers. In 2006, the county authorized the sheriff to spend $4 million on the equipment.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is going digital.

Nearly 350 vehicles have been equipped with a state-of-the-art digital video recording system that promises to reduce the number of cases going to trial, create more slam-dunk prosecutions and provide greater clarity in disputes between officers and community members.

"It's been a tremendous help to our department," said Lt. Phil Brelje. "It clears (deputies) pretty easily and makes good cases for us."

While the footage will be a staple in local courtrooms, don't expect to see chases being aired on reality television.

"I would not sell them to reality TV. That is not the purpose of the technology," said Sheriff John McGinness.

In 2006, the county authorized spending $4 million to purchase camera systems. After a long look at different technologies, the cameras started being installed last year.

Each unit costs $10,000 for the camera and a laptop computer.

Some municipalities – including the city of Sacramento – have had cameras in their squad cars for years.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Soloman said those cameras have been highly helpful.

"It's been great for us," he said. "There have been videos of high-speed chases that have been great evidence. It really puts the jury there."

In DUI arrests, "it shows the guy belligerent and drunk and falling down. It's not just the officer describing him."

The sheriff's digital video system is a significant technological leap from the VCR system the Police Department has had in place since 2001.

Where the Police Department relies on supervisors to remove the VHS tape from a lockbox, the sheriff's system beams the digital file back to the station as soon as squad cars return to the parking lot.

The system starts recording audio and video when the vehicle's lights or sirens are turned on, it reaches 80 mph or is involved in a collision. In each case, the devices also records the 30 seconds before the trigger.

Deputies, wearing cordless microphones, can manually start recording inside or outside the car with the push of a button.

Other local municipalities have been looking into the technology. On Tuesday, the West Sacramento Police Department got a demonstration. Brelje said the Yolo and Placer county sheriff's departments also have been looking into the system.

Matt Young, a spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department, said the city's tight budget will determine the outcome.

The budget "impacts our ability to procure new technology," Young said, "but that hasn't stopped us from looking at new technology."

California DUI Defense Lawyer - Sobriety checkpoint planned on Sunday

California DUI Defense Lawyer - Sobriety checkpoint planned on Sunday

The California Highway Patrol will conduct a California DUI sobriety checkpoint Sunday at an undisclosed Shasta County location.

The California DUI checkpoint is scheduled from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will be staffed with California DUI officers and drug recognition experts from the CHP.

The California DUI officers — who are trained both in alcohol and drug detection and certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — will measure blood-alcohol concentrations of suspected California DUI - drunk drivers and assess drivers suspected of drug use.

Meanwhile, the Shasta County Avoid the Five California DUI Task Force today joined a nationwide effort to crack down on California DUI - drunk drivers.

The California DUI crackdown, which includes California DUI saturation patrols and California DUI sobriety checkpoints, runs through Labor Day.

The California DUI task force comprises the Anderson and Redding police departments, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, the Shasta County Probation Department and the CHP.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

California DUI trial outline

California DUI defense lawyers point out that a California DUI trial has elements.

The first phase on California DUI trial would typically be the submission of pre-trial motions.

The next California DUI stage would be the jury selection, where 12 impartial jury members are chosen. During this California DUI stage, both sides engage in the examination of prospective jurors, to each individual’s suitability for jury service.

After the California DUI jury has been selected, both sides would give opening statements which is an opportunity for the California DUI defense lawyer and the California DUI prosecutor to give a preview of what is to come in the California DUI case.

After the California DUI trial's opening statements, both sides would engage in the examination and cross examination of prosecution California DUI witnesses and experts and the examination and cross examination of defense witnesses and experts.

Both sides would engage in closing arguments once all of the witnesses have testified. This will be a summary by each California DUI attorney of the California DUI case that has been presented to the jury.

The next stage of the California DUI trial would be the jury deliberations and, finally, the verdict.

A California DUI defendant be sentenced if he will be found guilty for the California DUI charge. Keep in mind that defendants in California DUI cases can prevail at trial.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Easiest Way to Get a California DUI is by ramming police car

A California DUI collision sent a policeman to the hospital, burned his patrol car and tied up Highway 60 in Ontario for more than six hours Monday, California DUI lawyers said.

"A drunk driver came along and rear-ended the patrol car," CHP Sgt. Mark Shaffer said of the wreck that partially ejected the Ontario policeman just before 3 a.m. "He's a little singed. And he received a broken arm."

The officer's name was not released. He is 25 years old and has been an Ontario policeman two years, said Ontario police Sgt. Mike Caldera.

Jailed for investigation of felony California DUI - drunken driving was 28-year-old Israel Sandoval, of La Puente.

Sandoval and a 19-year-old female passenger who was not identified suffered minor injuries, California DUI investigators said.

Sandoval has no prior history of California DUI - drunken driving, California DUI attorneys checked.

CHP officers had been investigating an earlier two-vehicle wreck that blocked traffic lanes, which officers marked with traffic flares. While CHP officers investigated that collision, Ontario police positioned their patrol cars to direct traffic into the left lane.

While tow trucks were picking up vehicles from the first wreck, a 2008 Chrysler Sebring smashed into one of the patrol cars and set it ablaze, investigators said in a written statement.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lake Elsinore California DUI Checkpoint report

California DUI attorneys and California DUI lawyers report the Lake Elsinore Police Department conducted a DUI/Safety Checkpoint on Mission Trail and Campbell in the city of Lake Elsinore. The California DUI checkpoint was funded by a California DUI grant from the Office of Traffic Safety administered through the Traffic Safety Center at University of California, Berkeley. The California DUI checkpoint was in operation from 1800-2400 hours.

During the California DUI checkpoint hours, a total of 1300 vehicles were screened. Of these vehicles, 145 were diverted into the secondary screening area resulting in the issuing of 159 citations. 33 vehicles were towed or impounded due to unlicensed or arrested drivers. Six persons were arrested for California DUI - driving while under the influence, one person for public intoxication, one person for being possession of illegal drugs and one subject was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant. One Mexican National was found to be a previously deported felon and was arrested and surrendered to the U.S. Border Patrol.

This California DUI checkpoint was conducted with the assistance of Cal Fire as well as Lake Elsinore Police Department Explorers and Riverside County Sheriff Posse.

The Lake Elsinore Police Department will continue to conduct California DUI checkpoints funded by the grant through September, 2009. The Lake Elsinore Police Department supports the National Highway Transportation Safety Administrations program Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest and California’s Report Drunk Drivers. Call 911.

Monday, August 11, 2008

California study showed that use of either hand-held or hands-free phones had a distracting effect on drivers equal to driving drunk, adopted by Houst

California DUI lawyers know about a California study showed that use of either hand-held or hands-free phones had a distracting effect on drivers equal to driving drunk.

Now a Houston enclave has banned cell phone use for all drivers, the most stringent law of its kind in the nation.

The ban, which applies within a three-block radius of the city's elementary school during school hours, is the latest in a long line of similar laws.

Still, none go so far as to punish all drivers for using hands-free sets.

Six states and the District of Columbia have banned the use of mobile handsets while driving, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

West University Place Mayor Bob Kelly said the city decided to create the no-phone zone around the city's only school due to concerns for children and the amount of congestion there each morning and afternoon.

John Walls, a spokesman for CTIA-The Wireless Association, an industry trade group, thinks the ban unfairly targets cell phone users.

"Focusing on one possible distraction could very well create a false sense of security," Walls said. "It would be most effective to look at all the possible problems that can arise in situations that drivers could be confronted with and deal with them comprehensively."

City officials said they decided to implement the law after a California study showed that use of either hand-held or hands-free phones had a distracting effect on drivers equal to driving drunk.

"That, I think, is what pushed us over to decide that it's not a question of hands-free or hand-held," Kelly said. "It's just a question of talking on a cell phone."

But Walls said other studies dispute those findings.

"To take into account the studies that conclude that it is a distraction and to ignore those that would conclude the contrary doesn't do the whole debate justice," Walls said. "To look at one potential behavior and highlight it and ignore dozens of others that are extremely common is not dealing with this situation as effectively as it could be."

City Manager Michael Ross said the law will take effect Aug. 25. He added the only concern he's heard from residents is whether they can take urgent calls while in the school zone. Ross advises motorists to park before taking calls.

"I'm not sure that any law can be too strict when you're talking about protecting the children in these school zones," Ross said. "It just doesn't seem to be overly burdensome to say, 'please hold on, put down the phone.'"

Drivers will be fined up to $200 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses can cost $500.

Lt. Thad Olive said crossing guards reported close calls involving cell phone-using drivers as they escorted children in the school zone.

"We've had a lot of near-misses reported to us," Olive said. "So we started doing a little bit of on-site research on our school, just looking at it. Sure enough, it was a true issue, a true problem."

California drunk driving attorneys point out this is because of a California study showed that use of either hand-held or hands-free phones had a distracting effect on drivers equal to driving drunk.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

California DUI info by lawyer who handles drunk driving cases

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

CHP Officer charged with making criminal threats & disturbing the peace

California DUI lawyers are often taken back by the way CHP officers testify in DUI cases; they are clearly trained at the Academy on how and what to say.

Now, a California Highway Patrol officer has been charged in Ventura County with five misdemeanors that are being treated as hate crimes.

The District Attorney's Office announced Friday that 34-year-old Seth Taylor is accused of making criminal threats and disturbing the peace in two off-duty altercations last year at bars in Ventura and Oxnard.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Karen Wold declined to provide details as to why the incidents are being treated as hate crimes.

Taylor's criminal defense attorney, said he couldn't comment on the allegations but described Taylor as a former U.S. Marine who has had a "distinguished" eight-year career with the CHP.

CHP office indicated that Taylor continues to work out of that agency's Ventura office and will continue to be involved in California DUI arrests.

Friday, August 1, 2008

California DUI penalty enhancements

There are a number of special California DUI enhancements that will increase a defendant’s risk of receiving a stricter punishment in a California DUI misdemeanor case. The increased California DUI punishment alternatives include steeper California DUI fines, mandatory attendance in lengthy California DUI alcohol education courses, and a longer required California DUI term of incarceration in a county jail.

Refusing to Submit to a California DUI Chemical Test (VC 23577)

If a person is arrested for VC 23152, a California DUI charge, and at the time of the arrest he/she refused to submit to a chemical test, then driving privileges will be suspended for a period of 6 months as an enhancement, in addition to the usual penalties for the DUI conviction, plus one year if DMV suspends at a refusal hearing.

Excessive California DUI Blood Alcohol Content (VC 23578)

If a person is convicted of California DUI - VC 23152 with a BAC of .20% or higher, then the court is granted the ability to enhance the defendant’s sentencing. Additionally, if probation is granted, additional or enhanced terms and conditions of California DUI probation may be commenced.

Repeat California DUI Offenders: Mandatory California DUI Imprisonment (VC 23580)

If any person is convicted of a violation of California DUI - VC 23152 and the offense is a second or subsequent California DUI offense, the court shall impose a term of imprisonment in a county jail between for a minimum of 48 consecutive hours or a minimum of 10 days of local community service.

Excessive Speed: Additional California DUI Penalty (VC 23582)

Any California DUI person who drives a vehicle in excess of 30 mph over the posted speed limit on the highway, or 20 mph over the posted limit on a residential or city street, shall be punished with an additional and consecutive term of 60 days in a county jail.

On the first conviction of California DUI - VC 23582, the court shall order the driver to participate in and complete an alcohol or drug education and counseling program.

California DUI Penalties for Drivers Under 21 (VC 23502)

If a driver under the age of 21 is convicted of having a BAC above .01%, they will thereby have their driver’s license suspended for a period of 12 months.

California DUI with a Minor Passenger (VC 23572)

If the driver is convicted of a California DUI and has a child under the age of 14 in the automobile, then a number of enhanced penalties may be imposed based on a judge’s interpretation of evidence involved in the California DUI. Mandatory California DUI jail time is regulated between 48 hours and 90 days.

California DUI interlock bill status

California DUI attorneys are told California bills would mandate ignition interlocks in DUI cases With California state lawmakers scheduled to resume their work in Sacramento next week multiple measures that could draw consideration would mandate the use of ignition interlock devices for California DUI drunk drivers.

One California DUI bill under consideration in the Senate would require first-time offenders of the state’s California DUI drunk driving law to install ignition interlocks on their vehicles if they want to continue to drive. The Assembly already approved this California DUI bill.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, the California DUI legislation would allow people who have ignition interlocks installed on their vehicles get back behind the wheel sooner if they were found guilty of California DUI - driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.

Interlocks are hooked up to the ignitions of vehicles. Once such a California DUI device is installed, a driver must blow into a mouthpiece, which measures the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath. If the driver blows clean, the car will then start; if not, it won’t budge.

In addition, the California DUI devices often require drivers to re-blow in the machine after a designated period of time, to ensure that they have not convinced someone else to blow into the mouthpiece for them, or that they haven’t been drinking since getting behind the wheel.

Advocates for stricter California DUI / drunk driving rules cite statistics that show drivers who are convicted on driving while intoxicated usually have driven drunk 87 times before being caught.

There are 46 states that require the devices in some cases. In California, judges have authority to require use of the devices to allow offenders to drive to and from work or alcohol treatment.

Feuer’s bill – AB2784 – is in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Three more bills also address California DUI - drunk driving. The first measure – SB1361 – would require that offenders submit proof of installation of ignition interlocks in order to have their driving privileges reinstated.

The second California DUI bill – SB1388 – would require that certain offenders immediately install the devices on all the vehicles they own and keep the devices on the vehicles for one to three years. The rule would apply to those drivers who are convicted of driving a vehicle when their licenses have been suspended or revoked for drunken driving within the past 10 years.

One more bill – SB1190 – would lower the threshold for when judges can require interlock devices as punishment for California DUI drunk driving from 0.20 percent to 0.15 percent.

SB1190, SB1361 and SB1388 are in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The Senate already approved them.

To view other California DUI legislative activities of interest for California in 2008, check out the links for