Friday, November 29, 2013

Twenty-two pedestrians got arrested when surprised with a zero- tolerance drunk in public Penal Code Section 647(f) operation in Del Mar, Encinitas and Solana Beach, San Diego California, say DUI lawyers

San Diego County DUI Law Center's public-friendly attorney Rick Mueller can help folks avoid DUI checkpoints in California by their following the locations found at this California DUI Lawyer website.  Walking around drunk in public in San Diego County is another matter, say California DUI attorneys.

Twenty-two pedestrians got arrested when surprised with  a zero- tolerance drunk in public Penal Code Section 647(f) operation in Del Mar, Encinitas and Solana Beach. Deputies and officers from the California Department of Alcoholic and Beverage Control or ABC conducted the sweep on November 27th from 9:00 p.m. through 3:00 a.m. the next day, San Diego DUI lawyers related.

Video of the operation including a soundbite can be downloaded at http://goo.gl/EQMl0z. For photos of the operation, follow us on Facebook: http://goo.gl/Y7EHAu, say San Diego California DUI attorneys.

The charges against those arrested include possession of a controlled substance, drunk in public, minior in possesion of an alcohol, possession of marijuana, and possession of an open container of alcohol in public.
This operation is part of the Sheriff’s Department’s Holiday Watch program starting Thanksgiving week through the first week of January. It was made possible by a a $100,000 grant from ABC to help fight alcohol-related crimes and educate ABC-licensed businesses. The goal of the ABC Grant Assistance Program is to partner with local law enforcement agencies to help make communities safer. The cooperative efforts of the Sheriff’s Department and ABC are aimed at building positive working relationships between all stakeholders and increasing safety in San Diego County. Drunk operations like these will continue through June 2014.

Remember it is against the law to provide alcohol to a minor so don't do it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

How Vangelder may or may not change San Diego California DUI conviction rates, attorneys ponder

New San Diego DUI case law in Vangelder case discussed in part below, preventing general attacks on breath testing, California DUI attorneys note.  But specific post-Vangelder defenses to breath test machines are not dead, as many key attacks remain and may apply in a particular case, California DUI lawyers remind.

California Supreme Court upheld a San Diego County man’s DUI conviction, ruling that Drunk Driving suspects may not call expert witnesses to challenge the overall reliability of breath-alcohol tests.

The opinion, authored by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, says lawmakers have determined Breathlyzer-type tests to be fundamentally reliable as evidence in court, and that they shouldn’t be questioned in court. However, expert defense witnesses are permitted to question the calibration and use of specific machines used in a particular case.
The defendant, Terry Vangelder, was arrested by a California Highway Patrol officer for driving 125 mph on state Route 163 in 2007. He told officers he had two to three glasses of wine with dinner, according to the court document.
A handheld device calibrated his blood- alcohol content to be 0.095 percent and 0.086 percent. At the police station, an Intoximeter test showed readings of 0.08 — the minimum amount to be considered legally drunk in California.
At trial, the judge struck the testimony of a doctor who said that such instruments are scientifically flawed in accurately testing alcohol amounts in the body.
The jury found Vangelder guilty of DUI based on the 0.08 result.
The state 4th District Court of Appeal reversed that verdict and ordered a new trial, but the San Diego City Attorney’s Office appealed to the higher court.
City Attorney Jan Goldsmith called the opinion, filed Thursday, another “victory in the war” against drunken driving.
“Driving under the influence claims thousands of lives each year,” Goldsmith said in a statement.
The office prosecuted 5,550 DUI cases last year, with a 99 percent conviction rate, he added.
Charles Sevilla, Vangelder’s attorney, said Friday the panel’s opinion was disappointing.
“This seems to be an extraordinary ruling, and we may have to test that in federal courts,” Sevilla said.
Very few DUI cases actually go to trial, he said. Most are pleaded out.
“I think it’s going to still be quite some time to know how much impact Vangelder has on how DUI trials are actually handled in courtrooms,” said San Diego DUI lawyer Cole Casey.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Drinking small doses of alcohol (without driving) is good for you, California DUI attorneys pass on

Alcohol is good for you.  That is what Scientists say.  1/4 of a litre of red wine a day is recommended by some doctors in Great Britain, say San Diego California DUI lawyers.  That is not to say you should drink & drive, remind California DUI attorneys.

If general practitioner doctors fail to recommend alcohol to at least some of their patients, they should be had up for medical negligence, suggests Tony Edwards, writer of "Alcohol is good for your health: leading science writer claims tipple can prevent cancer and may help improve your sex life."

That, at least, is the logical conclusion I’ve drawn from an in-depth study of around half-a-million scientific papers about alcohol. 

To my surprise, they contained findings that would make any pharmaceutical company uncork the champagne. Except they never will, of course, because alcohol can’t be patented as a drug.
Most of the evidence suggests that if red wine, in particular — and to a lesser degree white wine, beer, lager and spirits — were used as a preventive and therapeutic medicine, disease rates would fall substantially. Not only that, but lives would be saved — with huge benefits to the economy. 
In fact, red wine may well be one of the most effective ‘medications’ in history. 
Like other drugs, it has side-effects. It has a minimum and maximum therapeutic dose — take too little and it won’t work; take too much and it may make you ill. 
And it has a daily treatment regime: ideally, you should take wine once a day with the evening meal.
Yes, daily. I know that the medical profession urges us to stop drinking at least two or three days a week, but this isn’t borne out by scientific studies. These consistently show that daily moderate drinking is the best for health.
OK, but what is a moderate amount? Unfortunately, that’s where it gets a bit more complicated, because the prevention and treatment of different diseases seem to require differing amounts — varying from a small to a large glass a day, but sometimes more. 
Of course, most people already know red wine is supposed to be good for your heart. But, that aside, the endlessly repeated public message is that alcohol is Bad News. 
Now, I’d be foolish to deny that over-indulging in booze can be harmful to society. You need only think of alcohol-fuelled crime, road deaths, city centre mayhem, domestic violence, and costs to the NHS.
But to show only one side of the picture, as government and medical authorities inevitably do, is simply bad medicine. It prevents people making sensible decisions about their own health. 
Why haven’t doctors ever come clean about all this? The reason is fairly obvious: they don’t trust us. 
One shining exception is Professor Karol Sikora, the UK-based consultant oncologist who’s written the foreword to my new book about the benefits of alcohol. 
Red wine seems to be the most beneficial, but as with any medicine taking too much can be harmful
Red wine seems to be the most beneficial, but as with any medicine taking too much can be harmful
Too much booze, he warns, not only kills but ‘ruins lives, destroys families, ends successful careers, causes untold physical and mental illness and has a huge adverse impact on society’. 
However, he continues: ‘If you don’t drink at all, you have a defined risk of developing all sorts of medical problems in your heart, joints, brain, blood sugar levels, and kidneys — indeed all round your body. 
‘As you begin to drink, there seems to be evidence of benefit. As you drink more, that gradually disappears and the damaging effects kick in.’
But let’s be clear here: I’m not recommending anything personally. I’m just an averagely intelligent science journalist who’s done what anyone else can if they have the time: I’ve looked at the scientific and medical data published in top-flight journals, and collated the evidence. 
So, readers should consult knowledgeable health professionals before acting upon anything they read below. The trouble is, most doctors know very little about this area, because they, like you, have been largely kept in the dark. 
Here, though, is some of the evidence I found — and it’s more than a little surprising.
Heart Disease
From the Nineties, experts at Harvard University monitored 12,000 men with high blood pressure for nearly 13 years. 
All the men were doctors, and some were drinking far more than the accepted alcohol limits. In the UK, these are 16 grams a day for women — the alcohol in just over a medium glass of wine — and 32 grams for men, roughly half a bottle of red wine. 
Working in grams per day is far easier than the hopelessly confusing system of units.
So what happened in the Harvard study? The more these men drank, the less chance they had of a heart attack. 
 
Drinking 10 to 15 grams (up to a medium glass of wine) a day reduced risk by nearly 40 per cent. But at over 50 grams (two-thirds of a bottle of wine), the risk went down even further — by nearly 60 per cent. 
Similar results were found in a 13-year Oxford University study of British doctors, some of whom also drank over the guidelines. 
‘The consumption of alcohol appeared to reduce the risk of ischaemic heart disease, largely irrespective of amount,’ the Oxford researchers reported.
In fact, the evidence from over half a century’s research seems to be overwhelming: alcohol is associated with a reduced risk of all forms of heart disease. 
And alcohol can also help people with existing heart disease; in other words, it acts just like a pharmaceutical medication. 
A huge nine-year study of nearly half a million Americans revealed that alcohol ‘significantly’ prolonged the lives of people already suffering from heart disease — and this applied even to people who drank more than 56 grams of alcohol (two-thirds of a bottle of wine) a day.
Common Cold 
Drug companies have spent billions trying to find a way of preventing colds, and failed. 
However, the answer has been staring us in the face all along, because astonishingly, both wine and alcohol in general help prevent the common cold — and very effectively, according to a joint research venture between Harvard and Spanish universities in 2002. 
The results were astounding: up to a 60 per cent reduction in the risk of catching a cold among red wine drinkers, and a staggering 88 per cent reduction in white wine drinkers.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tracking your drinks with BACtrack application for smartphone with bluetooth, California DUI attorneys hear

Avoiding a DUI is a function of many decisions.  The easiest approach is not drink and drive, say California DUI attorneys.  A secondary approach involves keeping track of the number of drinks you have while being aware of your weight, food consumption and other known factors, remind California DUI lawyers.

Yahoo News proclaims here's a device that can track what you drink.

The BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer – How it Works
The $150 BACtrack connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Then you just download the app, enter your gender and weight – and blow into the hand-held device. It gives you a blood alcohol reading that is then saved in your phone. Less expensive (and less accurate) personal breathalyzers utilize a semiconductor sensor, but the BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer uses a professional-grade, fuel cell sensor, the same technology used by law enforcement. That said, no breathalyzer is 100% accurate – defense attorneys routinely challenge their validity in court (blood tests are the gold standard). But while I wouldn’t bet my license – or someone’s life – on this device, it still offers a number of potential benefits.
Tracking Your Behavior
The real power of this device is the tracking. Each time you blow into the BAC tracker you get a reading of your alcohol level, it graphs that number over a 14-day period. After the first week of using it, I was a more aware of how many nights I’d had a drink. By monitoring your behavior, you can start to see patterns that could potentially lead to a healthier lifestyle. Last week, I racked up five nights with a drink; next week I’m aiming to trim that down to four.
“Zero Line”
One of the coolest features is a graph that estimates how long you have to wait until you’re safe to drive, or until your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is back down to zero. Even two people of the exact same weight and gender may metabolize alcohol at radically different rates. I experienced this when I watched two friends who weigh the same amount each drink a beer and then test with the BACtrack: one of them had double the blood alcohol level of the other. So learning how much time you personally need to be safe is, well, sobering.
Potential Pitfalls
The company touts that the device is “compatible with Facebook and Twitter.” Really? This is something to tout? Share your BAC with your friends! Hey, you could even see who gets the highest score! Are you kidding? Does anyone think posting your level of sobriety, or lack thereof, is a good idea??? Not me. That said, with some extra attention in the settings, BACtrack says it will keep your information totally private. Before I believe that of any company these days, I might need another drink.
Real-time Global Results
One odd spinoff of people posting their results – which can be done anonymously – is the BACtrack World View. This map shows the most recent 100 Blood Alcohol Content readings from users in whatever region you select. Unfortunately, this anonymous posting of your alcohol level is turned on by default in the app. If you do choose to use the device, turn that feature off immediately.
Bottom Line
Overall, I do see a huge benefit here. Tracking your behavior is one of the most powerful ways to bring about change. Sure, you can do this in an analog fashion: writing down how many drinks you have each night or putting poker chips in a glass for every drink during the week. But the actual numeric value associated with your blood alcohol level, learning how fast you metabolize alcohol, and how you are affected by different spirits and the variations in serving sizes (“I was over-served”), make this an effective tool for learning your limits.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Think you're being pulled over for a California DUI? What you should you do? Reach for your gun?

Do you really want to fire at a California DUI officer who is trying to pull you over, San Diego DUI lawyers ask?  If you do, once you're caught, you're going to jail without bail, say San Diego California DUI attorneys.  That's exactly what happened Saturday night at the "City in the Country," Poway (North San Diego County Inland California).

Around 7:50 p.m. on the sixteenth of November, an on duty San Diego DUI police officer attempted to pull over the driver of a vehicle because he believed the driver may have been driving under the influence of alcohol.

The San Diego California DUI officer activated his emergency lights at the intersection of Espola Road and Poway Road. Shortly after activating his lights, the San Diego California DUI officer heard what he thought was a gunshot. A few seconds later he heard three more shots and also saw the muzzle flash from a firearm. The flashes appeared to come from the passenger side of the vehicle. The San Diego California DUI officer immediately notified the San Diego Police Communications Center, and deputies from the Poway Sheriff's Station were requested to assist the San Diego California DUI officer. San Diego California DUI deputies arrived near the intersection of Poway Road and Welton Road in Poway where the police officer had the vehicle stopped. Deputies conducted a high risk vehicle stop. Two men were removed from the vehicle and detained. Inside the vehicle, San Diego police officers found a handgun. San Diego California DUI Sheriff's deputies closed Poway Road temporarily while the deputies searched the area where the shots were fired. San Diego California DUI deputies located expended shell casings from a handgun in the roadway. There were no injuries to the suspects or San Diego California DUI officer.

Detectives from the Poway Sheriff's Station are conducting the investigation, which is still ongoing. Sheriff's detectives arrested the passenger, 28 year old Michael Rains of Ramona, and the driver, 18 year old Daniel Schwartzel who claimed to be a transient. Both will be booked into San Diego Central Jail for 664-187 PC attempted murder and the driver for San Diego California DUI. Both are being held without bail.

Anyone with information about this San Diego California DUI / attempted murder case can call the San Diego California Sheriff's Department non-emergency line at (858)565-5200.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Do you need a California driver's license if you are in the military or an out-of-state visitor, DUI lawyers are asked

California DUI attorneys represent military people and civilians who are from other states.  Find out what California DMV and California law says about out of state residents, military people and other driver license residence issues, as California DUI lawyers lay it out:

California Driver Handbook - The California Driver License

Who Must Have a Driver License?

California Residents

California residents who drive on public highways or use public parking facilities must have a California driver license, unless they are:
  • Members of the Armed Forces or a United States (U.S.) Government civilian employee who only drives vehicles owned or controlled by the U.S. Government on federal business.
  • Persons who drive farming vehicles not normally used on public highways.
  • Persons who drive registered offhighway vehicles or snowmobiles across a highway (other than a freeway).

California Resident Military Personnel (U.S. Armed Forces)

If you are out-of-state on active military duty and have a valid California driver license, your and your spouse's California driver license will be valid for the full time you are absent from California and for 30 days following your discharge date, if you are honorably discharged outside of California. Carry both, your driver license and discharge or separation documents during those 30 days (CVC §12817).
Call 1-800-777-0133 to obtain an Extension of License for Person in Armed Forces (DL 236) card which extends your California driver license.
NOTE: Your driver license is not valid if it has been suspended, cancelled or revoked.

Nonresident Military Personnel Stationed in California

If you are 18 years of age or older, refer to the "California Residents" and "Adults Visiting California" sections on this page for additional information. Licensees eligible for military extensions should carry documentation from their home state to verify their status to law enforcement.

New California Residents

When you become a California resident and you want to drive in California, you must apply for a California driver license within 10 days. Residency is established in a variety of ways, including the following:
  • Being registered to vote in California elections.
  • Paying resident tuition at a California college or university.
  • Filing for a home owner's property tax exemption.
  • Receiving any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents.

Adults Visiting California

Visitors over 18 years old with a valid driver license from their home state or country may drive in California without getting a California driver license as long as their home state driver license is valid.

Minors Visiting California

Visitors between 16 – 18 years old may drive with their home state driver license for only 10 days after arriving in California. After 10 days, they must have a:
  • Current California driver license,
or
  • Nonresident Minor's Certificate (which is issued by DMV) to a minor with proof of financial responsibility.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Poway DUI Checkpoint announced over Thanksgiving, San Diego DUI lawyers are told

California DUI attorneys were just told about this Poway DUI checkpoint Thanksgiving day weekend.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is well aware of the community's concern for persons Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs, California DUI lawyers are told. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is taking a major countermeasure by implementing a DUI/Driver's License Checkpoint, California DUI lawyers believe.

The primary intent of this checkpoint is to educate the public of the dangers associated with drinking and driving, say cops to California DUI attorneys.

This San Diego California DUI checkpoint will allegedly serve as a deterrent to potentially impaired drivers.

Finally, this checkpoint provides an important governmental service by promoting public safety. The focus of the operation will be the apprehension of suspects who are determined to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and/or under the influence of drugs or driving while unlicensed/suspended, California DUI lawyers are told.

On Saturday, November 23, 2013 from 7:00 PM to Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 3:00 AM, deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Poway Station will be conducting a DUI sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint in the City of Poway. The San Diego drunk driving checkpoint will consist of DUI trained deputies who will be evaluating drivers' abilities to safely operate motor vehicles, California DUI attorneys are told.

This California DUI checkpoint is funded by a grant through the California Office of Traffic Safety.
The Office of Traffic Safety and local law enforcement urge San Diego drivers to "Report Drunk Drivers. Call 911."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Couple Hundred California DUI cases subject to inquiry, say San Diego DUI lawyers today

Uh Oh!  Police made a boo-boo, again. This time it affects many Orange county California DUI convictions, San Diego drunk driving lawyers say.  Miscalculations?  Mistakes?  Wow.  Now.  Give me the information, proclaim California DUI attorneys who practice law in Orange County.  The LA Times reports this latest episode in questionable prosecutions.

Orange County Crime Lab produced inaccurate blood alcohol test results in 2,200 driving-under-the-influence cases filed by prosecutors this year — mistakes that could affect outcomes in dozens of cases.
Prosecutors in recent days sent letters to people charged with driving under the influence, including 900 whose cases resulted in convictions. The letters advised them that their cases were among those with miscalculations.
Crime lab officials said the "human error" occurred over nearly five months and led to mistakes in the forensic examination of blood alcohol content. But they insist the miscalculations were so few that they affect only about 200 cases. As few as 20 people could see their blood alcohol test levels drop below 0.08%, California's legal definition of DUI impairment.
But veteran DUI attorneys across Orange County said flaws with the lab's basic testing probably will affect many more cases because sentence enhancements and negotiations are often based on how far over the legal limit a motorist was determined to be.
"If it took them nearly five months to figure out this mistake, what else is there?" said Virginia Landry, an Orange County defense attorney known as the "DUI Queen." "Everyone wants the roads to be safe. But this is a forensic nightmare with a lack of integrity in the process."
She said her office is reviewing dozens of cases.
"I want all the data," she said.
Orange County Crime Lab Director Bruce Houlihan said the facility, which serves the entire county, discovered flaws in its analysis Oct. 10 while conducting an audit.
"It was a human error that led to an instrument to be wrongly calibrated," he said.
The lab tests each blood sample twice using two machines and then averages the results, Houlihan said. The error affected one of the machines beginning May 29. The machine uses five calibrator data points for levels of alcohol in the blood; one was entered incorrectly, Houlihan said.
As a result, the machine was off by 0.003 percentage points, he said.
"Because the error was so small, we didn't catch it," he said. The lab has safeguards designed to catch any error bigger than 0.004 percentage points, he added.
About 200 cases will have the blood alcohol average change by 0.01 points. Twenty people will have their blood-alcohol content dropped from 0.08% to 0.07% — below the DUI legal limit — Houlihan said.
Farrah Emami, a district attorney's spokeswoman, confirmed that the changes may affect some cases, but she said drops in blood alcohol content below the legal limit don't guarantee that charges will be dropped.
"When you arrest a person and they have a 0.07 two hours after arrest, they had a 0.08 at the time of arrest. We have obtained convictions in those cases," she said.
A Fullerton father whose son was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence said he was outraged by the errors.
"What upsets me is when authorities conduct tests, they are under penalty of perjury. Everything has to be accurate," said Miguel L., who asked that his full name not be used. "If they're not checking their machines daily, what else is happening inside that lab?"
He said his son, 22, was surprised to receive the letter from the Orange County district attorney's office. When officers stopped him for a blood alcohol test, he registered 0.09%, his father said.
"I do think it's an injustice," he said. "Imagine if you were a person who made your living driving. If you were a truck driver or someone like that, something like this could ruin your career."
Attorney Paul Wallin, whose firm represents about 100 of the 2,200 cases, said such a serious error is rare and that judges and defense attorneys would get to the bottom of it in court.
"I expect there to be hearings in some cases, and they are going to have put someone up to testify from the crime lab," he said.
Wallin said he fears those without attorneys may let wrongful convictions stand and "won't go back and challenge it."
Houlihan said the lab was prepared for whatever legal challenges appear: "I am always concerned about anything being wrong. But I'm confident in our analysis and we can explain what happened," he said.