Saturday, December 27, 2014

California DUI arrests are up in San Diego and California over Christmas & New Year's holidays for 2014, attorneys report

285 people were arrested for California DUI by CHP throughout the state- up from 221 last year, California DUI attorneys report. 15 fatalities were reported across all law enforcement agencies - three times as many as last Christmas, according to the DUI report.  2 peopled died in San Diego, say California DUI lawyers.

CHP said 12 of the 15 deaths happened within their jurisdiction, which is freeways and all roads in unincorporated areas. One of those deaths was a pedestrian; the other 11 were in vehicles. Seven were not wearing seat belts.

A California DUI report released by CHP said 18 people were arrested and two died in San Diego County between 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and 8 a.m. the day after Christmas. That's 6 more arrests than last year and the same number of fatalities.  So more people were arrested in San Diego on suspicion of drunk driving this Christmas than last year.

A man died in the Midway District as he was running across the road Christmas evening.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

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

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

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

The following are the San Diego California DUI checkpoint results:

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

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

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

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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

45 California Highway Patrol arrests in San Diego, say lawyers



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

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

Friday, November 28, 2014

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

San Diego DUI Turkey Busts - California DUI attorney warning



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

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

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

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

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

Here are some sober rider options for Thanksgiving:

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

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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Today's San Diego California DUI Driver's Lessons

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

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

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

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


Sunday, October 26, 2014

San Diego announces California DUI Patrols for Halloween

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some sober rider options for Halloween:

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 24, 2014

New Way to Use Cell Phone to Get DUI Dismissed in California, attorneys relate

If you enjoy nude or half-nude photographs of yourself, keep them on your cell phone.  If arrested for California DUI, and a cop decides to forward those photos to his or her phone, your lawyer can probably move to dismiss the drunk driving charges no matter how high your blood alcohol level is.

One such California Highway Patrol officer is accused of sending nude photos of a drunk driving suspect to his own cell phone.  But that's not news because it's a "game" among the California Highway Patrol DUI cops, attorneys discover.

Criminal Prosecutors in Contra Costa County filed felony computer theft charges against California Highway Patrol DUI Officer Sean Harrington, who investigators said forwarded (stole) the photos during an Aug. 29 DUI traffic stop.

The 35-year-old Harrington and his partner stopped the woman, whose name was not released, on Interstate 680 in San Ramon for an unsafe lane change, reported the Contra Costa Times.

Officers said the woman failed field sobriety tests, and she was taken into custody after blowing .29%, nearly comatose.

The woman told investigators that Harrington asked for the password to her cell phone, which she provided.
Investigators said Harrington found photos of the woman in a bikini or partially nude and then forwarded six of them to his own cell phone about 2:08 a.m.

The woman’s iPhone was synced with her iPad using the iCloud service, investigators said, which revealed the photos had been sent to a number with an 707 area code at the time she was in police custody.

She researched the number and found it belonged to the officer who arrested her, prosecutors said.

Police executed a search warrant last week at Harrington’s home, where they said they found photographs, text messages, and instant messages from the woman’s phone on the officer’s electronic devices.

The woman’s drunken driving case was dismissed due to the investigation into the photo theft.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MADD walks San Diego California October 18th

The MADD folks have gone mad about raising money to try to stop any one from driving DUI, in California and San Diego county, lawyers are told.

"Get the latest updates for San Diego Walk Like MADD

Walk like MADD is your chance to do something about drunk driving in our community. This year, thousands of people in over 60 cities around the nation will participate in 5K events to eliminate drunk driving from our roadways. Will you join us? See all San Diego updates "
- See more at: http://support.madd.org/site/TR/WalkLikeMADD/WalkLikeMADDwlm_?pg=entry&fr_id=3570#sthash.QgoVumtH.dpuf

Monday, October 6, 2014

MADD Information for all California Counties

San Diego County MADD information is provided here by San Diego County DUI Law Center's attorney Rick Mueller.  Below are the new MADD numbers presently listed for other counties in California.

Please only call (858) 564-0785 or 564-0780 for MADD if you need to call about San Diego County MADD information.

MADD Victim Impact Panel Phone Number Information for other California Counties (outside of San Diego County):

Alameda County 800 426-6233
Bay Area, Oakland 800 426-6233
Central California, Fresno 916 481-6233
Humboldt County 916 481-6233
Los Angeles County 310 215-2905
Orange County 949 224-9900
Placerville, Placer  916 481-6233
Riverside County, Moreno Valley 800 426-6233
Sacramento County 916 481-6233
San Bernardino County 909 888 6233
San Jose County closed - see Bay Area, Oakland or call 800 426-6233
Shasta County, Redding 800 426-6233 to schedule appointment
Ventura County 310 215-2905
Yolo County 916 481-6233


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

San Diego's illegal ZERO TOLERANCE DUI saturation patrols continue, week after week, attorneys find out

San Diego's illegal ZERO TOLERANCE DUI saturation patrols continue, week after week, attorneys report:

San Diego DUI Deputies from Sheriff's Department in partnership with Police Officers from National City Police Department, San Diego Police Department, San Diego Harbor Police Department, UC San Diego Police Department, and County Probation Department conducted DUI enforcement patrols.

The official stated San Diego DUI purpose of the DUI enforcement patrols was to locate and identify impaired drivers in order to lower deaths and injuries caused by drunk drivers. Patrols focused their efforts in and around the Del Mar Race Track and after the evening concert held at the race track.

The AVOID the 16 Task Force had seven teams of deputies and officers who conducted 75 traffic stops and evaluated 10 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Four drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and one driver was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Additionally, one minor was cited for possession of an alcoholic beverage, three drivers were cited for driving without a driver's license, six traffic citations were issued for miscellaneous vehicle code violations and four vehicles towed and stored.
The “Zero Tolerance” DUI saturation patrols targeted those who still don’t heed the message to designate a sober driver before their celebrations begins. Police, Sheriff and the CHP encourage all motorists to watch and report impaired drivers each and every trip around town or during summer vacations: Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1! anytime motorists encounter that dangerous driver.

Monday, September 1, 2014

55 California Highway Patrol arrests in San Diego County, attorneys say

San Diego's California Highway Patrol cops busted fifty-five motorists on suspicion of DUI in the first 36 hours of the Labor Day holiday weekend, attorneys report.

The arrests were made on county freeways, and unincorporated roads patrolled by CHP officers, between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday, San Diego California DUI lawyers announce today.
The total number of arrests was up 21 from the same reporting period last year, when there were 34 drunken driving arrests in the first 36 hours of the Labor Day weekend, Catano said. CHP officers arrested 22 drivers on suspicion of drunken driving in the holiday weekend's first 12 hours, from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday.
Drunken driving arrests made by CHP officers in the first 36 hours were down statewide from last year, from 832 to 767, but fatalities were up from 14 to 18, Catano said. Thirteen of those deaths occurred within the first 12 hours of the weekend.
Local law enforcement agencies made seven other drunken driving arrests on Friday night and early Saturday morning at four checkpoints across the county.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Weekend San Diego California DUI Checkpoint News Bulletin: Avoid Del Mar Racetrack Sunday Ziggy Marley Concert, attorneys warn

Labor Day Weekend News Flash 2014!

San Diego loves to try stop drivers on holiday weekends.  Revenue demands motivate San Diego DUI cops to make lots of stops, even unlawfully at times when they go "ZERO TOLERANCE" on San Diego County citizens, California DUI lawyers know.

All weekend San Diego cops will try to arrest motorists so check here regularly for DUI checkpoint locations, attorneys remind.  San Diego County DUI Law Center shall assist in drunk driving roadblock areas so you can drive safely through your Labor Day Weekend without fear of going to jail.

Unless you have a designated driver, avoid Del Mar Racetrack Sunday for Ziggy Marley Concert, attorneys warn, as San Diego California DUI cops have been overzealous all summer...over there where "the surf meets the turf."


Monday, August 25, 2014

5 California DUI Checkpoints in San Diego mean 22 DUI Arrests, lawyers report

 Knowing San Diego California DUI locations is a must.  It's the difference between getting home safe and shelling out $10,000.00 +, attorneys remind.

An illegal California DUI operation took place in North San Diego County near Del Mar racetrack, unlawfully changing the standard from .08% to "Zero Tolerance" even for those over 21!

San Diego area DUI police officers resulted in 22 DUI arrests at 5 separate San Diego DUI checkpoints and operations across San Diego County over the weekend, lawyers report.
The most successful of the weekend’s DUI checkpoints operated in the East Village area of San Diego in the 1400 block of G Street from 11 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, as officers arrested 11 drivers on suspicion of drunken driving and impounded 11 vehicles.
Deputies in Solana Beach operated the sheriff’s department’s third weekend checkpoint from about 8:30 p.m. Saturday to about 2 a.m. Sunday at the 500 block of North Highway 101. Two drivers were arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and 16 drivers were cited, including two for possession of marijuana.
Deputies began the weekend crackdown with a drunk driving operation in and around the Del Mar racetrack from 5 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday. Three drivers were arrested on suspicion of drunken driving while 12 more were issued citations.
A sheriff’s checkpoint in Santee on the 9200 block of Carlton Hills Boulevard operated from 8 p.m. Friday to 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Four drivers were arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, one other arrest was made and 10 drivers were cited.
An Escondido police checkpoint on Friday night near the intersection of Centre City Parkway and Decatur Way netted two drunken driving arrests.
All five San Diego DUI operations were funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, lawyers remind.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

San Diego Senator busted for California DUI after post on Twitter, attorneys relate

Everyone should know by now that Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can get you in lots of trouble because of the posting, California DUI lawyers warn.

San Diego's Democratic State Senator Ben Hueso was seen here on Twitter partying at the Capitol holding a drink, just hours before being busted for drunk driving, California DUI attorneys note.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Last Night's Vista and Santee San Diego County DUI Checkpoints trap over 1500 vehicles & 8 arrested drunk driving motorists, attorneys report

San Diego County DUI Law Center notes eight total California drunk driving roadblock arrests last night in Santee and Vista, attorney say.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a San Diego California DUI sobriety/ driver’s license checkpoint on Friday August 15, 2014, from 8:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. in the 9000 block of Mission Gorge Road, in the City of Santee.

Funding for the  San Diego California grant was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety. The following are the checkpoint results:

VEHICLES CONTACTED: 975
VEHICLES THROUGH WITHOUT CONTACT: 25
TOTAL VEHICLES THROUGH: 1000
VEHICLES SENT INTO SECONDARY: 47
FST GIVEN: 12
DUI ARREST TOTAL: 6

San Diego County Sheriff's Deputies conducted a San Diego California DUI Sobriety/Driver License checkpoint on Friday, August 15, 2014, from 7:30 pm until 2:00 am. The  San Diego California DUI checkpoint was conducted in the 900 block of Vista Village Drive, in the city of Vista.

Funding for the  San Diego California DUI roadblock was made possible by California's OTS.

VEHICLES CONTACTED: 621
VEHICLES THROUGH WITHOUT CONTACT: 1068
TOTAL VEHICLES THROUGH: 1689
VEHICLES SENT TO SECONDARY: 44
FST GIVEN: 5
DUI ARREST TOTAL: 2

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Inability to complete breath test requires driver to do blood test or face DMV Refusal Suspension, California DUI Lawyers share

This California DUI DMV Refusal opinion was found on Google Scholar.  Inability to complete breath test requires driver to do blood test or face DMV Refusal Suspension, California DUI attorneys share...noting this is not to be published or cited.

Jul 31, 2014
B247358
[PDF ] [DOC
]

Pekin v. Valverde CA2/3 filed 7/31/14 Case Details
GULDIN
PEKIN, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
GEORGE VALVERDE, Defendant and Appellant. No. B247358.


*Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Three.*
Filed July 31, 2014.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Alicia M. B. Fowler, Assistant Attorney
General, Michael E. Whitaker and Leah C. Gershon, Deputy Attorneys General,
for Defendant and Appellant.

Michael L. Schultz for Plaintiff and Respondent.
NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties
from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered
published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been
certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

ALDRICH, J.
INTRODUCTION

The Department of Motor Vehicles (the DMV) appeals from the judgment of the
trial court granting the petition of Guldin Pekin for writ of mandate (Code
Civ. Proc., § 1094.5) and directing the DMV to revoke its suspension of her
driving privilege for one year based on her failure to complete a chemical
test. The issue is whether the evidence supports the trial court's finding
the arresting peace officer abused his discretion in determining Pekin
"fail[ed] to complete, a chemical test" pursuant to Vehicle Code section
13353.[1]

We reverse.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND 1. *The arrest and testing*

We examine the record according to the usual rules of appellate review. (*Lake
v. Reed* (1997) 16 Cal.4th 448, 456-457
.)
On July 9, 2011, California Highway Patrol Officers Sapp and Olsen stopped
Pekin on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after she
weaved out of her lane on the Hollywood Freeway and forced another car to
take evasive action to avoid a collision. Officer Sapp concluded Pekin was
intoxicated based on a "strong" smell of alcohol emitting from the vehicle
and on observing Pekin's bloodshot and watery eyes, and slurred and soft
speech. Pekin admitted having consumed a beer. After giving Pekin the
standard admonishment, Officer Sapp administered a preliminary alcohol
screening devise (PAS) test. Although Officer Sapp instructed Pekin "3-4
times" that she must blow continuously to complete the test, she never
complied. Instead, Pekin "would put her lips on the tip of the mouth piece
and would give a quick puff of air then start sucking in air and then would
stop." The officer's written statement indicates that Pekin "failed to
perform [the] field sobriety tests as explained." Three manual PAS samples
from Pekin showed results of .105 percent, .080 percent, and .101 percent.

Officer Sapp arrested Pekin for driving under the influence of alcohol and
transported her to the 77th Street Jail for chemical testing. At first
Pekin "was not willing to complete a chemical test." Officer Sapp advised
her of the implied consent law and that her driving privileges would be
suspended or revoked if she refused or failed to complete a required
chemical test. Pekin opted for the breath test. The officer told Pekin that
if she were not able to complete the test, it would be marked as a
"refusal," and she would have to complete a blood test. Officer Sapp
testified Pekin "was advised of implied consent. Okay? At that time she
didn't want to do anything. Okay? I read her the back of the DS 367
advising her that she was going to lose her license. [¶] . . . [¶] At that
time she says, okay, I'll do a breath test."

Officer Sapp informs drivers that they must blow into the chemical machine
"anywhere from four to seven seconds" to complete the test. The so-called
EC/IR usage log for the breath test machine indicates, and Pekin testified,
that she blew into the breath machine three times. The first time, Pekin
blew 130 cc of air over .37 seconds. The second time, she blew 853 cc for
1.52 seconds. There are no data for the third blow. The log indicates as
the "End of Test Status: Test refused." Pekin testified that when she tried
to blow, the officer stated, "okay, okay, it's not working out." She
"begg[ed] to" try "again . . . So I did — I did three blows in a pretty
short time." He testified, "she put her mouth on the mouthpiece. She would
give a quick little, and then would either stop blowing [or] suck in air,
which causes the machine to stop, ultimately unable to provide two
sufficient samples." In between tries, he would instruct her about her
breaths. Officer Sapp testified "[s]he didn't complete the breath test."
Pekin "would not blow into the machine."

Officer Sapp spoke to his sergeant who told Sapp to indicate Pekin's
results as "refusal" "because [Pekin] was unable to complete the chemical
test." Officer Sapp instructed Pekin "multiple times" that she would need
to complete a blood test or he would mark her as a "refusal." According to
the arrest report, after being asked multiple times, Pekin responded, "`*I
won't do blood, I don't like needles.*'" (Italics added.) Finally, Officer
Sapp wrote that Pekin "refused all chemical tests" and recommended that the
City Attorney file charges against Pekin for driving under the influence of
alcohol.

Pekin's expert, forensic toxicologist Darrell Oliver Clardy, explained that
the breath machine either prints out a mouth-alcohol level or indicates
insufficient breath. To record a refusal to blow, the officer running the
machine must press a button, which shuts down the instrument. Clardy
testified that "[t]he instrument *would* have taken another test, and she
[Pekin] *would* have kept blowing. Because she went from 130 to 853 [ccs in
volume of air]. *The third test very reasonably would have been a good test*
[*of another driver*], *as the test just above* [*on the EC/IR log*]
*indicates.*" (Italics added.) Asked why the machine indicated three tests
were done but only two revealed data, Clardy opined "I'm not sure what's
exactly going on. We have — something's going on." The log "*gives an
indication of an electronic malfunction on the instrument at the time.*"
(Italics added.) He explained that "often the software is written [so that]
if the officer pushes the button . . . to stop the test, then it would just
say test refused." Clardy surmised, if Officer Sapp had not pressed the
"refused" button, the machine would have logged an *insufficient* sample.
Clardy opined that the officer denied Pekin the opportunity to blow more
than twice. Pekin also submitted letters from her dentist and her Botox
doctor who stated that Pekin has a fear of needles.
2. *Administrative hearing and Pekin's writ petition*

The administrative hearing officer found that Pekin was given a choice of
chemical tests and chose a breath test but was unable to complete it.
Officer Sapp then offered Pekin the blood test but Pekin explained she did
not like needles, which response the Officer Sapp deemed a "refusal" to
submit to the blood test. The hearing officer was unpersuaded by Pekin's
claim that she suffered from a needle phobia justifying her refusal to
submit to the blood test. The DMV imposed a one-year suspension of Pekin's
driving privileges. Pekin's petition for writ of mandate ensued.
3. *The trial court's ruling*

The trial court found Pekin did not demonstrate she was incapable of
submitting to a blood test and she never communicated to the officer that a
needle phobia rendered her incapable of taking a blood test. (§ 23612,
subd. (a)(2)(A).) Pekin told the officer only that she "did not like"
needles and "could not handle them." Pekin called no medical expert to
explain that she was psychologically unable to summit to a blood test. As
Pekin undergoes Botox treatments, which utilize needles, the court found
Pekin was merely afraid of needles. Thus, Pekin failed to establish that a
blood test was unavailable, with the result, the court found, Pekin
"refused to submit to a blood test."

However, the court found Pekin did not refuse to undergo a breath
test, and *did
not fail to complete that test.* The court concluded instead that Officer
Sapp did not expect Pekin to complete the breath test. The officer appeared
to the court to be in a hurry to finish the breath test and move on to the
blood test. The court agreed with Pekin's expert Clardy and ruled that
Officer Sapp abused his discretion by cutting off Pekin's attempts to take
the breath test given the increasing volume of Pekin's second attempt and
the higher number of attempts other arrestees recorded. The court found
Officer Sapp acted hastily in terminating the breath test. Finding no
evidence that Pekin was deliberately trying to evade the test, the court
ruled, Pekin thus did not fail to complete the test; rather Officer Sapp
did not permit her to perform it. The trial court granted the petition for
writ of mandate and ordered the DMV to set aside its suspension of Pekin's
driving privileges. The DMV filed its timely appeal.
CONTENTIONS

The DMV contends there is no substantial evidence to support the trial
court's finding Officer Sapp abused his discretion in terminating the
breath test after concluding Pekin failed to complete it.
DISCUSSION 1. *Standard of review*

For the purpose of determining the appropriate standard of judicial review
of an administrative decision to suspend or revoke a driver's license, the
license is a "fundamental right." (*Berlinghieri v. Department of Motor
Vehicles* (1983) 33 Cal.3d 392, 398
.)
Under Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5, the trial court examines the
administrative record for errors of law and exercises its independent
judgment to determine whether the weight of the evidence supported the
administrative decision. (*Lake v. Reed, supra,* 16 Cal.4th at pp. 456-457
.)
"`In making that determination, the trial court had to "weigh the evidence
and make its own determination as to whether the administrative findings
[should be] sustained." [Citation.]' [Citation.] `In exercising its
independent judgment, a trial court must afford a strong presumption of
correctness concerning the administrative findings, and the party
challenging the administrative decision bears the burden of convincing the
court that the administrative findings are contrary to the weight of the
evidence.' [Citation.]" (*Garcia v. Department of Motor Vehicles* (2010)
185 Cal.App.4th 73, 82
.)
On appeal, we determine whether the trial court's findings are supported by
substantial evidence. (*Ibid.*)
2. *The implied consent law*

As part of its effort to combat the problem of drunk driving,[2]

the Legislature enacted section 23612, the implied consent law. (*Smith v.
Department of Motor Vehicles* (1986) 179 Cal.App.3d 368, 373 (*Smith*)
.)
The implied consent law provides that "a person lawfully arrested for
driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol impliedly
consents to submit to a chemical test, by breath or blood, to determine his
or her blood-alcohol level while driving the vehicle." (*White v.
Department of Motor Vehicles* (2011) 196 Cal.App.4th 794, 798 (*White*)
.)
"If the person arrested either is incapable, or states that he or she is
incapable, of completing the chosen test, the person shall submit to the
remaining test." (§ 23612, subd. (a)(2)(A).) "`The implied consent law is
intended "to obtain the best evidence of blood alcohol content at the time
of the arrest" [citation] by means of securing "the civil cooperation of
all persons privileged to drive" . . . .' [Citation.]" (*Smith, supra,* at
pp. 373-374
,
italics omitted.)

The DMV is required to suspend or revoke a person's driving privilege if
the person "refuses the officer's request to submit to, *or fails to
complete,* a chemical test or tests pursuant to Section 23612" and the
officer had reasonable cause to believe the person had been driving a motor
vehicle in violation of sections 23152 or 23153. (§ 13353, subd. (a),
italics added.)[3]


The DMV challenges the trial court's determination that the weight of the
evidence showed Pekin *did not fail to complete the chemical breath test*
but that Officer Sapp prematurely terminated it. (§ 13557, subd.
(b)(1)(C).) The DMV does not find fault with the court's finding Pekin
failed to submit to a blood test. Rather, the DMV contends there is no
evidence to support the finding that Officer Sapp abused his discretion in
deciding that the chemical breath test would not work. The DMV asserts that
the weight of evidence shows Pekin engaged in a course of conduct that
exhibited gamesmanship, which conduct justified Officer Sapp's
determination, in his discretion, that the breath test was not going to
provide a useful result. We agree.

Law enforcement officers have discretion to decide the feasibility of a
chemical test under section 13353 by exercising prudent judgment and common
sense. (*Smith, supra,* 179 Cal.App.3d at pp. 374-375

.)

The trial court's finding that Officer Sapp abused his discretion was based
on Clardy's testimony about his conclusion that Officer Sapp acted hastily
by terminating the test and that had the officer allowed Pekin more tries,
she would have blown a sufficient amount of air. The court was influenced
by Clardy's explanation about the increased volume in Pekin's second
attempt and the higher number of other arrestees' recorded attempts.
However, expert testimony does not constitute substantial evidence when
based on conclusions or assumptions not supported by evidence, or on
matters not reasonably relied upon by other experts, or on speculative or
conjectural factors. (*Sargon Enterprises, Inc. v. University of Southern
California* (2012) 55 Cal.4th 747, 770
;
*People ex rel. Brown v. Tri-Union Seafoods, LLC* (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th
1549, 1567-1568
.)
Clardy's testimony that Pekin's next attempt "very reasonably would have
been a good test" is utterly speculative and is unsupported by the evidence
that showed Pekin failed to blow for a sustained period, three times in the
field and three times at the 77th Street Jail. It does not necessarily
follow from the increasing length of Pekin's second effort at the police
station that her next attempt would have been *sufficient.* As support for
this conclusion, Clardy pointed to the test given to the driver prior to
Pekin, which test is certainly not evidence of what Pekin would do. Clardy
then contradicted his own testimony that the machine would have taken
another sufficient sample by surmising that the reason Pekin's last attempt
did not register on the log was a malfunction with the machine. "It is
axiomatic that taking a breath test requires a machine that is operative. .
. . It would have been futile to continue to take further samples on that
machine as it was not functioning properly." (*Gobin v. Alexis* (1984) 153
Cal.App.3d 641, 649
.)
Clardy's opinion that Officer Sapp abused his discretion by denying Pekin
the opportunity to blow more than twice conflicts with Pekin's testimony
and the log's indication, that Pekin blew three times. Absent Clardy's
speculative, unsupported, and contradictory testimony, there is simply no
evidence to justify the trial court's conclusion that the weight of the
evidence showed that Officer Sapp abused his discretion by concluding the
test was not working.

Without Clardy's testimony, there is no evidence to support the trial
court's determination that the weight of the evidence contradicted the
findings of the administrative hearing officer. *Garcia v. Department of
Motor Vehicles, supra,* 185 Cal.App.4th 73,

is instructive. There, the driver engaged in stalling tactics to reduce his
blood alcohol content by staring at the machine and changing his mind about
which test to take. (*Id.* at p. 78.) The officer advised the driver that
he needed to comply with testing or his conduct would be considered a
refusal and he would lose his license for a year. (*Ibid.*) The officer
told the driver to place his lips on the mouthpiece of the breath machine
and blow strongly and steadily until the machine beeped. The driver claimed
not to comprehend the directions. The officer instructed the driver three
more times, after which the driver put his lips on the mouthpiece and blew
for about one and a half seconds before stopping. The driver was given one
more time to comply, but simply stared at the mouthpiece. (*Ibid.*) The
officer deemed the driver's lack of cooperation to be a refusal to take a
chemical test. (*Ibid.*) The administrative hearing officer agreed. (*Id.*
at p. 79.) The trial court upheld the ruling and the appellate court
affirmed, stating the driver "failed to complete the breath test after
being repeatedly warned that his failure to do so would constitute a
refusal. The record shows that Garcia tried ineffectually to blow once and
then refused or declined to try any further. The trial court did not find
that Garcia was `incapable, or state[d] that he . . . [was] incapable, of
completing the chosen test. . . .' (§ 23612, subd. (a)(2)(A).) The trial
court did not find credible Garcia's testimony that he was unable to
complete the test because of nausea." (*Id.* at p. 83; accord, *White,
supra,* 196 Cal.App.4th at pp. 797,

798 & 800 [where phlebotomist was repeatedly unsuccessful in drawing blood,
driver requested that the technician stop and then refused the breath test.
Held driver failed to complete a chemical test.].) These authorities
convince us the circumstances here are susceptible of one conclusion namely
that Officer Sapp exercised his discretion in concluding that Pekin was not
going to provide workable results with the breath test.

The record shows the officer repeatedly instructed Pekin on how to use the
breath test machine and each time she ineffectually blew into the
mouthpiece. Pekin failed to properly blow at least six times, thrice at the
scene of her arrest where she nonetheless recorded blood alcohol levels
above the legal limit, and three times at the police station. She begged
for, and he allowed her, a third attempt at the police station, although he
did not remember that attempt by the time of the hearing. There is no
evidence other than speculation that a fourth attempt would have produced a
satisfactory volume of air, whereas Officer Sapp testified he had concluded
she would not blow into the mouthpiece long enough to register a result.
"Compliance with the provisions of the implied consent statute requires
that the arrestee complete, not merely attempt, one of the . . . possible
tests." (*Gobin v. Alexis, supra,* 153 Cal.App.3d at p. 649
.)
It was not Pekin's failure to produce a measurable *breath* sample that
Officer Sapp labeled as a failure to complete a chemical test; it was her
refusal to then submit to the blood test — about which there is no dispute
— that triggered the notice of suspension. (See *Fitzpatrick v. Department
of Motor Vehicles* (1993) 13 Cal.App.4th 1771, 1775

[failure to comply with implied consent law resulted not from failure to
produce measurable breath sample but later refusal to submit to blood
test].) As a matter of law, the weight of the evidence does not support a
finding contrary to that of the administrative hearing officer.
DISPOSITION

The judgment is reversed. Appellant to recover costs on appeal.

KLEIN, P. J. and KITCHING, J., concurs.

[1]

All further statutory references are to the Vehicle Code, unless otherwise
indicated.

[2]

In California it is unlawful for a person to drive under the influence of
any alcoholic beverage or to drive with 0.08 percent or more of alcohol by
weight in his or her blood. (§ 23152, subds. (a) & (b).)

[3]

Section 13353, subdivision (a) reads, "If a person refuses the officer' s
request to submit to, or fails to complete, a chemical test or tests
pursuant to Section 23612, upon receipt of the officer' s sworn statement
that the officer had reasonable cause to believe the person had been
driving a motor vehicle in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153, and
that the person had refused to submit to, or did not complete, the test or
tests after being requested by the officer, the department shall do one of
the following: [¶] (1) Suspend the person's privilege to operate a motor
vehicle for a period of one year. . . ."