Matthew Ruff, a DUI Lawyer in Torrance California dicusses societal trends, social mores and current California laws relating to Driving Under the Influence and drunk driving. If you have any questions contact Matthew directly at 310-686-1533
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Veteran CHP Officer Charged With Felony DUI
A California Highway Patrol officer charged with felony DUI stemming from a January four-car wreck while she was off duty pleaded not guilty today in Shasta County Superior Court.
Redding criminal defense attorney John Kucera entered the not guilty plea on behalf of his client, Doreen Bernice Shaw, 42, of Redding, as she stood next to him.
Shaw, who remains free of jail custody while on her own recognizance, is scheduled to have her preliminary hearing on April 12.
A 17-year CHP veteran, Shaw is charged with felony DUI with injury, a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing officers and a series of enhancements.
Shaw was not hurt in the Jan. 14 chain-reaction crash on South Bonnyview Avenue, but five others suffered minor injuries.
It was originally alleged in the criminal complaint that Shaw had a blood alcohol level of at least 0.20 percent, but Kucera said the complaint, which has been amended, now claims that her blood alcohol level ranged from 0.13 percent to 0.16 percent. The legal driving limit is 0.08 percent.
A Redding police report said Shaw, who reportedly admitted she was too drunk to drive, was belligerent, combative and screamed profanities at officers following the wreck. She also allegedly tried to walk away from officers after she was handcuffed and kneed RPD Officer Tyler Lanham in his left thigh before she was forcibly placed in the back of a patrol car, the police report said.
The Life and Times of DUI Legislation in the New Age
Few Intelligent Citizens will argue with the statement that DUI and drunk driving crimes cause a great deal of destruction of families and lives. To deal with the problem, the state of California has enacted stringent and often harsh, some may even argue draconian, laws that punish those who drink and drive. The evolution of new laws relating to drunk driving in California has become big business with the advent of more stringent punishments. The Ignition Interlock Companies, DUI Education Schools, and Insurance Conglomerates all have a pecuniary interest and indeed stand to make big money as long as society pushes for greater laws that punish first time offenders.
Legal Resources, Community Based Organizations and Informative Sites
It is well known that the law requires that all citizens be treated equally under the Constitution. It is equally well known that the Bill of Rights affords us all very significant personal rights and protections from governmental infringement of these sacred rights and overreaching. What is less known is how over the last fifty years these rights have been largely eroded within the context of DUI cases. For example, the fourth amendment has been virtually eliminated as it relates to the power police have to stop, search and arrest suspected drunk drivers. The fifth amendment has been squeezed allowing officers to question DUI suspects differently at the roadside. Some argue that the litany of Court decisions relating to driving under the influence cases specifically ghas created a "DUI Exception" to the Constitution.
The Villification of Drinking Drivers
The dangers of driving while drunk or impaired are well known. However, the people of the state of California and society in general is ratcheting down the vise on anyone who consumes alcohol and gets behind the wheel of a car. What this means for those accused of DUI is that there will inevitably be a jump to the conclusion that the defendant is guilty before they are adjuducated as such in a Court of Law.