Monday, October 31, 2011

Drunk Driver Crashes into Another Drunk Driver

A 23-year-old suspected drunken driver from california nearly ran over CHP officers who were investigating a fatal wreck – also believed to involve alcohol -- this morning along Interstate 15 in Hesperia, according to CHP investigators and jail records.
The defendant was arrested this morning along Interstate 15 near Main Street and booked for investigation of drunken driving, jail records show. He was released after promising to appear in court to answer any charges that may be filed.

Officers caught the suspect driving a 2012 Honda Civic that traveled through a traffic cone-and-flare pattern that was supposed to keep motorists out of an accident scene that killed a driver at 1:05 a.m. today along the freeway’s southbound lanes near Bear Valley Road, investigators said in a written statement. The victim in that DUI accident was a man believed to be about 35 years old, CHP Officer Jaci Parent said early today from the traffic management center in San Bernardino. San Bernardino County coroner’s officials have released no information about that man or the incident.

The victim died instantly when the 2002 Lincoln LS he was driving changed lanes at high speed and hit the trailer of a 1999 Freightliner big rig.

“Alcohol is considered to be a factor in this collision,” according to the CHP statement.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Quick Primer on the Two DUI Crimes in California

In California, lawmakers have enacted two distinct crimes relating to DUI. One, VC 23152(a) requires proof of actual impairment.  Section 23152(b), added in 1981, made it unlawful for a person to drive with a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent or more, by weight, and specified that, “percent, by weight, of alcohol shall be based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.”   To secure a conviction for this new “per se DUI” offense, the prosecution no longer had to prove the accused driver was actually impaired at the time of the offense, but only that heor she drove with a blood-alcohol level at or exceeding 0.10 percent.    In 1989, the California Legislature further strengthened our state‟s DUI laws by lowering the punishable blood-alcohol threshold from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent.  This is the proscribed level today

 Therefore, after 1981 there were two parallel statutes making it a crime to drive while intoxicated.  The generic DUI provision (§ 23152(a)) retained the historical approach, requiring proof that the defendant was actually impaired by his drinking.  The per se DUI statute (Vehicle Code 23152(b)) simply required proof that the defendant had been driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit.  If the limit was exceeded, the statute was violated, and no additional proof of the defendant‟s impairment was required. The interplay between the two statutes can often be confusing for laymen, an attorney should be consulted to explain the interaction of the two offenses in your case.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Law Seeks to End Impound Abuse

Police agencies in California will no longer be able to freely impound cars from sober but unlicensed drivers who are stopped at drunk-driving checkpoints under legislation signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown.  Under the new law written by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), if a sober driver is caught at a DUI checkpoint without a valid license, law enforcement officers must release the car to a qualified driver representing the registered owner. In cases where a legal driver is not readily available, AB 353 says, the vehicle is to be released to one later at the impound yard.

Some CA lawmakers have alleged that sobriety checkpoints have been misused by some cities to unfairly target illegal immigrants who do not have a driver’s license. Because cities can hold cars taken from unlicensed drivers for 30 days, the accumulated impound fees can turn out to be more than the car is worth, resulting in some drivers losing their cars.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Step by Step Process to Get Your Drivers License After a DUI in CA

The purpose of this article is to explain the process to obtain your drivers license following the Court disposition of your case. You will likely receive a letter from the California  DMV that explains your license is suspended as a result of the Court conviction, however if you read the letter carefully it explains that you may immediately obtain a restricted license. The following is what you must do:

1. Obtain proof of insurance by way of an SR-22 that must be filed with the DMV. This is done electronically directly from the company to the DMV.  It is best to do this as soon as possible.

2. Get enrolled in the Court ordered alcohol education program. The program will file the enrollment with the DMV, confirm with them that they have done so.

3. If the offense occurred in Los Angeles, get an Ignition Interlock installed in your car, for help with this contact an IID provider, let him know an attorney represented you and you will receive a discount off the normal fee.

4. Pay the re-issue fees to the DMV at any field office. Usually there a two fees, one for the Court reinstatement and one for the APS reinstatement.

5. Lastly, you must wait the mandatory period of time following the imposition of the “APS” suspension following the DMV hearing, APS order. This is no longer than 30 days, however, the period of time can be shorter if the hearing officer grants our request for a “back credit”. To determine this time period look at the start date of the suspension on the DMV decision, it is 30 days after that “start date”. In some cases the DMV hearing decision will have not yet been mailed by the time the Court case is resolved, in these cases you must wait for the outcome of the DMV hearing before your license will be returned.