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A police officer in southern Texas may be recalling the old saying about people who live in glass houses never throwing stones. We don’t know if Devon Brittany New, a member of the Nixon, Texas, police force, ever arrested anyone for driving under the influence. But after her own recent arrest, New may be a little more sympathetic towards anyone accused of DUI in Los Angeles, in Texas, or in any other jurisdiction.2015-Dodge-Challenger-DUI-los-angeles

An article on the San Antonio Express-News’ website said that Officer New was suspended from duty for a week following her DUI arrest on March 9th. She had a narrow escape; after running a red light at 1 a.m., she stalled her vehicle on nearby railroad tracks. Fortunately, she was sober enough to get out of her 2015 Dodge Challenger, because a freight train coming down the track hit her vehicle and totaled it.

Although New is back at work until her April 9th court date, it’s not clear if she’ll be able to remain on the job if she’s found guilty.
Los Angeles police officers have also been charged with DUI in some rather high-profile cases. One notable incident occurred just about a year ago, when an off-duty officer lost control of his vehicle after getting off the westbound Pomona Freeway in Diamond Bar. What made the crash more unusual was that the 29-year-old officer traveled over a 50-foot area (not a road) separating the freeway from a McDonalds restaurant. He ended up crashing in the restaurant’s drive-through lanes.

The officer probably had little interest in the restaurant’s menu at that point, since he landed in the hospital with moderate injuries.

Do you need help defending against a drug or DUI charge? Michael Kraut of Los Angeles’s Kraut Law Group is a trustworthy, highly qualified former prosecutor. Call a Los Angeles DUI attorney today to strategize for your defense seriously.

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People who have had a drink or two (or three) often don’t realize that they shouldn’t drive because they’re over the legal limit for blood alcohol content. That could change if Uber (the app that connects people needing rides to those willing to offer them) is successful in a new partnership with Breathometer, a startup company featured on the Shark Tank television show last year. The partnership might not eliminate everyone’s need for a Los Angeles DUI attorney, but it could reduce the number of DUI arrests in the city and in others.uber-los-angeles-DUI

Breathometer gives people the ability to check their blood alcohol content. It works through a combination of a smart phone app connected by Bluetooth technology to a device that people breathe into after they’ve been drinking. In less than a minute, people can get their BAC measurements to determine whether or not they’re legally safe to drive.

The partnership between Uber and Breathometer should make it easier for anyone who’s had a little too much to drink to get a ride, because they will be able to call Uber directly from the Breathometer smartphone app. The idea is that people will be less likely to get behind the wheel if they have this quick-call option.
Uber has been claiming that its service is reducing the number of DUI drivers. A joint Uber/Mothers against Drunk Driving study suggests that the availability of Uber as a transportation alternative helped decrease the number of DUI crashes in a city by 60 percent for drivers under 30. But ProPublica, a public interest journalism website, said that while the drop in accidents may correlate with the presence of Uber in a certain city, there’s no proof that Uber is actually the cause of that drop.

Designing and executing an effective defense against DUI charges (even simple ones) is not intuitive. Fortunately, you can trust the seasoned, highly successful Michael Kraut. Call a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles with nearly two decades of experience.

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Motorists who know they’ve had too much to drink do the right thing when they call a cab to take them home. But if they get into the wrong cab, they could end up talking to a Los Angeles DUI lawyer, not as a client but as a witness.Wikstrom-DUI

Television station KSBY, which serves California’s central coast, reported in early March that taxi driver Christel Mona Wikstrom is facing DUI charges after smashing into parked vehicles at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez Valley. Wikstrom’s taxi, a white Toyota van, damaged three cars. According to police, the cab driver’s blood alcohol content at the time of the incident measured more than twice the legal limit.

Of course, cab drivers are human, and they make mistakes just like everyone else. A Google search reveals multiple incidents of cab drivers in various states arrested for DUI over the past year. Last July, a Bluegrass Taxi driver in Lexington, Kentucky, William Maddox, started talking to police at a convenience store where he had just bought beer. It didn’t take officers long to realize that the cab driver was too impaired to drive.

Ironically, the police had been searching for an hour for this driver after receiving reports of his erratic driving, but they had not been successful in locating him. They might not have even stopped Maddox if he hadn’t approached them and started a conversation. Maddox’s slurred speech and the smell of alcohol that emanated from him alerted the officers to his condition.

Despite these arrests, calling a cab is always a better alternative than attempting to drive when you’ve had too much to drink. California law treats drivers convicted of DUI harshly, with fines, penalties, suspension of driver’s license and sometimes jail time as well.

Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group is standing by to offer critical insight into your case and potential defense options. Call him and his team today to begin regaining control over your case and your life.

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Driving under the influence is never the right way to travel, and sometimes that lesson is quite literally true. Even an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney could have difficulty making a case for someone who decides to drive along an interstate highway while under the influence—especially when that driver is headed in the wrong direction.wrongway-los-angeles-DUI

According to the Illinois News Gazette, police officers managed to stop 60-year old Michael Jay Nolan from driving west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 74 in Champaign County. The alleged DUI driver had traveled five miles in the wrong directions, from Ogden to St. Joseph, before a sheriff’s deputy was able to get his pickup truck to stop.

Considering the distance that Nolan covered, it’s fortunate that he forced only two drivers off the road during his wrong-way drive. A 20-year-old woman, Ashley Lurry, ended up in the median after meeting up with Nolan in her Chevrolet Cobalt. She and her passenger received treatment for minor injuries at a nearby hospital.

A Toyota Camry driven by 61-year-old Denise Chestnut landed in a ditch after swerving to avoid a head-on collision with Nolan’s truck. Although her Camry may never be the same—and Chestnut will probably never forget the sight of the headlights coming towards her on an expressway—she wasn’t injured.

Police were able to stop Nolan about 15 minutes after they received the first calls from frantic motorists alerting them to the problem. Nolan received tickets for illegal transportation of alcohol and improper lane usage—not his biggest problems, since the police also charged him with DUI.

One thing that Nolan and the two other drivers did right, however. According to the paper, all of the people involved had buckled up before they hit the road.

Locating a seasoned and qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer is a critical part of the process of reclaiming your life, your time and your peace of mind. Call ex-prosecutor Michael Kraut for a free consultation right now.

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A recent shooting of an unarmed homeless man by members of the Los Angeles Police Department shows why it’s essential that anyone who is arrested for a Los Angeles DUI get good legal representation right away. Police officers can make mistakes, and eyewitnesses don’t always see or hear everything that really happened.los-angeles-DUI-police-shooting-homeless-man

Nobody disputes the basic facts of a recent Los Angeles shooting. On March 1, a homeless man (later identified by the nickname of Africa) was killed during a struggle with four police officers. The man was on the ground when the shots were fired.

The police department said that the officers had already tried to subdue the man with a taser, and it hadn’t worked. Then the man had grabbed a gun from one of the officers during the arrest, and that’s when the other officers opened fire. The eyewitness claimed that he didn’t see that grab and questioned the cops’ decision to shoot an unarmed man who was already tased and on the ground.

But the whole incident was caught on a nearby surveillance camera, and CNN had a forensic expert look at the footage in slow motion. His analysis suggests that the man did indeed reach for the gun. Surveillance footage also showed that the man had been involved in a violent struggle with another homeless person earlier in the day.

So what really happened that day? Different people on the scene–all believing that they are telling the truth–will give you varying answers. It’s going to take a while to sort it all out.

The same thing can happen when somebody is arrested for DUI. No matter what the police and other bystanders think they saw, the truth may be something different–and it’s a good idea to have someone who understands all the legal ramifications available to help.

As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.

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Drivers charged with a Los Angeles DUI could face more than just legal penalties. As this story from Alabama shows, they might have to live with the fact that they’ve ruined somebody else’s life.leg-los-los-angeles-DUI

In Birmingham, Alabama, a 26-year-old woman on the way home from a wedding hit construction worker Bobby Joe Smith, who was working on a nighttime project for his company. Amanda Brown pinned Smith between a bulldozer and the bumper of her GMC Yukon. The accident severed one of Smith’s legs, left the other hanging by the skin and caused severe internal injuries to his colon and spleen. Fortunately, his co-workers had enough presence of mind to use their belts for tourniquets and to apply duct tape to stop the bleeding.

Smith and his co-workers had been in a well-lit area marked off by cones when the accident occurred. The crew prevented Brown from driving away in her vehicle after the accident, but she then fled on foot to her nearby apartment. Police eventually charged her with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and first-degree assault, which includes DUI.

Smith ended up losing his right leg below the knee, and he may lose the other as well. Brown faces penalties for getting behind the wheel while allegedly intoxicated, and she will have to live with the knowledge that she’s taken away another person’s ability to walk and to make a living.

Brown could face pretty severe legal consequences if she lived in Los Angeles and prosecutors convicted her of causing an injury while driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. Per California Vehicle Code 23153, that action raises ta DUI charge to a felony. Even a first-time offender could be looking at prison time, high fines and the need to make restitution payments to the victim.

Do you or a family member need insight from a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney? Contact Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group to set up your free consultation.

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Even Los Angeles DUI attorneys appreciate the comic relief of a funny mug shot. Mug shots have a history of use dating back to the 19th century for record keeping, identification, and investigation purposes. Most mug shots appear benign. Occasionally, however, we come across some doozies. Below we’ve detailed some of our favorites:Crazy-DUI-los-angeles-mug-shot-2

•    Heavy heads. A Texan man required assistance keeping his head upright for his mugshot. The photograph depicts Sean Carl Payne with a wide-eyed expression as law enforcement personnel hold him upright to get a clear picture of his face. He faced public intoxication charges after a night out on the town. The Houston Press detailed the incident with an equation, “too many mugs, too many shots = a mugshot requiring assistance.”

•    Thumbs up. Michelle Watson, a young Arizona woman, smiles and gives two thumbs up to the camera for her mugshot. Watson faced charges in 2011 for DUI, aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest. She appears strangely proud of her accomplishments.

•    Happy Birthday in poor taste. On Scott Disick’s (Courtney Kardashian’s long-time partner) 31st birthday, Khloe Kardashian posted pictures of his and her mugshot from past DUI charges online. Both appear disheveled in their mugshots, and the posting received public backlash for making fun of a serious matter.

•    Too much of a head tilt. Photographers will tell you to tilt your head slightly for a more flattering picture. Erica Garcia tilted her head a little too much. Her off-center mugshot features her head leaning over to one side with her mouth open, as though she’s in the middle of a conversation. She faced felony DUI charges after wrecking her car in Sacramento.

Law enforcement uses mugshots for arrest files, but they also post the images for public knowledge. If you face arrest, standing out in a mugshot can hurt your credibility and reputation even if the courts clear you of all charges.

How should you respond to your recent and disarming charges? Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer (and ex-prosecutor) with nearly two decades of relevant legal experience.

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The practice of taking a mugshot after a person’s arrest began in the mid-1840s. Law enforcement used the pictures for record keeping and to aid investigations. The Los Angeles DUI community has seen some pretty outrageous mugshots come through over the years.Crazy-DUI-los-angeles-mug-shot-1

Getting arrested for a DUI fades out of most people’s minds after a while. Mugshots, however, stay on file forever. From tattoos to strange attire, consider these unusual mugshots:

•    Commemorating a repeat offense. Robert Burt, a 19 year old repeat offender, arrived for an 8 hour jail sentence wearing an orange shirt with a previous mugshot depicted on the front. The caption read, “Burt Family Reunion 8.8-8.10.2014, sponsored by Bud Light and Somerset County Sheriff.”

•    Batman didn’t stop this Joker in time. Offers arrested Dennis Lalime after he crashed his car in Maine. Lalime was wearing a Joker costume from a Halloween party at the time of his arrest. His mug shot featured bright green hair, side burns, and mustache. On top of the white face paint, he did remember to wear his glasses.

•    What do you call someone who isn’t fully committed to No-Shave-November? A DUI mugshot of a 28-year-old from Pennsylvania divides his face into shaved and not shaved halves. Luckily, his head hair seems untouched.

•    I mustache you a question, sir. Is the tattoo of your handlebar mustache and soul patch permanent? Christopher Gerhart’s mugshot features what appears to be Sharpie-drawn facial hair. He claimed it was only temporary. Regardless, the mugshot and his record will remain.

•    Surprise! Andrei Bibbs’ DUI mugshot makes him look very surprised. Bulging eyes and an open mouth highlight his shocked expression. We may never know what really surprised him, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t the DUI charges brought against him.

Funny, unexpected, and outrageous mugshots add levity to otherwise serious cases in the news. Remember that the public has access to your mug shots and arrest information.

Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group is standing by to offer critical insight into your case and potential defense options. Call him and his team today to begin regaining control over your case and your life.

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A recent post on our Los Angeles DUI blog, we spoke about how alcohol affects the brain’s ability to care about mistakes. There’s never a shortage of news to justify that finding. Here are ten of the dumbest mistakes people have made while intoxicated:top-10-los-angeles-dui

1.    A drunk man in Florida caused a scene and repeatedly called 911 after being told he was not allowed to bring his kitten into a strip club. He was arrested for misuse of 911 and public intoxication.

2.    An intoxicated Louisiana man rode his horse into a bar and lassoed a patron, attempting to drag him into the parking lot.

3.    Police arrested an inebriated man in Pennsylvania after catching him trying to resuscitate a dead opossum on the side of the highway.

4.    Police arrested a man in Cincinnati after he drank too much alcohol, streaked nude though his yard, and somehow ended up in his neighbor’s dryer.

5.    Police confronted a visibly intoxicated Floridian man for firing off guns on a public beach dock. During the conversation with the deputy, the man pooped his pants. He was arrested for use of a firearm while intoxicated.

6.    A North Carolina man was arrested for drunkenly riding a bicycle while wielding a chainsaw.

7.    A drunk Toronto man had to be rescued from his neighbor’s chimney. He climbed in, trying to enter the home, but got stuck and spent 5 hours in the freezing cold.

8.    A man was arrested for public intoxication in Minnesota when he tried to make a phone call with a $20 bill, convinced it was his phone.

9.    An intoxicated Canadian man was arrested at a Christmas parade for screaming to little kids that Santa isn’t real.

10.    An intoxicated man in Minneapolis was arrested for breaking into a home and destroying a toilet, causing almost $2,000 in damage. He was charged with burglary.

Respond strategically to your arrest and charges by calling a former Senior Deputy D.A. and highly successful Los Angeles DUI defense attorney with the Kraut Law Group today for a complimentary consultation.

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One of our recent blog posts covered some strange Los Angeles DUI stories, and today’s tale isn’t any less bizarre. On February 17th, an Australian man presented at a local hospital with a deep chainsaw wound that he had allegedly caused himself. chainsaw-Timothy-Woodrow

After accidentally cutting his hand with a chainsaw, Timothy Woodrow stitched the wound at home and doused it in gin before taking a few swigs for the pain. He attempted to drive himself to the hospital while intoxicated. Police pulled him over for neglecting to stop at a stop sign. When they tested Woodrow’s BAC, they found he was significantly over the legal limit and arrested him.

Alcohol and Judgment

What makes strange errors of judgment so frequent with DUI cases?

New research into alcohol’s effect on the brain indicates that the same reaction that causes impaired judgment is also responsible for slowing the brain’s “alarm signal” response. This response alerts other parts of the brain that something is wrong.

Researchers measured participants’ moods, perception, and accuracy while performing computer tasks under the influence. Results showed that the affected participants made little effort to correct or avoid errors. The researchers found that alcohol’s influence on the brain doesn’t actually reduce its ability to recognize mistakes, but instead affects the ability to care about them. Participants in the study simply didn’t feel bothered by the mistakes they knew they were making.

Perhaps this is why people sometimes find themselves apologizing to friends the morning after a night of drinking. This may give some insight into why people insist on driving when they know they’ve had too much to drink. An individual may recognize that driving would be a mistake, but he or she feels confident that “everything will be fine” and gets behind the wheel anyway.

If you made a mistake, and police arrested you for a DUI, seek experienced counsel to respond to your charges. Call a qualified Los Angeles DUI lawyer with the Kraut Law Group today to schedule a free consultation.

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