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Police officers see all kinds of BAC numbers when they arrest people for DUI in Los Angeles. But officers don’t often come across a person whose BAC measures five times the legal limit–especially when the driver turns out to be another policeman.
Newspaper accounts say that Officer John Finley of the New York Police Department is lucky to be alive after an accident in which alcohol contributed. Back on August 8th, Finley slammed into a guardrail on the West Shore Expressway on Staten Island. He suffered head injuries, but they weren’t life-threatening. He was even conscious enough to talk, although witnesses reported that Finley—perhaps unsurprisingly, given his charges–slurred his words.

John Finley From:

John Finley From:

The police officers who worked the scene deferred DUI charges against Finley pending a review of his blood alcohol content levels. While they must have suspected something out of the ordinary, they probably didn’t expect that Finley’s BAC would measure at 0.43–more than five times the legal limit for driving. According to the New York Post, a 200-pound man would have to drink 23 beers (or the equivalent in other types of alcoholic beverages) in two hours to achieve that high a BAC score.

Just how impaired was Finley? The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a chart on its website listing the different effects of various levels of alcohol in the bloodstream. In the range of 0.31 to 0.45 percent the impairments include loss of consciousness, danger of life-threatening alcohol poisoning and significant risk of death in most drinkers due to the suppression of vital life functions. In other words–Finley was fortunate not only to have survived his encounter with a guardrail but also to be alive at all.

Police eventually arrested Finley, a 25-year veteran on the force, on a charge of aggravated DUI.

If you need to develop a sound, systematic defense to a Los Angeles DUI charge, call experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group.

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Many people have a cartoonish view of what a Los Angeles DUI defendant looks like.talking-to-child-about-los-angeles-DUI

Obviously, driving under the influence – or even close to under the influence – is dangerous business, and it can (and does) lead to thousands of death and countless injuries and traumas every year. However, DUI defendants are people too – people with jobs, lives and families.
What happens if police arrest you for this crime, but you need to take care of young children?

Here are some thoughts:

1. Going to jail is obviously tremendously disruptive… but so is losing your driver’s license!

When you can’t drive your kids to school, or to play dates, or to the grocery store, life can feel pretty chaotic and frustrating. Start researching contingencies regarding child care and errands ASAP. For instance, you might want to ask a relative or lean on a spouse or partner to step up and provide temporary extra help.

2. Use this situation as a teaching tool.

You don’t necessarily need to go into to gory details of what happened or why when you talk to your child about your DUI. But be honest and forthcoming. Explain to your child that adults make bad judgments, too, and that these judgments can have consequences. Teach by humble example.

3. Avoid letting the stress of the DUI defense impact your parenting or other relationships.

Your child didn’t get caught speeding on Hollywood Boulevard or crashing into a parked car. You did. Process your feelings of anger, helplessness and frustration safely… without taking them out on your child or others you care about. Get help and empower yourself.

To that end, if you need to develop a sound, systematic defense to a Los Angeles DUI charge, call experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Law Group.

Have you been stopped for DUI in Los Angeles, contact attorney Michael Kraut at (323) 464-6453 or online. Our team is located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, California 90028.

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Before your arrest for Los Angeles DUI, you probably never gave much thought to getting behind the wheel – what it would be like to pull out of your driveway, tool down Olympic Blvd., and park your car in a parking garage after muscling through traffic on the 405.DUI-IID-los-angeles

But whether police stopped you hours ago on Sawtelle at a checkpoint, or you crashed on the 10 and hurt yourself and a passenger, you now have a very new perspective. So what might it be like the next time you get behind the wheel? And what can you do to make that experience better? Here are some things to think about.

1. It might be a long, long time before you get the chance.

An automatic license suspension, pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 or 23153 (if you injured someone), could prevent you from driving for six months, a year or even longer.

2. You might need to blow into an ignition device to start the car.

Several years ago, Los Angeles and other jurisdictions imposed a mandatory interlock ignition device (IID) element, which compels those convicted for even first time DUIs to install one of these devices. You can’t start your car without blowing a sober breath into the machine (like a breathalyzer device). IIDs can also be expensive to install and maintain.

3. You may have strange feelings, such as anxiety or fear, even if you are driving perfectly normally, and you are totally sober.

Standard DUI stops are known to cause post-traumatic stress syndrome. That said, the moment of your arrest is probably seared into your brain. It’s not uncommon for drivers convicted of DUI (or just arrested for DUI who later get the charges dismissed) to experience awkwardness and strange moments of depression and anxiety behind the wheel.

To understand what to do to fight back against your charges, call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut of Kraut Law Group. As a former (and highly successful) Deputy District Attorney, Mr. Kraut has fought on behalf of defendants like you for nearly 20 years.

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The last thing drivers arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles want to do is call attention to themselves; they don’t want friends, family or employers to know what’s happened. But stories about DUI incidents get a lot more play in the news media when they are out of the ordinary. Here are a few unusual stories that made local headlines.derp-los-angeles-DUI-stories

The Chicago Tribune reported on 28-year-old Jeremy Walsh, who went into a grocery store, opened and chugged a bottle of vodka, left the store without paying for the liquor and then drove away. Officers called to assist observed Walsh’s vehicle crossing over the double yellow line on one of the roads in Naperville, Illinois. Walsh gave a false name and wouldn’t take a breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test. Police charged him with DUI, retail theft, driving without a license and obstructing identification. (Walsh really should have maintained a lower profile. After police arrested him, they found that the Kane County sheriff’s office already wanted him because he failed to appear at a court hearing on reckless driving and speeding charges.)

Then there’s Tara Monroe, a 20-year-old junior at Texas State University. After Monroe refused to take a breathalyzer test on her way home from a concert, her father came to campus and repossessed her car. Monroe’s solution—which gained national news attention—was to buy a kid-size, hot pink Barbie car to tool around campus. At least she can’t speed; the pink Barbie car doesn’t move above 5 miles per hour.

North Carolina resident Patrick Mercer, 29, made headlines when he taunted Tennessee police on Facebook. After Tennessee police posted photos of people wanted on outstanding domestic violence warrants, Mercer responded that he was in North Carolina and the police should come and get him. They did. Mercer ended up in jail charged not only with domestic assault but also with DUI, reckless driving, theft and harassment.

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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Although the majority of cases of DUI in Los Angeles involve excessive alcohol consumption, police in California and other states are seeing more and more DUI incidents caused by illegal and/or prescription drugs.DUI-Drug Evaluation and Classification Program

The Los Angeles Police Department has been a pioneer in training officers to distinguish these types of DUI cases. In the 1970s, two LAPD sergeants worked with medical doctors, research psychologists and other medical professionals to develop a simple, standardized procedure for recognizing drug influence and impairment. Their work resulted in a Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP), which jurisdictions throughout the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom now employ for training.

Connecticut held its first DECP training in 2011. More recently, the state’s drug recognition experts (DRE) conducted a training class in Manchester. According to the Hartford Courant, the course included 16-hours of initial training, a 56-hour drug recognition school and a 40-60 hour certification process.

The officers had to study the seven categories of drugs and the signature symptoms that users of each type display. The categories include narcotic analgesics (heroin and painkillers); depressants (alcohol and benzos); stimulants (cocaine and meth); inhalants (aerosols and solvents); hallucinogens (peyote and LSD); cannabis (marijuana and hashish); and dissociative anesthetics (PCP).
Police officers who took the course learned how medical equipment such as a blood pressure meter, oral thermometer, a pupilometer (which measures the pupil’s response to visual stimuli) and a stethoscope can help them identify which drugs a suspected DUI driver might have used.

There’s a real need for such programs. A study from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration showed an increasing number of nighttime weekend drivers will illegal drugs in their systems, rising from 16.3 percent of drivers in 2007 to 20 percent in 2013-2014.

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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Note to drivers who want to avoid an arrest for a DUI in Los Angeles: Try to make sure that your vehicle has all its parts before you get on the road. A lack of important features—like tires–are a dead giveaway that you may not be operating at peak

In Libertyville, Illinois, on September 5th, police arrested 20-year-old Lizette Diaz, who was driving a vehicle with no front tires. According to the Libertyville Patch, Diaz was making a U-turn and the wheel wells of her vehicle were dragging on the ground. Charges against Diaz included DUI, operating a vehicle with unsafe equipment, improper lane usage and driving an uninsured motor vehicle.

September was a busy month for driving under the influence and without tires. In San Antonio, Texas, Flor Rios headed to the nearby drive-through lane of a Whataburger fast food restaurant. But she had apparently forgotten that her SUV was missing a front tire. Police pulled her over and discovered an open container of beer in the vehicle. When they took her to the hospital to get a BAC blood test, Rios attacked the person trying to draw her blood. Officers eventually charged her with DUI and harassment of a public officer.

Police in Owatonna, Minnesota probably did a double-take before they picked up 33-year-old Bethany Brogan on DUI charges. Brogan was traveling in her car on Cedar Avenue with the right front tire detached and rolling alongside. When officers caught up with her, they discovered she smelled like alcohol and found an open alcohol container inside her car. Her blood alcohol content came back at .283, more than three times the legal limit.

In Levittown, Pennsylvania, it took several police cars to catch up with Rodney Kolison, whose Mitsubishi Gallant had only three tires. Officers said Kolison admitted that he had smoked marijuana earlier in the day.

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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When it comes to DUI arrests, many drivers would like to avoid the consequences of their actions. Facing charges of DUI in Los Angeles, they may try to flee the scene (usually unsuccessfully) or find some alternate explanation for a crash.Super-DUI-los-angeles-arrest

Take the case of 38-year-old Tyrone Walker, who lives in Kodiak, Alaska. He called police on a Sunday evening not long ago to report that thieves had taken his car. But just about that time, police officers also received a report of a vehicle hitting a power pole. Not so coincidentally, the accident took place on the street where Walker lived.

Although Walker probably thought he had been very clever, it didn’t take police long to determine that his Ford pickup hadn’t been stolen, and that Walker himself had made up the story after crashing the vehicle. When police showed up at Walker’s, they quickly figured out that he had been the one driving, and that he had allegedly been feeling the effects of excessive alcohol consumption at the time. They ended up charging Walker with DUI, making a false report and failure to notify police immediately after an accident.

But not everyone tries to lie their way out of a DUI. An unidentified man in Allegan County, Michigan, took one look at police trying to pull him over and decided not to stick around to talk with them. He sped off along a local highway, eventually making a sharp turn into a parking lot. Once there, he refused to get out of his vehicle.

As officers were trying to pry him loose from the car, they noticed open containers of alcohol in the vehicle. They measured the man’s blood alcohol content and discovered it was .22, almost three times the legal limit for driving, which is .08 percent. So the unknown motorist ended up in jail, charged with DUI. Because his BAC was so high, he fits Michigan’s “super drunk” criteria, meaning he could face harsher penalties if convicted.

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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Pulling over and taking a nap instead of operating a vehicle might appear to be a good way to avoid charges of DUI in Los Angeles. But people who decide to try this approach might want to double check what else is in the car before they close their eyes for some restorative sleep.falling-asleep-DUI-los-angeles

Derek Spearman of Colorado Springs, Colorado, will likely remember that precaution if he ever again gets the urge to take a nap after imbibing alcohol. Spearman actually made several mistakes. He pulled into the parking lot of a youth sports complex early one Saturday morning in September but failed to turn off the motor of his truck. That attracted the attention of a nearby resident, who became concerned after the truck remained parked with the engine running for more than 90 minutes. When she peeped inside the window, she saw Spearman passed out with a can of beer between his legs and a gun (later identified by police as a nine-millimeter handgun) by his side. She alerted police, who rushed to the scene.

Spearman is obviously a heavy sleeper. TV station KOAA 5 reported that police initially tried to wake him using a public address and their sirens. When that didn’t work, they ended up pulling him out of the car, using shields to protect themselves. They charged Spearman with DUI and prohibited use of weapons.

At least Timothy J. Seeden of Lisle Village, Illinois, didn’t have a gun or an open alcohol container when police caught him napping. They found the Lisle village clerk, who is also a Boy Scout official, sound asleep in his car on a roadway. Police officers said he smelled like alcohol and admitted he had been drinking. Seeden, who has two DUI convictions dating back to the mid-1980s, will face new charges of DUI and driving without insurance.

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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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls, almost 30 people the U.S. die every day due to crashes that involve alcohol-impaired drivers. That works out to one death every 51 minutes. If you narrow the statistics down to cases of DUI in Los Angeles and other areas of California, 29 percent of the state’s 867 fatal car crashes in 2013 involved a DUI driver.los-angeles-DUI-statistics-and-stories

Online news sources carry reports of deadly DUI accidents every day. They serve as a sad reminder of the real cost of people driving while intoxicated:

• A woman in Queens, New York, lost her entire family in a crash on August 23rd. As Lucie Bouaz-Ostane watched in horror, her husband, eight-year-old son and four-year-old daughter died when fire engulfed their vehicle. Bouaz-Ostane had freed herself but wasn’t able to rescue any of her family members. Oniel Sharpe, a 24-year-old man, had rear-ended their car and then sped away from the scene.

• In San Diego, Antony Schoenele, age 20, had drunk alcohol, smoked marijuana and consumed cocaine before getting behind the wheel. Guadalupe Amado and Lizette Garcia, both in their early 20s, were passengers. Schoenele ended up driving off Friars Road near the Pacific Highway overpass, struck a curb and went airborne. His vehicle hit a pillar and caught fire; then Schoenele climbed over one of his passengers to escape. Prosecutors charged him with gross vehicular manslaughter and held his arraignment hearing at his hospital bed in UC San Diego Medical Center.

• In Western Pennsylvania, firefighter Mathew Poston admitted to drinking four or five beers and at least one tequila shot before driving off with his colleague, 33-year-old Gary Moore. The two never made it to their destination, because Poston stuck a guard rale and a utility pole. Moore, an 18-year veteran of the Yukon Fire Department, died at the accident scene.

To respond effectively 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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You may remember the old public service campaign from the Ad Council that stated “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.” A recent story from the Hamptons–the New York playground of the rich and famous–suggests an addendum to that saying: “Friends don’t drive off leaving friends lying in the road after a DUI accident.” That’s not something that cops see every day, no matter how many Los Angeles DUI incidents they handle.DUI-ad-los-angeles

The purported friends in this case were 42-year old Manhattan real estate developer Sean Ludwick and 53-year-old real estate agent Paul Hansen. Ludwig was driving his Porsche around on 2 a.m. Sunday, August 30th, with Hansen a passenger in the car. Ludwick crashed the vehicle into a utility pole in Sag Harbor, on a corner not far from the front of Hansen’s family home. The accident ejected Hansen from the car, but instead of staying to assist him (and face police), Ludwig allegedly took off, leaving Hansen’s body in the road.

(It couldn’t have been an easy trip; according to the New York Post, the Porsche had two flat tires and other damages.)
The police caught up with Ludwick about a quarter mile away. They retraced his route and found the accident scene and Hansen’s body.

Police arrested Ludwig and charged him with DWI and leaving the scene of an accident. His bond, initially set at $500,000, is now $1 million since prosecutors have argued that he could be a flight risk. Ludwig may eventually face charges of vehicular homicide.

Ludwig has had problems with the law before. Earlier this year, he pled guilty to assault and battery charges for hitting his girlfriend and for destruction of property for ripping her phone out of the wall. He broke into another ex-girlfriend’s apartment and destroyed artwork he had painted for her.

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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