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Advocates for legalizing marijuana in California seem to be gaining supporters, and state voters are likely to see an initiative to change the state’s current ban on the November ballot. If the measure passes, police officers in California are going to have to find a better way to determine whether a driver is guilty of DUI in Los Angeles.marijuana brownies dui attorney los angeles

Oregon passed laws permitting the recreational use of marijuana in 2015, the state only recently okayed the sale of marijuana edibles. Police in Salem, Oregon, stepped up their DUI patrols over the first weekend in June, when stores started selling marijuana brownies and other delicacies containing THC.

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Road construction workers have fairly terrifying jobs. They not only operate and move around heavy equipment weighing 10 tons or more (often much more); they also must work while vehicles just a few feet away hurtle past them at 50 and 60 miles per hour. Add to that mix a driver who’s operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol—enough to qualify him/her for a DUI in Los Angeles—and you’ve made a difficult situation even more dangerous.  freeway-dui-los-angeles-construction

According to New Orleans’ Times-Picayune, Earl William Maugham, Jr., caused serious injuries to four people at a construction site on US 61 in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. He first sideswiped an unoccupied Ford Truck, which he should have noticed, since it was flashing white and amber strobe lights marking the work zone. Then he slammed into a John Deere backhoe. The backhoe driver wasn’t injured, but Maugham continued on, jumping two raised center median curbs and eventually hitting four workers. Emergency workers took them to the hospital with moderate to severe injuries.
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The arrest of one person for DUI in Los Angeles usually affects several people: the driver, his/her family and his/her coworkers (if the driver ends up spending time in jail).  If the driver causes injury or death, the victim’s family also feels the pain. But a single DUI arrest generally does not impact the entire city or state.okinawa-DUI-losangeles

On the island of Okinawa, Japan, however, an American sailor’s arrest is having a very large effect on the 19,000 U.S. military personnel stationed there. According to the New York Times, Japanese police are holding Petty Officer Aimee Mejia, age 21, on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Mejia allegedly crossed the center line of a highway on the island and struck two other vehicles, hurting a 35-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man.

As a result of the DUI incident, which occurred on June 4th, the U.S. military brass have banned all drinking for its service members in Japan and have confined those on Okinawa to base.

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Celebrity arrests for DUI in Los Angeles attract a great deal of attention, but they are not the only DUI-related incidents making the news. Here’s what’s happening in other areas of the country.crazyweird-los-angeles-DUI

•    In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a judge ordered Thomas Candler Felts, 25, to serve from 30 days to six months in jail after he pleaded guilty to providing alcohol to a group of Amish teenagers. According to Fox 43 News, Felts had pulled into a parking lot of a convenience store next to the young men, who were riding in a horse-drawn buggy. He talked to them about “Rumspringa,” which is the time when Amish adolescents have more freedom to explore the world outside the Amish culture.

The buggy left the parking lot and traveled down a road, but Felts eventually passed them yelling “Rumspringa.” He then stopped his car abruptly, causing the buggy to crash into his vehicle’s rear. Police called to the scene measured Felts’ BAC at .126.
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The Golden State already has many laws dealing with DUI in Los Angeles and its other cities. But state legislators are often looking for ways to refine those statutes with the goal of reducing the number of DUI incidents even further.
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For the past several years, Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare and Sacramento counties have required anyone convicted of a DUI—even first time offenders—to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicles. According to a study released in December 2015 by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, interlocks prevented 1,900 DUI driving incidents per month in California.

Many legislators want to extend the IID requirement to the entire state, and they are halfway towards achieving that goal. On May 31st, the Senate unanimously passed SB 1046, which requires anyone convicted of DUI in California to install the IID. That bill now goes to the California Assembly, and MADD has promised to lobby for it extensively.

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A growing number of drivers charged with DUI in Los Angeles and throughout California have been accused of operating under the influence of some drug other than alcohol. In one recent case in Los Banos, California, police arrested a young driver and charged him with operating under the influence of marijuana.pot-dui-los-angeles-underage

On Friday, May 28th, Los Banos police officers investigating a crash on Dove Street at Highway 165 called on the California Highway Patrol for assistance. According to the Merced Sun Star, a Los Banos officer had pulled over a 1998 Ford Windstar after he saw it swerving on the road. The driver did pull over and opened the sliding door of the vehicle, but then took off at high speed. The officer, who said the vehicle smelled strongly of pot, pursued the vehicle for a short distance, but it drove into an irrigation ditch and hit a dirt embankment.

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Changes to California’s DUI laws can affect hundreds or even thousands of drivers accused of DUI in Los Angeles.
To that point, consider the big legal dust up currently transpiring in the Show Me state. Missouri legislators recently ended their 2016 legislative session without addressing a typo in regulations regarding calibration of breathalyzers used to measure blood alcohol content. The regulations, written by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, should have read that breathalyzers had to be calibrated to 0.10 percent, 0.08 percent OR 0.04 percent. missouri-dui-law-typo-los-angeles-dui-lawyer-reports

Instead the regulations said that the calibration had to be to 0.10 percent, 0.08 percent AND 0.04 percent.

The regulations were in effect from December 30, 2013 until April 2014, when the DHHS corrected the error. Missouri’s Supreme Court ruled that drivers charged with DUI during that time could get their breathalyzer results thrown out as evidence, if the instrument had not been calibrated at all three levels.

According to local reports, however, the court suggested a way that the state legislature could fix the issue. While the Missouri Senate and the Missouri House of Representatives had actually both passed laws to that effect, these different bills were never reconciled.

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Should the government be able to seize a vehicle driven by someone convicted of multiple DUIs in Los Angeles? California’s vehicle codes do permit temporary impoundment of motor vehicles driven by anyone convicted of even a first-time DUI. Although the law also allows for permanent seizure of vehicles of repeat (three or more time) DUI offenders, few jurisdictions take this option.New-Mexico-Lisa-Torraco-Daniel-Ivey-Soto-DUI-law

For DUI drivers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, however the scenario is quite different. They could permanently lose their vehicles after being arrested for DUI, despite an attempt by state legislators to curb this practice. Now a

District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the city’s seizure practice.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Second Judicial District Judge Clay Campbell said that the two state senators who challenged the city’s program didn’t have standing to bring suit, because they had not been directly impacted by the law (i.e., they had not actually lost vehicles for being DUI).

Senators Lisa Torraco and Daniel Ivey, both representing Albuquerque in the state legislature, brought the lawsuit after New Mexico passed a law last year that prohibited civil asset forfeiture. Some state and local governments across the U.S. have used such laws to seize property of people accused—but not necessarily convicted—of crimes.

The two claimed that Albuquerque’s practice violated this law. The city, on the other hand, said that the courts have previously upheld its law, which is narrowly targeted to impact repeat DUI offenders.

In throwing out the case, Judge Campbell did not rule on its merits but only on the senators’ lack of standing to bring the lawsuit. The Institute of Justice, a group working to stop Albuquerque’s practice, collaborated with the senators on the challenge. The lawmakers promised to appeal Judge Campbell’s dismissal or find plaintiffs who have actually had their vehicles seized by the city.

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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Many drivers charged with DUI in Los Angeles end up taking plea agreements – they get charges and penalties reduced by agreeing to admit guilt to lesser offenses. Judges usually accept such deals, but occasionally a new piece of information can change a judge’s mind.los-angeles-DUI-plea_agreement-tossed

A report on Fox2 in Detroit, Michigan, gave Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway a different perspective on an accused DUI driver. Hathaway had seen a story about 34-year-old Mlinzi McMillian, who was DUI in 2014 when he hit a semi-truck. The accident killed McMillian’s 12-year-old son as well as the younger McMillian’s 16-year-old stepbrother.

Although police originally charged McMillian with DUI causing death and reckless driving causing death, the results of the accused driver’s blood alcohol test were inconclusive. So prosecutors arranged a plea deal; McMillian would have to serve five years of probation. He never spent a day in jail, and he kept his license.

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Under California law, drivers charged with DUI in Los Angeles have the right to demand a jury trial. That’s not the case in every state. In a May 12th ruling, the New Jersey Supreme Court said that defendants facing trial for repeat DUI driving charges should not be entitled to jury trials.NJ-supreme-court-los-angeles-DUI

According to an article in the New Jersey Law Journal, the New Jersey Supreme Court justices decided 5-1 in State v. Denelsbeck that the penalties faced by drivers charged with third and subsequent DUIs face penalties are not serious enough to warrant jury trials. Those penalties include up to six months in jail as well as fines. The court stated that “the need for a jury trial is outweighed by the state’s interest in promoting efficiency through non-jury trials.”

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