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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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You can be arrested for Los Angeles DUI whether you’re an out-of-state tourist tooling around in a rented convertible or a homegrown Angelino driving a car you’ve owned since high school. However, no matter what vehicle you drive, your legal problems will be significantly compounded if underage kids or teenagers are in the car with you.school-bus-dui-in-los-angeles

Consider the following situation out of Tennessee. Police responded to a request for help from a high school band: their charter bus, parked in front of a museum, apparently had a problem with one of its tires. Allen Newcomer, 51, allegedly drove the students on a trip from California Area High School in Western Pennsylvania to Nashville, Tennessee. His passengers included members of the high school band and their chaperones–38 students (all but seven under age 18) and 17 chaperones and teachers.

As they spoke with Newcomer, Nashville police officers began to suspect that the bus driver had a problem. Their first clue? He had “an obvious amount” of white powdery substance in his nostrils.

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Would someone arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles be less likely to offend again if he/she had to go to the morgue to see someone killed by a DUI driver?dui-morgue-los-angeles

In an article that appeared in Slade Magazine’s April 2016 issue, writer Hannah Waters reported on a program in Orange County, California, that allows a judge to order a DUI offender to visit the morgue. The program, which started in the late 1980s, reports that fewer than two percent of the drivers who participate face DUI charges again within 18 months. The National Highway Safety Administration, on the other hand, estimates that the national recidivism rate for DUI offenses is about 30 percent.

Waters spoke to a forensic psychologist about the program, who said that such programs could help offenders understand that they have caused (or could have caused) real harm. Seeing a DUI victim in the morgue could also help an offender empathize with the victim, so they remember the possible consequences the next time he or she considers driving after drinking.

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Police officers may arrest multiple drivers for a Los Angeles DUI within a short period for time when they’re conducting sobriety check points, but it’s not as usual for them to nab two DUI drivers at a time at a traffic stop.singing-in-car-dui-los-angeels

When a Florida Highway Patrol officer pulled 31-year-old Josue Moncado over for reckless driving on I-75 near Ocala, he smelled alcohol on his breath. The officer had just arrested Josue when his sister, Ercilia Moncado, pulled up and began arguing with the trooper. Another officer called to the scene ended up arresting the woman for DUI as well; she allegedly tried to escape from the patrol car, but officers managed to quickly recapture her.
No word on whether the Moncado siblings got adjoining cells.

Also a nominee in the category of “drivers who appear to be begging for a DUI arrest” is a woman recently arrested by the California Highway Patrol. The unnamed driver had allegedly stopped her car in the middle of the freeway, climbed up on the roof and began dancing. She apparently was a real entertainer; as the CHP troopers approached, she began singing as well.

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Since the passage of AB 91 in 2010, California has required all drivers convicted of DUI in Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare Counties to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) in their vehicles if they want to qualify for a restricted driving license. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has supported this effort and similar policies adopted by other states.Luis Reluzco DUI

Now Maryland legislators have passed their own version of the IID law. In their 2016 session, which ended in mid-April, Maryland legislators unanimously adopted Noah’s Law, named in honor of a Montgomery County police officer struck and killed by a drunk driver last December. Ironically, Officer Noah Leotta was working at a sobriety checkpoint at the time.

The new law will apply to anyone, including first-time offenders, who have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. They’ll need to keep the IID for six months or lose their license. Anyone who refuses a breathalyzer test at the time of arrest will have to install the IID for nine months after conviction or give up their driving privileges for that time.

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Drivers who appeal their conviction for DUI in Los Angeles always hope that an appeals court will rule in their favor. A Nebraska driver had that wish come true—only to have the state’s Supreme Court overrule the appeals court, so his conviction still stands.Nebraska Supreme Court DUI case

The Lincoln Journal Star reported on the case of 27-year old Adam Woldt, arrested for DUI in September 2013. A police officer had pulled over a truck that was traveling in front of Woldt’s vehicle, because the officer thought that truck had knocked over some traffic cones. Woldt said that the truck and the police vehicle, with its door open, were blocking the road, so he started backing up in order to drive around the two stopped vehicles.

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Ever wondered how much a conviction for a DUI in Los Angeles will really cost you? A recent study from InsuranceQuotes.com provides some insights.losangelesDUI-insurance-rates

The website took a look at the average increases in vehicle insurance rates after drivers get a ticket for a moving violation. Insurers raised their rates the most for drivers arrested for DUI/DWI; the average premium for the entire country almost doubled, increasing by 94 percent.

Insurers in California, however, are even tougher on their customers. California has the third highest average rate increase after a DUI–a whopping 189.34%! (But Golden State drivers can be glad they don’t live in North Carolina, where the average increase is 333.85%, or in Hawaii, where they’ll pay an average 293.79% more for auto insurance after a DUI.)

Reckless driving will also get you a hefty increase in your auto insurance costs. The average rate increase for California drivers is 189.34%, second only to Hawaii’s 290.68%. Speeding apparently does not cause the same degree of concern for insurers, since the average premiums in California increase by 37.83% for that offense. (California has the eighth highest average premium increase in the U.S.)

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Prosecutors sometimes use a “relation-back” calculation to determine blood alcohol content when charging someone with a Los Angeles DUI. The theory is that chemists or other experts can look at the results of a blood test taken a few hours after an arrest and calculate what the BAC content would have been at the time the police officer pulled the driver over. judge-rules-in-DUI-case

Now a judge in Vermont has ruled that the state can’t use such evidence.

According to WCAX and NECN (New England Cable News), Judge Howard Van Benthuysen of the Orleans County Criminal Court ruled that the “relation-back” calculations are unreliable. He cited scientific evidence that shows alcohol leaves people’s bloodstreams at very different rates.

With his decision, Judge Van Benthuysen threw out the BAC in 25 DUI driving cases before the court. There’s no word yet about whether or not the prosecutor will appeal the ruling to a higher court. In Michigan, meanwhile, the state’s appeals court has ruled that operating your car in a driveway while under the influence does not constitute DUI.

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Police officers are not selective about who they arrest for DUI in Los Angeles and other cities. Celebrity, political figures—even people who have distinguished themselves for their courageous actions—may find themselves facing these charges.Navy SEAL Rob ONeill-DUI

According to media reports, former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill faces DUI charges in Montana after police officers in Butte-Silver Bow County found him passed out in a car in the parking lot of a convenience store. O’Neill claimed that he was the person who killed Osama bin Laden when the Navy Seals cornered him in a house in Pakistan.

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When a police officer suspects someone of DUI in Los Angeles, the officer will usually ask the driver to take a breathalyzer test. Under California Vehicle Code 23612, a driver who refuses could face fines, mandatory jail time and loss of license for a year if the court convicts him/her of DUI.  4th-amendment-los-angeles-DUI

A case now before the Supreme Court of the United States could force California and 11 other states to change such laws. Judging from the questions posed by the Justices during oral arguments on April 20th, the court appeals skeptical about states’ contentions that public safety issues should outweigh Fourth Amendment concerns.

Both Minnesota and North Dakota have laws similar to California’s “implied consent” statute, making it a crime to refuse chemical testing when officers suspect DUI. The Supreme Court consolidated appeals in three separate cases–one from Minnesota and two from North Dakota–into one case, Birchfield v. North Dakota. The defendants in these cases either served time for refusing a breathalyzer or felt they were pressured into submitting to one, leading to convictions on DUI charges.

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