One of the most discouraging aspects of being a police officer on the lookout for cases of DUI in Los Angeles must be the number of repeat offenders that they find on the road. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not limited to LA or to the State of California, as this case from Tulsa, Oklahoma, clearly illustrates.multiple-DUI-arrests

The website Tulsa World reports an officer with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol arrested Ivan Ramirez on Thursday, October 20th, for DUI and transporting an open container (among other offenses). The same trooper had just stopped Ramirez three days earlier and arrested him for DUI at that time, too.

Getting picked up twice in one week for DUI is bad enough, but Ramirez made matters worse on that Thursday night. The trooper pulled over Ramirez’s Honda, which had been moving erratically. The trooper recognized Ramirez and smelled alcohol on his breath. He also knew that Ramirez didn’t have a license, because the officer had confiscated it on the night of the first arrest.

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With Election Day just a few weeks away, proponents and opponents of California’s Proposition 64 are weighing in on how the legalization of marijuana could impact the incidence of DUI in Los Angeles and other jurisdictions throughout the state.prop-64-los-angeles-DUI

Proposition 64 would decriminalize the use of marijuana in California by adults 21 years of age or older. The law would allow people to grow up to six marijuana plants in their own homes, as long as the public couldn’t see those plants. The state would reap big financial benefits, collecting a tax on the sale of marijuana (15 percent) and on the cultivation of marijuana flowers ($9.25 per ounce) and marijuana leaves ($2.75 per ounce).

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June requiring warrants for blood tests for drivers suspected of DUI has continued to have repercussions throughout the United States. Now the Minnesota Supreme Court has decided that police cannot compel a driver to provide a urine sample for a DUI test unless they have a warrant. This ruling could set a precedent that dramatically changes the way that police in California handle cases of DUI in Los Angeles and other jurisdictions.MN-supreme-court

The Minnesota Supreme Court handed down a unanimous ruling in two cases: State v. Thompson and State V. Trahan. (Two justices did abstain, however.) In the Thompson case, the judges rejected arguments that a urine test is just part of a Constitutionally-valid search that police can conduct when they arrest someone.

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The WalletHub website says that drivers who convicted of a DUI can expect a rate increase of as much as 30 percent on their vehicle insurance. But all drivers who have a DUI in Los Angeles on their driving record may not face that same increase. Different insurance companies handle such infractions differently and consider several factors when making their decisions.rich-driver-los-angeles-DUI

The Consumer Federation of America has released a study saying that one big factor is how rich a driver is. In a study that tested premiums quoted by five large insurers in 10 different cities, the group found that:

•    Upper-income drivers with DUI often pay less than good drivers of moderate means with no accidents or tickets on their driving records. (70 percent of the 30 test cases.)
•    Moderate-income drivers with perfect records pay more than upper-income drivers who caused an accident in which someone was interested. (53 percent of the 38 test cases)
•    Moderate-income good drivers often pay more than upper-income drivers with multiple points on their record. (In more than 50 percent of the 36 cases)

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While no one who is DUI in Los Angeles is safe from harming themselves or others, some drivers get themselves in more difficult positions than others. Here are a few examples:car-DUI-potomac-river

•    In Montgomery County, Maryland, a 26-year old man drove his car through a gate, onto a ferry and into the Potomac River around 1:30 a.m. on the night of October 7th. Although White’s Ferry wasn’t open at the time, a ferry captain who lived nearby heard the man’s screams and was able to rescue him. Police charged the driver with DUI.

•    A 43-year-old woman from Clearwater, Florida, drove for three miles on the wrong side of U.S. 19 near Tarpon Springs. During her northbound trip in the southbound lanes, Anna Marie Sosa avoided a head-on collision with another vehicle only because the other driver was able to take evasive action. (The other car did suffer minor damage to the bumper.) A police officer finally stopped the woman and charged her with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

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Police officers are all too familiar with injuries and deaths caused by a driver who is both speeding and DUI in Los Angeles. A few hours south of LA, a race between two young and allegedly intoxicated drivers in the San Diego area has left a passenger in one car dead.Los-Angeles-DUI-and speeding

Residents along East H Street in Chula Vista have often complained to authorities about the vehicles that race along that road. In the early morning hours of Saturday, October 8th, Jose Molina Ramirez, 22, and Nicholas Nesbitt, 22, pitted their vehicles against each other with fatal consequences. While traveling at 100 mph, Ramirez lost control of his car, went careening across the median (cutting two magnolia trees in half) and then moving across the traffic lanes opposite from the ones he had been traveling on. (Fortunately he did not hit any vehicles traveling in this direction.)

While Ramirez and his front seat passenger managed to escape unharmed, the back seat passenger, 22-year-old Sergio Isai Ramirez, was not wearing a seatbelt. He was killed on impact.

Neighbors reported hearing screeching tires and a loud crash at the time of the accident.

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Some drivers charged with DUI in Los Angeles have had a life-long struggle with alcohol. No matter what the consequences, they can’t stop drinking. DUI-with-children

Michelle Colby of Valparaiso, Indiana, may have such a problem. After making bail on a DUI charge stemming from a crash involving five children last April, she is now back in jail after failing a home breath test.

On April 29th, Colby was carrying five young passengers, including two of her own children, when she failed to yield to another vehicle when making a turn. The driver of the other car and all of Colby’s passengers ended up in the hospital. The crash threw a child and a dog out of Jeep; the child survived, but the dog did not. Police at the scene said that Colby had bloodshot eyes and alcohol on her breath; a breathalyzer test showed a 0.22 blood alcohol reading.

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Drivers convicted of DUI in Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare Counties are no longer the only Californians required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for a first-time DUI. On Wednesday, September 28th, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1046, which extends the four-county pilot programs to the entire state. Motorists do have some breathing room, however; the law won’t go into effect until January 1, 2019.Senate Bill 1046

Senator Jerry Hill, who sponsored the legislation, said that the new law will save lives. “We’ve already seen this to be true in the four counties conducting the pilot program: Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) have saved lives by preventing more than 1 million attempts to drink and drive since 2010,” he noted.

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Some drivers at risk of an arrest for a Los Angeles DUI may think that curling up in the back seat and taking a nap may help them avoid the charges. But it doesn’t always work that way.nap-in-car-los-angeles--DUI

Pennsylvania’s Superior Court has ruled that Michelle Starry of Westmoreland County should face charges for DUI. Westmoreland County President Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. had dismissed the charges, perhaps because Starry wasn’t actually behind the wheel when they arrested her.

According to pennlive.com, Starry had been drinking heavily when she slammed her Hyundai into a tree in Loyalsock Township in January 2014. Emergency responders who arrived at the scene of the crash a short time later found her sound asleep in the back seat.

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When Uber wants to move into an area, one claim it often makes is that its service will cut down on the number of DUIs. The reasoning is that people who have consumed enough alcohol to risk charges of DUI in Los Angeles and other cities would rather pay the lower Uber fare than go to jail.uber-los-angeles-DUI-prevention

In January 2015, Uber released a report conducted in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that seemed to show the ride-sharing service was making an impact on DUIs. It stated that “In California, Uber’s home state and largest market, DUI crashes fell by 60 per month among drivers under 30 in markets where Uber operates following the launch of uberX.”

But researchers from the University of Oxford are disputing such claims. A study in a recent issue in the American Journal of Epidemiology found no noticeable impact on the number of DUI driving fatalities in cities where Uber operates.

David Kirk and Noli Brazil analyzed the DUI driving statistics from 2009 through 2014 in the 100 most populated metro areas in the U.S. They found no change in fatalities when Uber came into the market, even during peak drinking hours.

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