Police who arrest drivers arrested for DUIs in Los Angeles sometimes observe the motorist engaging in additional risky behaviors behind the wheel: talking on a cell phone or texting, for example. Now you can add another item to the list of dangerous distractions: Pokémon Go.
A young driver in Port Orchard, Washington, was apparently drinking, driving and playing Pokémon Go on the evening of Saturday, August 6th. Witnesses called police when they observed her driving erratically while using her mobile phone.
The officers tracked the unnamed driver to a nearby waterfront park (a favorite spot for Pokémon Go players). When they questioned her, they found she was underage and under the influence, and she was driving on a suspended license. They arrested her on both charges.
Meanwhile, in Plains Township, Pennsylvania, one quick thinker tried to use his Pokémon Go playing as a means to get out of a DUI. Dominik Gulius crashed his vehicle into a light post, but when officers came to investigate he told them, he had lost control of his car because he was playing the popular mobile game. But the responding police officers didn’t buy his story, especially once they smelled alcohol on his breath.
The police took Gulius to the Luzerne County DUI Center and tested his blood alcohol content. They plan to charge him with DUI.
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, 80 percent of vehicle crashes involve some sort of driver inattention. But the punishments for at least one type of distracted driving—using a handheld wireless cell phone—are much lighter than penalties for a DUI. A first-time DUI offender can expect to pay fines up to $1,000 plus more than $2,600 in penalties. For a first offense of the cell phone laws, however, there’s only a base fine of $20 with the possibility of penalty assessments that could increase that amount to a maximum of $60.
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.