Articles Posted in Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

California driving under the influence (DUI) penalties are harsh. Complex state statutes control DUI driving penalties, with a range of possible sentences. A DUI can result in thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, mandatory alcohol treatment programs, and loss of driver’s license. The maximum penalty for a first DUI conviction in California is $3,600 in expenses, six months in jail, six-month license suspension (10 months for blood alcohol concentration [BAC] levels of 0.15% or more), vehicle impoundment for 30 days, and a mandatory interlock breath device in your vehicle. If you’re about to lose your driver’s license or driving privileges after a DUI in Los Angeles, here’s what you need to know.california_driver_license_los-angeles-DUI-suspension-300x226

Understanding DUI License Suspension Penalties in California

Speak to a qualified DUI attorney to avoid or minimize penalties, such as the following:

A Los Angeles DUI arrest and/or conviction can be a wakeup call for many people. It forces them to confront the fact that they may have a problem with addiction to alcohol or drugs and need to seek treatment.2-10-17-dui-los-angeles-addiction-300x169

The problem is finding a treatment program that will be effective in helping them fight and overcome their addiction.

Is AA really effective?

In California, penalties for a first time DUI can take a big chunk out of a bank account—at least $1,800 in penalties and fines, plus the cost of attending DUI driving school (if required), and the expense of installing an ignition interlock system, which courts can now require for even first-time offenders. DUI-los-angeles-effect-on-auto-insurance-300x199

But there’s another expense that some drivers convicted of DUI don’t immediately consider—the huge rise that they’re likely to see in their auto insurance premium rates. According to the financial website nerdwallet.com, average good drivers in California can expect their insurance premiums to more than double if they are convicted of DUI. The nerdwallet research revealed that a 25-year old with a DUI would pay about $1,300, while one with a DUI on record would pay about $4,000. A 50-year-old who normally paid about $1,060 could expect to pay $3,275 after a DUI conviction.

The extra cost of auto insurance as a result of a DUI will depend upon:

When California residents voted to permit the use of recreational marijuana last November, the state became one of eight U.S. jurisdictions (along with Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia) to permit the practice. An additional 20 states have laws allowing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.marijuana-DUI-science-los-angeles

While the new marijuana laws may offer some relief to people suffering from painful illnesses—and provide a popular alternative to alcohol for those who want to party or simply relax— they are posing a real dilemma for law enforcement officials charged with keeping DUI drivers off the road. The problem? At present there is no widely accepted test or measurement that defines whether a person is too intoxicated by marijuana to drive safely.

Major differences between marijuana and alcohol

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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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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Most police officers in the City of Angels take very seriously their responsibility to get Los Angeles DUI drivers off the road. Occasionally, however, some law enforcement officials may turn a blind eye to someone’s drinking and driving offense. When authorities discover their actions, those officers find that they’re got legal troubles of their own.boyle-heights-los-angeles-DUI-police

The Los Angeles Times recently reported on two officers, Rene Ponce and Irene Gomez, accused by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office of filing a false report and conspiracy to commit an act injurious to the public.

The case against the officers involves an incident from two years ago. On the night of October 26, 2014, a Mustang driven by an unnamed driver slammed into two cars parked on a neighborhood street. When the driver tried to flee, people in the neighborhood who had been awakened by the crash gave chase. Larry Chavez, who held the driver down until the officers arrived, said that the man was very drunk.

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The State of California law recognizes that children involved in incidents of DUI in Los Angeles are at special risk; in fact, California Vehicle Code 23572 mandates enhancements in penalties for anyone driving DUI with kids in the car. For a first offense, convicted DUI drivers have to serve a mandatory 48 hours in jail. A second offense results in a 10-day jail stay and a third offense in a 30-day jail sentence. Drivers caught DUI for a fourth time with children in their vehicles could spend three months in jail.children-at-risk-DUI-los-angeles

A September 5th crash in Cuyama, California, illustrates just why authorities are so concerned. Jerald Holman was traveling westbound on Highway 166 when his Toyota Camry drifted into the eastbound lane. When Holman hit a Chevrolet in that lane, the impact ejected two young passengers—a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl—from the car. Emergency responders pronounced both children dead at the scene. The children’s mother, Todeshia Lewis, was also a passenger in the car. She and Holman suffered minor injuries.
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Drivers arrested for DUI in Los Angeles often leave a very visible trail of damage in their wake: wrecked vehicles (theirs and/or others’), downed utility poles or traffic signals, broken windows in storefronts. But sometimes the damage spreads a lot further.DUI-fire

According to a story in the August 29th Los Angeles Times, 44-year-old Rene Ilene Hogan was driving under the influence when she started a fire that set ablaze 450-plus acres of grass and forest in Calaveras County.

Hogan was driving a 2002 Kia Rio but didn’t realize that her rear tire was flat. She continued traveling until the tire wore down to the wheel rim, causing sparks to fly. Some of the sparks hit the very dry grass along the highway, setting off several fires. Her Kia eventually caught fire as well, but Hogan kept driving, apparently oblivious to the damage she had caused and her own peril.

Motorists who saw her car on fire tried to alert her, but Hogan didn’t notice them. Finally, one car pulled in front of her, forcing her to stop. The driver and nearby residents managed to pull Hogan from the car before she suffered any burns. Police later charged her with driving under the influence of a narcotic analgesic and cannabis, as well as driving on a suspended license.

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If a driver is under age 21 in California, state law (Vehicle Code 23140) makes it easier for prosecutors to convict them of DUI in Los Angeles. Instead of the typical blood alcohol content measurement of 0.08 required for a DUI conviction, California’s DUI law lowers that standard to 0.01 for someone under age 21. This law complies with federal requirements, which set the BAC standard for underage drivers to 0.02.under-21-los-angeles-DUI

Tennessee used to comply with those standards as well. But a new law—actually intended to make the state’s drunk driving penalties tougher—raised the BAC standard to 0.08 for all drivers in the state. Lawmakers thought they were simply making the law consistent for all adults over age 18, but the change has threatened the state’s federal road funding.

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