Articles Posted in DUI Crime and Punishment

If statistics alone could get people to change their behavior, drivers might pause before getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But as you know empirically—perhaps because you’ve been arrested recently for DUI, or perhaps because a loved one just called you from jail in emotional distress because of an arrest—it’s not so simple. Why do drivers make poor/reckless decisions? And what can be done about the problem of DUI—on a community-wide or city-wide level—to make things safer for everyone?fix-society-dui-problem-258x300

In this post and a subsequent one, we’ll take an unbiased (well, as unbiased as possible) look at the science and possible solutions.

You probably are already all too familiar with facts like these from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention:

Breath, blood and urine–law enforcement officials use a variety of tests to determine if they should charge a driver with DUI. Here’s a look at the science behind the various types of tests and what you should know about the pros and cons of each in the event that police arrest you for driving under the influence.

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School Testing

Measuring your breath

Do you have an extra $7,300 to spare? If you’d have trouble coming up with that kind of cash, you need to think carefully before you get behind the wheel when you’re under the influence!costs-of-a-los-angeles-DUI-calculated

Just paying the fines and court costs for a DUI conviction could leave you struggling to make ends meet. And that doesn’t include the other expenses that you could face along the way for legal fees, spikes in your insurance premiums, lost work time, the installation of an interlock ignition device, and beyond.

For the sake of this analysis, we’ll take a first time DUI—no accident or personal injury involved—as the basis for guesstimating your expenses.

Recent studies commissioned by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington State after it legalized usage of the drug. This fact makes it clear that states need good ways to get drivers under the influence of marijuana off the road. But there’s a big problem. To date, there’s no reliable and widely accepted method of measuring levels of marijuana in a driver’s system.  marijuana-breathalyzer-300x169

It would be great if companies could develop the equivalent of an alcohol breathalyzer for testing for motorists who are DUI for cannabis. Law enforcement officials have been relying on breathalyzer technology to estimate blood alcohol levels for decades. In addition, there’s a clear-cut agreement of what constitutes DUI; all 50 states accept a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater as the dividing line.

But it isn’t that easy when it comes to determining DUI for marijuana.  First, police need a roadside method of measuring levels of cannabis’s main active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in a driver’s system. There are a few companies and university researchers that are attempting to solve this challenge right now, and some are already marketing devices.

It’s the call that no parent wants but too many of us receive. “Mom, Dad, I’m at the police station. I’ve been charged with DUI.”teen-dui-los-angeles

As you drive to pick up your wayward teen, your emotions range from relief that your child is safe to anger that she made such poor choices to anxiety about how this arrest will impact her future.

You’re not alone. Many parents in the U.S. have gone through this experience. The National Organization for Youth Safety says that 25 percent of all car crashes involved an underage drinking driver. The CDC reports that in 2014, 17 percent of drivers aged 16 to 20 who were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a blood alcohol contact of .08 percent or higher.

The last thing you want after a DUI arrest and/or conviction is another traffic infraction on your driving record. While some difficult driving situations might be unavoidable (you can’t control what other drivers are doing on the road), there are some ways that you can reduce your risk of another citation by practicing safe driving behaviors. Here are some suggestions culled from various online sources.drowsy-driver-DUI-los-angeles-300x166

•    Don’t drink (or do drugs or smoke pot) and drive again.

This one may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many people don’t seem to learn from their first DUI arrest.

Whether you ran a light on Sunset after partying too hard at Chateau Marmont; found yourself in police custody after speeding on Mulholland following an industry party in the hills; or faced an agonizing night behind bars after being stopped at a checkpoint near the 101, you’re feeling emotionally hung over from your DUI arrest. That’s natural, even if you did nothing wrong or if the charges against you are relatively minor.leaning-tower-of-pisa-DUI-300x168

It is possible, though, that your recent DUI arrest constituted one of the biggest mistakes in your life. Perhaps you hurt someone or damaged property or just embarrassed yourself hugely in front of work colleagues. And now the guilt is tearing you up. But it’s crucial to take a breath, be strategic and keep what’s happening to you in perspective.

First of all: we all make mistakes. Second of all, we cannot change the past. Those are both trite sayings, but they’re both true and appropriate to the moment.

A conviction for DUI can shatter your life. You may have spent some time in jail. You could be facing thousands of dollars in fines. You may have to go DUI classes. You can lose your license; and even after you get it back, you may face the embarrassment of having an ignition interlock device installed in your car. The incident can take away not only your self-respect but also the respect of your family, your friends and your work colleagues.comeback-after-a-DUI-conviction-300x169

So how do you get past a DUI conviction? What can you do to rebuild your life and get it back on track? You might want to extract insight–not from the experts—but rather from people who have lived this experience and who really understand what true recovery is going to take.

Life After DUI: Attempting to Start Over without Really Starting Over

New technologies will be changing the approach to dealing with DUIs in the coming years. Drivers will have better ways to monitor their own blood alcohol levels, and the vehicles they drive could come equipped to prevent them from driving if they’ve overindulged. Meanwhile lawmakers and law enforcement officers may gain at least one new tool to help them detect DUI drivers and get them off the road.tostitos-dui-prevention-tech

Determining sobriety

Suppose you’ve gone to a bar with a few friends and had a couple of drinks over the course of an evening. When it comes time to leave, you feel completely sober…but you have to wonder, since you’re a responsible driver, if it’s really safe to be behind the wheel. (As you probably know, alcohol impairs your ability to make good decisions.)

Most DUI arrests don’t get a lot of attention from the general public or news media unless they involve a celebrity and/or result in a horrendous accident. Over the last two decades, however, there have been several arrests for DUI that have attracted widespread media notice and/or gone viral because they are simply so outrageous or bizarre.crazy-los-angeles-DUIs-of-21st-century-300x144

Here’s a sampling.

The family that drinks together…

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