Articles Posted in DUI Field Sobriety Tests

The statistics paint a scary picture. If you’re arrested just one time for driving under the influence in Pasadena, your odds of getting arrested again for the same crime spike — a lot.pasadena-dui-vortex.jpg

A week ago, prior to your arrest, you might have had a 1% chance of ever being arrested for DUI. Today, your chance of getting re-arrested might be 4%. (Those numbers are made up to illustrate the point).

Every DUI arrest is different. Perhaps you will “learn your lesson” (if, indeed, you have a lesson to learn). But to understand your Southern California DUI arrest in context, you need to focus attention not just on the past but also on the present and the future.

Even if you didn’t hurt someone while driving DUI in Pasadena, you likely found the whole experience traumatic and a bit weird. If you’ve been replaying the stop/accident in your head, over and over again, don’t worry. You’re not going crazy. This is a natural cognitive response many people have.

To construct an effective defense — and at the same time reduce your risk for getting in similar trouble in the future — you may need to investigate the DUI in great detail. Sometimes, this close analysis can lead to evidence that can exonerate you. For instance, perhaps your breathalyzer test malfunctioned. Or perhaps you drove off the road because of a man-made obstructed or bad signage. A Pasadena DUI criminal defense attorney can help you with this investigation and analysis.

Moving on with Your Life — Safely — After Your DUI

Recognize that the past is past. Perhaps you screwed up. Perhaps you were just unlucky. Focus not on the past but rather on your current and future decisions. What steps can you take to fix your problems with alcohol (if you have any) and prevent future run-ins with the law?

To start the process, get in touch with a seasoned Pasadena DUI criminal defense lawyer. The team at the Kraut Law Group has the wherewithal, sensitivity and track record to deliver results. Find out more about what we do on our website, or call us to schedule a free consultation now.

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To prevent a Beverly Hills DUI arrest, you should rely on designated drivers. Right? designated-driver-beverly-hills-DUI.jpg

That’s the conventional wisdom.

But a new study out of the University of Florida in Gainesville is putting that conventional wisdom to the test. According to a June 10th article at LiveScience.com, “roughly 40% of designated drivers still imbibe when they go out, many to a level that would impair them behind the wheel.”

Researchers surveyed club goers in a college town. They gave breath tests to over 1,000 people, including 165 people who labeled themselves “designated drivers.” They tested these people twice – once at 10 P.M and once at 2:30 A.M. 40% – that’s 4 out of 10! – of the so-called designated drivers drank. 70% of these people had BACs of between 0.02% and 0.049%. 18% – nearly a fifth of all designated drivers — had BAC levels in excess of 0.05%.

As regular readers of this Beverly Hills DUI blog might remember, that 0.05% figure has been in the news a lot recently. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) wants to lower the DUI cut-off down to 0.05%. (Currently, the Southern California DUI cut off is still at 0.08% for most adults).

Adam Barry, an Assistant Professor of Health Education, helped run this study. He told reporters that many designated drivers probably think that they’re all right to hop behind the wheel… even when they shouldn’t. Barry issued a sobering statement: “if you’re going to be a designated driver, you should abstain from alcohol use completely.”

That may be easier said and done. But if you’ve already been arrested for driving under the influence in Beverly Hills, what can you do now to contend with your charges and make better decisions about your future?

Rather than relying on intuition or building your Beverly Hills DUI defense based on what you read on the web or hear from friends, connect with the team at the Kraut Law Group to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Attorney Michael Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated ex-prosecutor who has earned a reputation as an extremely experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. He’s helped many clients just like you deal with complex DUI in Beverly Hills charges.

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Getting into a Glendale DUI accident is awful, whether you are a PA, a big film executive… or even a legendary stripper.carol-doda-dui.jpg

76-year-old Carol Doda – who falls into that third category – got arrested a few weeks ago, when she smashed her Acura into another vehicle on Jackson Street in Northern California, outside of 5A5 Steak Lounge.

Doda was a topless performer in the 1960’s at the Condor Club in North Beach — widely considered to be the “world’s first topless bar.” In one of her most famous acts, engineers lowered Doda topless onto a piano by guy wires, her 44D breasts available for the whole crowd to see. By the end of the 1960s, Doda also performed bottomless.

Her charm and silicon enhanced bustline made her the object of much conversation and heated debate. Today, she owns Champagne & Lace Lingerie Boutique on San Francisco’s Union Street.

Getting back to Doda’s DUI… according to police reports, the Condor Club star smelled like alcohol and confessed to drinking “a couple of drinks” at a local bar before getting behind the wheel. “Smelling like alcohol” is a hallmark symptom of DUI in Glendale (and elsewhere). Other common symptoms include bloodshot/glassy eyes, trouble following directions, sudden mood shifts, inability to understand or answer officer questions, and failure to perform to field sobriety tests, like the “stand on one leg,” “count backwards by 3’s,” and “finger to the nose” tests. Police wanted to give Doda a field sobriety test, but they feared that she might slip and get injured. At Mission Station, officers tried to administer DUI blood and breath tests; Doda could barely understand their questions!

(If you refuse a Glendale DUI breath test or blood test, your license automatically gets suspended.)

While celebrity DUI cases can be titillating – and certainly interesting to read about – they can also inform the way you think about your own Glendale DUI defense.

The truth is no one is above the law. Whether you are a famous stripper, a hugely influential politician, a sport star or a mega A list actress, the laws of human biology – and the laws of Southern California DUI – still apply to you.

The question is: what should you do now?

Whether you stand accused of a serious felony, pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23153, or you “just” got busted for weaving in and out of lanes on the 134, look to an experienced Glendale DUI defense lawyer at the Kraut Law Group for smart, capable, and compassionate assistance. Mr. Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated former prosecutor, who won a 99+% success rate at jury trials while working as a prosecutor. He maintains strong relationships with colleagues throughout the Southern California criminal defense system.

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Now for another Glendale DUI “true or false” quiz. Here’s how it works. You read the synopsis of six stories that may or may not have happened. Try to guess which three stories are made up and which actually occurred in real life. glendale-dui-quiz.jpg

Here we go:

1. Only in China: 10 employees shove their boss’s vehicle home, after he gets too inebriated to drive.

If you think punishments for Glendale DUI are harsh, they’re nothing compared to what the country of China metes out. Not only do convicted offenders get steep fines, but they also can spend six months or longer in jail for first misdemeanor DUI offenses. In any event… 10 Chinese workers and their boss partied too hard at a restaurant. Soon, no one was sober enough to drive. So the boss convinced his workers to push his car all the way home. The journey took 45 minutes!

2. Woman who did not like the results of her breathalyzer bites off cop’s thumb.

A woman in Louisiana was displeased with the results on her breathalyzer, which found her to be over 2.5 times the legal limit for Glendale DUI (0.08% BAC). She exhibited her displeasure by mangling the thumb of the arresting officer with her teeth. She later told authorities that she was “confused” and thought he had actually instructed her to bite him. Two years after her arrest, she was sadly institutionalized.

3. A woman arrested for DUI had 23 cats in the car with her!

A Meriden, Connecticut woman was pulled over on I-95, when an officer saw her veer suddenly across three lanes of traffic. During her subsequent field sobriety test, officers heard strange noises coming from the car. Upon inspection, they found 23 different cats in her car. Only 5 of them were in cages. The rest were freely moving through the vehicle. Obviously, the woman was arrested on animal cruelty charges. But the big kicker is that she blew a 0.23 on her breath test – the same as the number of cats in her vehicle!

4. Vladimir Putin often purposefully drove drunk to “sharpen his driving skills.”

Former Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, is famous for his rigorous self-discipline and eccentric forms of self-improvement. The ex-KGB op taught himself to drive under the influence “just in case” he ever needed that skill. The former Russian President even had advisers videotape his performances so he could improve his response times.

5. Man shows up for driving test while insanely under the influence.

A man in Romania had his license suspended for two years for driving under the influence. When he returned to the Romanian version of the DMV to retest, the organizers saw him stumbling around. Officers gave him an alcohol test, which he promptly failed.

6. Mother and her boyfriend force 13-year-old to drive, because both adults were DUI.

A 32-year-old woman and her boyfriend downed tons of wine at a local pizzeria. Since both the mom and her boyfriend had multiple DUIs on their record, they forced the woman’s 13-year-old son to drive them home. The young man became confused and disoriented and started driving in the wrong way. But his mom and her boyfriend were too busy making out in the back seat to pay any heed.

If you need help with your Glendale DUI case, connect with the team at the Kraut Law Group today for an insightful, useful free consultation.

ANSWER KEY:

1 (true); 2 (false); 3 (false); 4 (false); 5 (true); 6 (true)

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As someone who’s hoping to defend against a Los Angeles DUI charge, you need solid, objective facts.uncommon-los-angeles-dui-facts.jpg

According to one survey from 10 years ago, 1.4 million drivers on U.S. roads get busted for DUI annually, and crashes that are “alcohol related” lead to $45 billon of damages a year.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that over 100,000 people died in alcohol related crashes between 2000 and 2005. Of course, the definition of “alcohol related” is somewhat misleading. A crash can be considered “alcohol related,” even if the driver who caused the accident had not been drinking. For instance, let’s say you consumed a few drinks (not enough to be over the legal limit for DUI in Los Angeles of 0.08%). Then a sober driver blew through a stop sign and hit your car. That would be an “alcohol related” accident, even though the sober driver caused it, and you weren’t over the limit.

Of course, unsurprisingly, drivers who are under the influence are much more likely to cause these crashes – one large study found that fewer than 70% of sober drivers caused their collisions, while 94% DUI drivers were deemed responsible.

If you drive at more than twice the legal limit (say, 0.16% BAC), you’re 300 times more likely to get into a crash that kills someone that you’d be if you were sober. A “sobering statistic,” if there ever was one.

Alcohol is not the only factor that can lead to dangerous driving.

A lack of sleep, distraction, drugs, prescription medications, and even negative volatile emotions scan all radically escalate your likelihood of getting into a serious collision. Some studies even suggest that certain common activities may be way worse than driving under the influence.

For instance, one Virginia Tech study from several years ago found that truckers who texted were something like 21 more times likely than non-texting truckers to get into collisions. That means, perhaps, the texting while driving is even more dangerous than DUI driving.

Of course, the stigma against texting is nothing compared to the stigma against DUI driving.

Even though it’s not legal to text while behind the wheel in L.A., look around the next time you come to a stoplight on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax (for instance). You will likely see at least one driver buried in his or her phone.

Technically speaking, why does DUI create such risk? Alcohol does multiple things to your capacities, none of them good:

• It inhibits co-ordination. If you see a deer or bike rider dart in front of you, you need to coordinate your body to avoid hitting that animal or person. But if you’re under the influence, your coordination is more slack, so you’re at greater risk for a collision;
• Alcohol damages your judgment. How fast is too fast on the road? It is that a stop sign or a yield sign? Your ability to make judgments like these are mission critical. Unfortunately, alcohol can deeply impair these abilities.
• Alcohol can affect your vision. We don’t let blind people drive for a reason – you need acute visual senses to navigate safely. Drinking a lot of alcohol can effectively render you — if not blind, than certainly less than 20/20 sighted –and thus make you more dangerous.

After Your Los Angeles DUI – What to Do Next?

The team at the Kraut Law Group can help you appreciate the charges against you and build a strong defensive case. Mr. Kraut is an ex-prosecutor, who retains robust and friendly relationships with his former prosecutorial colleagues. He is well-known and respected by judges, police officers, and other important players in the Southern California legal defense community.

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Your Los Angeles DUI came at a strange time. After years of struggling to achieve some goal – perhaps a raise at your job, a successful relationship, or the conception of a child – you finally “broke through” and “made it.” For instance, maybe after sweating away, writing spec screenplays for 10 years, you finally optioned an original creative work to a big studio.armonty-bryant-dui-los-angeles.jpg

Given the great news in your personal or business life, an outsider might think that you’d be at minimal risk for doing something dangerous and destructive, like driving under the influence in Los Angeles.

But sometimes, rapid positive change can stimulate destructive behavior, just like unexpected negative change can do.

That sounds paradoxical, so let’s take a look at example.

In early May, Armonty Bryant, a new defensive end drafted by the Cleveland Browns, got arrested near East Central University in Oklahoma and charged with DUI. Per the police report, he made a left without signaling, attracting the attention of a police officer. The officer tried to get Bryant to take a breathalyzer test 10 separate times before the athlete agreed. Both Bryant and his passenger got arrested.

Bryant is no stranger to legal trouble. In 2012, police arrested him for felony distribution of marijuana in a school zone, a charge to which he pleaded no contest. Cleveland nevertheless chose him in the seventh round (217th pick overall) because, as the Browns coach put it “[he has moved] passed the mistakes that he has made and he’s ready to move on. He has matured.”

Bryant even released a statement about his past activities, shortly after the draft: “I feel like it was just a stupid move on my part. I should have been more mature about the situation and more focused on football, which is something I really want to do with my life. Now that I’ve gotten that second chance, I feel like I won’t let anyone down.”

Given that Bryant had turned his life around – he went from nearly-going-to-jail to playing-in-the-NFL – why on Earth would he have jeopardized everything by driving DUI?

This brings us back to the earlier point, which is that stressful events (even positive, exciting events) can lead us to take dangerous actions.

It’s not necessarily that we “get lost in the celebration of the moment” but rather that the wrenching changes caused by big life events (positive and negative) can make us feel helpless and out of control.

So what can you do, now that you’ve been hit with a Los Angeles DUI?

The team here at the Kraut Law Group in Los Angeles has extensive experience helping people like you move beyond their mistakes and fight charges vigorously.

Mr. Kraut is a former very high level prosecutor. He rose to the ranks of Senior Deputy District Attorney for L.A. He can help you figure out exactly what to do next, so you can start the process of putting your arrest behind you.

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In a recent post, we dissected three common excuses that drivers give just prior to collecting Pasadena DUIs. Whether you got pulled over after a rowdy evening at The Cheesecake Factory, or you had way too much sake at one of those revolving sushi restaurants in Old Town and then got busted driving back to the Caltech Campus, you’re searching for answers.pasadena-DUI-excuses.jpg

You want to find an astute Pasadena DUI defense attorney, and you also want to figure out what went wrong, so you can avoid ever “doing that” again.

Often, the subconscious messages that we use to talk to ourselves get us into trouble. Here are three common excuses that people make before they get behind the wheel and cause trouble, like DUI in Pasadena.

1. “I’ll compensate for the alcohol I’ve consumed by driving really slowly and being mindful.”

There is a neat logic to this approach. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.

When we approach tasks “with fresh eyes,” we often do better at them. It’s easier to win a video game, for instance, if you are fully invested in duking it out on the computer, instead of trying to carry on a conversation with your roommate at the same time.

Concentration = focus = power.

Unfortunately, concentration is not something that can be summoned at will. Nor can it be – except perhaps if you’re an advanced yogi – sustained indefinitely. So you might hop behind the wheel, with the full intention that you will “concentrate harder.” But even if you could muster extra concentration:

A) There’s no way to maintain that concentration indefinitely and B) Even with the “best concentration,” your reaction time may still be slowed due to the effects of the alcohol.

2. “I don’t mind dealing with a fine, license suspension, and even a little jail time.”

When you’re partying hard, the thought of “turning in for the night” may not appeal in the slightest. So, in the moment, you might dismiss the long-term ramifications of a Pasadena DUI conviction, such as jail time, court costs and fees, points on the license, mandatory alcohol school, and so forth, because they seem so far removed and abstract.

It’s a lot easier to hop into a car with a cute girl (or guy) and let the night “play out” in a free-for-all fashion than it is to reflect, soberly, on your rational risks. But it should be done!

3. “I’m not going to hurt anybody because I’m a safe driver.”

You’ve probably heard the statistic that 80% of people think they’re above average.

And you might think that you’re immune from this statistic!

But that’s the problem. The reality is that you’re biased. And if you’re the type of driver who’s willing to hop behind the wheel after having two or three (or seven) alcoholic drinks – and you’re still having thoughts like “I’m safer than the average driver – then there’s clearly a disconnect going on.

You want to make smart choices going forward. Connect with a Pasadena DUI defense lawyer at the Kraut Law Group today to figure out your next steps. Attorney Kraut is a highly respected, well-connected ex-prosecutor who can help you analyze and deal with your case with compassion and acumen.

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You made a mistake – a big one – now you face a Pasadena DUI charge.pasadena-dui-mistakes.jpg

The question is: Why? What errors, mental or otherwise, did you make before getting behind the wheel? Here are five very common errors of judgment, which often land otherwise community-oriented drivers behind bars, facing penalties like license suspension, mandatory IID installation, alcohol school, and exploding car insurance rates.

1. “I’ve only had x number of drinks, so I’m okay to get behind the wheel.”

You’ve see the charts – the ones that tell you that, if you’re X gender, and you weigh Y pounds, and then you can drink Z number of alcoholic drinks before becoming DUI in Pasadena.

While those charts can be helpful, they’re just rough guides. The body’s relative sensitivity to alcohol depends on a huge number of factors, including:
• Whether you’ve had food to eat or not;
• Whether you’re metabolically comprised in any way;
• How quickly the alcohol entered your system;
• Whether you’ve consumed other kinds of substances, such as over-the-counter medications.

2. “I smoked medicinal marijuana, and I only had one drink an hour ago, so I’m not DUI.”

Not necessarily!

First of all, you could get what’s known as a Pasadena drug DUI. For obvious reasons, it’s not legal (nor is particularly smart) to get behind the wheel after you’ve taken medicinal marijuana (or any strong medicine, for that matter).

When on meds, your ability to react rapidly and acutely to events degrades. You are slower. You are less likely to make the right decisions in emergencies. Etc.

3. “I’m only a few blocks from home – besides, I don’t want to have to leave my car at this party/bar overnight, because it would be a pain to do so.”

This kind of thinking might feel rational in the moment, but it’s definitely not.

The reason why it’s not, however, is elusive. Human beings have a difficult time understanding risks, particularly low percentage risks. If you’ve never driven a motorcycle before – if it’s an unfamiliar activity – you would never in a million years think to “just drive it a few blocks home” while under the influence. Because you recognize the inherent folly of doing that.

But if you know how to drive a car well, sober, you might reason that you could get away with it. In other words, the short-term convenience seems worth the small risk. But it’s really not! For instance, let’s say the odds are only one in 5,000 that you will get into a fatal accident. But if that happens, your life is literally over! The horror of that long-term “game over” consequence should trump the short-term inconvenience of having to take a cab, if you’re being strictly rational.

No matter what happened – why you got a Pasadena DUI arrest – you now need to contend with the consequences. The good news is that attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group is available to help you approach your case. As a former prosecutor — and as a Harvard Law School educated attorney with excellent connections within the legal community — attorney Kraut can help you with your Pasadena DUI case.

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If you’ve recently gotten arrested for driving under the influence in Los Angeles (or elsewhere), stories like the following undoubtedly will make you seethe because they confirm the public’s stereotypes about DUI drivers. son-dad-los-angeles-DUI.jpg

According to The Associated Press, a 10-year-old boy called 911 on his father, claiming that his dad was driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The young man considered jumping out of his dad’s Mercedes Benz on Interstate 95. His protestations and call to the police did not come in time – the father, 49-year-old Owen Gilman, plowed into a jeep driven by 22-year-old Michael Pernick, injuring Pernick and also causing injuries to the 10-year-old and his 12-year-old sister.

Fortunately, the children were not seriously hurt in the crash.

Pernick was transported to a local hospital, where he was listed in fair condition. The boy is recovering with his mother, Gilman’s ex-wife. He and his sister were reportedly “doing good, considering,” according to a report from The Day of New London. Gilman, meanwhile, was released from jail on a $250,000 bond.

The police gave Gilman a field sobriety test at the scene, which he allegedly failed. They also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Gilman was hit with a battery of charges, including alcohol or drug DUI, failure to follow at a reasonable distance, reckless driving, illegal sale of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, second degree vehicular assault, and risk of injury to a minor (two counts).

Lessons for dealing with your Los Angeles DUI Arrest

Whether the police pulled you over on Wilshire and Fairfax, after you and friends attended a wine and cheese at LACMA; or police stopped your son in Burbank, after he sped through a traffic light on Olive, you’re worried. You fear for your reputation and potential punishments. You also want to contextualize the scary incident and to avoid ever getting into a similar situation in the future.

Every driver makes bad judgments, now and again.

Hopefully, yours did not lead to the loss of life or serious injury. But even if you “royally” messed up – like the father in this story apparently did – you have options both to manage your legal crises and to move beyond your Los Angeles DUI. The thorough, experienced team with the Kraut Law Group in Los Angeles has the wherewithal, deep knowledge of Los Angeles DUI law and connections to deliver an effective defense for you. Please connect with our team today to set up a free, confidential discussion about your needs.

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The act of driving DUI in Los Angeles is dangerous enough. But when you combine a DUI charge with animal cruelty, the situation is almost unspeakable. John-Thomas-Naylor-los-angeles-dui.jpg

People do bad things, for reasons both understandable and opaque. Bearing that in mind, let’s take a look at a recent Los Angeles Weekly story about a local man named Thomas Naylor, who was arrested on July 7th, after witnesses saw him drive DUI on Washington Boulevard. They say Naylor stopped his car, and took out a “severely ill” dog named Cruiser, and dumped the dog on the ground. Fortunately, people saw this happen, and they took the dog to get emergency veterinary care. The animal was ultimately stabilized.

The outcome was not as positive for Naylor, however.

Police tracked him down and arrested him. He was charged with DUI, driving without a license, and intimidating witnesses as well as animal cruelty. Naylor recently pled no contest to the animal cruelty charge as part of the plea deal, and he got the other charges dropped. Naylor still faces a hefty sentence, however — a full year in county jail along with three years of formal probation.

Plus, he is no longer allowed to own a pet, and he must pay for the poor pit bull’s hospital bills.

The story does have a silver lining: Cruiser managed to heal from his sickness and get adopted into a new home.

Do Los Angeles DUI drivers always receive such hefty punishments?

One year in county jail is a long time. You can earn nearly that amount of jail time just for a conviction of a misdemeanor DUI, per California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) or 23152(b).

But punishment for Los Angeles DUI is not just limited to jail time.

Other kinds of nastiness may await you, even for a first time, non-injury misdemeanor DUI:

• The court may compel you to pay for and install an interlock ignition device (IID) in your vehicle. This machine will prevent you from operating your car or truck, unless you blow a sober breath into the machine;
• Mandatory alcohol education school;
• Spikes in your auto insurance rates (almost inevitable, if you’re convicted of DUI);
• A California driver’s license suspension;
• Stringent terms of probation;
• Serious court costs, fees, fines, etc.;
• Points on your license;
• Ratcheted punishments if/when you ever get arrested and convicted again for DUI or other crimes in Southern California.

So what can you do?

First and foremost, if you haven’t spoken with an experienced Southern California DUI defense attorney, connect with one ASAP. Michael Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated former prosecutor who has a wide range of experience with DUI cases. When he was a prosecutor, he earned a success rate in jury trials in excess of 99%. Connect with attorney Kraut now for help.

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