Articles Posted in DUI

For some people, one charge of DUI in Los Angeles is enough to make them resolve they will never again drive under the influence. They never want to go through the humiliating experience of arrest, a bond hearing and a court trial again. There are others, however, who never seem to get the message no matter how many times they go to court, pay fines or spend time in jail. los-angeles-dui-repeat-offenses

KDVR in Denver reports on one Colorado man who has somehow escaped jail time despite the fact that he’s had seven DUI arrests and five convictions. Albert Torres’ most recent DUI arrest came last November, when he ran a red light and nearly hit a police car. In July, a judge accepted the 45-year-old’s plea deal, which will require him to serve a year on work release and three years’ probation.

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In 2014, 9,967 people in the U.S. lost their lives in DUI-related crashes. Of that number, 882 deaths occurred in California, with some of those due to Los Angeles DUIs. But these figures don’t reflect the number of people whose lives are affected by DUI drivers, the victims’ families and friends as well as those injured in crashes involving alcohol or drugs.Larry-Haskell-Spokane-DUI-prosecutor

Larry Haskell, the prosecutor in Spokane, Washington, has had enough. He recently  announced changes to the DUI guidelines in his county that will make it tougher for drivers accused of driving under the influence to escape punishment. The changes are an attempt to reverse the rising number of DUIs, vehicular homicides and vehicular assaults in the county; to date, there have been 729 DUI arrests in the county this year, 323 more than at the same time in 2015.

Haskell also noted that over the Fourth of July holiday, police arrested 30 people for DUIs, and almost half (13) had previous DUI convictions.

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All too often drivers arrested for DUI in Los Angeles may come away from a crash unscathed while some innocent bystander suffers life-threatening or life-changing injuries. The latest out-of-state example comes from Denver, where a 19-year old under the influence of drugs crushed the legs of a man in a DUI-related crash.dylan-gottschling-DUI

Denver Channel 7 reported that 19-year old Dylan Gottschling was driving under the influence of two drugs—heroin and Xanax—when he slammed into the back of a parked SUV on July 4th. The SUV, pushed forward, struck another vehicle; unfortunately, Craig Towler had been standing between them.

The crash pinned Towler and crushed his two legs. To save his life, physicians had to amputate both legs below the knee.

Gottschling, arrested for DUI, reckless driving and vehicular assault, admitted he had been trying to change music on his phone when he hit the SUV. But police think there was more involved; they also charged the teen with texting while driving.

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Road construction workers have fairly terrifying jobs. They not only operate and move around heavy equipment weighing 10 tons or more (often much more); they also must work while vehicles just a few feet away hurtle past them at 50 and 60 miles per hour. Add to that mix a driver who’s operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol—enough to qualify him/her for a DUI in Los Angeles—and you’ve made a difficult situation even more dangerous.  freeway-dui-los-angeles-construction

According to New Orleans’ Times-Picayune, Earl William Maugham, Jr., caused serious injuries to four people at a construction site on US 61 in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. He first sideswiped an unoccupied Ford Truck, which he should have noticed, since it was flashing white and amber strobe lights marking the work zone. Then he slammed into a John Deere backhoe. The backhoe driver wasn’t injured, but Maugham continued on, jumping two raised center median curbs and eventually hitting four workers. Emergency workers took them to the hospital with moderate to severe injuries.
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The arrest of one person for DUI in Los Angeles usually affects several people: the driver, his/her family and his/her coworkers (if the driver ends up spending time in jail).  If the driver causes injury or death, the victim’s family also feels the pain. But a single DUI arrest generally does not impact the entire city or

On the island of Okinawa, Japan, however, an American sailor’s arrest is having a very large effect on the 19,000 U.S. military personnel stationed there. According to the New York Times, Japanese police are holding Petty Officer Aimee Mejia, age 21, on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Mejia allegedly crossed the center line of a highway on the island and struck two other vehicles, hurting a 35-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man.

As a result of the DUI incident, which occurred on June 4th, the U.S. military brass have banned all drinking for its service members in Japan and have confined those on Okinawa to base.

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Should the government be able to seize a vehicle driven by someone convicted of multiple DUIs in Los Angeles? California’s vehicle codes do permit temporary impoundment of motor vehicles driven by anyone convicted of even a first-time DUI. Although the law also allows for permanent seizure of vehicles of repeat (three or more time) DUI offenders, few jurisdictions take this option.New-Mexico-Lisa-Torraco-Daniel-Ivey-Soto-DUI-law

For DUI drivers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, however the scenario is quite different. They could permanently lose their vehicles after being arrested for DUI, despite an attempt by state legislators to curb this practice. Now a

District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the city’s seizure practice.

Many drivers charged with DUI in Los Angeles end up taking plea agreements – they get charges and penalties reduced by agreeing to admit guilt to lesser offenses. Judges usually accept such deals, but occasionally a new piece of information can change a judge’s mind.los-angeles-DUI-plea_agreement-tossed

A report on Fox2 in Detroit, Michigan, gave Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway a different perspective on an accused DUI driver. Hathaway had seen a story about 34-year-old Mlinzi McMillian, who was DUI in 2014 when he hit a semi-truck. The accident killed McMillian’s 12-year-old son as well as the younger McMillian’s 16-year-old stepbrother.

Although police originally charged McMillian with DUI causing death and reckless driving causing death, the results of the accused driver’s blood alcohol test were inconclusive. So prosecutors arranged a plea deal; McMillian would have to serve five years of probation. He never spent a day in jail, and he kept his license.

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You can be arrested for Los Angeles DUI whether you’re an out-of-state tourist tooling around in a rented convertible or a homegrown Angelino driving a car you’ve owned since high school. However, no matter what vehicle you drive, your legal problems will be significantly compounded if underage kids or teenagers are in the car with

Consider the following situation out of Tennessee. Police responded to a request for help from a high school band: their charter bus, parked in front of a museum, apparently had a problem with one of its tires. Allen Newcomer, 51, allegedly drove the students on a trip from California Area High School in Western Pennsylvania to Nashville, Tennessee. His passengers included members of the high school band and their chaperones–38 students (all but seven under age 18) and 17 chaperones and teachers.

As they spoke with Newcomer, Nashville police officers began to suspect that the bus driver had a problem. Their first clue? He had “an obvious amount” of white powdery substance in his nostrils.

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Kenneth Jenkins-DUIJudges presiding in cases of DUI in Los Angeles may be more inclined to show clemency when defendants express true remorse for their actions and make a sincere effort to turn their lives around. But they’re less likely to be merciful when a defendant demonstrates that he continues to demonstrate the same behaviors that got him trouble in the first place.

Kenneth Jenkins recently learned that lesson in a Florida courtroom. The Palm Beach Post reported that Jenkins, convicted of causing the deaths of three people in a March 2008 DUI-related accident, asked for a reduction in his 33-year sentence. Circuit Judge Charles Burton denied that request.

Three years after his arrest, Jenkins, now age 33, pleaded guilty to DUI and to driving the wrong way on Interstate 95 near Delray Beach. His black Pontiac GTO caused a series of accidents before it eventually slammed into a 2008 Mercedes, killing three of the vehicle’s four occupants. The case dragged on while Jenkins’ original attorneys tried to determine whether the Mercedes’ driver had also been partly at fault for the accident.

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Although it’s the shortest month in the year, February usually seems to drag on forever. Maybe that’s why some DUI drivers–no doubt including a few charged with DUI in Los Angeles–have exhibited some rather unusual behavior this month.



•    When a Sumter County, Florida, deputy pulled over Christopher Beauchemin in the early morning hours of February 1, the 45-year-old was standing outside of his car and holding a palm branch. The vehicle was running but was still in gear. When the deputy questioned Beauchemin, the driver said he thought the branch was part of his car that had fallen off. After failing a field sobriety test, Beauchemin got a ride to the Sumter County Detention Center, where authorities charged him with DUI.

•    A 29-year old woman from Kittanning, Pennsylvania, must have had it in for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) when she got behind the wheel on February 21. After sideswiping another vehicle, the woman, suspected of DUI, managed to hit no fewer than four separate PennDOT signs before her car flipped and rolled. She escaped with only minor injuries; there’s no word on how much damage the signs suffered.

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