Court rulings and new laws in other states don’t have an immediate impact on California DUI laws and the outcome of arrests for DUI in Los Angeles. But it’s always interesting to take a look and see how other states are dealing with challenges and updates to DUI law.
• The Tennessee State Legislature has taken the extraordinary step of going into special session to amend a law that they passed that raised the BAC limit for 18 to 20-year olds to 0.08 percent. The legislature had reasoned that since the new penalties for drivers in that age group were the same as for drivers over 21, the BAC limits should be the same. But that put them in conflict with federal law, which mandates a 0.02 limit for those under 21. Since the federal government threatened to withhold federal highway construction funds from the state, the state legislature had to hold a special session (at a cost of at least $75,000) to amend its law and bring it into conformity with federal law. (The federal government refused to waive an October 1st deadline to allow the state to amend the law at its next scheduled legislative session in January 2017.)
• A judge in Orange County, North Carolina, has ruled that prosecutors can use cell phone evidence to pursue the case against Chandler Kania. The 21-year-old was allegedly intoxicated when he drove north into the southbound lanes of I-85 and killed two women and a six-year-old girl. Police say the phone could contain information about the events that led to the crash, but Kania’s lawyers argued that the search warrant they obtained only covered his hospital room and not his home. The judge disagreed, since Kania’s parents had inadvertently taken the cell phone back home and agreed to bring it back and surrender it to the police. Kania’s BAC was 0.17 at the time of the accident and he also had marijuana in his system.
What should you do if you or someone you love faces a serious DUI count? Will you go to jail? Will you lose your license? Call Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Michael Kraut immediately to understand your options and craft a strategic response.