Gary Collins, the former host of Hour Magazine and emcee of Circus of the Stars, is facing some serious Los Angeles DUI problems. Last week, a judge in L.A. slapped him with a $100,000 arrest warrant after the ex-actor did not show up to a November 14 progress report regarding his 2007 DUI arrest.
If you only face a simple misdemeanor charge for Los Angeles DUI, Burbank DUI, DUI in Pasadena, or driving under the influence in Glendale, you should be thankful that your legal situation is not as complicated as Collins’ is. The 72-year old has been arrested multiple times since 2002 on charges of driving under the influence. His 2007 Los Angeles DUI charge netted him four days in jail. And, as this blog reported earlier a few weeks ago, Collins now stands accused of a misdemeanor hit and run DUI in Mississippi. The actor allegedly drove his jeep into a car carrying a family of three, leading to a multicar pile up. Collins also fled the scene of the accident, according to the family.
Had Collins shown up for his November 4th progress report, he likely would have lost his probation pursuant to his 2007 case, according to media analysts. Now, he will likely have to serve jail time.
Collins’ difficulties with the law have been well documented (and blogged about) for years. But many people (and many new DUI defendants… and friends and relatives of defendants) are still unclear about what a DUI actually is and how officers judge whether someone stopped at a traffic stop is under the influence of alcohol.
To review, here is a quick list of “symptoms” of Los Angeles DUI:
• Failed breathalyzer test (a BAC reading of 0.08%+).
• Failed blood or urine test.
• Failed horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
• Failed balance tests, such as finger to the nose, Rhomberg, and walk the line.
• Failed test of mental coordination, such as counting backwards and reciting alphabet backwards.
• Odor of alcohol on the person.
• Admission to drinking.
• Slurring words, making incoherent or inappropriate remarks to police officers.
• Bloodshot, teary eyes.
• General fumbling behavior.
• Alcohol on the breath.
• Open container of alcohol in the car.
Although a person who exhibits all of these “symptoms” might expect to be arrested, you’d be surprised at how difficult it can be to clearly identify someone as under the influence of alcohol or drugs – even using seemingly scientific tests like the breath, blood, and urine tests. The reality is that all of the major tests are subject to calibration and interpretation errors. They can be compromised by bad police work and by chemical factors. Independent studies show that they generally are less reliable than most people believe them to be.
Furthermore, the signs of DUI may not necessarily indicate DUI. For instance, say you get pulled over and an officer notices that you have bloodshot eyes and you can’t answer questions coherently. It could just be that you are tired and nervous from studying all night… or staying up to counsel a friend who has had an emotional problem. This would explain the bloodshot eyes and the lack of continuity in your thoughts.
To develop a powerful defense, look to Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut, a former prosecutor who boasts excellent trial experience, good relationships with local prosecutors and judges, a terrific track record for his clients, and a Harvard Law School education.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Burbank or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.