Articles Tagged with drug dui

DUI-drug-los-angeles-defense-300x172On September 7, 2017, Stergios Economos was driving in Burbank, CA when he struck Michelle Ann Landes, age 64, who was walking to her job at Walt Disney Studios, striking three other vehicles and injuring at least one other person in the process. Landes was rushed to the hospital but soon died from her injuries. Last month, as KTLA reports, Economos was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of a drug.

While tragic stories like these are far too common, this incident in particular holds several important lessons because of the details surrounding it. Let’s unpack this story and see what we can learn.

Alcohol Is Not the Only Substance that Can Impair You.

Most people are fairly familiar with the effects that drinking alcohol can have on their driving performance. Alcohol loosens inhibitions, so people are apt to take more risks even as their reaction times are slowed, and they can become more easily distracted and unable to concentrate on driving. Alcohol can also impact a driver’s sense of direction and their ability to judge situations on the road and make good decisions.drug-dui-los-angeles-defense-attorney

Other types of drugs have similar, although not identical effects. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s most recent National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers found that the number of drivers with alcohol in their system had declined by nearly one-third since 2007. But there wasn’t much cause for celebration; the survey also found a large increase in the number of drivers using marijuana or other illegal drugs. Nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect their safety on the road, according to the NHTSA.

Here’s a look at how several other types of drugs can impact drivers’ performance.

The recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington – in addition to the widespread and growing approval of medical pot — has spurred some fascinating research. Scientists want to understand how the growing wave of marijuana users is influencing the landscape of DUIs. Many police officers and other professionals working on this problem contend that drug DUI driving could become increasingly disruptive and deadly as marijuana laws soften.drug-dui-pot-los-angeles

Medical marijuana use is legal in California, but smoking and driving can still easily land you a drug DUI in Los Angeles and around the state.

Very few studies have been done to assess the risks of driving while high on marijuana. The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the NHTSA are wrapping up one such study — a 3-year investigation that researched the drug’s effects on driving. Using one of the most powerful driving simulators on the planet, researchers gave test participants either a placebo or varying concentrations of the drug and asked them to use the simulator.

The study yielded a surprisingly negative result. The data analysis software can detect subtle changes in driving behavior; and participants on marijuana exhibited hardly any change.

Police officers are not convinced that THC is innocuous, however, and don’t hold your breath waiting for the law to keep up with the science. Roadside THC detection tests are being developed and sold to law enforcement agencies in areas where pot is legal. Drivers pulled over while under the effects of marijuana can still be given a DUI – even in states like California where consumption can be legal. In California, police test for marijuana impairment using blood tests, which can indicate recent use.

As a frequent contributor to respected media, like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Good Morning America, Los Angeles DUI attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group understands what it takes to build successful defenses in complex DUI cases. Contact him and his team today to schedule a consultation.

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Los Angeles DUI accidents can claim lives at any time; an awful crash in Redondo recently killed 3 Californians and injured many more.Margo-Bronstein-DUI

According to reports, twelve people suffered injuries, when a woman crashed into a group of Christmas concert-goers in a Redondo Beach church last December. Margo Bronstein had been exiting St. James Catholic Church when she slammed into pedestrians leaving the concert. Three people died; two suffered bad injuries; and seven others suffered minor injuries.

Bronstein, a paraplegic, had a spotless driving record, but she had been taking medication that day. Her car had been outfitted with various technology to assist her driving. She had hand brakes on the steering wheel and special rear-view mirrors.

Police might charge Bronstein with felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Her attorneys have been urging the public to avoid jumping to conclusions about the accident. It is possible, they argue, that a defect in the hand brakes could have contributed to the accident.

If Bronstein’s lawyers can prove that the incident had been an accident — and that medication had not been to blame – perhaps they can fight or eliminate the charges. Her medications included muscle relaxers and other pain relievers to help her cope with chronic health issues.

Accidents involving prescription drugs can still be charged as DUIs, and the consequences of even non-injury stops can include jail time, license suspension, fines and fees and beyond. If a blood or urine test measures a drug’s present in the bloodstream, a conviction could follow.

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.

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Only a few days ago, San Diego Padres’ shortstop, Everth Cabrera, was arrested in eastern San Diego County. The charge: driving under the influence of marijuana. If you or a love one faces similar charges, Cabrera’s story might be able to provide you pivotal insight into what to do and not to do to manage a marijuana-related Los Angeles DUI case.cabrera-DUI

Cabrera’s Arrest

Border patrol stopped Cabrera and sent him back to the California Highway Patrol office. When he arrived, the star did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and authorities released him to the custody of his mother-in-law.

Cabrera apparently claimed in his defense that he had been using a medical substance and that he didn’t know what was in it. But even if someone’s on a legal drug, such as an over the counter medication, he or she can face serious drug DUI charges for getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

According to the Padres, the investigation is still underway. The team is currently communicating with Major League Baseball about how to handle the situation.

This is not the first time Cabrera has gotten in trouble with the law. In 2012, Cabrera was arrested on a charge of domestic violence misdemeanor assault. That charge was ultimately dropped.

DUI Marijuana Charges in LA

In California, almost all cultivation and possession of marijuana is illegal. Federal and state laws differ with respect to how and when marijuana use or sale constitutes an illegal act. It is unlawful to drive under the influence of marijuana, regardless of whether the driver has a medical justification. Additionally, prosecutors don’t have to show how much marijuana was in the driver’s system; they only need to show that the driver was generally under the influence.

Marijuana stays in the body far longer than alcohol and other drugs. Blood samples can show evidence of metabolites of THC, a psychoactive compound in marijuana.

If you were not under the influence, but you had been in possession of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia, you may be charged with a misdemeanor. Possession of marijuana for sale is a felony. Whether or not an officer witnesses a sale taking place, he or she can penalize you for having a scale, pager, or large amount of cash along with possession.

If you’ve been arrested for a marijuana-related DUI in Los Angeles, the first thing to do is contact a criminal defense attorney with extensive knowledge and experience about such cases. Michael Kraut is a Los Angeles DUI attorney with years of experience dealing with drug crimes in the region.

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Forty-year-old Kimberly Micheloni had a very bad week earlier this month.3-times-dui-in-one-week

On May 13th, police pulled her over for driving under the influence with her 14-year-old daughter in the vehicle. In addition to being slapped with a DUI charge, Micheloni also faces a child abuse charge in connection with that stop.

Court records show that police arrested her again for DUI the very next day. And on May 20th, police caught her yet again for driving under the influence and proceed to hold her on a $225,000 bond. According to reports, Micheloni recently had to leave her job as an office manager for the Internal Revenue Service because of an illness.

She confided about her DUI arrests to a local TV news station, saying “I’m so sorry” for causing pain and potentially putting people’s lives in danger. She told reporters that her doctor had prescribed her a medication, which apparently made her unable to drive safely.

Normally, prescription medications like Vicodin come with warning labels urging patients to avoid driving. In Los Angeles, you can get arrested and charged per California Vehicle Code Section 23152 for a drug DUI. There are no breath tests for drug DUI; instead, police typically ask for a urine sample to test your blood for chemical residue of drugs. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to challenge the results of this urine test.

For instance, you can argue that:

•    The police didn’t follow proper procedure;
•    The test was poorly done or badly calibrated;
•    The test failed to show that you hit the DUI threshold;
•    Perhaps there was an error in your prescription. Maybe the pharmacist accidently gave you double the amount of medication that you should have been taking;
•    Maybe there was some weird interaction between your medication another med.

For help getting to the bottom of your Los Angeles DUI drug defense, call experienced former prosecutor Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group. In addition to being a Harvard Law School educated attorney, Mr. Kraut retains excellent relationships with many people in the Los Angeles defense community, including judges, prosecutors, police officers, etc.
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