Articles Tagged with los angeles DUI defense

For as long as mankind has been using vehicles to get around, some people have been unfortunately operating those vehicles while under the influence of some substance—mostly alcohol. At first, no laws were on the books to address the issue, but, as the roads became more crowded, public pressure eventually prompted lawmakers to set standards as to what constitutes driving under the influence (DUI)—also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI)—and what the penalties would be for violating those rules.history-of-DUI-300x241

If you’ve ever been arrested for DUI—especially if you believe you tested “false positive”—you might feel like the laws and standards of intoxication are too strict. Looking into the past often helps give us perspective as to where we are now and where we’re headed. So let’s look back at a few milestones in the history of DUI, and see what we can learn.

First Known DUI Arrest: 1897

There’Los-Angeles-DUI-lessons-300x250s a lesson to be learned from every experience, good or bad—even being arrested for DUI. However, we can save ourselves a lot of pain by learning, whenever possible, from others’ negative experiences. No one can better explain what happens with a DUI arrest than someone who has gone through it, so let’s take a look at a few stories of real people and their experiences with DUI, and what they learned in the process.

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“If I’m going to drink at all, just don’t plan on driving. Or don’t drink.”

Juslos-angeles-DUI-celebrity-DUIstin Bieber. Lindsey Lohan. Paris Hilton. Kevin Hart. Chris Pine. Reese Witherspoon. Bella Hadid. This list represents a mere handful of known names who have been charged with DUI in Los Angeles (and elsewhere) over the past 10 years, with many others right alongside. It seems so commonplace that, as HuffPost reports, during an appearance on, Jason Priestly joked with Chelsea Handler on her show Chelsea Lately about his own DUI. “What self-respecting Los Angeleno doesn’t have a DUI under their belt?” he said. The joke was accompanied by high-fives with Handler, who, not surprisingly, also has a DUI on her record.

Aside from the controversy of famous people downplaying the seriousness of impaired driving, salacious reports of celebrity wrongdoing have been the guilty pleasure of millions of people for as long as anyone can remember. These impulses of ours are what keep websites like TMZ and The National Enquirer in business.

The question is: Why?

As the Ne2018-habits-to-improve-driving-for-DUI-defedants-300x150w Year gets underway, millions of people are trying to keep those resolutions they made over the holidays. Some of the most common resolutions are health related (e.g., get in shape, quit smoking, lose weight, eat healthy). However, let me propose an alternative resolution if you haven’t picked one yet: What about learning better driving habits (especially if police recently stopped you for a Los Angeles DUI)? Becoming a safer driver could be the healthiest choice of all—because it affects not just you, but everyone around you. Here in California where good driving habits seem scarce, why not become the exception to the rule? Let’s take a look at three smart driving habits you should consider adopting this year.

1. Know When Not to Drive

Ironically, one of the most important decisions you can make as a driver is the decision to let someone else get behind the wheel. If you’ve ever been arrested for DUI, this issue should be top-of-mind. However, avoiding DUI begins long before you find yourself in a bad situation. It starts with a quality decision not to drive if you indulge in alcohol or drugs, and moves forward from there.

uber-driver-DUIIt’s bad enough that a DUI conviction can wipe out your bank account or drive up your credit card bill. Between the fines, court costs and other associated expenses—like DUI driver school tuition and added commuting costs—you could pay as much as $7,500 out of pocket. But you could also face a longer-term problem of unemployment. When you lose your job because of a DUI or struggle to get a new one afterwards, it adds insult to injury.

If you’ve been earning some extra cash as an Uber or a Lyft driver, you’ll have to find another way to fill your wallet. Uber is already fairly picky about DUIs on a driving record; in California, Uber won’t even hire you if your record shows that you’ve had a DUI within the last 10 years.

But what if you’ve been working as an Uber driver, and then you get a DUI? Will you be able to keep driving?

It’s the call that no parent wants but too many of us receive. “Mom, Dad, I’m at the police station. I’ve been charged with DUI.”teen-dui-los-angeles

As you drive to pick up your wayward teen, your emotions range from relief that your child is safe to anger that she made such poor choices to anxiety about how this arrest will impact her future.

You’re not alone. Many parents in the U.S. have gone through this experience. The National Organization for Youth Safety says that 25 percent of all car crashes involved an underage drinking driver. The CDC reports that in 2014, 17 percent of drivers aged 16 to 20 who were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes had a blood alcohol contact of .08 percent or higher.

Most DUI arrests don’t get a lot of attention from the general public or news media unless they involve a celebrity and/or result in a horrendous accident. Over the last two decades, however, there have been several arrests for DUI that have attracted widespread media notice and/or gone viral because they are simply so outrageous or bizarre.crazy-los-angeles-DUIs-of-21st-century-300x144

Here’s a sampling.

The family that drinks together…

While no one who is DUI in Los Angeles is safe from harming themselves or others, some drivers get themselves in more difficult positions than others. Here are a few examples:car-DUI-potomac-river

•    In Montgomery County, Maryland, a 26-year old man drove his car through a gate, onto a ferry and into the Potomac River around 1:30 a.m. on the night of October 7th. Although White’s Ferry wasn’t open at the time, a ferry captain who lived nearby heard the man’s screams and was able to rescue him. Police charged the driver with DUI.

•    A 43-year-old woman from Clearwater, Florida, drove for three miles on the wrong side of U.S. 19 near Tarpon Springs. During her northbound trip in the southbound lanes, Anna Marie Sosa avoided a head-on collision with another vehicle only because the other driver was able to take evasive action. (The other car did suffer minor damage to the bumper.) A police officer finally stopped the woman and charged her with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

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A horrific DUI incident in San Diego may serve as a warning to drivers at risk of DUI in Los Angeles.DUI-felony-homicide-losangeles

Esteysi Sanchez Izazaga, who goes by Stacy Sanchez, had apparently been drinking in two establishments before she headed for home on the morning of June 29th. Sanchez was allegedly speeding when her car left the road and hit a 69-year-old homeless man, Jack Ray Tenhulzen, who was walking on the sidewalk.

The impact was so great that it forced Tenhulzen through the windshield and severed his leg, which flew through the back window and landed on the trunk of Sanchez’s car. Tenhulzen’s body ended up in the passenger seat beside Sanchez.

But Sanchez continued to drive for another mile or so before parking the car and walking two blocks to her home. Witnesses called police to report the incident, and the officers went to Sanchez’s home and arrested her after her live-in boyfriend also called them to report she was there.

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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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