The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

March 2011 Archives

Palm Springs: A Common Place For DUI Accidents

Palm Springs is a popular vacation spot for Los Angeles residents. But before traveling to this desert attraction, vacationers should be aware of the town’s reputation for having a problem with drunk drivers.

KPSP News reports that the city of Palm Springs had the most alcohol related crashes for 2009 among 98 California cities that are similar in size. There were a total of 67 drunk driving crashes that year and three people died in two of these DUI accidents.

Adam Kennedy Charged With DUI in Orange County

The Seattle Mariners baseball star Adam Kennedy was arrested on suspicion of DUI this past January in Newport Beach after getting pulled over on the 73 freeway, but his case seems to be moving along slowly in court. USA Today reported that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office just charged Kennedy last week with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence and a misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.

Kennedy, who used to play for the Anaheim Angels, was released from jail several hours after his arrest on January 26. The athlete now has his arraignment scheduled for June 21.

Chatsworth DUI Checkpoint on 3/25/2011

The Los Angeles Police Department is now holding sobriety checkpoints beyond just the city limits of L.A. This week, law enforcers with the police department will be traveling to the city of Chatsworth to try and prevent DUI crimes. LAPD announced in a press release this week that a DUI checkpoint has been scheduled tonight at the following time and location.

Chatsworth drivers should be on the lookout for a marked roadblock and be aware of the legal rights that they have when proceeding through the DUI checkpoint. We've discussed the legal rights of motorists in a blog post titled "Los Angeles DUI Attorneys Analyze Sobriety Checkpoints."

Los Angeles DUI Checkpoint Apps Could Soon Be Banned

Remember that annoying ad campaign that inundated our ears with "There's an app for that!" over and over again? Well, when it comes to locating DUI checkpoints ... there's an app for that! However, these apps might not exist for much longer. According to Time's Techland Blog, four U.S. senators are trying to get Apple, Google, and Research in Motion to stop selling these types of apps because they say that these programs encourage drunk driving.

Checkpointer by Ace Baron and Fuzz Alert Pro by Fuzz Alert are just a couple of applications that are known for posting information about DUI checkpoints in Los Angeles and metro areas across the country, including the location of such roadblocks.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Could Lose Alcohol License

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (home to the USC Trojans football team) will likely be facing penalties for violation of an alcoholic license. The Los Angeles Times reports that the penalties for such a violation can range from a warning letter or fine to the suspension or revocation of an alcohol license.

The allegations against the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum come after The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control found through an investigation that the Coliseum allegedly allowed consumption and sales of alcohol outside of its licensed area. Multiple violations apparently occurred last year at the Electric Daisy Carnival rave. The neighboring Sports Arena is also facing similar accusations. A full report of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control violations can be found on the L.A Times website.

Avoiding a DUI on St. Patrick's Day

California Highway Patrol officers are planning to enforce drunk driving offenses on St. Patrick's Day, but this won't stop people from partying on everybody's favorite Irish holiday. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 52 percent of adults say that they will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day this year, which is up from the 45.2 percent of adults who said that they would celebrate the holiday in 2010.

How will people be spending their St. Patrick's Day this year? Most people say that they'll be wearing the color green. NRF found that 19.1 percent of Americans will be attending a private party on March 17 and that another 31.2 percent of adults will be attending a party in a bar or restaurant.

LAPD Changes DUI Checkpoint Rules For Impounded Vehicles

The Los Angeles Police Department regularly conducts DUI checkpoints, but the purpose of these checkpoints is not just to arrest people for driving under the influence; officers are also looking to arrest motorists who are driving without a valid license. Previous protocols called for LAPD officers to impound a vehicle whenever the driver did not have a valid license or was suspected of driving under the influence.

However, The Republic reports that the rules for vehicle impoundment are changing at DUI checkpoints due to concerns that undocumented immigrants were being wrongfully targeted in such operations. Under new the guidelines, Los Angeles police officers will attempt to contact the registered owner of a stopped vehicle if the owner of the vehicle is a licensed driver who can respond to the checkpoint within a reasonable period.

Kombucha Tea Will Become a 21 and Over Drink

Kombucha tea products disappeared from the market last year when the federal government announced that the drink would have to be tested for its alcohol content. The Los Angeles Times reported that it was once common for the black tea drink to have more than 0.5 percent alcohol, which is the limit for non-alcoholic drinks in the United States.

This left Kombucha tea manufacturers with two options: either change their formula so that the drink's alcohol content would be reduced, or label the product as an alcoholic beverage. It looks like the company GT Kombucha has decided to do both.

Rolonda Watts Arrested For DUI in Hollywood

A former New York news anchor and talk show host was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Hollywood on the morning of March 5, which will make her the latest celebrity to facing drunk driving charges. According to CBS News, the former host Rolonda Watts is now out of jail on $15,000 bail.

Watts is known for being a correspondent for "Inside Edition" as well as her talk shows "The Rolonda Show" and "A BraveHeart View." If she is convicted of DUI in California, the host could be facing criminal penalties that include imprisonment, probation, fines, community service, license suspension and attendance to alcohol education classes. Other consequences of a DUI can include an increase in insurance rates and issues with future background checks that could affect a person's ability to get a job. Hence, it might be a good idea for Watts to get a hold of a DUI attorney immediately.

A movie and television music editor was sentenced last week to just one year in jail and five years of probation after killing a 72-year-old man in a 2009 drunk driving accident, despite the victim's family pushing for a harsher punishment. The Los Angeles Times reports that the sentencing of editor Mark Skillingberg came after a no contest plea to a charge of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

Skillingberg's accident took place when he was reportedly driving at about 20 miles above the posted speed limit with a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit in California. If Skillingberg completes his probation without incident, then the felony conviction will eventually be reduced to a misdemeanor and expunged from his record.

Alleged Drunk Driver Crashers Through Watts Healthcare Corp.

ABC News reports that a driver will be charged with felony DUI after driving through a building on Saturday night in Southern Los Angeles. The most ironic part of the story is that the suspect allegedly crashed her SUV into a sober living facility while allegedly driving under the influence.

Perhaps this can be a valuable lesson to the people staying in the sober-living house, as they can still learn about the dangers of drunk driving through the real-life experience. Yet last weekend's crash is certainly no laughing matter for all the parties involved.

Pop star Christina Aguilera and her boyfriend Matthew Rutler were both arrested in West Hollywood after Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies noticed Rutler breaking the rules of the road on the Sunset Strip early Tuesday morning. According to The Los Angeles Times, Rutler was caught "burning rubber" and speeding in his vehicle.

Deputies believed that Rutler was driving under the influence after conducting field sobriety tests and proceeded to arrest him. Meanwhile, singer Christina Aguilera was riding in the passenger seat and was described as "very intoxicated" by authorities on Tuesday.