The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

April 2011 Archives

Marco Antonio Valencia Could Face Life Sentence for DUI Accident

A driver in Los Angeles can face severe penalties when there’s a DUI accident that results in injuries or death. KTLA News reports that man who drove his car through a group of several cyclists while he was drunk two years ago was convicted of second-degree murder on Wednesday along with counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.

Marco Antonio Valencia, 22, now faces a life sentence in prison for the conviction. Apparently, the defendant had been on probation for two previous DUI convictions at the time that he hit the cyclists on Bouquet Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest. After the accident, Valencia drove off, but was arrested just 1.5 hours later.

LAPD Officer Arrested For DUI

It looks like even law enforcers don't always obey the rules of the road. Some officers will actually commit crimes that endanger others and threaten public safety.

The Los Angeles Times reported that a veteran police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department was arrested on Saturday after driving on his motorcycle in the wrong direction through the Sepulveda Tunnel near LAX. Needless to say, it didn't take long for local law enforcement officers to identify the DUI suspect.

Lindsay Lohan Sentenced to Jail For DUI Probation Violation

It's safe to say that movie and pop star Lindsay Lohan won't be acting in any major movies anytime soon. The actress now has her days booked for the next several months after being sentenced to 120 days in jail and 480 hours of community service for violating her probation from a 2007 DUI charge.

KTLA News reports that Los Angeles Judge Stephanie Sautner found that Lohan violated the terms of her DUI probation after taking a necklace out of a Venice jewelry store and failing to return it until she learned that detectives were about to search her home. The "Mean Girls" star is also facing a misdemeanor theft charge stemming from that incident, but handled as a separate case.

Ventura County Finds Some Breathalyzer Devices to be Defective

If you were recently arrested for drunk driving in Ventura County, then you might be able to get your DUI case dismissed due to defects in county breathalyzers. It turns out that the county has deemed eight Intoximeter Alco-Sensor V devices to be defective. The Ventura County District Attorney has stated that these breathalyzer devices have shown "erratic results."

So, it looks like some drunk drivers could be in luck since they might be able to avoid a conviction. KTLA now reports that as many as 160 DUI cases in Ventura County could be thrown out.

California's Implied Consent Law And Breath Test Refusal

If you are behind the wheel and an officer suspects that you've been driving under the influence, should you submit yourself to chemical testing? Under California's implied consent law, a person can be arrested and charged if he or she does not give consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or urine for the purpose of determining the drug content or alcoholic content of his or her blood.

Yet does a person face harsher penalties when he or she has been found to have been driving under the influence after BAC testing or is it worse to just refuse BAC testing altogether? In most scenarios, it's probably best to just submit yourself to chemical testing even it you could be impaired because there are some harsh penalties associated with BAC test refusal in California.

DUI Charges Dropped in Matthew Rutler's Case

First Christina Aguilera walks away with just a bit of bad press for her public drunkenness incident, and now it looks like her boyfriend Matthew Rutler will be avoiding any DUI charges from that same night. Is this one lucky couple or are they both just not guilty of the alcohol-related crimes that they were accused of?

It looks like Los Angeles prosecutors simply do not have enough evidence to charge either Rutler or Aguilera with a crime. As we reported in an earlier blog post, the two were pulled over on March 1, in West Hollywood, after police saw Rutler driving erratically. Rutler was then arrested on suspicion of DUI while Aguilera was held for public drunkenness after authorities said that the singer appeared too drunk to take care of herself.

No Half-Price Beer Sold At Dodger Games

Say good-bye to cheap booze. In an effort to make the Los Angeles Dodgers ballpark a bit safer, Dodger Stadium will no longer be serving half-price beer at certain games, as once advertised.

KTLA News reported that the Dodgers had six scheduled "throw back" games in which the team would dress in 1940s uniforms and food, soft drinks, and beer would be sold at half-price. Now, it looks like the food and soft drinks will stay at half price on the selected throwback days, but that the discounted beer will not be offered.

Alan McConnell Facing Murder Charges After Fatal DUI Crash

A drunk driving crash that results in death or injury can lead to criminal charges that are much more severe than a misdemeanor DUI. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that a 28-year-old man from Covina pleaded guilty to two counts of murder last week in connection with a 2010 DUI crash that killed two of his passengers.

The defendant, Alan McConnell, now faces a sentence of 15 years to life in prison when he returns to Pomona Superior Court on April 22. Los Angeles County District Attorney's officials said that McConnell had a blood-alcohol level that was nearly twice the legal limit in a crash that killed 22-year-old Telassie Dague and 20-year-old Renee Hardy, both of Alta Loma.

Long Beach Fire Captain John Hines Facing Felony DUI

Drunk driving accidents unfortunately occur all the time, but most people probably wouldn’t expect a city official or law enforcement officer to be involved in such accidents.

KTLA News reports that 38-year-old John Hines, a Long Beach Fire Department captain, is now facing felony DUI charges and hit-and-run charges after allegedly leaving the scene of an accident involving a bicyclist. The collision occurred on April 1 in Seal Beach at Westminster Avenue near Bolsa Chica Street. Witnesses to the accident said that they saw Hines’ Chevrolet truck swerve into the bike lane and hit the bicyclist while driving about 60 mph.

Los Angeles DUI Checkpoint on 4/9/11

The Los Angeles Police Department calls drunk driving one of America's deadliest crimes. Perhaps this is why LAPD is constantly taking on efforts to enforce DUI-related crimes. Through a press release, the department announced that there will be a DUI checkpoint tomorrow at the following time and location.

The DUI and driver's license checkpoint operation has the purpose of reducing the incident of injuries, death, and property damage associated with drunk driving in Los Angeles. The checkpoint is supposed to serve as reminder to the community to designate sober drivers and avoid driving under the influence.

Teen Jaclyn Garcia Hits Cyclists in DUI Accident

Drunk driving often ends up with worse consequences than a hangover or a night in the drunk tank. Unfortunately, some times, the idiotic decision to drive drunk leads to accidents, injuries, and even death.

In such cases, the DUI suspect will often face felony drunk driving charges rather than the typical misdemeanor driving under the influence charge. The felony DUI charge can lead to serious penalties including long stints in state prison.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Los Angeles

If you’re one of those many drivers in L.A that has a habit of texting behind the wheel or talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device, then now would be a good time to stop. LAist reports that April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which means that the California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Police Department will be cracking down on the millions of drivers that violate state laws while using their cell phones behind the wheel.

Increased enforcement on distracted driving went into effect on April 4, where authorities say that they will have zero tolerance for cell phone use and texting behind the wheel during the month of April. The purpose of Distracted Driving Awareness Month is to increase public safety and raise awareness about cell phone and texting legislation.

Los Angeles DUI Checkpoint 4/1/11 - 4/2/11

While April Fools’ Day might be a good time to play a practical joke on a friend, DUI arrests are certainly no joking matter. This weekend, the Los Angeles Police Department will be conducting multiple DUI checkpoints to enforce driving under the influence laws. So far, LAPD has announced checkpoints at the following times and locations.