The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

October 2011 Archives

'My Generation' Actress Arrested for DUI Crash into Police Car

One of the TV actresses from the very-short-lived ABC show "My Generation" must be relieving her sorrows over the canceled drama with a bit of partying. Thirty-two-year-old Anne Son was arrested on suspicion of DUI on Wednesday after she crashed her car into a police cruiser and fled, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

Los Angeles authorities eventually caught up with the Toronto-born actress and arrested her. She reportedly had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. She was later released on $30,000 bail.

Man Arrested after DUI Crash into Backyard Pool

Los Angeles authorities usually use common signs of intoxication to determine whether to pull someone over on suspicion of DUI. This includes swerving, excessive speeding, and failing to break at stop signs and traffic lights.

For a Buena Park man, it was the fact that his white truck had its front-half submerged into a residential pool that tipped the police off that he may have been involved in a DUI crash, reports The Orange County Register.

Avoid an LA Halloween DUI: DUI Checkpoints and Safe Rides

Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year; the only holiday where you can dress like a freak, hand out sickeningly sweet candy, and still be the most popular person at the party.

However, we at FindLaw would like to make sure your ghoulish festivities don't turn into your worst nightmare with a Halloween DUI or a late arrival to the zombie prom party because of DUI checkpoint traffic. So we're hooking you up with the DUI checkpoints and safe ride options in the Los Angeles area. You can thank us with candy apples:

Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Gets Drunk Driving Charge

The members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department are expected to uphold and enforce the law, not break it. An off-duty Sheriff’s deputy must have forgotten the latter part when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in September. He was formally given misdemeanor drunk driving charges last Tuesday for his actions, reports The Orange County Register.

Mario Manuel Castro was reportedly found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.24 percent, which is three times the legal limit. But how did authorities know he may have been under the influence? The not-too-bright Castro was allegedly spotted driving down the wrong side of a road heading toward an oncoming marked Orange County police cruiser. Luckily, no one was hurt, and he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Bellflower Man Gets Seven Years in Vehicular Manslaughter Case

Deciding to drink and drive typically puts you at risk of jail time, hefty penalties and license suspension if caught. But if your decision leads to the DUI fatality or injury of another, you could face losing your freedom for years. Yannis Ismael Galanis was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday after he pleaded guilty in August to felony vehicular manslaughter and other charges, reports The Orange County Register.

The DUI crash Galanis was responsible for occurred in July as he was speeding down I-5 near Disneyland Drive. When Galanis lost control of the car, he swerved into a lane and crashed into another car and several other objects, killing his passenger and injuring an occupant of the other car.

Disney Underage DUIs: Singer Sentenced and Actor Arrested

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for former and current Disney stars and their DUI troubles.

Shelby Cobra, ex-member of the now-defunct Disney girl group KSM, received her DUI sentence on October 13 for driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 percent in September, reports The Post Chronicle. The 18-year-old singer, whose real name is Shelby Spalione, must complete community service at the Los Angeles County Hospital and Morgue program and a three-month alcohol education program, attend 16 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and pay more $1,000 in fees.

LA Parents: It's National Teen Driver Safety Week!

Teaching your teenage children how to drive can be a nerve-wracking experience for Los Angeles parents. Motor vehicle crashes remain the primary cause of death for adolescents, and 35 percent of those fatalities are alcohol-related, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Luckily, this week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and this year’s theme is supporting parents in teaching their teens to drive safely, according to Business Wire.

The nationally-recognized week was established in 2007 to provide information and tools to keep teen drivers safe. Teens are reportedly involved in more than 15 fatal car crashes a day. “Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one killer of teens, and October continues to be the most dangerous month for teen driver crashes,” said Emily Clark, a public affairs specialist for State Farm.

'Dirty DUIs': Contra Costa Private Detective Accused of Entrapment

The city of Los Angeles is no stranger to private investigators behaving badly, and it's certainly had its share of drunk drivers. But it's never had to deal with a dirty detective like Christopher Butler. Contra Costa, its fellow county to the north, has been dealing with the fallout from accusations that Butler set up ex-husbands with "dirty DUIs" for a price, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The former police officer was arrested in February for setting up at least five dirty DUIs and is now under state and federal criminal investigation for entrapment and several other crimes. A whistle-blower reportedly ratted out his nefarious arrangements. Butler allegedly hired female decoys to seduce men to drink and drive and then bribed cops to arrest them, all for the benefit of their ex-wives and divorce lawyers, according to the Times.

Drunk Driving Mom Crashes into Garage; Dad, Toddler Injured

In a bizarre crash Friday night, a La Puente mother slammed her SUV into her garage, pinning her husband and toddler under the vehicle, reports KTLA News. The suspected drunk driving mom was arrested and her injured toddler and husband were taken to the hospital.

Authorities have not confirmed how the incident occurred, but stated that it appeared she accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake. Authorities also believe drugs or alcohol played a part in the collision, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Gil Peirsol.

Car of Kelly Thomas' Father Involved in DUI Crash, Not Malicious

The father of murdered homeless man Kelly Thomas, whose death has become a symbol of police brutality, can’t catch a break. While at one of several town-hall meetings he attended in order to demand justice for his son, a suspected drunk driver side-swiped his and several other cars, reports The Orange County Register.

Police do not believe the incident was maliciously-motivated, however.

State Outlaws Controversial CA DUI Checkpoint Impound Procedure

Did you know you used to be at risk of losing your vehicle at a DUI checkpoint even if you weren’t drunk? Neither did we, but it may no longer be an issue thanks to a new state law.

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed legislation prohibiting the controversial California DUI checkpoint practice of impounding the cars of unlicensed drivers for 30 days, regardless of whether the driver was drunk or not, reports The Orange Counter Register.

The impounding practice is reportedly the most common activity at the checkpoints. Despite its DUI-theme, 24,000 cars and trucks were reportedly impounded at checkpoints in 2009, far exceeding the 3,200 DUI arrests, according to an investigation by Ryan Gabrielson, a U.C. Berkeley fellow.

Drunk Granny Had Grandkids in Car; Arrested on Drunk Driving Charge

A drunk granny from Lancaster is accused of driving under the influence while her grandchildren, ranging in ages from 7 to 13, were in the car, reports CBS Los Angeles. The grandmother, who won’t be winning any parenting awards any time soon, is also accused of dragging one of her young grandsons while he clung to her moving vehicle.

Fifty-five-year-old Marie Shipley was arrested on felony drunk driving charges on Tuesday after witnesses called in a drunk driver dragging a minor from her vehicle. Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Parks Bureau eventually found Shipley in her home, where they say she was visibly intoxicated and drinking beer, according to CBS.

Two DUI Fatalities after Suspected DUI Crash on Wilshire Boulevard

A 27-year-old Garden Grove man is under arrest for allegedly causing two DUI fatalities and injuring a third victim when he crashed his pickup truck into a cement wall on Wilshire Boulevard, reports KTLA News.

The suspected DUI crash occurred early Saturday morning in the Westlake District. Authorities allege David Young Lee was driving with eastbound on Wilshire Boulevard at around 1:20 a.m. when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a cement wall.

FreeRideHome App Offers Drunk Drivers a Safer Alternative

From DUI checkpoint apps to social network warnings of checkpoint locations, technology has been controversially accused of aiding drunk driving. New smartphone application and website service FreeRideHome, on the other hand, hopes to help prevent drunk driving altogether.

The app reportedly uses GPS technology to locate sober driver programs in a person’s surrounding area, allowing drink-downing drivers to choose one of several safer options to get home. In addition, many of the safe driver programs offer free or discounted services through FreeRideHome.

Former Newport Beach City Attorney Suspected of DUI, Fired

If you've ever worked in public service, you know you need to be on your best behavior as a role model to the people you serve. David R. Hunt, former city attorney for Newport Beach, must have forgotten that lesson on Friday. Hunt was arrested on suspicion of DUI Friday night, his second arrest in a little more than a year, reports The Orange County Register.

Hunt allegedly hit a parked car in a parking lot, leading to his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence. His run-in with the law is not his first in the past two years - he was arrested in March 2010 for roughing around with family members, but no charges were filed, according to The Register.

Couple Killed by Underage DUI Driver Near Disneyland

Anaheim police believe two pedestrians were struck and killed near Disneyland by a suspected underage DUI driver, reports The Orange County Register.

The incident, which occurred early Saturday morning, involved a man and a woman who were walking in a crosswalk on South Harbor Boulevard near Disney Way. They were struck by a Chevrolet Astro van and reportedly died at the scene. When police arrived, a boy under the age of 18 allegedly admitted to driving the van. Although a witness reported other passengers present at the time of the incident, they allegedly fled before authorities arrived.