December 2011 News: The Los Angeles DUI Blog

The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

December 2011 Archives

Actress Brigitte Nielsen Hurt in Suspected DUI Wreck

Movie star and former model Brigitte Nielsen is in recovery mode after being involved in a three-car suspected DUI wreck in Los Angeles, reports Yahoo! TV.

Nielsen was reportedly riding in a 2006 Porsche Cayenne on the night of Dec. 21 when a woman allegedly rear-ended her with a Toyota Matrix. The Porsche Nielsen was in then hit another car.

Nielsen was taken to a nearby hospital and received treatment for injuries to her neck and back.

CHP: More than 100 Christmas DUI Arrests; Avoid New Year's Eve DUI

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also one of the times when the most DUI arrests occur.

The California Highway Patrol reportedly made 138 DUI arrests in Los Angeles County during a 36-hour period from Friday to Christmas morning, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The number of Los Angeles DUI arrests this year represents an increase of 55 arrests from last year. Statewide, 710 people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, compared to 507 last year, according to the CHP.

LAPD's H2O Unit: Keeping an Eye on Hard Core Drunk Drivers

If you are a "hard core drunk driver" in Los Angeles, the LAPD may already be on to you.

Its Habitual Deuce (police slang for DUI) Offenders unit, also known as "H2O", was created to monitor those with at least two DUI convictions, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Patrolling the San Fernando Valley, the five-officer squad keeps an eye on repeat DUI offenders, which includes staking out their homes or following them from court to make sure they don't drive afterward.

600 Drivers Can't 'Avoid the 100,' Holiday DUI Crackdown

Nearly 600 drivers couldn't "Avoid the 100" during the first weekend of the anti-DUI holiday campaign taking place across Los Angeles County, reports City News Service.

The number of arrests, approximately 598, over the first weekend of the high-profile drunk-driving enforcement campaign represents an increase from the number arrested -- 510 -- during the same period in 2010.

Dubbed the "Avoid the 100" because of the number of local law enforcement agencies involved, the campaign consists of DUI saturation patrols and checkpoints conducted across L.A. County, including the city of Los Angeles, Inglewood, Palos Verdes Estates and Redondo Beach.

In total, the task force in charge of the campaign plans to carry out 32 checkpoints and 202 roving patrols during the time period beginning Friday, Dec. 16 and ending Sunday, Jan. 1.

Good Samaritan Injured by Suspected Drunk Driver on Harbor Freeway

In a sad twist of fate, a Good Samaritan was injured early Thursday morning for doing the right thing.

A man who stopped on the side of the Harbor (110) Freeway to help a couple of college students with a flat tire was reportedly hit by a drunk driver, reports KTLA News.

The Good Samaritan and the students were parked on the side of a freeway in West Athens when the suspected drunk driver plowed into their cars. Paramedics arrived to find a man, who they believed to be the helpful Samaritan, pinned under one of the parked vehicles.

Dennis Malavasi's 13th DUI Sentence and the 10-Year DUI Limit

Dennis Patrick Malavasi, the son of ex-Rams Coach Ray Malavasi, almost got away with a slap on the wrist for his 13th DUI conviction. It’s not that the number 13 is lucky when it comes to DUI convictions. It’s another number that could have saved Malavasi from a whole lot of prison time - California’s 10-year mark for considering previous DUI convictions in calculating mandatory sentences.

Malavasi was one year away from reaching the 10-year limit since his last DUI conviction in 2001, reports The Orange County Register.

Temptation of the Text: Experts Want Federal Ban of Phones in Cars

We recently reported about new findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that, while texting and driving remains a dangerous activity, drivers have not learned to conquer the temptation of the text.

Now, the government’s transportation safety experts are calling for a complete federal ban of all cell phone and portable electronics use in cars, reports MSNBC.com.

Don’t think you may slip under the ban if you have Bluetooth, either. The recommendation includes banning the use of hands-free devices. The only exceptions are emergency situations or using GPS navigation devices.

The Temptation of the Text: Drivers Still Texting, Dying

Drivers still have not learned to conquer the temptation of the text, despite research connecting it to fatal car crashes and state laws banning the dangerous practice.

A recently-released National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study found that two in 10 drivers have sent text messages or even emails while driving, reports NPR.

The study depicts the interesting but contradictory thinking of drivers. Although the vast majority of survey respondents support laws banning texting-while-driving, many drivers still continue to text and drive, especially if they are between the ages of 21 and 24.

James Loney DUI: Arrested After Maserati Mashup in Sherman Oaks

Los Angeles’ two MLB teams have been burning up the local airwaves. The local sportscasters have been abuzz with the news that the Anaheim Angels signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson to multi-million dollar contracts.

While most Angels’ fans are at least excited to see what the players will do in the upcoming season, another unlikely person - Los Angeles Dodger James Loney - is probably relieved about all of the commotion surrounding the two. News reports are only being released now that Loney was involved in an embarrassing Maserati mashup on the 101 in Sherman Oaks and was arrested on suspicion of a DUI in November, according to the Los Angeles Times. Luckily for Loney, his alleged actions have been buried under the Angels’ supposed good fortune.

Marine Pleads No Contest to DUI Fatality of Grandmother

Fresno resident Richard Albert Buitron pleaded no contest for his role in the July 2010 traffic death of a 51-year-old grandmother in Reseda, reports the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The 23-year-old Marine was initially charged with three felonies for causing Chandrika de Silva’s death. However, under the terms of a negotiated plea agreement with prosecutors, three charges were dropped - two felony DUI counts and one count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence.

Son of Lakers' Owner Jerry Buss Arrested for Intoxication

Los Angeles' Lakers' owner Jerry Buss just went from one legal headache to another. With the end of the NBA lockout in sight, news traveled from the Bluegrass state of Kentucky that Buss scion Jesse Buss was arrested for alcohol intoxication on Friday, reports WDRB news.

The 23-year-old was reportedly found lying on the ground in the city of Lexington and taken into custody by police on suspicion of alcohol intoxication.

It looks like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree - his father was arrested in Carlsbad in 2007 on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Yahoo!

Side Effect of Legalized Marijuana: Safer Roads?

In a study that's sure to cause controversy between legalized marijuana supporters and detractors, the Institute for the Study of Labor concluded that states with medical marijuana laws may have safer roads, according to laist.com.

Analyzing data of traffic fatalities from 1990 to 2009, researchers report that there were 9 percent fewer traffic fatalities in the 13 states that have legalized pot for medical purposes.

"Traffic fatalities are an important outcome from a policy perspective because they represent the leading cause of death among Americans ages five to 34," said study co-author Daniel Rees, an economics professor. "Although we make no policy recommendations, it certainly appears as though medical marijuana laws are making our highways safer."

LAPD: Multiple L.A. DUI Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols

The LAPD will be out in full force this weekend, conducting multiple L.A. DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols throughout the city. The message is clear: drive impaired and you will likely get caught.

Instead of trying to work your way around the following DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols, your best bet will be to not drink and drive or find alternative means of transportation: