The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

June 2012 Archives

Taxi Apps and DUI Checkpoints for the Weekend and Fourth of July

Are you planning on getting 'ligg either this weekend or in honor of our fine nation's Independence Day? If so, now is the time to plan for either a designate driver or alternative means of transportation to avoid the drunk tank.

This week's alternatives to drunk driving are taxi apps for your smartphone. Perhaps your designated driver deigned to down a few drafts. Maybe you slapped him or her in a drunken rage and they left you behind. Either way, you need to get home.

Judge's Mistake Results in Reversed DUI Death Conviction

Us lawyers often don't speak English. It's a problem that many a client or juror can attest to. Terms such as "presumption of innocence" or "gross negligence" are tossed around as if they actually mean something to the average Joe. A courtroom trial, if the language barrier isn't accounted for, can devolve into the equivalent of sitting through a lecture on the intricacies of quantum physics. A juror in such a situation might understand only part of the case, and therefore, would be unable to render a fair verdict.

It is understandable, then, that Judge Richard Stanford, of Santa Ana, tried to translate the presumption of innocence into language that the lay person could understand. Unfortunately, due to some of the flippant remarks of the judge and a nitpicky misstatement of the presumption, the appeals court has ruled that Osvaldo Orozco must be set free ... at least for now, reports the Orange County Register.

50-year-old Woman Arrested after Deadly DUI Head-on Collision

Valerie Stewart of Van Nuys was allegedly driving drunk eastbound on Parthenia Steet. Perhaps due to her alleged intoxication, or perhaps due to lethargy, she swerved into oncoming traffic, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Her Ford Explorer hit the passenger side of an oncoming Honda Civic, shredding off the entire right side of the vehicle. 25-year-old Griselda Sandoval, the passenger in the Civic, passed away at the scene. Her 18-year-old brother, the driver of the Civic, survived. The Ford Explorer ended up running through a fence in a neighboring yard.

Fake IDs ... What's the Worst That Could Happen?

You’ve got a problem. You want to get your grind on at Elevate, yet you lack the proper identification due to your age.

Do you:

(a) Go to a house party instead,
(b) Get a fake ID, or
(c) Try to bribe the bouncer.

If you chose (b), you may be facing extensive jail time

Drunk Driver That Killed Two at Taco Truck Gets $2.75 Mill Bail

Police chases are a very dangerous activity. Police chases of drunk drivers are even more dangerous, whether they are under the influence of drugs and God, or simply alcohol.

Police say that Elba Jimenez, 37, was drunk when she fled after police tried to pull her over, reports KTLA. They noticed her weaving and speeding on the northbound 5 Freeway and hit the sirens. She hit the gas pedal. Eventually, she exited at Caesar Chavez Avenue.

Driving Under the Influence of God ... and Probably Drugs Too

A man claiming that “God took over” and that he was an “angel” was arrested after leading police on a chase across multiple freeways and side-swiping two cars. He is suspected of driving under the influence, reports KTLA.

Based on his statements, drugged driving seems like a distinct possibility.

Bynes Will Prove Innocence; This Weekend's DUI Checkpoints

We’ve covered Amanda Bynes’ strange behavior, including her pleas for help on her DUI case from the POTUS, Barack Obama. If her most recent statements are true, she is completely and totally 100 percent innocent.

And according to the New York Post, she can prove it!

'Roger's Law' Passes Senate; Allows Offenders to Avoid Jail

The highly-criticized bill that would reduce or eliminate jail time for low-level misdemeanor offenders has passed the state Senate, despite some low blows and contentious debate, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The bill, referred to by Republicans in the Senate as “Roger’s Law”, would allow offenders convicted of misdemeanor offenses that require jail time to obtain work-release credits in exchange for engaging in activities that will help them reintegrate into society, such as job training, life-skills classes, and substance-abuse classes.

DIY DUI: Expungement Won't Clear Everything

You may have heard of this process. It's called expungement, and its cleansing name evokes images of a scrubbed, blemish-free record. Well, think again. It is of some use, but it is not the reset button that you might be hoping for.

Expunged DUIs, for example, are still on your driving record and still count as priors for subsequent DUIs for ten years. Thorough internet background checks will probably still find a record of the conviction as well.

DUI Manslaughter Conviction Upheld for Driver Who Ran Out of Gas

He didn't swerve and hit a pedestrian. He didn't run another car off of the road. He didn't even crash and injure a passenger. He got rear-ended by someone traveling almost 80 mph. He ran out of gas. And last year, he got 13 years in prison, reports the Orange County Register.

Earlier this week, according the Register, Christopher James Koppi's conviction was upheld on appeal. The person who rear-ended his stalled truck was subsequently rear-ended by another vehicle and did not survive the collisions.

This Weekend's LA and OC DUI Checkpoints

Seriously, at this point, it'd be a really unintelligent mistake to get a DUI in Los Angeles. With the ignition interlock pilot program requiring the devices for first time offenders, the ridiculous expenses involved with a DUI, and so many other alternatives to drunk driving, it really is in your best interests to make the wise decision ahead of time.

That being said, according to some studies, the advance publication of frequently occurring checkpoints reduce the instances of alcohol-related crashes by as much as 20 percent. So, we're going to help the publicity efforts.

Former Los Alamitos Mayor Driscoll in Solo DUI Crash?

Former Mayor of Los Alamitos, Catherine Ann Driscoll, 42, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after she hit a tree off the Katella onramp to the 605 freeway, reports the Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch.

She reportedly entered the onramp, drove over the side, and collided with a tree. She was transported to a hospital, a blood sample was obtained, and she was cited with suspicion of DUI. She was released into a friend's custody.

According to a CHP spokesman, the charge was driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.

Bynes Pleads Not Guilty; Asks Obama For Help

Amanda Bynes’ DUI case finally made its way to court today, though only for the sake of entering a plea. Bynes’ attorney pled not guilty on her behalf, reports Reuters.

If you don’t remember the underlying incident, Bynes was leaving a club in West Hollywood when she allegedly clipped a cop car, refused to take sobriety tests, and was arrested on suspicion of driving drunk.

Too Fast, Too Furious: Woman Gets Backwards DUI

There was a similar scene in 2 Fast 2 Furious, the worst of the otherwise epic Fast and Furious Franchise. Brian, the protagonist of four of the five films drove his car in reverse at highway speeds while making obscene gestures at his frenemy, played by Tyrese.

Perhaps Marisela Lucero was trying to imitate "art", when she took off in reverse from the Harbor Bay Motel in Costa Mesa. She had apparently just got into an argument with her boyfriend and backed out of the driveway ... and kept going, reports the Los Angeles Times.