The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

Distracted Driving in Los Angeles

Distracted driving has recently become a huge issue in Los Angeles, due to the rapid growth of technology and in the increasing number of cars on L.A. roads. It usually consists of texting while driving, or talking on a cell phone. Because distracted driving has been proven to cause many car collisions on the road, the Golden state enacted new laws in 2008 and 2009 that prohibit texting while driving and mandate the use of a hands-free device when talking on a cellular phone.

Some lawmakers are trying to make distracted driving a more severe crime in California, so it may not be long before Los Angeles DUI attorneys get more involved in distracted driving cases. In fact, in some states in the country, distracted driving penalties are as severe as a DUI. If you have specific questions about distracted driving or if you’ve received a distracted driving citation in association with a DUI charge, you can contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney through FindLaw’s directory.

Recently in Distracted Driving Category

After a Motorcycle Accident, Protect Your Legal Rights

Motorcyclists get a bad rap for being reckless drivers and getting into lots of accidents. But that's not necessarily true; it's just that motorcycle accidents can lead to some very serious consequences.

Motorcyclists aren't always at fault either. In fact, they're often the victims of another driver's inattention, or even faulty motorcycle parts. And because there's little to protect motorcyclists in a crash, the injuries and vehicle damage are often much worse than enclosed-vehicle accidents.

Driving a motorcycle doesn't mean you're entitled to less safety on the road. But if an accident happens, you'll want to protect your legal rights by following these steps:

Drunk Driver and Passengers Plunge 100 Feet Onto Freeway, Two Die

Alcohol impairs your judgment. Couple that with a young driver operating a small boxy SUV, and you have a deadly combination, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. An allegedly-intoxicated driver and a passenger survived a perilous plunge this week, while two others in the vehicle, despite wearing safety belts, did not.

According to KTLA Los Angeles, Christine Meng, 22, of San Gabriel reportedly tried to take the eastbound 10 to northbound 710 freeway ramp too quickly in her Toyota Rav4. The petite SUV went over a three foot wall and crashed 100 feet below onto the westbound transition to the southbound 710.

Danae Miller Gets 4 Years for DUI and Texting Death

Driving while intoxicated and texting? Fatal combination.

Ask Danae Marie Miller of Newport Coast, CA.

The 23-year-old woman was sentenced to four years in state prison last week by Orange County Superior Court Judge Craig Robinson after Miller pleaded guilty last Tuesday to killing a bicyclist while under the influence, reports The Orange County Register.

Miller was charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated for her role in the February 2011 crash. Due to her guilty plea, Miller spared herself the maximum sentence of ten years.

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.

Appellate Court: Cellphone at Red Light Still Violates Hands-Free

Richmond motorist Carl Nelson thought he found a loophole in California's "hands-free" law preventing motorists from using their cellphones while driving. Nelson argued before the First District Court of Appeal that a car is not moving when you're stopped at a red light; thus, drivers should be able to use their cellphones. Interesting theory, but the appellate court didn't buy his argument, ruling on Monday that drivers are still considered "driving" while at a stoplight, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Nelson was given a $103 ticket for using his phone while at a stoplight in December 2009. Appealing his citation, Nelson argued that the 2007 state distracted driving law applies only when you are in a vehicle in motion. Under the law, all drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving. Officers may also cite a driver for using a cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place.

Consequences for Distracted Drivers: Death and Lawsuits?

While waiting for a stoplight to turn green, you hear the enticing chime from your cell phone. It may seem like just a second, but checking your text message may lead to repercussions that you and other distracted drivers will have to deal with for the rest of your lives.

In the city of Glendale, for instance, 20-year-old Ani Voskanian demonstrated the dangers of texting while driving when she was sentenced to three years of probation for gross vehicle manslaughter in August after she caused the death of an elderly pedestrian. The increased amount of distracted driving incidences in the town prompted the mayor to claim it was suffering from a "distracted driver epidemic."

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.

The Dangers Of Drowsy Driving

Which is more dangerous: drunk driving or drowsy driving? The answer isn't a no brainer.

ABC News reports that driving after not getting enough sleep can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence, according to a new AAA study. The results of the AAA study revealed that driving after staying awake for 24 hours was the same as having a blood-alcohol level of 0.10. It turns out that driving while sleepy is similar to driving under the influence.

The Distracted Driver

How can texting while driving lead to a DUI charge?

Well, let's say you're driving under the influence and you decide to respond to a text message. A cop suddenly sees you in the act of texting and decides to pull you over. After the cop interrogates you and talks to you, the cop then suspects that you've consumed alcohol or other drugs and you're suddenly arrested on suspicion of a DUI. Though your driving might be perfect, talking on cell phone without using a hands-free device or texting while driving can indirectly lead to your DUI, where you'll be making that unexpected call to a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer.

Graphic Video Footage Released of Los Angeles Hit and Run

Warning: Do not watch the video below, if you're sensitive to graphic videos. The short segment shows a real-life hit and run incident that occurred on December 28 around 6:00 pm. Police have identified the victims to be ages 14 and 3. They were crossing Main Street, near 43rd street in Los Angeles.

The incident happens so quickly, that it's difficult to process what happens. Though it can be quite scary to see such a graphic hit and run collision, the video shines light on the severity of such extreme hit and run incidents, that are likely alcohol related.