We are used to hearing about DUI checkpoints around the state and country on busy weekends due to holidays or other events. Those checkpoints usually consist of breathalyzer tests and sometimes field sobriety tests as well. Now, however, some checkpoints incorporate a mouth swab testing for other substances besides alcohol if impairment is suspected. Learn more about this addition in the article below.
There is a lot of debate throughout the Kentucky legislature about a new bill involving first-offense DUI convictions. Some lawmakers think it would “discourage risky behavior” while others think it is unfair to keep a first DUI on one’s record for their entire life. Read the article by following the link below its introduction below and decide what you think about this. What if legislation like this made its way to California?
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) A bill moving through the state legislature would restrict people to just one first-offense DUI conviction in a lifetime. State law treats DUI offenses on a sliding scale, with penalties escalating for each subsequent conviction.
This weekend will be like any other as police and local law enforcement set up DUI checkpoints around Southern California. If you plan on being out and about in Orange County please DO NOT drink and drive as the checkpoints pointed out in the article below will occur. You can expect checkpoints to pop up next weekend, too, as it is Super Bowl weekend. Please consider shared ride options or use a designated driver.
MISSION VIEJO, CA If you plan on partying Friday, Jan. 27 and Saturday Jan. 28, remember to call Uber or See Jane Go in Orange County.
“Deputies from the Orange County Sheriffs Departments DUI Enforcement Team will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the Departments ongoing traffic safety campaign,” Lt. Mark Stichter of the OCSD said.
DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy from 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, through 3 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests in the cities of Dana Point and San Clemente.
“High Visibility Enforcement using both DUI checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols has proven to lower the number of people killed and injured in alcohol- or drug-impaired crashes,” Stichter said. “Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized, proactive DUI operations are routinely conducted.”
In California, alcohol-involved collisions led to 1,155 deaths and nearly 24,000 injuries in 2014 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Over the last three years, deputies have investigated 149 DUI collisions that have claimed 10 lives and resulted in another 45 injuries.
“Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment,” he said. “When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, which now accounts for a growing number of impaired driving crashes.”
Studies of California drivers have shown that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems according to the OCSD.
A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if youre taking medication whether prescription or over-the-counter drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment effects.
Don’t Drink and Drive, DDVIP!
Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or DDVIP, free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver, from free non-alcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more.
The feature-packed app even has social media tie-ins and a tab for the non-DD to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.
“The cost of a ride home is cheap. Those caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out,” Stichter said.
Funding for this DUI operation is provided to the Orange County Sheriffs Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to Report Drunk Driver Call 9-1-1.
Get free real-time news alerts from the Mission Viejo Patch.
New Years Eve is a wonderful night filled with celebrations and ringing in the new year, but it is also a time where cops are going to be out in full force policing roadways and looking for reasons to pull people over. Don’t be one of those getting a DUI this weekend. Check this site periodically throughout the holiday weekend to get updated locations for these checkpoints.
California DUI Checkpoints
Click here to stay up-to-date with the newest checkpoints, updated in real time: http://bit.ly/1WQWw1U
Everyone knows that you can be stopped for suspicions of driving under the influence if you are displaying unsafe driving behavior. You should also know that other substances besides alcohol or illicit substances can make you behave in ‘not normal’ ways. A California man was pulled over last year because of this and the only substance in his system was caffeine. Read about it in the article below.
In August 2015, a California man was charged with a DUI after testing positive for caffeine even though his blood tested negative for alcohol. On Wednesday, the countys district attorney dropped the case.
Joseph Schwab, 36, was driving home in Fairfield, California, when he was pulled over by an Alcohol Beverage Control agent who claimed the man was weaving in and out of traffic, Fox 6 reported.
The agent found legal workout powders in Schwabs car. After asking Schwab to perform field sobriety tests, the agent arrested him.
The driver seemed very amped up, very agitated, very combative, and she thought he was under the influence of something, Krishna Abrams, Solano Countys district attorney, told Fox 6.
Schwab agreed to undergo a blood test in jail, and the results came back negative except for caffeine.
Forensic toxicologist Edwin Smith told the news station that caffeine may actually improve the ability of most drivers.
Very few, if any, of those people are having problems functioning in a task like driving, Smith told Fox 6. Most are probably doing it as well, and potentially even better than they would do without it.
Abrams dropped the DUI charge against Schwab on Wednesday.
San Diego Sheriff’s Dept. Awarded DUI Reduction Grant
The $250,000 grant will fund a year’s worth of special operations and campaigns.
Governor Brown recently signed a new Bill establishing a new drunk driving law in the state of California. An ignition interlock device will be required for variable amounts of time for those with any number of DUI offenses. The new law will not go into effect until 2019, but news of this serves as a warning of future consequences for those who drive under the influence.
Ignition Interlock Requirement for DUI Offenders Signed Into Law by Gov. Jerry Brown
A bill requiring most convicted drunken drivers to install ignition interlock devices that would prevent them from driving while intoxicated was signed into state law Wednesday.
The bill will expand an existing four-county pilot program that requires the devices, which are essentially in-vehicle Breathalyzers. The statewide program will go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1046, the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving announced.
Authored by state Sen. Jerry Hill of San Mateo, the bill will require or allow use of ignition interlock devices aka an IIDs in several circumstances:
- for a first DUI offense involving an injury, an IID would be required for six months;
- for first non-injury DUI offense, an offender may choose to have an IID for six months with full driving privileges, or a one-year restricted license that only allows driving to work, alongside a treatment program;
- for a second DUI offense, an IID would be required for a year;
- for a third DUI, an IID would be required for two years; and
- for fourth and subsequent DUIs, IIDs would be required for three years.
The devices cost about $60 to $80 per month, with an installation fee of $70 to $150, according to Hill. The bill includes a program to help low-income offenders.
In a news release, Hill cited figures that state about 1,000 people die in California each year due to drunken drivers, and more than 20,000 are injured.
MADD was a major backer of the bill.
No parent should have to lose their child to the criminal negligence of a drunk driver especially when technology exists to prevent such a tragedy, said MADD board member Mary Klotzbach, whose son Matt was killed by a drunken driver in 2001, in a statement.
Since the pilot program began in 2010 through late last year, the devices have stopped about 125,000 attempts to drive by offenders with a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, according to MADD data.The pilot program covered Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare counties.
And a DMV report last year found that IIDs are 74 percent more effective than licenses suspensions in preventing repeat DUIs for first-time offenders.
Twenty-eight states require the devices for all drunken driving offenders, according to Hill.
Just under two years ago, two Los Angeles police officers arrested a driver for a hit-and-run, but allegedly failed to conduct DUI procedures as witnesses say the driver was very drunk. The officers are now being accused of one felony count each and could face prison time. If anyone is drunk and gets behind the wheel, consequences should be expected. A case like this is an example of how long consequences can be drawn out for all parties involved.
Two Los Angeles police officers have been charged with covering up a crash involving a drunk driver and later filing a false police report, prosecutors say.
Following an internal affairs inquiry, Officers Rene Ponce and Irene Gomez were charged Sept. 6 with a felony count each of filing a false report and conspiracy to commit an act injurious to the public, according to the Los Angeles County district attorneys office. Both pleaded not guilty last week.
The two were patrolling the Hollenbeck Divisions Boyle Heights area on Oct. 26, 2014, when they were dispatched to a crash in the 3000 block of East Side Boulevard.
Prosecutors said an intoxicated driver had smashed into two parked vehicles, but the officers opted not to conduct a drunk driving investigation.
In their report, Ponce, 39, and Gomez, 38, lied and wrote that the driver had fled the scene, according to the felony complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
This Labor Day is a great time to enjoy yourself with the festivities to celebrate the working people, but it is also a time where cops are going to be out in full force policing roadways and looking for reasons to pull people over. Don’t be one of those getting a DUI this weekend. Check this site periodically throughout the holiday weekend to get updated locations for these checkpoints.
California DUI Checkpoints
Click here to stay up-to-date with the newest checkpoints, updated in real time: http://bit.ly/1WQWw1U
A law was recently passed by the Supreme Court forcing police officers to have a warrant to conduct blood alcohol tests after pulling an individual over for a suspected DUI. The interpretation of this law is worrisome to PA residents because those who have previously had a blood test, and therefore were charged, might now want to appeal that.
In the weeks following a Supreme Court ruling that police need warrants to get blood alcohol tests on people stopped for driving under the influence, law enforcement authorities remain uncertain of its impact.
From the state to local levels, authorities are still sorting out the June 23 ruling, which followed appeals by three people who had been arrested for driving under the influence.
The people, in North Dakota and Minnesota, submitted to blood tests after being told they faced criminal penalties if they refused.
The ruling bars police from levying charges or threatening to charge those who refuse a blood test.
Police do not need warrants for breath tests, which can be given on the spot. Refusing to take a breath test can result in a criminal penalty.
In Pennsylvania, people who refuse the blood tests aren’t charged for that, but do face steeper penalties if they are convicted, including losing their licenses for a year.
For Philip Gelso, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the ruling makes Constitutional sense.
“The ruling makes it clear that you need a search warrant. The bottom line is that it’s no different from your house. To get into your house, (police) need a search warrant and probable cause. It’s the Fourth Amendment protection (against unreasonable searches and seizures),” he said.
Law authorities are working to better understand the ruling.
“The department is analyzing the ruling and our stations throughout the commonwealth continue to work with the respective county district attorneys to follow guidance provided as a result of the ruling,” said state police Cpl. Adam Reed.
In Carbon County, District Attorney Jean A. Engler is proceeding with caution.
“We’re waiting to get some guidance statewide so all of the counties can address this in a uniform manner,” she said.
Engler has sent letters to police chiefs who have asked for guidance, “but I’m careful to say this is until further notice.”
Both Schuylkill County District Attorney Christine A. Holman and Engler are concerned the ruling will burden police and district judges, and predict a tsunami of appeals from people who contend they were coerced into the tests.
Engler is concerned the ruling may trigger a tidal wave of appeals of drunk driving convictions.
“We’re certainly going to contest the retroactivity, she said. “That could affect hundreds of thousands of cases.”
She also said appeals to a higher court are likely.
“Unfortunately, it will be awhile until we get a review by an appellate court in Pennsylvania,” Engler said.
“One of our judges will make a decision, and the aggrieved party will file an appeal. But that could take six month to a year,” she said.
Holman has sent instructions on the ruling to police departments. The instructions state the ruling makes it illegal to impose or threaten to impose penalties for refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test, absent a warrant or an emergency situation.
Breath tests are allowed without warrants, and departments that have the machines should use them.
If police suspect a driver is under the influence of drugs, and that person refuses a blood test, police can call in a Drug Recognition Expert, the instructions state.
There are 156 drug recognition experts in Pennsylvania, most of them at state police barracks.
Or, police can seek a warrant, or note the emergency situation that does not allow for the time needed to get a warrant.
Flood of hearings
The reasons must be stated in affidavits of probable cause and written reports.
“At this time, it is unclear what effects this decision will have upon pending DUI charges,” Holman notes on the instructions. “We are continuing to analyze this decision and confer with other prosecuting agencies to anticipate the extent of the repercussions this decision will have upon Pennsylvania DUI law.”
She warns of a “flood of suppression hearings” for DUI cases in the wake of the ruling.
However, she warns people the ruling doesn’t give them a pass to drive under the influence.
“We’re going to be relying heavily on DREs and breath tests,” Holman said. “If they are pulled over, they are going to be detained longer than they would have been previously if they refuse a test.”
Chief Detective Dolly Malec said there has been a large increase in the numbers of drugged driving cases that may require a drug expert if the blood test is refused.
Holman also said district judges have called her, worried about a possible tidal wave of warrant requests.
The requests are liable to be a headache for district judges who may be hauled out of bed at 3 a.m. to type up a warrant.