DUI checkpoints 7/30 to 8/1

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It’s the weekend!  You know what that means — DUI checkpoints all over the country.  Stay safe this weekend.

California: Fontana; undisclosed location; Saturday, 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

California: Riverside County; eastbound lane of San Timoteo Canyon Road, between Fern Avenue and Refuse Road; Saturday, 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Indiana:  Goshen; undisclosed location; Saturday night

Florida:  Ocala; near the 4900 block of Southwest 60th Avenue; Friday, 8 p.m. to midnight

You're Busted… For Believing This DUI Myth.

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Have you heard this one?

If I suck on pennies, I can pass a breathalyzer test.

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I have a friend who SWEARS by this. He claims he sucked on pennies right before taking a breathalyzer and he passed. This guy also think apple juice is an alcoholic beverage, so he’s not the most reliable source.

There has been some rumor floating around that the copper from the pennies will get into your saliva and fool a breathalyzer test. However, it is important to remember the breathalyzer is testing your breath, not your saliva. Even though a chemical reaction may be occurring with your saliva and the metal, the breathalyzer’s reading will not alter. There is no way the copper from a penny will “dilute” your BAC level and lower the reading on the breathalyzer.

Also, putting pennies in your mouth? Gross! You have no idea where those coins have been…

Jason Lieber Explains CA's new Ignition Interlock Law

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CA’s new ignition interlock law has only been in effect for almost a month. We know you still may have some questions regarding the details of the law. Luckily, Angie got a chance to talk with DUI attorney Jason Lieber of Lieber, Williams, and Labin to get an overview of the law and find out how it will affect a lot of Californians.

Take a listen!

Listen to internet radio with 1800 DUILAWS on Blog Talk Radio

For more information on ignition interlocks, please visit Smart Start of California.

Leandra's Law 101 with Attorney Jeffrey J. Jowdy

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Leandra’s law goes into effect in New York within a few days and I know many New York drivers feel in the dark about the new law and how it will affect them. The law will now make it a felony to drive drunk with a minor in the car as well as require anyone with a DWI offense to install an ignition interlock device.

With any new law, there are certain complexities that arise. To provide some insight, we have New York and Connecticut attorney Jeffrey J. Jowdy to explain how he feels about the law and how it can affect you.

RK: Have any of your clients been required to use ignition interlocks before? How did they react?

JJ: I have had a number of clients who have had to install ignition interlocks on their motor vehicles. After the initial shock my clients have come to accept the device as necessary for being able to maintain the ability to transport themselves without relying upon others or public transportation.

Initially the cost was a very large factor in how they reacted, but since costs of the devices and the monitoring services that issue is not as severe as it was a couple of years ago.

I have had clients with pending cases install the device as a way to improve their cases while they were pending. I have found this to be a useful tool in negotiating pleas.

Unfortunately however, the Departments of Motor Vehicles that we work with are still having difficulties in issuing conditional licenses that require ignition interlock devices. I am sure that when the new law goes into effect next month those difficulties will decrease.

RK: How do you think Leandra’s law will affect your cases in the future?

JJ: There will be a substantial affect on any case involving minor passengers. In the past cases like this were dealt with using risk of injury to minor type penal laws. Now that there is legislation specific to these cases that creates a felony for any offender, it will make cases more likely to go to trial and severely limit plea negotiations.

Anytime a new “crime” is created by the legislature, it is significant.

RK: Do you feel Leandra’s law is fair or do you find it too harsh?

JJ: I understand the position of the legislature in cases such as this and do believe that legislation specific to DWI charges involving minor passengers was needed. I think that making the charge a felony regardless of other extenuating circumstances is too harsh.

Anytime new legislation like this is created I often wish that it is done with varying degrees within the offense itself. I believe that there should be accelerated penalties for those who commit this offense with any prior DUI/DWI conviction on their record and that there should be more flexibility in dealing with First Time DWI/DUI offenders who find themselves charged with violating Leandra’s Law.

RK: What do you think the most important information NY drivers should know about Leandra’s law?

JJ: Obviously, the most important element of the law is that it is a felony to drive with a BAC over .08 with a passenger under 15 years old or younger.

.08% BAC is not a very high threshold and the fact that mere operation is now a felony, NY drivers should be even more mindful of their alcohol intake when they know that they will be transporting minors.

RK: Do you think Connecticut will follow in the same fashion as other states and update their ignition interlock law to require anyone with a DUI offense to have one?

JJ: At this time I am not aware of any plans for the State of Connecticut to update their DUI legislation to include ignition interlock devices.

The way Connecticut has set up its DUI laws does make for an easy transition should they wish to make an ignition interlock device mandatory however.

For first offenders, the Law requires that the offender’s Connecticut License or their Privilege to drive in Connecticut be suspended for a period of one year. Any requirement for an ignition interlock device can accompany this suspension. Moreover, since people who plead to DUI offenses in Connecticut usually have a prior arrest for DUI, legislation such as this might provide offenders with an ability to drive when it may not have existed previously.

For more information on Jeffrey Jowdy and state DWI laws, you can visit his New York page or his Connecticut page.

The Smart Start of New York website  has useful information and can help you find an ignition interlock in New York.

Checkpoints for Friday, July 23rd and Saturday, 24th

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Friday (Tonight)

Lorain, Ohio
Broadway North of 16th St
10 pm to 2 am

Petaluma, CA
6 pm to 2 am
2 undisclosed locations

Los Angeles, CA
8pm to 2 am
Ventura Blvd btw Eureka Drive and and Fruitland Drive in North Hollywood

Los Angeles, CA
8 pm to 3 am
Venice Blvd and Walgrove Ave

Rancho Cordova, CA
8pm to 2am
Undisclosed location

Sacramento, CA
Time undisclosed
East area of the city

Lake Elsinore, CA
Time Undisclosed
Saturation Patrol

Folsom, CA
7pm to 3 am
Location Undisclosed

*Update
Palm Springs police cancel checkpoint but plan on using extra patrols instead. For more info, click here.

Saturday

San Jose, CA
6 pm to 12 am
3700 Block of Alhambra Ave (Martinez)

Los Angeles, CA
8 pm to 2 am
Sunset Blvd btw Genesee Ave and Spaulding Ave in Hollywood

DUI Tidbits for July 22nd, 2010

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I’ve been a little tid-bitted out over the Lindsay Lohan case and frankly I don’t care to know what she is eating for her first official prison lunch. (It was turkey tetrazzini if you do care.) Needless to say, if you search hard enough there are a few more interesting DUI stories amidst the plethora of LiLo stories.

I’m not sure if this is karma, irony, coincidence, or something that just makes you go, “huh”. Either way, a beer truck driver got pulled over for a DUI in Colorado this week. The driver, Dale A. Van Vuren, was transporting over 40,000 pounds of beer when the semi went off the road, hit the median wall, and toppled over.

If you’re interested in voicing your opinion, CBS news wants to know which celebrity took the prettiest mugshot. You can vote here. However, I still believe the prettiest mugshot is this guy, but that’s just me.

It’s an inside joke around the office that there is always an athlete out there getting a DUI. However, our jaws pretty much dropped when we found out that an athlete actually helped to nab a drunk driver. Cleveland Browns lineman Shaun Rogers called the local police on July 15 when he witness a someone swerving on the Interstate 71. Police officials thanked Rogers and hailed him as a local hero.

You're Busted… For Believing this DUI Myth!

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We may not be as cool as Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters, but it does not mean debunking DUI myths won’t affect you. I am sure you hear rumors and advice from people across the spectrum about how to beat a DUI. However, we are here to tell you what is true and what is a myth.

MYTH: If I drink coffee or water right before I drive, I will be okay.

Sure, my day does not start without my morning cup of joe. However, if you drink coffee to sober up right after drinking alcohol, you will feel alert but alcohol will still be in your system. Additionally, you will be dehydrating yourself.

Some people believe that drinking water after drinking alcohol will make you okay to drive. Of course, it is always beneficial to drink water and it is my number one warrior against hangovers. However, it is impossible to drink water right after drinking alcohol and quickly sober up. It will not immediately flush the alcohol out of your system and it will not expedite the lowering of your BAC level.

The only way to sober up, my friends, is time. Wait it out and don’t take any unfound shortcuts thinking you can safely drive.

Happy Lindsay Lohan Goes to Jail Day!

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How Goofing Off Can Lead to a DUI Arrest

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A DUI is a conviction in which a person has to operate a vehicle under the influence. A vehicle can be defined as many different things and you can get in more trouble than you think.

We all have had times where our inner frat guy comes out after a few drinks. We think we are not dumb enough to get behind the wheel, but we are dumb enough to do some other ridiculous exploits. Needless to say, there are plenty of cases where a person gets a DUI after doing something which seemed funny at the time.

1. A Go-Kart Excursion
Possible Scenario: “Dude, let’s go go-karting. We haven’t done that in forever. It will be hilarious.”
What Actually Happened: Back in April, a man thought a license suspension did not apply to a Go-Kart, which he randomly had. He drunkenly drove the go-kart home from a bar and was pulled over.

2. The Tricycle Experiment
Possible Scenario: “Look at how hilarious this is! I’m an adult sitting on a tricycle. I look like a giant. Let’s see if I can ride this thing.”
What Actually Happened: Back in 2008, police spotted a drunk man on a tricycle riding on the wrong side of the road. The tricycle happened to be adult-sized, but it was a tricycle nonetheless.

3. Showing Off That New Invention
Possible Scenario: “All I did was attach a motor to this thing. Want to take it out for a spin?”
What Actually Happened: We have two crazy stories in this category. After his viral video internet success, a man got a DUI in his motorized bar-stool. Also, a man who attached a motor to his La-Z-Boy chair found himself in some legal trouble. I guess something that seems this convenient could still be very inconvenient.

4. Power Wheels Theft
Possible Scenario: “I dare you to drive your son’s Lil’ Ford down the street.”
What Actually Happened: A UK man lost his license after police pulled him over in a pink Barbie car.

5. Being a Cart Wrangler
Possible Scenario: “Shopping carts! Cool! Dude, push me down this hill real fast.”
What Actually Happened: Police found an intoxicated man driving a motorized shopping cart from Wal-Mart that the store provides for its disabled customers.

6. Aquatic Hijinks
Possible Scenario: “I can’t believe this aquarium serves beer!”
What Actually Happened: Two drunk British men were arrested for disturbing a dolphin. Apparently, they grabbed the dolphin’s fin to see if they could ride it.

Language Barrier Reverses DWI Conviction

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A New Jersey ruling made national news in recent days, which requires police officers to explain the implied-consent law to motorists in their native language, or the language they most understand. This ruling came as a result of a case which involved a Spanish-speaking man, German Marquez, who refused the breathalyzer test. Marquez was charged with a DWI for his refusal. However, the implied-consent law was read to him in English, a language which he did not understand. The state’s high court deemed this unlawful and the conviction was overturned.

This is a very important ruling in the world of drivers’ and immigrants’ rights. I had a chance to do an interview with top New Jersey DWI defense lawyer, Evan M. Levow of Levow and Associates, P.A. Here is what he had to say:

RK: Have you ever had any cases where language barriers were an issue?

EL: Many. Even where someone has a very good grasp of the English language, when anxiety provoking situations arise, that person likely is thinking and processing information in his or her “first” language. The implied consent warnings — stating that the driver must submit to breath testing — are complicated and confusing to anyone. For those who use English as a second language, these warnings may be impossible to understand without translation.

RK: How do you feel about this new ruling? How do you think police officers will respond?

EL: This ruling is absolutely correct, and brings a reasonable solution to an issue that plagues many people. New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states in the country, and is representative of the melting pot of cultures and languages. It will certainly make things more difficult for the police officers, but, to protect the rights of the accused, translation of the warnings is essential.

RK: How do you think this new ruling will affect your cases in the future?

EL: The ruling clarifies the rules for everyone – the police, the accused, the prosecuting attorney, the judge, and the defense attorney. While adding complexity to the arrest situation, it can only help everyone in the long run.

RK: Let’s say a person speaks a different language that’s not one of the languages the translation provides. Since, statistically, it’s not a language often spoken, do you believe the police should still be at fault?

EL: The police aren’t at fault, but the system is still broken if a person who speaks a language other than English is not able to understand the implied consent warnings which are required to be read to the accused motorist. What is the point of the requirement if the person doesn’t understand what is be read to him or her? In those situations, the requirement has not been complied with, and a defense to the charges exists.

RK: Is there any other important information you believe NJ citizens should know about this new ruling? Anything the rest of the country should know?

EL: It only makes sense that a warning be in a language that the person receiving the warning can understand and process properly. If the person isn’t provided the proper warning in his or her language, a defense to the DWI or Refusal charge exists, and that person should contact a qualified DWI attorney to challenge the evidence in his or her case.

For more about Levow and Associates, P.A., please visit their website.