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Investigations into the train accident near Los Angeles, which left more than 50 people injured, are now beginning to focus on the DUI history of the truck driver involved in the accident. He has several DUI convictions on his record.

The man, José Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez apparently drove his truck onto the tracks, believing that it was the roadway, and later abandoned it. The train crashed into the pickup truck, and several of the cars derailed. More than 50 people were injured, and one of the engineers who sustained injuries in the accident, has since died.

Police found Sanchez-Ramirez more than a mile from the accident scene, walking and in distress. Prosecutors are waiting to file charges against him, and reports indicate that he has several previous DUI violations on his record. Tests have been conducted on him, but results are pending. It is not yet known whether drug or alcohol use were a factor in the crash.

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Posted on in DUI

In those DUI cases in which a person is driving while drunk with a minor child below the age of 14, he is exposing himself to not just charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, but also felony or misdemeanor charges of child endangerment.

Under California law, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol anyway. However, when you are breaking the law, and also have a minor in your car with you, the charges against you are aggravated. You are eligible for charges of child endangerment to be filed against you. You don't have to be involved in an alcohol-related car accident for these charges to be filed against you.

The law will not look at your intentions while driving under the influence of alcohol, or any of the excuses that you provide for driving with a minor in your car while intoxicated. It will not even consider the effects of the results of your intoxicated driving. California law will only look at whether you had a child below the age of 14 in your car at the time that you were driving under the influence.

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In Florida, a DUI defense lawyer hit the headlines recently for his daring advise for motorists at DUI checkpoints.

The lawyer in South Florida distributed a number of flyers that simply encourage motorists, who find themselves at a checkpoint to refuse a DUI test, and keep their windows rolled up. The lawyer’s flyer distributed across the South Florida region, informs motorists that all they have to do when stopped by police at a DUI checkpoint is to keep their car windows rolled up, and hold up the flyer, so that police can read it.

The flyer also advises them to hold up their license, vehicle registration, and insurance documents to police at the window. It advises them to keep silent, and not speak at all. It also advises them to record all that happens on audio, or video.

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Posted on in DUI

Taxi share service Uber is coming under criticism for its claims that cities that have seen an increase in the use of its ridesharing app have also seen a corresponding drop in the number of DUI arrests and accidents.

Recently, the ridesharing service published the results of a new study together with Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) in which it claimed that the rising popularity of Uber had led to a reduction in the number of drunk driving accidents, and even drunk driving arrests in states like California. However, critics are not so impressed. According to them, there is no clear connection that conclusively establishes a relationship between the popularity of the ridesharing service in certain cities and a reduction in DUI arrests or drunk driving accidents.

According to Uber, since the service launched in California, the number of drunk driving accidents has actually decreased by 60 accidents per month. Those statistics translate into 1,800 few accidents over the past one and half years alone. However, the company has no conclusive evidence to show that the use of its ridesharing service prevented so many of these accidents. In fact, Mothers against Drunk Driving, which co-authored the study that came up with those findings, says that there is no causation relationship between the drop in DUI accidents, and the increasing use of the app. In other words, there is no clear evidence that shows that cities where Uber is popular see fewer drunk driving accidents.

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Lawmakers getting into trouble for DUI don't exactly make the news in California. However, DUI defense attorneys for one lawmaker who was recently arrested for driving under the influx of alcohol have called for charges to be dropped against him for a unique reason that was drafted by people riding in horse-drawn carriages.

They argue that the lawmaker is currently in the middle of a legislative session in the state, and therefore, should not be arrested for DUI at this stage.

According to the attorneys, charges against Kentucky’s Senator Brandon Smith must be dropped, because of a provision in the Kentucky Constitution that holds that a lawmaker cannot be arrested while the legislative session is in progress. Senator Smith was arrested on January 6, which also happens to be the day the 2015 session officially began.

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