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The California Highway Patrol is seeking to beef up its enforcement in California DUI cases. The law enforcement agency has received a federal grant that it intends to use to reduce a backlog in outstanding California DUI cases. While checkpoints and other enforcement efforts can be expected to continue, the new initiative is focusing on cases that have already been charged. In a given year, California law enforcement agencies and prosecutors charge thousands of people with DUI. The CHP says that in 2009, more than 210,000 people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California.

The CHP recently announced the creation of a task force formed for the purpose of serving DUI warrants across the state. Currently the CHP says 330,000 misdemeanor and felony DUI arrest warrants remain outstanding.

The CHP received a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is using the grant in an effort to reduce the backlog of outstanding DUI arrest warrants in the state. The task force is expected to be serving warrants statewide. The task force will use service teams to conduct sweeps to serve the warrants.

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Tagged in: Felony DUI

DUI charges in California can bring direct consequences under California sentencing if an individual is convicted of a DUI charge. An experienced Santa Cruz DUI attorney knows that conviction for DUI can have other "collateral" consequences, beyond what the judge imposes at the time of sentencing.

So far this year, six Major League Baseball players have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol across the country. Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball says the topic of discipline for ballplayers who are convicted of DUI will be "a topic of negotiations this time around" when the league and players union sit down to hash out the next collective bargaining agreement.

The current agreement expires in December. There is no provision in the agreement related to off-field matters. The number of ballplayers charged with DUI this year has caught the eye of the league.

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Tagged in: blood-alcohol tests

Hundreds of DUI cases have been called into question in Ventura County after months of faulty readings were discovered. Deputies are required to conduct tests to confirm the accuracy of a reading. Law enforcement first noticed a faulty reading in January. As many as eight devices have shown to provide erratic readings. The breathalyzers remained in use until last week.

The breathalyzers in question were purchased in December. Last week, the county pulled all 128 devices from service. The discovery of inaccurate readings may impact a large number of DUI cases including a number of California DUI convictions in the county. The manufacturer of the Alco-Sensor V breathalyzers reportedly has acknowledged the defect in the devices and claims the problem will be fixed.

Roadside breathalyzer readings taken with the devices have no evidentiary value in court. However, some individuals arrested for DUI may have decided to plead guilty based upon the faulty breathalyzer results. The county elected to begin using the device to obtain an instant reading of breath alcohol content in suspected DUI cases.

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Tagged in: breath tests

Law enforcement believes the two motorcycles were traveling at a high rate of speed on the 10 freeway. Police say both motorcycles were weaving in and out of traffic before the two bikes collided. Law enforcement claims the motorcycles were traveling eastbound on the 10 freeway when the trailing motorcycle clipped the rear end of the lead motorcycle just west of the 405 freeway.

Both motorcyclists were thrown from their respective bikes at a high rate of speed. The 23-year-old biker on the trailing motorcycle that reportedly ran into the rear end of the lead bike was killed in the accident. The 29-year-old biker on the lead bike suffered serious personal injuries and was transported to UCLA medical Center for treatment.

Law enforcement officials took the 29-year-old man into custody at the hospital. Law enforcement claims the man who survived was intoxicated at the time of the Sunday afternoon motorcycle crash.

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California law allows for law enforcement to set up DUI checkpoints, if the operation satisfies certain constitutional safeguards. Santa Cruz drunk driving attorneys know the California Supreme Court provided guidance on the specific criteria for law enforcement to follow in setting up a checkpoint in a case called Ingersoll vs. Palmer.

On Monday, USA Today ran a story regarding smartphone applications that alert users of the applications to a variety of law enforcement operations, including DUI checkpoints. Four federal lawmakers raised their objection to the sale of the smartphone applications.

Four U.S. Senators sent a letter Tuesday to Apple, Google and Blackberry asking the companies to stop selling wireless telephone applications that allow users to identify the locations of sobriety checkpoints. One of the applications that the federal senators targeted is an application the "contains a database of DUI checkpoints updated in real time," according to the senator's letter. The senators also cited an application they say has more than 10 million users, which "allows users to alert each other to DUI checkpoints in real time."

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