Blog
10.0John William Thornton REVIEWS
CALL US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
Call Us831-426-5800 Call Us831-566-4357
303 Potrero Street, Suite 30, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Recent blog posts

Posted on in DUI

If you're the parent of a teenage driver, you might want to keep tabs on the kind of friends that your child is hanging around with, if you aren't already. Pay special attention to the alcohol and drug practices of your child's friends. If his friends are comfortable with using alcohol or drugs, and driving under the influence of these intoxicants, then it is very likely that your child will also indulge in the same practices.

According to the results of a new study, teenagers very often tend to copy the practices of their friends, when it comes to driving under the influence. The study very clearly found that older high school students were much more likely to drive while intoxicated, when they had friends who frequently drove intoxicated.

It shouldn't be hard to understand the reasons for this. When an impressionable young teenager is frequently exposed to friends who find nothing wrong in driving while intoxicated, the teenager is much more likely to believe that such practices are perfectly normal. Parents play a huge role in helping reduce the risk of underage DUI, and this is one of the things that you can do as a parent to reduce the risk of an underage DUI arrest, involving your teenage child. Step in to end such undesirable friendships in high school, even if such actions prove to be unpopular with your child.

...

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a survey on drug and alcohol use among Americans in 60 cities, testing random motorists. Many of those Americans are furious over the methods that were used for the testing. Many motorists will be outraged to find that they were screened for DUI before they even consented to the test.

Broadly, the methods that are used in the survey, the National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, involve police stopping motorists at roadblocks. Motorists are ordered into the roadblock area without informing them about the purpose of this, and federal contractors working for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ask them to participate in a drug and alcohol use survey. Motorists may be asked for their breath, saliva or blood samples, and maybe offered cash gifts of between $10 and $50 for body fluid samples.

The federal administration goes to great pains to insist that participation in the survey is entirely voluntary, and that drivers have the right to refuse to give samples if they don't want to participate. While drivers are not charged with DUI if those tests are found to be positive, many of them do find that these tests are intrusive, very invasive, and very often leave them feeling trapped in a roadblock.

...

A former San Francisco prosecutor, who admits to having shown off his badge to get special treatment by arresting officers during a DUI arrest, could lose his law license for his behavior. A California judge ruled recently that former San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Marc Guillory could lose his law license for a period of two years.

Guillory has three prior convictions for DUI. During those three arrests he was serving as San Francisco Deputy District Attorney. During his tenure as prosecutor in San Francisco, he was arrested in 2008, 2010, and then again in 2012 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to arresting officers, during each of those incidents, he “badged” them.  This means he showed the arresting officer his Deputy District Attorney badge in order to seek special treatment. The officers say that they interpreted his actions to mean that he specifically sought special treatment from them. Those three DUI arrests are not the only ones that Guillory has on his record. In 1999 he was also arrested and convicted for misdemeanor reckless driving for being involved in a drunk driving accident that resulted in a fatality.

...

Posted on in DUI

Teen singing sensation Justin Bieber was arrested recently in Florida for DUI and drag racing. He is now out on bail. He was arrested after a police officer saw him heading down a street in Miami Beach, driving a yellow Lamborghini at excessive speeds.

According to officers, they were alerted because the star was driving at least twice the speed limit at the time. When he was pulled over, the officers noticed several signs of intoxication. He seemed drunk, and smelt of alcohol. According to officers, he had a look of stupor on his face, and when he was ordered to get out of the car, he made very slow and deliberate movements.

When the officer asked him to put his hand on his vehicle so that he could be patted down for weapons, Bieber refused to do so. He became uncooperative and argumentative. He failed a DUI sobriety test, and was then taken to the station for a breathalyzer test. Officers also found that he was driving with an invalid license.

...

Posted on in DUI

Things are likely to get more complicated and more serious for former teen idol David Cassidy of The Partridge Family show. He was recently arrested for the third time for DUI.

The 63-year-old actor registered at .19% on an alcohol test after he was stopped by the California Highway Patrol in Los Angeles. That is more than twice the legally permissible blood alcohol concentration limit in California. According to officers, they pulled over the actor after they observed him making a right turn on a red light in clear violation of a sign which clearly indicated that no right turns were allowed at the red light. When the officers approached the door, they noticed the smell of alcohol from the car, and arrested him.

Last year, Cassidy was arrested for DUI in New York, after he registered at .10 on a breathalyzer test. The maximum legally permissible blood alcohol concentration level in New York is also .08.

...

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently unveiled a massive $7.5 million ad campaign, aimed at reducing the incidence of drunk driving over the holiday season. The latest series of ads run by the federal agency feature none other than RoboCop, which the federal agency says it has “enlisted” to crack down on drunk driving this season.

In the ad, the agency teams up with science fiction thriller RoboCop, which is set to be released within the next few weeks to launch a new trailer/public service DUI announcement, that warns drivers that they must drive sober or will be pulled over. As RoboCop appears on the screen, a voice-over states that cops are stepping up in their mission to protect the streets from drunk driving. The same actor who plays the lead RoboCop in the movie, is shown catching a potential intoxicated motorist holding up his car keys, and telling him “I’d put those down if I were you”.

Obviously, this is a gimmicky campaign that is meant to capture eyeballs, and it is likely that it will accomplish its purpose. After all, during the busy holiday season, with a much higher incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol, the federal agency's does find itself strapped for ideas and stressed for resources to help get the anti-drunk driving message out and effectively. This is a unique campaign and is likely to get many people talking, and therefore, raise more awareness about driving under the influence of alcohol.

...

Posted on in DUI

A DUI verdict that was delivered in a small juvenile court has reverberated across the country. A judge in a Fort Worth Juvenile Court recently sentenced a 16-year-old boy to 10 years of probation after he confessed to charges arising out of a fatal drunk driving accident that occurred on a rural road. Four people were killed in the accident, and at the time of the crash, the teenager tested positive for a blood alcohol concentration level that was at least three times the legal limit of .08.

His defense lawyers brought to the stand a psychologist who testified in his defense that he suffered from a condition called affluenza. According to the psychologist, this was a syndrome that prevented children like this teenage boy, from learning that bad behavior can have serious consequences. As a result of the syndrome, the boy failed to realize that bad behavior and breaking the rules can have serious consequences, and hence, his poor judgment in driving under the influence of alcohol. The psychologist also brought attention to the fact that the boys parents had failed to punish him for equally poor behavior in the past.

Prosecutors understandably are livid at the judgment, especially since they had sought the maximum sentence in this case, which would have amounted to 20 years in prison. However, the lawyers were very successful in convincing the judge that what the boy needed was not time in prison, but rehabilitation.

...

Earlier this year, officials found mistakes in testing at the Orange County Crime Lab that put the results of hundreds of DUI alcohol tests in jeopardy. Now comes news that even more errors have been discovered at the same lab.

The announcement of the earlier errors was made after officials found mistakes in testing that likely produced incorrect lab test results. Those incorrect results are believed to have occurred over at least 5 months. Several persons, who submitted samples for alcohol testing, and whose test results were affected by the error, have already been contacted by the district attorney's office. Prosecutors have also contacted people who were convicted for driving under the influence or pleaded guilty to DUI, as a result of those botched DUI tests. Not surprisingly, these people are extremely upset about the fact that errors in testing, resulted in convictions for them.

The new error is believed to have been discovered during an audit of the lab's operations after the earlier errors were discovered. Under crime lab procedure, a blood test sample is tested twice using two different machines. The average reading is then taken. However, this error is believed to have occurred when the lab calibrated one of the machines, and failed to input the appropriate data in the software. That meant that the results were skewed by as much as .003 percentage points.

...
Tagged in: DUI DUI Testing Errors

Public opinion in support of legalization has grown stronger in California, and a recent poll by Gallup estimated that as many as 50% of Americans are in favor of the legalization of pot. Soon, California could legalize marijuana, and companies are already experimenting with so-called pot breathalyzers that would help determine the amount of marijuana in a person’s system.

Obviously, before we have a breathalyzer on the market, it is first necessary to determine the maximum legally permissible marijuana level, similar to the permissible blood alcohol standard that we currently have to determine the incidence of DUI in California. Besides, according to experts, any kind of breathalyzer that is designed to help determine the presence of marijuana in the system is not likely to work like an alcohol breathalyzer, simply because there are several modes of consumption of marijuana. The different modes of consumption could lead to different quantities of marijuana showing up in a person’s system.

As California moves towards legalization of marijuana, it will be looking to other states that have already legalized the drug for lessons in this area. Currently, the only two states that have legalized marijuana are Washington and Colorado. In Washington, for instance, possession of an ounce of marijuana is legal, but it is not legal for a person to drive under the influence of 5 ng of THC per mL of blood. That level is already controversial on Washington, where experts have held that the limit is not scientifically accurate, or reliable. Many experts do seem to agree that it will be very difficult to come up with a standard legal limit that is accurate.

...
Tagged in: Breathalyzer DUI

Posted on in DUI

If you are driving in the Martinez area over the next few weeks, expect more numbers of DUI checkpoints. The increase in checkpoints is part of a special targeted effort to increase enforcement action by the Martinez Police Department.

According to the Police Department, the increased DUI enforcement is part of a new campaign that is being funded by a traffic safety grant. The grant, which amounts to approximately $21,515, comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The money will be used to specifically to enforce DUI laws, and reduce the numbers of drunk drivers on our streets.

As part of the increased DUI enforcement action, residents of Martinez can now expect to come across more numbers of DUI checkpoints. The grant will be used in efforts to reduce the numbers of people being killed and alcohol-related accidents across markets. It will be used not just to increase enforcement action against DUI offenders, but also to implement awareness campaigns that educate people about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. The campaign will also include specially trained DUI officers.

...
Tagged in: DUI checkpoints

When police officers are trying to pull you over on suspicion of driving under the infant of alcohol, it is typically better to comply. Failure to do so may result in additional charges being filed against you.

A man in Cleveland who was driving under the influence of alcohol, refused to stop his car, even during a police chase. The police were alerted to the man's DUI, when a pedestrian called in to report an SUV driving at excessive speeds that nearly struck him. However, when the police responded to the scene, they found the SUV backing out of a McDonald's drive through. They began to give chase, but the man continued to drive on.

When the SUV finally came to a stop, the driver admitted that he continued driving because he wanted to finish his Big Mac!

...

Posted on in DUI

The percentage of American teenagers, who admit to driving under the influence of alcohol, has dropped by more than 50% since 1991. However, every year, thousands of California teenagers are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, resulting in long-term financial as well as other consequences.

Your underage child can be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, even if he has a blood-alcohol concentration level of just .01%. That is because California’s zero tolerance laws allow persons to be arrested for driving impaired even if they have had just a few alcohol beverages, that measure at a .01% BAC.

If you are below the age of 21, you're not allowed to possess alcohol, or have a container of alcohol that is unsealed or opened in your car. If you are found with alcohol in your car, you can be sentenced to fines of up to $1,000, and could lose your license for up to one year. Your vehicle can also be impounded for a period of 30 days.

...
Tagged in: DUI

Posted on in DUI

According to a study that was conducted recently by Caron Treatment Centers, summertime is when many college students and underage drinkers are more likely to indulge in inappropriate drinking that results in a DUI arrest.

During summer, every night is a holiday night, and therefore, an opportunity to drink for underage drinkers. A recent study by the Caron Treatments Centers outlines exactly how dangerous the issue of underage DUI in this country, and how little adults are aware of it.

As many as 41% of the adults in the study between the age of 18 and 40 believe that it is best for teenagers to learn to drink responsibly in high school, than wait until they reach the legal age of 21 years. As many as 31% of the teenagers in the study said that their parents accepted underage drinking, including allowing them to drink at home, allowing parties where alcohol was served, and even more dangerous, allowing them to drive after drinking.

...
Tagged in: DUI

There is no denying the fact that the National Football League has had a tremendous PR problem because of these frequent DUI arrests involving its players. The League has dealt with an avalanche of bad publicity over the past few years, with a number of athletes, both past and present, showing long-term signs of debilitation and disability due to frequent concussions while playing pro football. Now the National Football League is also in the uncomfortable position of having to defend many of its star players because of their bad behavior behind the wheel.

Some of that behavior has resulted in fatal accidents. For instance, last year, a fatal accident involving former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent killed one of his teammates. The National Football League wants to target players like Brent, who are involved in serious DUI related accidents. Brent currently faces an intoxication manslaughter charge, and has retired from football.

In 2013, 10 NFL players were booked on DUI -related charges. In 2012, 17 NFL players were arrested on the same charges, including Brent. The League wants players convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing fatal accidents to receive mandatory suspensions from the sport.

...

News reports frequently print stories about arrests of people accused of driving under the influence in California. The media accounts often relay police suspicions that led to a traffic stop, field sobriety tests and other common allegations found in police accounts--the media serves a role in publishing important information.

A California DUI suspect is often hauled down to the jail for processing in the media accounts, and frequently the court of public opinion kicks in after a story is published.

Our system of justice includes checks and balances to protect constitutional rights, including due process concepts such as the presumption of innocence. Criminal defense lawyers act to challenge the government to help protect statutory and constitutional rights--protecting the integrity of the justice system. Criminal charges are properly dealt with in a court of law, rather than in the court of public opinion.

...

A three judge panel in Fresno County has ruled that the use of the map app on an iPhone is prohibited under California's traffic laws. A 58-year-old man who works at Fresno State University says that he was caught in traffic in early January 2012.

While stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on California 41 in Fresno, he says that he checked his map. But the map was not a paper map, but a map app on his iPhone. A California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer was right there, and pulled the driver over to issue a ticket for unlawful use of a cellphone in a motor vehicle.

The man challenged the traffic ticket in superior court arguing that he was not talking on the hand held cellphone, and further arguing that he was not texting while driving. He reportedly brought a paper map into court to show that use of a paper map is more cumbersome than the smartphone app that he allegedly had been using.

...

Law enforcement believes that a 32-year-old Morgan Hill, California man rented 6,000 square feet of space in three units of the commercial building. Morgan Hill officials say that changes had been made to the electrical system inside the warehouse.

Investigators say that 2,775 marijuana plants and 30 pounds of processed pot were seized from the warehouse. Investigators claim that the warehouse was outfitted with sophisticated marijuana growing equipment, as well as measures that authorities believe were intended to hide any odor of the marijuana grow from any outside sources.

Law enforcement concluded the warehouse raid and reportedly obtained a new warrant to search the home of a 32-year-old man who authorities believe can be linked to the marijuana operation. Police claim that more pot and equipment was located in a search of the home.

...

Police say that a man in his 70s crashed into a house Tuesday afternoon-the house reportedly is slated for demolition. Movers reportedly were at the house, removing items from the garage in preparation for the demolition project. Authorities say that the man who lost control of his vehicle struck one of the movers before crashing into the Palo Alto residence.

Police investigating the Tuesday afternoon car accident identified the driver of the sport utility vehicle involved in the wreck as a 73-year-old Palo Alto, California resident. During the accident investigation, police apparently suspected that alcohol may have been a factor in the incident. Ultimately, police arrested the Palo Alto driver on suspicion of felony driving under the influence.

Police say that the driver was not injured in the crash. However, a mover working at the site reported suffered moderate injuries, including a possible broken ankle, according to the Daily News.

...

Last December, this blog discussed a story where police used a trained dog to sniff a car seeking evidence of drugs during a Novato, California traffic stop. Courts generally have held that a dog-sniff outside a car is not a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, and therefore police do not need to obtain a warrant before using a dog outside a car. But the United States Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the legal analysis is different outside the front door of a home.

The issue rose to the high court on an appeal from a drug crime case out of Florida. The state high court had ruled that drugs discovered after police brought a trained drug sniffing dog to a home without a warrant were not admissible in a criminal trial against a resident of the home. Prosecutors appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the case, police say that they had received a tip that a marijuana growing operation was going on inside the home. An investigator brought his K-9 to the home and had the dog sniff the base of the front door.

...

Officials in Stanislaus County, California say that the Central Valley Gang Impact Task force led a 10-month investigation before launching a highly visible sweep last week as authorities arrested 14 people on charges ranging from murder to drug crimes. The investigation and arrests involved officers and agents from the federal state and local levels. While many of the people were arrested on federal criminal charges, at least seven were taken into custody on state crimes.

Many people believe that a task force probe looks solely at a distinct and individual alleged offense. But, a task force probe may be opened to investigate general crimes. The latest visible sweep involved arrests in a variety of state and federal criminal allegations that may not be connected to each other in any way.

Authorities claim that the nearly year-long probe looked into allegations of criminal activity, and law enforcement believes that at least one alleged offense may have links to the Nuestra Familia or the street level gang known as the Norteños. But, in the end, not all of the people arrested in the sweep have been linked to gangs, according to information from the Modesto Bee.

...
Back to Top