Fighting a First DUI Offense

By admin

It does not matter your age, economic status or vehicle when you are in the turmoil of your first DUI offense.

It is scary.

The fear of realizing what could have happened and the fear of what will happen, these are legitimate concerns when trying to understand your DUI arrest.

When faced with a DUI, especially your first DUI, it is imperative to find a DUI lawyer.

Find an attorney who is familiar with DUI offenses and has the connections and expertise to gain the best possible outcome.

Below are some key characteristics to look for when deciding on legal counsel to help in a DUI arrest.

  • Make sure the attorney is ABA (American Bar Association) approved in your state.
  • Find out if there are any complaints against the attorney. If there are, decide how pertinent they are to your case and if they warrant continuing the search.
  • Does the lawyer have an established payment arrangement – one that meets your needs?
  • Are they available to handle your case from start to finish? Make sure the DUI attorney has the resources to handle all aspects of your case.

Finding a DUI attorney to help you fight your DUI offense, may help lighten the harm to your financial, social and overall well being.



Troubles with Tow Trucks

By admin

Many weird circumstances can surround a DUI offense. One’s inhibitions are down and one thing leads to another.

In some instances, people break into establishments or end up stealing, not realizing their actions will be dealt with and there are consequences.

Take 29-year-old Timothy Peare, for example in Bethlehem, Pa. He attempted to steal a tow truck from Saucon Collision hoping to remove his vehicle from an impound.

His vehicle was taken there earlier in the evening. He never actually drove the tow truck off the property, but he had started the vehicle with the intent to help get his car back.

It appears he had a DUI arrest earlier that day and just wanted to get his vehicle.

Now he is faced with more than just a DUI charge.  The police are charging Peare with a criminal attempt to steal a vehicle, theft from a vehicle and loitering/prowling at nighttime.

Another instance of a drunk driver , Claud Gipson- Reynolds, stole a fire truck in Sonoma County, Calif. after he got his car stuck in the mud.

He thought it would be a good idea to break into the fire house to at first call a tow truck. When he saw the fire truck the bright idea popped into his head to “borrow” the fire truck to help push his vehicle out of the mud.

But he also got the fire truck stuck in the mud about 20 feet away from his car.  He then decided to call a tow truck from the fire truck radio’s engine, but instead of a tow truck coming to his rescue, the highway patrol rolled up to the scene.

Gipson-Reynolds was arrested and spent a night in the “drunk tank.” Later he stated this whole incident helped him to realize he had a drinking problem, and he will think twice before he gets into a car to drink and drive.

Many should think about the DUI penalties and aftermath of their decisions they may face if convicted of DUI.

Sources: The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle



Future Ignition Interlocks for all Drivers a Possibility

By admin

Drinking and driving is a universal problem and many are searching for solutions.

Although most people start out with good intentions, one drink leads to another. Before you know it, you hit the brick wall and attempt to figure out how the night took a turn for the worse.

You go back and forth questioning your ability to drive and many times, unfortunately, the wrong choice is made.  You start the car increasing your chances of committing a DUI offense and worse endangering yourself or others on the road.

But what if there was technology that could decide for you?  What if it could tell that your blood alcohol level was over the limit? What if it would not let you start your vehicle to drive home?

For example, if a driver drinks way too much past the predetermined limit, then an ignition interlock will not start the vehicle.

These are usually placed in the vehicles of convicted impaired drivers and commercial vehicles to promote safe driving.

But we are jumping into the future and the realizations that the dangers of drinking and driving affect everyone on the roads. We live in a world where alcohol is a part of everyday life and when mixed with driving can be a deadly and costly combination.

A company in Canada called Alcohol Countermeasure System Corp is investing $18 million in the “next generation” of alcohol-sensing technology. They hope to commercialize this product to combat future drinking and driving.

Some countries have started putting these devises in public buses, school buses and taxis to prevent anyone caring passengers from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Volvos are being built with alcohol sensors and will be sold throughout North America. This way if you decide to get into your car and you’ve had one too many, then your car won’t start – saving you from making the wrong decision.

These devices will no longer be just a form of punishment but of method of teaching drivers to not drink and drive.

Unfortunately in some situations we can’t judge for ourselves. Hopefully modern technology can help stop not only our generation but future ones from getting a DUI offense and worse.



Tight Budgets for Colorado DUI Enforcement

By admin

In a surprising move, Colorado’s Governor Bill Ritter plans to divert more than $1.3 million intended to fight drunken driving to help fill the state’s budget gap estimated at $318 million.

A recent Denver Post article stated that the $1.3 million, which is raised by a surcharge imposed on everyone convicted of a DUI offense in Colorado, has been used to “pay overtime for cops working the ‘Heat Is On’ crackdowns on long holiday weekends.”

This is particularly relevant as the recent Labor Day Weekend statistics are being tabulated and due to be released shortly.

For Colorado, their planned campaign for Labor Day weekend was to be the last funded by those grants if the legislature approves Ritter’s plan, and as of Tuesday, Sept. 8th, the decision has yet to be made.

As of now, in Colorado everyone convicted of an alcohol- related traffic offense pays a $90 fine, roughly 1/3 of which goes to the Transportation Department to fund grants for DUI enforcement.

The money is then dispersed throughout the local law enforcement agencies. For 2009 a total of $1.4 million was available to 56 police and sheriff’s departments. Nearly $375,000 is expected to be left after the Labor Day enforcement campaign.

This being the money that Ritter reportedly froze in an executive order.

Larimer County sheriff’s Sgt. Gerald Baker, who is the head of the department’s traffic unit was quoted as saying, “It’s going to have an impact on our numbers, and it’s a little too early to say whether it’s going to have an impact on injury accidents or fatalities.”

In 2008, within the state of Colorado, nearly 40% of all DUI related traffic fatalities occurred within a 24 hour window of a holiday; the same time period which is now under jeopardy of losing heightened patrolling.



Labor Day Weekend in Review

By admin

Labor Day weekend is a time when families are to get together and celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall, the school year and the ever closing holiday season.

Unfortunately, some find themselves eye-to-eye with the law as they are charged with DUI.

Every region has their own collective of individuals who become part of this year’s statistics, and each in their own right is stunning in their toll.

For California’s Bay Area, this Labor Day weekend resulted in over 370 DUI arrests as the extended weekend began to close down, and it’s likely once the final statistics come in the number will increase. As for now, local law enforcement is proud to say they have rid the public’s travel ways of 370 potential disasters.

According to the story posted by San Francisco’s KTVU, “The weekend crackdown has led to the arrest of at least 371 individuals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, compared to 377 arrests during the same time period last year, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.”

As well, and a point worth mentioning is that the same report stated that there were no deaths in the Bay Area accredited to drunk driving so far this weekend. This compares to the two alcohol-related deaths during the same period in 2008.



Study Suggests Gender Specific DUI Road Tests

By admin

The long standing jokes about women who are pulled over by police and how they get out of tickets may have even less merit than before.

Sure there are cases where a woman may flirt to get out of a ticket or bat her doe eyes innocently at the officer in the hopes of avoiding a ticket, but now there maybe concrete evidence to prove that woman are more at a loss when it comes to the standard DUI laws than ever before.

According to an article provided by the Law Offices of Lawrence Taylor, who is Los Angeles area DUI attorney and nationally-known author of the book Drunk Driving Defense, a study out of Italy shows there is a component to a female’s bio-chemical make-up which could make women more predisposed to fail a DUI road test. The study may prove that woman may be unfairly arrested for DUI in some cases and should be given more gender specific tests.

Taylor cites researchers at the University School of Medicine in Trieste, Italy, who found that women have less alcohol dehydrogenase than men. The study asserts that with less of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol in the stomach, women reach the same blood alcohol concentration as men after drinking only half as much.

The study goes on to state that women reached blood alcohol levels illegal in a DUI case after drinking 20 to 30% less alcohol than men of equal weight.

This could be a sturdy claim that could be asserted by many women when they find themselves eye to eye with a Trooper, but one that seems to only find merit in Italy at the moment.

In Canada, a study has shown that women taking oral contraceptives may reach peak BAC levels more quickly. This is a supposition that other attorneys have used when claiming their female clients failed a breathalyzer test due to the fact that they were taking oral contraceptives at the time of the test.

Both studies may eventually be a foundation for a compelling argument in the court room.

The underlying problem in this is that many women may not choose to argue against the validity of their failed test based on their sex. In fact, in the majority of the cases where birth control was a deciding factor for failure, it was a male attorney who plead the case.

At the end of the day, the best way to avoid this all together is to not drink and drive.



New Program: Calling Relative after DUI Arrest

By admin

There are certain aspects to a night out on the town which most people consider before leaving for the festivities.

“Did I bring enough money?”

“Do I have clean underwear on?”

“Did I find a designated driver?”

All are completely legitimate questions. Now the question of “who do I call from jail when arrested for DUI?” has somewhat of an answer for those who find themselves in a watering hole in Utah between now and Sept. 7th.

The new program is designed to give callers a feeling of what it would feel like to have to make that call – giving them a sense of what their mamma will say, how their spouse will react or how their Priest will have them atone for their sins.

Sounds incredibly awkward- it’s suppose to.

Teaming up together is the Utah Highway Patrol and a group of local Utah bars in the hope of letting people practice an uncomfortable call from the local lockup.The group hopes to help dissuade drinking and driving.

After all, what is more sobering than having to call your mother, father, spouse and let them know you are in the clink for a DUI offense?

A phone number has been set up to reconstruct what it would feel like to make a call after a DUI arrest. After dialing 1-877-JAIL-FON, the caller is given the option to talk to a frantic mother or a disapproving father, among others, such as an angry spouse and even a less than enthused coach and priest. A prerecorded message then plays one end of what the conversation might sound like, with the caller filling in the other half.

Slogans associated with the campaign include “Getting a DUI is easy, calling your mom from jail is hard.”

Maybe it is a testament to the overly stimulated mind of our youth which are no longer scared straight by group visits to the morgue to see a result of a drunk driving accident, or stand face-to-face with a cell mate from Block ‘C’ who is serving life for vehicular manslaughter.

But what these local bars and the Utah Highway Patrol are banking on is that young people partying are still very scared to feel the wrath of their parents for such decisions of stupidity, and a late night partier is still extremely scared to inform their spouse of their decision to stay late and drink it up rather then make their way home.

In either case, the results should hold up as a new dynamic to the fight against drunk driving in the great state of Utah.