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Monthly ArchiveJanuary 2007

California DUI Law &DUI Law hudson on 29 Jan 2007

New Laws for the New Year

Welcome to 2007, the Legislature, in it’s infinite wisdom has changed the laws effecting California drivers and most importantly, California Commercial drivers.

Increased License Suspensions

Effective January 1, 2007, upon conviction an individual who is found guilty, or pleads “no contest” to a DUI with either the high BAC (blood alcohol concentration) enhancement (.20 or above) or a refusal allegation (having refused to provide a sample of blood or breath in a dui alcohol case or blood or urine in a dui drug case) will have a 10 month suspension imposed on their driving privilege. This suspension is four months longer than it was through 2006. The statute does have a provision for an immediate restricted license provided certain documents and fees are paid to the DMV and the license is not suspended for any other reason.

Commercial Driver Changes

Any conviction for commercial vehicle violations must be reported to the driver’s home state. This places an additional burden upon the DMV in California to notify the commercial driver’s home state of vehicle code violation convictions in California.

A conviction for hit-and-run, in any type of vehicle (commercial or private car) will result in a one year suspension of the driver’s commercial driving privilege. (Similar to the suspension for a DUI conviction).

A second conviction for hit-and-run will result in a lifetime revocation of the commercial driving privilege.

Please be aware that all of these changes go into effect upon conviction, a conviction occurs when there is a finding of guilt or a “no contest” plea. You are innocent until proven guilty, or you admit the charges.

For additional information on these changes to the Vehicle Code (and others) please go to the DMV Website.

Uncategorized hudson on 19 Jan 2007

Business Opportunities in Alcohol Detection

The Canadian Broadcaster CBC is reporting that two Canadian firms are on the cutting edge of the “in-car” alcohol testing equipment market. These companies are developing technology to test alcohol concentrations while people are driving. The technologies being tested are similar to those reportedly in development by Toyota. (see my blog 1/10/07). One of the technologies being tested is a skin/perspiration measurement that will allegedly detect the alcohol concentration of whoever is steering the car. A similar technology is apparently in development in California. These technologies seem to be somewhat useless as driving gloves would render them ineffective.

Needless to say, the business opportunities for these companies are significant considering the size of the U.S. market and the European Markets. The drive is on to develop technology to test driver’s for alcohol (or any other compound/chemical that the device “thinks” is alcohol).

See this cautionary tale.

Uncategorized hudson on 10 Jan 2007

Cars That Measure Alcohol?

It has been recently reported that Toyota and Nissan are experimenting with alcohol detecting devices that would be part of the standard equipment on their cars. The Toyota design currently being developed relates to modifications to the steering wheel. The Toyota steering will would include sweat sensors located on the steering wheel perimeter where drivers hold the wheel. Another sensor would be located in the center of the steering wheel, it would analyze the breath of the driver, steering movements could be analyzed as could the pupils of the driver.

These products, currently in development, represent one more step toward a “big brother” state. The technologies in these devices are not proven, many other compounds will trigger these sensors, thereby preventing the car from starting. It doesn’t take much to envision a scenario where a parent has been home working with a solvent or paint and a family emergency requires a trip in the car and the car won’t start. Further, these technologies, as currently employed by law enforcement for criminals, require regular maintenance and service to verify their accuracy and continued effectiveness.

Is drinking and driving prevalent enough to put your family at risk?