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DUI Enforcement &DUI Issues &DUI Law &Kapsack & Bair &Notable DUI Defendants hudson on 28 Aug 2012

SF Archbishop Suspected DUI in San Diego

Over the weekend the newly appointed Archbishop for San Francisco was arrested in San Diego. Mr. Kapsack was quoted in an Oakland Tribune article relating to the caution that District Attorney’s will exercise in evaluating evidence and determining whether charges should be filed. Our office often tries to intervene in the process between arrest and filing to put forward defense strategies and prevent charges from being filed, for regular citizens as well as high profile citizens. Early intervention may prevent charges from being filed. Read the Oakland Tribune Article.

California DUI Law &DUI Enforcement &DUI Law hudson on 30 Mar 2010

Discretionary Lifetime Suspension on 3rd Offense

Earlier today a bill passed out committee that would permit Judges to permanently revoke the drivers license of persons convicted of a third offense. AB 1601 sponsored by Assembyman Jerry Hill will allow Judges to revoke the driver’s license upon conviction of a third offense DUI.

While both the California DUI Lawyers Association and the ACLU spoke against passage of the bill it moved from the Public Safety Committee to the Assembly Appropriations Committe on a 5-2 vote.

This bill, seems to serve a noble purpose, removing from the roadways persons who seemingly can’t exercise good judgment when they drink alcohol. However, like most legislation in the DUI arena, it makes for great headlines and publicity for the elected official but it doesn’t serve justice and certainly doesn’t accomplish the goal which is to reduce the number of drivers under the influence.

This bill does not limit the “look back” period as state law does (10 years) and would permit a Judge to permanently revoke a person’s license upon conviction of a third offense even if the two prior convictions were many years in the past and/or separated by many years.

What about juvenile DUI’s, do these lapses in judgment or “youthful indiscretions” count? What if the person was under 21 but was a .1? Does this count? Can’t the law provide for a more compassionate punishment for the mistakes of persons who are convicted of DUI? Maybe a longer period with an ignition interlock device, maybe take into consideration the fact that upon conviction the defendant is sentenced to a minimum of 120 days of jail, often times it is the first time a person convicted of DUI actually does any “real” jail time.

It also ignores that alcohol is the number one “self prescribed” medication, several times a person will turn to alcohol to deal with the death of a parent, divorce or other emotional situation. During the grieving period they may turn to alcohol to help “cope” such behavior can result in multiple DUI’s during a very short period, should these otherwise law abiding citizens lose their licenses for life? Take away their livelihood at the very time when they need support in their delicate emotional state?

Providing impetus for the bill was a headline grabbing story regarding two drivers who racked up more than two dozen DUI convictions between them. Unfortunately, the back story is that only 310,000 drivers in California have 3 DUI convictions a relatively small percentage of the more than 22.5 million licensed drivers (<a href="http://www.statemaster.com/graph/trn_lic_dri_tot_num-transportation-licensed-drivers-total-number"). Further, it assumes the worst in people, nearly every adiction clinic advises it's participants that sobriety is a daily task, that mishaps and backsteps occur, to allow a license to be revoked following such an incident seems a travesty.

DUI Enforcement hudson on 28 Dec 2008

80% of CHP to Work Weekend

In a press release (following a press conference) the California Highway Patrol announced that up to 80% of the entire force will be working the holiday weekend from December 28, 2007 through midnight January 1, 2008. The funding for this incredible display of law enforcement is a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, additional funds will permit the CHP to conduct at least 100 checkpoints and 65 DUI task force operations throughout 2008. Of course, Mother’s Against Drunk Driver’s was present to further its prohibition campaign.

California DUI Law &DUI Defense &DUI Enforcement bruce on 29 Aug 2008

Judge Declares San Francisco DUI Roadblock Unconstitutional

On Friday the 22nd of 2006, Judge Gorgi of the San Francisco Superior Court ruled
that a San Francisco police roadblock from last September violated the Constitutional rights of drivers. In two separate DUI defense cases, I was able to successfully argue that the roadblock, set up on Geary at Steiner, did not meet the minimal requirements established by the United States and California Supreme
Courts.

Judge Gorgi found a number of violations existed but three, in particular, seemed to bother her. First was the admission that police would stop motorists who did nothing wrong except try to avoid the checkpoint even if they used the route the police created. Additionally, the lack of proper notice
before the check point coupled with its location led her to rule the entire event was wrong. Continue Reading »

DUI Enforcement &Uncategorized staff on 12 May 2008

Push on Bike on your own property – get 4 days in jail

This gentleman seems understandably upset.

DUI Enforcement &DUI Law staff on 12 May 2008

DUI Legislation from someone With Experience

Well in Texas many things are big including DUI fines. There is a special $3000 “driver responsibility fee” that you can get. One of the driving forces behind this law was Texas State House Transportation Chairman Mike Krusee.

Seems like driving legislation through the legislature is better for Krusee  than driving a vehicle – seems like he just picked up his 2nd DUI arrest and faces this special fine himself.

DUI Defense &DUI Enforcement hudson on 30 Mar 2008

Cautionary Tale

This article recently appeared in an Arizona newspaper. It relates the story of a woman who appeared to be under the influence by a citizen informant. He watched the woman drink glass after glass of white wine then load up her car with her 4 year old son and head out onto the highway. The citizen informant called the police when she ran a stop sign. The woman drove over to a local mall and the informant followed her, even pointing her out when the police arrived.

The police conducted a dui investigation which the overweight woman had trouble completing, finally she provided a breath sample which measured .04. Still, she was arrested, her child taken away from her as she was taken to jail. At the jail she provided a chemical test that was below the .04 she provided in the field. That didn’t stop the District Attorney from filing charges for DUI instead of apologizing for the conduct of law enforcement.

The truth of the matter was that she was driving home from dental surgery, she stopped for lunch and ordered a mimosa which she didn’t finish as it irritated her mouth, she then switched to water… which was served in a wine glass, repeatedly.

This article is a statement of the sad reality of how one person, who wasn’t doing anything wrong, ended up in a legal pickle.

DUI Defense &DUI Enforcement &DUI Law hudson on 07 Mar 2008

Underage License Ramifications

Many times we are confronted with an under age driver who may be charged with a violation of Vehicle Code section 23136 or 23140 NOT 23152 which is the adult DUI statute. It raises the spector of avoiding the one year suspension, The accused has the right to request a hearing prior to the DMV imposing a one year suspension. The case can base the suspension on either a PAS test or an evidentiary test at the police station, jail, or crime laboratory. In truth, VC 23136 is an infraction which means that it is subject to fines in court but no suspension from the court, however, the under 21 year old driver has a very slim chance of winning the APS hearing as the burden of proof born by the DMv is very low, while they must lay a foundation to use the PAS device (sometimes challenging as the law enforcement agencies frequently fail to comply with accepted standards for maintaining and calibrating the hand held device) and frquently we are able to preclude that number, the subsequent evidentiary test is much more difficult to defeat.

DUI Enforcement &DUI Issues hudson on 15 Feb 2008

Washington State Crime Lab Director Quits

Following the conclusion of the 3 judge panel regarding the “culture of compromise,” Barry Logan the director of the Washington State Patrol Laboratory announced his resignation. At the conclusion of the investigation and the ultimate decision rendered by the panel relating to the failures of the crime lab to protect the rights of the accused and the integrity of the laboratory procedures. While the Director will stay on until March to oversee the changes in procedures to ensure that the problems raised by the old regime are cleaned up.

Alcohol Issues &DUI Cases &DUI Defense &DUI Enforcement &DUI Issues &DUI Law hudson on 04 Feb 2008

Washington State Patrol Laboratory… Busted

Earlier this week a three judge panel finally concluded the drama in King County regarding the Washington State Patrol’s Toxicology Laboratory and oversight of breath testing program. The 29 page indictment found that many of the safeguards employed in proper laboratory protocols were not followed and in fact ignored by the Lab Manager, Anne Marie Gordon.

The panel found that Ms. Gordon authenticated test solutions that were prepared by other laboratory personnel without independent validation. The laboratory protocols called for calibration/accuracy testing solutions to be prepared and independently tested by the lab personnel. The importance of these solutions rests in that the entire breath testing program relies on the accuracy of the solutions to validate the measurements taken by breath testing equipment. The solutions are heated and the vapor is used to simulate human breath, that vapor is measured by the breath testing equipment and the result is compared to the “known” value. Of course, the problem arises when the “known” value isn’t actually “known” and the machines are calibrated to the unknown value. Without knowing what the machine is actually measuring it is difficult to verify the accuracy of the accused citizen’s breath test.

The panel found that other procedures were employed by the lab that resulted in a “culture of compromise.”

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