DUI

A DUI is often the first obvious sign that someone has a problem with alcohol or drugs. High-functioning alcoholics in particular can avoid detection by hiding their drinking and continuing to perform at school or work. Although a social drinker might get a DUI, generally once they do, they know better than to drink and drive again. The alcoholic drinker, however, tends to get repeated DUIs because once they begin drinking they cannot limit their drinks. More than one DUI should be a significant warning sign.

Posted under Drunk Driving

Don’t Drink and Drive this Fourth of July – or Anytime This Summer

The end of school, beginning of summer, vacations and the Fourth of July are times to savor, enjoy with loved ones and friends, meet new people, see new places, and do new things. But it’s also a time when many otherwise-intelligent people throw caution to the winds and proceed to get drunk out of their mind – and then get behind the wheel. Continue Reading

Posted under Public Policy

House Bill 1789 Passes; Prompts Felon-Status for DUI Offenders

Terms like "felon" may soon become more commonly used, as Washington lawmakers signed off on a bill in late April, 2011, that is toughening penalties for drinking and driving.

The scope of punishment for a DUI is extended by House Bill 1789, including the ability to declare any DUI as a felony, if the driver already holds a previous DUI offense at the felony-level. Stated another way, once a driver reaches felon status for DUI, he or she will remain at felon status. Continue Reading

Posted under Drunk Driving

Passenger DUI Conviction Upheld

A teenage girl has been convicted of both driving under the influence while causing injury (CA Vehicle Code, section 23153(a)) and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more causing bodily injury (CA Vehicle Code, section 23153(b)). Although such a conviction is far from rare in California (even in the teenage population), what makes it uncommon is the fact that the girl was riding in the passenger seat at the time of the crash.

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Posted under Public Policy

Use of Technology in DUI Proceedings

Just after midnight on May 6, 2006, an SUV driven by George Xinos struck and killed a pedestrian who was crossing the Almaden Expressway.  Shortly after the crash, a police officer responded to a call from a nearby homeowner, complaining that a suspicious car was parked out front. When the officer arrived, he noticed that the car had body damage and was covered in blood and other bodily fluids. He encountered Xinos in a nearby doorway.

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Posted under New York

New York DUI Offenders Can Participate in Collaborative Prevention Program

An innovative collaboration in New York means drivers convicted of a DUI may get the chance for an intervention that could include weekly courses designed to help prevent the behavior, and a driver’s license issued under certain conditions. The new program, called the Drinking Driver Program, or DDP, uses a format designed as a collaborative effort between the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASAS) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

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Posted under Drunk Driving

First-Time DUI Offenders Must Install Ignition Interlock Systems, According to New York Law

As of August 15th, Leandra’s Law will be in full effect in New York, including mandatory installation of ignition interlock systems for all drunk-driving offenders. Leandra’s Law was put into motion after Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old girl, was killed when her friend’s mother, Carmen Huertas, flipped the car over while driving drunk. Six other children were also injured during the accident.

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Posted under New York

New York DUI and Drug Diversion Legal News

New York Gets Tough on People who Let People Drive Drunk

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Posted under Drunk Driving

Sobriety Checks Versus Saturation Patrol: Which Method Saves More Lives?

Driving under the influence (DUI) continues to be a problem throughout society within the United States, despite increased awareness, penalties, and traffic stops. To Try and contain the problem on U.S. roadways, law enforcement has typical two methods: sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.

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Posted under Addiction & Society

What Works for Deterring DUIs?

Driving while intoxicated remains a primary cause of death and injury in the U.S. – and the threat of getting caught and punished by jail time or fines just isn’t enough to stop people from engaging in drunk driving.

A 2006 University of Florida study shows no pattern between stricter DUI consequences and a reduced rate of DUI arrests. Highway statistics continue to reflect the discouraging trend: in 2005, 16,000 people died from car accidents related to alcohol and more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for being under the influence. The study could prompt more research into why people drive drunk, and which legal policies are actually effective at reducing the behavior.

While the threat of jail or fines do not seem to be strong deterrents, measures including increasing the drinking age, revoking licenses for offenders and more sobriety checkpoints are linked to a reduced number of alcohol-related arrests and fatalities.
Researchers suggest the disregard toward the threat of arrest, fines or jail time stems from widely varying legal consequences for drunk driving; a lengthy time frame for sentencing; and the fact that most people who engage in the behavior have done it many times before getting arrested. Enhanced alcohol education across the school spectrum is also recommended as a possible solution, but more research is called for to determine why people continue to drive under the influence.

The study analyzed 26 years of data and compared fines and jail sentences for drunken driving across the nation with the number of arrests for DUIs and fatal car crashes related to alcohol. Forty-eight states were included in the study. While several had minimum jail terms for drunk driving and mandatory fines for it, many states punish drunk driving similarly to underage drinking – a finding especially concerning toward college students. While students may realize drunk drinking is a more serious offense than underage drinking, they may be less deterred from the behavior if punishments remain similar to other seemingly “lesser” alcohol offenses.

Study leaders suggest these legal inconsistencies may generate a certain psychology toward drunk driving and repeatedly getting away with it. On average, people arrested for driving under the influence had done so previously from 50-200 times. Having friends that drink, and the impaired sense of reason related to drinking, are also listed as factors in the trend.

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Posted under Drunk Driving

California DUI Law: Too Harsh and Not Harsh Enough

Whenever I hear about a horrific car accident involving a drunk driver, it always seems as though it’s not that person’s first brush with the alcohol police. A typical news report recounts the details of the fatal, or at least very serious, accident that injured innocent bystanders or fellow motorists, and then goes on to reveal how many previous DUI convictions the drunk driver has. A thorough reporter will also have discovered which ineffective sentences the drunk driver has served in the past.

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