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Category Archives: The Arrest

New Rules for DUI Checkpoints

Beginning on New Year’s Eve and then onward, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced they will be using a new portable device at sobriety checkpoints. This device is a swab testing tool-kit, that will check for drug use with suspected drivers. A California state grant supplied the LAPD with funds to use the swab testing kit at DUI checkpoints and jails.

DUI for Drugs Lawyer in Orange CountyLos Angeles officials reported, that the drug-swab kit is to be used along side the breathalyzer tools used to measure blood alcohol content (BAC) in a person’s body. The LAPD stated this was a necessary step to their aggressive campaign to stop impaired driving, during the holidays, and beyond. L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer made reference to the increased amount of medical marijuana dispensaries in the Los Angeles area, and the amount of drivers driving under the influence of marijuana as a main reason for this new procedure at DUI checkpoints.

The drug swab testing kit has the ability to test for amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, benzodiazepine (Xanax), methadone, and especially THC. There have been 0 reports of test results from the kit being used in any cases thus far. If given the opportunity, Californian prosecutors will use this chemical test evidence to achieve guilty verdicts. If you have given a check swab drug test at a DUI checkpoint you should seek the help of a DUI attorney immediately.

This past June the Supreme Court ruled in favor of law enforcement, stating that police officer’s legally have the right to take DNA samples from those arrested, despite the fact that they have not been convicted of a crime, or even gone to trial.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-new-years-dui-checkpoints-20131227,0,3004417.story

 


If you or anyone you know has been arrested for DUI it is imperative you contact an Orange County DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Chad Maddox for a free consultation, (714) 695-1500.

 

Chemical & Field Sobriety Tests

If a police officer stops you for a legal reason(speeding, broken tail light, etc), and suspects a possible DUI after making contact, the officer will start a DUI investigation. There are two purposes of this investigation: the first is to determine whether you are in fact driving illegally, the second is to build evidence proving your inebriation. The DUI arrest is so clouded in rumors and misinformation, that it takes an experienced DUI lawyer to fully understand the nuances of the investigation.

When stopped for a DUI, do I have to answer the officer’s questions

The simple answer is no. You must cooperate with the officer. However, you are not required to answer any questions about how much you have had to drink, eat, or sleep, or any other questions other than providing the information contained on your driver’s license.

Am I required to take any F.S.T.s, like the “one-leg stand” or “walk & turn” test?

You are NOT required to perform any field sobriety tests. While it is possible that you may perform well enough that the officer will not arrest you, it is highly unlikely. The officer is having you perform these tests so that he can gather evidence to be used in court to demonstrate that you are impaired.Suspended License DUI

What is the difference between a P.A.S. and a chemical test:

The officer may also request you take a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test before you are arrested. This test is also voluntary; however, this is very easily confused with the chemical test that is mandatory if you are arrested.

  • The voluntary PAS test is administered BEFORE an arrest, and is tested with a breathalyzer.
  • The mandatory chemical BAC test is administered AFTER an arrest, and is tested with either a breath or blood sample (or in some instances with a urine sample).

It is this mandatory chemical test that carries a one year license suspension for refusing to cooperate with law enforcement. Furthermore, submitting to a PAS breath test before you’re arrested, does not fulfill the requirement for the mandatory chemical test after arrest. With intricacies such as these, the confusion surrounding a DUI arrest quickly becomes apparent.

Whether or not a chemical BAC test will help or hurt your case is very fact specific. If you stopped drinking minutes before the police stopped you it could help with a “rising blood alcohol” level defense. But if it has been some time since your last drink, this test could prove harmful to your case. It takes a knowledgeable DUI lawyer to know whether your chemical test readings can be a help or a hindrance to your Californian DUI case.

What if I refuse to take a Breath test or blood test?

If you are arrested for DUI the law requires you to submit to, and complete, either a breath or blood test to measure the alcohol content of your blood. A urine test is no longer an option unless the officer suspects that you may also be under the influence of drugs.

Breathalyzer Test Administered During a DUI StopIf you refuse to complete a breath or blood test you may still be prosecuted for DUI and your license will be suspended. In addition to the punishments for a DUI, if you “refuse” to submit to a breath or blood test after you are arrested, your punishments will be more severe.

There are specific procedures officers must follow in order for your license to be suspended for a chemical test refusal. For example; the police must clearly explain to you, the consequences of refusing a chemical test. If the police are alleging that you refused a chemical test it is crucial that you immediately consult with an experienced DUI attorney. I offer free consultations in person or over the phone, call me today 714-695-1500.


If you or anyone you know has been arrested for DUI, you should contact a DUI Lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Chad Maddox for a free consultation, (714) 695-1500.

DUI Suspension Periods

There are several formalities and procedures police officers must follow when investigating and arresting you for Driving Under the Influence. Police officers are bound by the law just as you are. When they do not properly follow the law during your arrest, it may result in an “unlawful arrest”. This is why it is important for all CA drivers to know their rights when stopped on suspicion of a DUI, and to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible, in the case of an arrest.
Police are Bound by Laws that Protect You

How long will my license be suspended for a DUI in CA?:

The effects of a DUI suspension can be one of the most damaging and confusing aspects of the entire DUI process. For any given DUI; the courts & the DMV impose SEPARATE license suspensions. For most the majority of cases, the court & DMV suspension periods may be served at the same time (for example: someone with a basic 2nd DUI conviction, could potentially receive a court-triggered suspension of 2 years, and a DMV APS suspension of 1 year. Since credit for both of these suspensions can be earned at the same time, a 2nd DUI offense has a practical suspension period of 2 years, not 3).
It is highly recommended that you seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer who exclusively handles DUI & license suspensions to represent you through this ordeal.

  • If you are 21 or older at the time of your arrest:
    • 1st DUI has a potential license suspension of: 30 days + 10 months restricted
      • 4 months (suspended by the DMV) if your alcohol level is 0.08% or more
      • 6 months (suspended by the courts)
      • You may be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days
    • 2nd DUI has a potential license suspension of 3 months + 21 months w/IID:
      • 1 year (suspended by the DMV) if your alcohol level is 0.08% or more
      • 2 years (suspended by the courts) May be served at the same time as DMV suspension
      • You may be eligible for a restricted license after 90 days
    • 3rd DUI has a minimum license suspension of 6 months + 18 months restricted:
      • 1 year (suspended by the DMV) if your alcohol level is 0.08% or more
      • 2 years, up to 10 years (suspended by the courts)
      • You are ineligible for a restricted license if you received your 3rd DUI while on probation for a prior DUI offense
    • A “refusal” to take a chemical test during your arrest can result in:
      • 1 year suspension for 1st DUI
      • 2 year revocation for 2nd DUI (a revocation is a more severe form of suspension)
      • 3 year revocation for 3rd DUI (a revocation is a more severe form of suspension)
      • There is no provision to obtain a restricted license for refusal DUIs
  • If you were under the age of 21 at the time of your arrest:
    • If your blood alcohol level is 0 .01% or more you will be subject to a one year license suspension
    •  You will not be eligible for a restricted license

Getting a DUI Causes Lots of Problems with Your Ability to DriveWhen you are arrested, the officer will likely take your license and give you a pink colored temporary license and order of suspension.  You only have 10 days after your arrest, counting weekends and holidays, to request a DMV hearing to challenge the order of suspension. It is of the utmost importance to seek the help of a license suspension lawyer to represent you at your DMV hearing. If you do not request a hearing, the license suspensions discussed above will automatically go into effect 30 days after your arrest.  Requesting a hearing within 10 days of your arrest is crucial because after that time period you have given up your right to challenge the license suspension.

DUI Checkpoints in OC

DUI checkpoints, or sobriety checkpoints, are set up at certain locations and stationed by specific law enforcement officials to stop drivers and investigate for signs of impairment or intoxication. Law Enforcement officers continually defend the use of sobriety checkpoints as necessary for public safety and often cite the number of DUI arrests, on site, as defense for checkpoint use. As the public it is our job to question the use of any processes issued by government officials or federally funded programs that may or may not infringe on our liberty and freedoms.

First and foremost, the facts: Sobriety checkpoints are surrounded in legal ambiguity. The uncertainty of the legality for sobriety checkpoints leads many states to not conduct them at all. In twelve states total, these checkpoints are not allowed to be run at all. Many of the states that do not conduct sobriety checkpoints have ruled that they are unconstitutional. Each U.S. State is forced to interpret sobriety checkpoints individually, and thus individual laws and regulations are created that vary from state to state, and sometimes from county to county within the state.

oc dui lawyer for checkpointsFocusing on California, you need to know the Law when it comes to DUI checkpoints. Here are some legal statutes.

  • An announcement of when the sobriety checkpoint will be implemented needs to be made by law enforcement to the general public at some time before it is created. (The announcement may be made on the law enforcement’s website, in the newspaper, or on the radio)
  • Drivers are legally allowed to choose alternative routes when seeing a DUI checkpoint. They may not be forced to enter the checkpoint, and may not be pursued if they change directions legally.
  • A trained officer or superintendent must be on site to oversee the checkpoint.
  • The sobriety checkpoints must emphasize safety. They may not be placed in an area without proper safety procedures. Visibility must not be obscured.
  • These sobriety checkpoints have certain procedures, and the details of those procedures must be known, like how they plan on stopping vehicles that enter the checkpoint.

Knowing your rights is very important when entering a sobriety checkpoint. Many California citizens are concerned with the legality of our checkpoints because of the increased number of arrests, citations, and vehicle impounds made at these sobriety checkpoints while having nothing to do with driver impairment or intoxication. Be smart, be safe, and be aware of your constitutional rights. You are the best person to look out for YOU.

http://www.chp.ca.gov/html/dui-en.html
http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/impaired_laws.html

Erin Brockovich – Boating DUI

Famous environmental activist Erin Brockovich-Ellis was arrested June 9th under suspicion of boating under the influence, while attempting to dock her boat in Lake Mead, Nevada. It was reported a game warden arrested Erin Brockovich-Ellis after allegedly volunteering to help dock her boat, after she showed signs of incapability.

“She was not sure how to maneuver the boat into the dock,” Edwin Lyngar, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, reported. “It’s a simple thing if you can think clearly. But if you add alcohol and unfamiliarity of the area, it can all cause serious problems.” Her BAC, was reported to be almost twice the legal limit, which is .08, the same as in California.

Brockovich issued a statement of apology. “At no time was the boat away from the dock and there was no public safety risk,” she said. “That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake, I know better and I am very sorry.” After being booked at Clark County Detention Center, Erin Brockovich-Ellis posted $1,000 bail, and was released. Under Nevada law, as a first-time offender of boating while intoxicated there are fines that range from $1,000 to $2,000 but usually no jail time.

Being aware of local alcohol usage laws is critical when drinking within the legal limit and operating machinery. If you find yourself facing an Orange County DUI, California boating under the influence, or any other similar charge contacting a professional defense lawyer is in your best interest.

News articles: abcnews.go.com/US/activist-erin-brockovich-ellis-arrested-nevada-operating-boat

nydailynews.com/news/national/erin-brockovich-arrested-alleged-boating-dui

police being awarded unfairly

Law enforcement officers awarded for DUI arrests

Last month in Columbia, South Carolina, police officers were awarded for their crack down on drunk driving. Local officers were awarded for various accomplishments. One officer was awarded “Rookie of the Year” for registering nine DUI arrests. A local highway patrolman was also awarded for having 109 DUI arrests under his belt. This begs the question, is it appropriate to give police officers public awards for doing their job?

Drunk driving is a serious offense, but with varying laws and regulations from state to state it is important that police officers and the public alike see eye to eye on such a serious issue. As a populace are we comfortable with officers receiving a bonus for one particular type of arrest over another? Even more alarming is in the same Columbia area, local law enforcement agencies have set-up a live drawing with DUI arrests being the ticket in, for two new fully equipped police vehicles. The public must be aware of local DUI laws, as well as search and seizure rights, because law enforcement agencies are spending more time pursuing drunk driving. It would not be too much of a stretch to wonder if such “raffles” for new police vehicles or awards for DUI convictions are going to affect an officer’s ability to remain fair and unbiased.


 

Read the original article: http://www.midlandsconnect.com/news/story.aspx?id=880553#.UctC2vlO-So

community caretaker DUI

“Community Caretaker” DUI

Under state law, there is a general requirement that warrantless detentions must be based on a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a crime has taken place or is about to take place. However, the community caretaker doctrine is an exception to this requirement, whereby the courts have given the police the authority to act (in certain cases) to help distressed citizens. A knowledgeable Orange County drunk driving defense attorney can further advise you with regard to the specifics of the doctrine as it relates to your case.

With respect to drunk driving cases, the implementation of the community caretaker doctrine has been specifically demonstrated in a variety of cases, such as the case in which a defendant was sleeping on the side of the road with the engine still running and the headlights turned off. The officer knocked on the window; however, the defendant did not wake up. As a result, this caused the police officer to proceed to enter the vehicle by opening the car door, at which time he realized that the defendant was, in fact, in a drunken state.

Given those set of facts, state supreme courts have found that the police officer’s imposition in those types of cases was lawful under the community caretaker doctrine. Courts have clearly expressed a three-pronged standard for reviewing community caretaker investigations. First of all, provided that there are objective, specific, and articulable facts whereby a veteran officer would believe that a citizen needs his or her assistance or is in danger, then that officer has the right to stop and investigate.

Next, if the officer deems that the citizen does need assistance, he or she may proceed to take the appropriate actions needed in order to provide the necessary assistance or mitigate the danger.

Finally, you should note that once the police officer has ensured the citizen’s safety and believes that he or she is no longer in need of assistance, any actions that the officer takes beyond that point will constitute a seizure. If you need an experienced Orange County drunk driving attorney, please call the DUI Law Offices of Chad Maddox today for a free consultation.

How to cross examine a police officer at a DUI trial

Cross Examination of an Officer on Blood Shot Eyes

Police officers often claim that a person’s bloodshot eyes indicated that he or she was under the influence of alcohol. An experienced Orange County DUI lawyer can successfully counter this claim by conducting a good cross-examination of the arresting officer.

Here is an example of how that cross-examination might proceed.

Attorney: Officer, you stated that at the time of the arrest, the defendant’s eyes were bloodshot, correct?
Officer: Yes.
Attorney: Did you ask the defendant when he had last gotten sleep?
Officer: No.
Attorney: Officer, surely you have had times when you have had bloodshot eyes after not getting much sleep, correct?
Officer: Yes.
Attorney: In fact Officer, isn’t it true that there have been many different reasons why you have had bloodshot eyes?
Officer: Yes.
Attorney: And that in most of those situations, your eyes were not bloodshot because you were intoxicated?
Officer: Yes.
Attorney: So isn’t it fair to say that just because a person’s eyes were bloodshot is not reason enough to conclude that a person was under the influence of alcohol?
Officer: Yes. That reason alone is perhaps not enough.

Questions along these lines can be used to persuade the jury to discredit the officer’s statements regarding bloodshot eyes. Your Orange County DUI lawyer must skillfully demonstrate that many variables, besides alcohol, may exist to cause bloodshot eyes.

The cross-examination of the arresting officer gets even better when he comes to court with bloodshot eyes himself. This is not uncommon. Officers, who normally work late nights making DUI arrests, may not get much sleep before coming to an early morning trial. Then, your Orange County DUI lawyer can weave in cross-examination questions specific to the arresting officer’s own bloodshot eyes to further drive home this point to the jury.

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence and are facing trial, do not hesitate to retain the services of a skilled and dedicated Orange County DUI lawyer. Call the law office of Chad Maddox, an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer, today at (714) 695-1500 for a free initial consultation regarding your DUI situation.

15-Minute Observation in for a DUI Breath Test

The DUI breath test is the most common way for law enforcement to determine a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Although the breath testing sobriety test seems to have taken on an aura of scientific certainty, it is really subject to a host of accuracy problems. As such, if you were administered a breath test as a form of a sobriety test, it is possible for your Orange County DUI lawyer to successfully and completely discredit the results.

DUI Breath Test

Inaccurate breath test results may be the leading cause of wrongful DUI arrests. One way for your Orange County DUI lawyer to successfully challenge this is to determine whether the arresting officer complied with the requirements of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations section 1219.3, which requires that before an officer can administer a breath test, he or she must continuously watch you for 15 minutes to make sure you do not belch or regurgitate. This is because even the slightest belch could bring alcohol to your mouth and give a false high reading on the breath test.

Despite this legal requirement of a continuous 15-minute observation period, arresting officers commonly fail to abide by it. This failure can be detrimental to a prosecution’s case. Often, the officer will not continuously observe the individual but will either do paperwork or start the 15 minutes while driving to the station. If the continuous observation is not performed as directed by the law, then the result of the breath sample is not reliable. Your Orange County DUI lawyer will be able to expose the arresting officer’s error and undermine the validity of the breath test.

Your Orange County DUI lawyer may even use the expertise of a defense expert to enlighten the jury as to the importance of the 15-minute observation period to the accuracy of a breath test.

If you have been arrested for a DUI and was administered a breath test, your Orange County DUI lawyer may be able to successfully discredit the results and have your DUI charge dismissed.

For a free consultation with Orange County DUI lawyer Chad Maddox call (714) 695-1500.

DUI Mobile Command Units

A new method to curbing drinking and driving incidences has been popping up all over the country. Law Enforcement officials all across the nation have been utilizing more mobile command units than ever before.

Mobile Command units typically range anywhere from 100,00 to 150,000 dollars and they are being pursued because they give local law enforcement the availability to have DUI response teams set up in more immediate and efficient places to stop drinking and driving. More and more people are seeing these “Command Units” set-up at public events such as fairs or concerts. The main goal of law enforcement officials running the DUI Mobile Units is to have the ability to process intoxicated individuals at the scene of the drinking before they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

These mobile command units are built to do a number of things. Those who are intoxicated can be brought into the unit where officers can run various inspections such as: giving a breathalyzer test, taking blood tests, and having urine tests completed as well; while these are not the only examinations that can be given to determine whether a person is intoxicated or not, they are the most likely to be administered.

These Mobile Command Units are gaining popularity because the simple sight of them deters drinking and driving. Law enforcement is supportive of such tactics because they make not only the processing of drunk individuals faster, but also easier, as these command units contain many more tools than any one single patrol car can.

The mobility of these DUI Command units is also helping their popularity. They are easy to move from one side of town to the other, and do not require nearly as much work as normal checkpoints do.

When drinking in public, it is important to realize that these mobile units are there to deter drinking and driving. If you are in the vicinity of a DUI Command Unit make sure to be aware of your rights. These DUI Command Units are gaining in popularity and seem to be here to stay.


While the irony of this suspected DUI crash can be found comical, it only goes to reaffirm the need of these DUI mobile command centers in the eyes of law enforcement, and remind us all how serious a matter drunk driving is.

drunk driver crashed into dui mobile command center