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Category Archives: DUI News

* The people featured in the following stories are not represented by or associated with the Anaheim DUI Law Offices of Chad Maddox in any way. The purpose of these articles is purely educational.

Affluenza Teen, Ethan Couch, Arrested

Ethan Couch Arrested in Mexico

Ethan Couch, also known as the “Affluenza” teen, made national headlines in 2013 due to his involvement in a car accident that resulted in the death of four people. Couch, who was 16 at the time of the accident, became known as the “Affluenza” teen after his lawyers successfully argued that he suffered from affluenza—a supposed psychological illness that affects rich youth, rendering them spoiled and incapable of comprehending the consequences of their actions.

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Driving on a DUI suspended license

Sowers - Newport Beach Harbor Court

Newport Beach Courthouse Cites 4

On Aug. 3, Orange County Sheriff deputies cited 4 people for attempting to drive, without licenses, after their DUI hearings. Deputies staked out the Newport Beach courthouse looking for people who were going to drive after being explicitly told not to and after their licenses were suspended. The deputies followed 15 suspects from their hearings to the parking lot, according to a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

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Aldon Smith Arrested For 3rd DUI

NFL Linebacker Aldon Smith Arrested for 3rd DUI

NFL Player 3rd DUI ArrestThe San Francisco 49ers had their star linebacker Aldon Smith arrested Thursday night (8/6) on hit and run, vandalism, and driving under the influence charges, as reported by police in Santa Clara, California. Aldon Smith was booked into the Santa Clara County jail, with a $26,000 bond, before he was released last Friday. This latest DUI arrest is the third for Smith since he entered the NFL in 2011. Smith was arrested for DUI in January of 2012, but the charge was later reduced to reckless driving. Continue reading

California Prop 47

Proposition 47 Can Reduce Certain Felony Sentences

Proposition 47 has turned certain felonies into misdemeanors for some non-violent drug and property crimes. This can lead to an early release from incarceration, for inmates who have been sentenced for non-serious and non-violent crimes. 

Who does this affect?

This recently passed proposition will immediately affect people who are being prosecuted, or have been convicted of the felonies covered under the prop. Namely:

  • Inmates who are currently incarcerated because of a felony conviction that is now being considered a misdemeanor
  • People who are currently being tried for a felony that is now being considered a misdemeanor
  • Anyone with a loved one that is still serving time for a felony that is now being considered a misdemeanor

If you think you may fall into one of these categories please call our office for a FREE consultation.

Which felonies are now being considered as misdemeanors?

The following crimes have been reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor by the State of California:

  • Health & Safety Code 11350(a), Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Health & Safety Code 11357(a), Possession of Concentrated Cannabis
  • Health & Safety Code 11377(a), Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Penal Code 459, Commercial Burglary (during business hours and less than $950)
  • Penal Code 470, Forgery (less than $950)
  • Penal code 476a(a), NSF Checks (less than $950)
  • Penal Code 487, Grand Theft (less than $950)
  • Penal Code 496(a), Possession of Stolen Property (less than $950)
  • Penal Code 666/484(a), Petty Theft with Prior Convictions (less than $950)

For example: If an inmate was found guilty of Commercial Burglary (Penal Code 459) for less than $950 worth of stolen property, charged with a felony, and given a felony sentencing. His/her felony would now be considered only a misdemeanor, and therefor the felony sentence could be reduced to a misdemeanor sentence.


If you or anyone you know has been arrested for DUI, contacting an Orange County DUI Attorney should be your first priority. Call the Law Offices of Chad Maddox for a free consultation, (714) 695-1500.

driving under the influence on vehicles other than cars

Man gets DUI on lawn mower

Colorado resident Kenneth Welton was recently arrested for DUI while driving his lawn mower to the bar! Local police officers pulled him over after they realized he was driving his lawn mower on one of the busy Garden City roads, and after receiving multiple calls from concerned drivers. It was reported when Mr. Welton was questioned, he showed signs of intoxication and did not have his driver’s license on his person. Kenneth Welton denied accusations that he had been bar hopping with his lawn mower, and told officers he was mowing the weeds alongside the road.

Welton, while in jail, told a television reporter that he was only doing some gardening when the cops accused him of being drunk!

“He couldn’t stand on his own. He was showing signs of impairment,” Weld County Sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Standridge stated of Mr. Welton. “He’s lucky he didn’t hurt somebody or get himself hurt from somebody hitting him,” Standridge continued.

When Welton was questioned from jail about driving his lawn mower intoxicated he said, “It was just surprising, it was just a total shock. What are you kidding me? I haven’t been, I’ve been working, I have been mowing, I haven’t been bar hopping.”


Read more about this DUI case:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/colorado-man-lawn-mower-arrested-dui-article-1.1881255
http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/local/colorado/2014/07/26/man-arrested-drunk-driving-lawnmower-greeley/13206227/

Police Commander Fired for DUI

Mountlake Terrace police commander Don Duncan was on call January 31st of this year, when he was pulled over by a Washington State Patrol trooper and subsequently arrested for DUI. Duncan had been with the Mountlake Terrace police department for nearly 18 years, and had been a police commander for the past two. He was recently fired over his recent drunk driving arrest. Mountlake Terrace city administrator Arlene Fisher wrote in a 14-page termination letter, that former officer Duncan’s behavior had shown “a complete absence of judgement” and that his action as a whole reflected poorly on the Mountlake terrace police department.
DUI Attorney Orange County
It was reported at the time of Duncan’s arrest, he attempted to talk his way out of the situation, and at one point, even tried to blame his coworkers. The DUI event occurred January 31st when Duncan stayed at an Arlington restaurant until 1am the next morning. It was reported he was drinking with others, and that after they had left the restaurant, Duncan drove with a friend to Tulalip Resort Casino; where he continued to consume alcohol. Not long after, a Washington State Police trooper noticed Duncan’s car headlights were off, and that his vehicle had been crossing the center line.

On April 22, a disciplinary meeting was held and Duncan gave the city a letter from his attorney saying that his internal investigation was flawed and his expected termination was unjust and unwarranted. During the internal investigation, Duncan reportedly told officials he had not received proper training about being on-call as the command duty officer.

According to court records, Duncan pleaded not guilty to the DUI charge and the case is pending trial.

Original news sources:

http://q13fox.com/2014/05/02/mountlake-terrace-police-commander-charged-with-dui/

http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/mountlake-terrace-police-commander-arrested-dui/nfXDc/

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.

 

Teenager Kills 4 & Walks Free

Texas Teenager Ethan Couch (16), was sentenced to 10 years of probation with no immediate jail time, after his June 15th, 2013 DUI accident that killed four and injured two others. The night of the crash, Ethan Couch and friends were caught on camera stealing alcohol from a local Walmart. Hours later, Couch crashed his father’s Ford F-350 truck into, and tragically killed, Breanna Mitchell (24), Hollie (21) and Shelby Boyles (52), and local youth pastor Brian Jennings (43).

Ethan Couch and Four Victims Ethan Couch and the Four People Who Perished from his DUI Accident

As the story was reported, Breanna Mitchell’s SUV had broken down and friend Hollie Boyles offered to come help with the vehicle; Hollie’s mother Shelby had accompanied her. Pastor Brian Jennings happened to be driving past when he saw the women outside the SUV, and decided to stop and attempt to help. Ethan Couch, driving around 70mph, then drove the truck through the group killing all four of them. When police arrived on scene it was reported Couch had a .BAC of .24% which is three times the limit for drivers who are of the legal drinking age.

The two teens who were in the bed of the truck when it crashed are still hospitalized, with one of them being in a vegetative state.

Teen kills 4--DUI Attorney Orange CountyCouch was sentenced to 10 years probation, under the defense of Affluenza, a claim that because of his upbringing and family’s wealth he did not know right from wrong. The lone psychologist who testified, Dick Miller, claimed that Couch grew up in a world where money cured all problems.

“The teen never learned to say that you’re sorry if you hurt someone. If you hurt someone, you sent him money.”

Miller went on to testify that Ethan’s family, “felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.”

District Judge Jean Boyd was unconvinced the Texas juvenile justice system could handle Ethan Couch’s rehabilitative sentence, so she suggested he be taken to a rehabilitation facility in Newport Beach, California.

Any deviations from the sentence given may lead to much harsher penalties, including jail, over the course of the 10 year probationary period.

If you or someone you know needs to defend a DUI in California please contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Newport Beach. It doesn’t cost anything to find out your options.