DUI bill increases penalties for frequent offenders

Under current law, a person who commits a third DUI offense must spend a minimum of 60 days in jail. On the fourth offense, they may only face probation and never see the inside of a jail cell.

If this bill passes, anyone who commits a fourth or subsequent DUI offense will be in jail for a minimum of 90 days.

“Really surprising and shocking and horrifying that we would find someone with their fourth or fifth offense would actually serve no jail time at all in this state,” said bill sponsor Representative Lori Saine.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) connects with survivors of DUI related incidents. The organization believe this bill would advocate for the victims.”

“We worked with several families victims who had been affected by repeat drunk drivers and their main question was why wasn’t something more done,” said MADD State Executive Director Fran Lanzer. “There would be accountability for people especially those who continue to drive drunk or impaired.”

Sponsors introduced the bill in March. It will go before representatives again on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/dui-bill-increases-penalties-for-frequent-offenders

Sentences have ranged from no jail or prison up to 16 years in prison so far.

Plea deal in Castleton fatal car crash case – VTDigger

PLEA DEAL IN CASTLETON FATAL CAR CRASH CASE APR. 7, 2017, 5:20 AM BY ALAN J. KEAYS 3 COMMENTS A man charged in a single-vehicle crash that killed his girlfriend has reached a plea agreement that could let him avoid serving any time behind bars. The plea deal heads off a legal battle that had been brewing over the admissibility of a blood-test for alcohol impairment in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a North Dakota drunken driving case.

Source: Plea deal in Castleton fatal car crash case – VTDigger

If you had your blood drawn, this case could be to your benefit.

C.A. Again Upholds Deputy P.D.’s Driver’s License Suspension

Says Agreeing to a Blood Test, Conditioned on Officers Obtaining a Warrant, Does Not Meet Requirements of Implied Consent Law; No Excuse Seen for Refusing Breath Test

 

A deputy public defender, who won a rehearing in the Court of Appeal following its Jan. 12 decision upholding a one-year suspension of her driver’s license for failing to submit to a chemical test to determine her blood alcohol content, fared no better on Friday, with the Fourth District’s Div. Two again affirming the trial court’s denial of a writ of administrative mandamus.

The Department of Motor Vehicles properly ordered the license suspension even though motorist Bernice Espinoza agreed to a test of her blood, Justice Art McKinster said in the old and the new opinions in the case, because she conditioned her consent on the California Highway Patrol obtaining a search warrant, and did not give consent to a breath test.

Espinoza—who then worked for the Riverside Public Defender’s Office and now is a deputy public defender in Sonoma County—told officers that she knew the law, and that under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 opinion in Missouri v. McNeely, they were obliged to obtain a search warrant.

That case, McKinister pointed out, dealt with nonconsensual searches.

In  Friday’s opinion, he added a footnote spelling out that a Vehicle Code section “requires a motorist to consent in writing to submit to chemical testing or to a preliminary alcohol screening test, when requested by a peace officer, as a condition of obtaining or renewing a California driver’s license.”

Supreme Court Opinion

In both the Jan. 12 opinion and the little-changed one filed Friday, McKinster made note of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Birchfield v. North Dakota. He wrote:

“[A]s the Supreme Court clearly held in Birchfield, the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the police from forcing a motorist to submit to a warrantless breath test incident to his or her arrest, the motorist has no right to refuse to submit to a breath test or to condition his or her submission on the police obtaining a warrant, and the motorist’s refusal to submit to the breath test may be the basis of criminal penalties….In light of that clear holding, we conclude refusal to submit to a breath test incident to arrest may also be the basis of imposing civil penalties under the implied consent law, including suspension or revocation of the motorist’s driver’s license.”

In a new passage, the jurist said:

“Prior to issuance of the decision in Birchfield, we would have agreed with the Department that Espinoza’s refusal to submit to a blood test would have been a sufficient basis for her license suspension, and we would have had no need to address breath tests. But…it is unclear whether the high court would approve of a civil license suspension based solely on a motorist’s refusal to submit to a warrantless blood test. Therefore, we err on the side of caution and affirm the suspension based on Espinoza’s refusal to submit to a breath test.”

References to Crying

The prior opinion said:

“Espinoza’s crying, her initial refusal to get out of her vehicle, her complete refusal to answer field sobriety questions or to perform field sobriety tests, and her repeated requests to be let off with a citation, were additional factors a reasonable officer could properly consider when determining whether there was probable cause to believe Espinoza drove while under the influence of alcohol.”

In the rewritten test, reference to her “crying” was omitted, though the opinion still relates that Espinoza “was crying and very emotional the whole time” an officer spoke with her following the traffic stop. Gonzalez spoke to her.

The case is Espinoza v. Shiomoto, 2017 S.O.S. 1609.

 

Copyright 2017, Metropolitan News Company

 

Source: Metropolitan News-Enterprise Online

The items cited in the opinion by themselves would not satisfy probable cause for an officer in Colorado to request a test. If you add an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, then there would be.

St. Patrick’s Day weekend checkpoints lead to 66 drunken driving arrests | The Kansas City Star

66 drivers arrested during DUI checkpoints in Kansas City on St. Patrick’s Day weekend Sobriety checkpoints for second night in a row Saturday led to the arrest of 24 drivers on suspicion of drunken driving. That brought the total number of suspected drunken drivers arrested at checkpoints in Kansas City this St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend to 66 people. Sobriety checkpoints held in Kansas City for the second day in a row overnight Saturday led to the arrest of 24 drivers on suspicion of drunken driving.That brought the total number of suspected drunken drivers arrested at checkpoints to 66 people for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend.Kansas City police held their sobriety checkpoint at 4040 Main Street checking southbound traffic on Main.ADVERTISINGDuring the checkpoint, police checked 544 cars and arrested 14 drivers on suspicion of violating city and state driving under the influence laws.Police also indicated that there were three traffic and one narcotics violation. They also arrested one fugitive. Another 52 vehicles attempted to avoid the checkpoint.At the same time, the Jackson County Sheriff’s office had a separate checkpoint in the same location checking the northbound traffic on Main.Deputies stopped 590 vehicles and arrested 10 people on suspicion of drunken driving, including two drivers who were repeat offenders and will face felony charges.Deputies also arrested two people on felony possession of controlled substance.During the checkpoint, deputies also checked several taxi cabs, ride sharing cars and party buses with visibly intoxicated passengers.The sheriff’s office issued a special “thank you” to those passengers for selecting a safe ride home.The arrests came on a second night of sobriety checkpoint. On Friday night, the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Jackson County Sheriff’s office and Kansas City Police Department arrested 42 drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence.That checkpoint was at 33rd Street and Southwest Trafficway. Officers stopped 1,314 vehicles at the checkpoint.

Source: St. Patrick’s Day weekend checkpoints lead to 66 drunken driving arrests | The Kansas City Star

If you were arrested on St. Patricks Day and have not retained an attorney yet, you are not protecting your rights.

Driver accused of smoking pot before taking bus full of students on field trip – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News

Driver accused of smoking pot before taking bus full of students on field trip: CHELMSFORD, MA (WHDH) – A bus driver has been arrested on several charges after police said he operated a school bus while under the influence of drugs.School administrators called officers Tuesday after high school students reported a strange odor on a bus they were boarding for a field trip, Chelmsford police said. A teacher notified a principal, who reportedly smelled marijuana after boarding the bus.Police said about 50 Students were taken off the bus and officers determined that the bus driver, 63-year-old Ali Mahfuz, of Nashua, New Hampshire, was under the influence of marijuana.Mahfuz was charged with operating under the influence, negligent operation, and reckless endangerment.Mahfuz told 7News that the students would have been in danger if he had driven the school bus. Police said he had just finished a route for Greater Lowell Technical High School before arriving in Chelmsford.Police officials said that they were “astonished” by Mahfuz’s “lack of common sense” and poor decision making.The bus driver that employs Mahfuz , North Reading Transportation, Inc., is cooperating with authorities.A new bus driver was sent to the school to take the students on the field trip.Mahfuz was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Lowell District Court. Prosecutors say Mahfuz admitted to smoking marijuana.He was released on personal recognizance.

Source: Driver accused of smoking pot before taking bus full of students on field trip – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News

We have extensive experience in defending DUID charges.

Semitrailer driver faces DWI after crash | The Daily Gazette

Semitrailer driver faces DWI after crash Wreck closed road for 3 hours : A semitrailer driver was drunk last week when he drove his truck into a phone box and guide rail, state police said. Michael Anderson, 54, of Clinton, North Carolina, faces one count of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, according to a police report. A breath test showed his blood alcohol content to be 0.13 percent after the crash, above the legallimit of 0.08, state police said.

The incident happened just after 7:30 p.m. on March 21 on Route 30A, near Ingersoll Road in Glen.

The semitrailer struck the box and rail after it drifted onto the west shoulder of the road, state police said.

The crash closed 30A for about three hours, until heavy duty tow trucks could remove the vehicle and clean up spilled fuel, state police said. Anderson was ordered held on bail and is due back in court next month.

Source: Semitrailer driver faces DWI after crash | The Daily Gazette

In Colorado, a CDL license holder can lose his or her CDL even if the charge involved their personal vehicle.

Most Northern Colorado felony DUI offenders avoid prison

Most Northern Colorado felony DUI offenders avoid prison: Pablo Pena jumped behind the wheel of his ex-girlfriend’s Chevy Impala and sped away from pump No. 2 at a Fort Collins-area gas station, dragging the woman across the pavement after she became caught on the car.She was unable to enter the vehicle and struggled to break free before going to the ground and hitting her head. She told police that she and Pena had been arguing over whether the car was safe enough to drive to Greeley. It was about 9:30 p.m. on a Thursday in January.Juan Pena (Photo: Larimer County Sheriff’s Office)When law enforcement caught up to Pena 30 minutes later in Eaton, he reeked of alcohol. His eyes were bloodshot. A half-empty bottle of Corona sat in a nearby cup holder.The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputy leading the case soon discovered 11 driving under the influence charges on Pena’s criminal record — he admitted to having seven convictions out of New Mexico alone, court records show.Pena was charged with a Class 4 felony under Colorado’s recently modified DUI law that makes prison a possibility for habitual drunken drivers. Thirty-five days later, Eighth Judicial District Judge Gregory Lammons sentenced Pena to the maximum penalty of six years in prison.Pena’s is the first and only of 71 resolved felony DUI cases in Larimer County to result in the maximum possible prison sentence since Colorado’s felony DUI law took effect Aug. 5, 2015, according to a Coloradoan review of sentencing records.His case is an outlier in a county where 85 percent of habitual drunken drivers convicted under the new law avoid prison altogether.While 48 cases resulted in a sentence involving some form of incarceration, most habitual offenders served jail sentences of less than six months. Only 10 felony DUI cases prosecuted in Larimer County ended with an offender spending time in prison.

Source: Most Northern Colorado felony DUI offenders avoid prison

Some legislators want to put a stop to this.

Man charged with running over, killing NYC emergency medical technician

Man charged with running over, killing NYC emergency medical technician :A 25-year-old man has been charged with murder after allegedly commandeering a New York City ambulance and running over a fire department emergency medical technician, killing her and injuring another.

Jose Gonzalez was also charged with grand larceny and operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs,

Source: Man charged with running over, killing NYC emergency medical technician

A DUI could impact your future employment. If you have been charged with a DUI, you need to consult with a Denver DUI Lawyer. We offer free office consultations for cases which are filed in the courts in which we practice. If we have the documents you have been given, we can also arrange phone consultation. Quick questions are discouraged because detailed analysis is required.

Grandmother, 85, gets 7-week jail sentence after drunken driving crash

An 85-year-old grandmother is sentenced to 75 days in jail after, officials say, she allegedly shirked probation conditions following a mid-afternoon drunken driving crash she was charged in.

Source: Grandmother, 85, gets 7-week jail sentence after drunken driving crash

One of the important functions we provide is advice to clients, if they are convicted by plea or at trial, while they are on probation. Colorado law requires jail up to a year, if probation is not successfully completed. We also represent clients who have been cited for violating probation and are often able to eliminate or reduce penalties.

Toussaint pleads guilty!

Michigan redshirt junior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of “operating motor vehicle when visibly impaired” at Saline’s 14A District Court on Tuesday. Toussaint was initially charged with the more severe misdemeanor of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He was pulled over on July 21 after running a red light in downtown Ann Arbor. He subsequently recorded a .12 blood alcohol concentration, which is above Michigan’s legal driving limit of .08.

Source: | The Michigan Daily

Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. If you have been charged with a DUI in Denver or elsewhere in Colorado, you need the advise of a competent DUI Lawyer as to whether to accept a plea or take your case to trial. We have advised thousands of clients and are ready to advise our clients and to take their cases to trial when they are not being treated fairly.