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Denis White Sacramento DUI Attorney
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Dedicated to Justice and Provision of Legal Services
Dedicated to Justice and Provision of Legal Services

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Marijuana testing technology for DUI

I saw a news clip from KING 5 in Seattle, talking about the Washington State Patrol’s (WSP) consideration of Marijuana Testing Technology.  They seem to indicate that there are no front runners in the technology and they don’t have a timeline on when they might implement such devices.  For the time being, they are waiting for validation studies before they make a determination of their accuracy, precision and reliability.  Presently more than 125 troopers in Colorado are using the new technology.  WSP indicated that there isn’t enough science for the Washington State Officials to jump on board.  

Would you like to see this implemented in California?  Prop215 marijuana cards are almost as easy to get as handicap parking placards, so there may be a large number of people on the road with marijuana in their system.  From a defense standpoint, impairment is often difficult to prove in marijuana cases.  Unless the legislature develops a per se limit, like they have for alcohol (.08 or higher), I think it would be a lot cheaper to just have the officers use their noses and eyes to smell or look for marijuana when they pull a driver over.  Blood tests are easy enough to perform at the jail or hospital in those isolated cases involving drugs, just as they do with alcohol.  

Anyone can get a DUI.  Even Squidward!


Rodger Bumpass, the voice of Squidward on Spongebob Squarepants, was arrested on January 15, 2016 after law enforcement noticed his PT Cruiser in the middle of the road.  Thankfully, it won’t cost him his job because a DUI isn’t an immoral act.  Rodger’s employer is correct, in that a simple DUI isn’t a crime of moral turpitude.  I can’t help but wonder if there was anyone on the committee that felt otherwise, since Nickelodeon is generally aimed at children.

Affluenza

I must admit, I’ve been watching this case rather closely, since the mom and kid fled to Mexico.  I really expected the prosecutor to want to hang the boy by his toes when they got him back to Texas.  Instead, it appears that Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson plans to give him another chance but not without some strings.  The prosecutor is going to ask the judge to transfer the case to an adult court.  That way if he violates probation again, they can ask that young Ethan be sent to prison for quite a long time.

This case interests me because I can’t tell who I dislike more, the teen or the parents.  I don’t recall at what age I knew the difference between right and wrong but it was pretty young.  If you could only send one or the other to jail, would you pick the kid or his parents?  You be the judge and tell me what you’d do.

Does it make you feel better when you see celebrity DUI cases punished the same as yours?

I read that NCIS star Michael Weatherly resolved his November Hollywood DUI case already.  The length of probation and the terms posted are consistent with a standard first offense disposition in most counties in California.  I never did see the facts of the case or the BAC but you have to have some respect for the actor for stepping up and taking responsibility so quickly.  The couple of months between the arrest and conviction is about how long it takes to investigate possible defenses.  I have to assume that with his financial resources he had an attorney make sure there were no problems with the prosecution’s case or DMV issues, just like we do.      

It Can Happen to Anyone


KCRA Channel 3’s Del Rodgers was arrested for a DUI in Stockton by the California Highway Patrol in the past few days.  There were no details of the stop, arrest or BAC, so I can’t provide any additional information.  I have to assume that if it were anything more than a simple misdemeanor DUI that there would have been more written about the incident.  Innocent until proven guilty!  When appropriate I like to see celebrities step up to the plate and accept responsibility quickly but I also believe in making sure the prosecution and DMV are treating them fairly.  This requires looking at the reports and any other evidence that might be available before resolving a case.  CHP Stockton has the Mobile Video Audio Recording System (MVARS) in their patrol vehicles and when breath machines are used it makes me feel better if I know they were working properly when used.  If the 55 year old sports director doesn’t have any prior DUIs, then I think we should just chalk it up to an error in judgement.  

NCIS STAR MICHAEL WEATHERLY 
ARRESTED FOR DUI IN HOLLYWOOD

Nothing unusual about this case except that it’s a handsome actor and an error in judgment.  Michael was arrested for a DUI about 1:00am in the morning following a stop for speeding.  The only other facts were that he was well above the legal limit.

SCHOOL BUS DRIVER ARRESTED FOR DUI 
TRANSPORTING MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS
Although this case may very well be a DUI, it’s impossible to determine whether Vannessa Baillis was fully to blame.  Prescription medications are being prescribed in large numbers across the U.S. by doctors.  Are the individuals being given the proper advisements or are the doctors and pharmacies simply too busy to do more than give the people a slip of paper with the possible side effects?  Were the two medications prescribed (anti-anxiety drug and oxycodone) supposed to be taken together and were they even prescribed by the same doctor or filled at the same pharmacy.  I can think of several reasons that I’m unwilling to make a quick judgment in this case.  Think about all the advertisements you see on TV for prescription medications and the list of possible side effects.  I’m afraid to take anything more than Advil on occasion for a headache! 

$85,500 to monitor people on DUI Probation in Placer County, CA


The California Office of Traffic Safety just gave an $85,000 grant to Placer County Probation to watch people on DUI probation.  Law Enforcement will be making about 700 surprise home visits, will be randomly testing for alcohol and drugs and will have six warrant sweeps.  If you plan to drink or entertain with alcohol this holiday season, first check the terms of your probation and make sure you didn’t agree to alcohol terms that require you to abstain from having or consuming alcohol, or being in places where alcohol is the chief item of sale.  Probation is smart enough to check on you at work too, so don’t try to move the alcohol or party to your office.  If you think you have a warrant, give us a call and we’ll see what can be done about clearing it before the holidays so you can spend them with your family instead of in jail.        

Delaware Commercial Bus Driver Arrested for DUI

This story wouldn’t have caught my eye except for the fact that 45 year old Joseph Johnson was transporting 30 middle school students and 10 adults BACK from a field trip.  There was a 911 call from a motorist reporting the bus was weaving all over the road and one of the parent chaperones also called 911.  Then the parents insisted the driver pull over and wait for police.

The article I read said he was charged with an alcohol DUI.  When I first started reading the article I was expecting it to involve prescription medications, which might have been forgivable.  Even as a DUI defense attorney, I find the behavior reprehensible and I admittedly don’t have enough facts to pass judgment.  When an individual drives a car under the influence, alone or with other friends that have been drinking or doing drugs, I can look at the situation as an error in judgment.  When a person that has to transport a bunch of school children home from a field trip is drunk, I’m far more critical.  The lawyer in me recognizes that a person has a right to a vigorous defense but the dad in me wants to be on the jury.

IT COULD HAPPEN TO ANYONE!

I’m going to continue using this same title every time I see an otherwise normal person that is arrested for a DUI.  How many of us really have a right to throw stones at people like Anna Sacco-Miller?  She is the Illinois top prosecutor that found herself being arrested for a DUI on November 15, 2015 after running into a parked car in Dixon, IL.  

She is an elected official and can’t be forced to resign but a crime like this may be enough to make it difficult for a prosecutor to sit in judgment of others.  Appearances are important but, once again, this may just be an error in judgment.  If the facts justify doing so I hope the case is dismissed as nothing more, after she accepts responsibility.  If memory serves me, Illinois may be one of the states with a diversion program for a first offense DUI.   
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