3rd DUI Could Lead to 10 Year Ban from Buying Alcohol


In an attempt to reduce the number of DUIs, the Tennessee State legislature has introduced a bill that would ban the sale of alcohol to anyone convicted of a third DUI for 10 years. 
 
 
The bill was created by State Rep. John B. Holsclaw and State Senator Frank Niceley. As the bill has been making its way through the Tennessee Senate, it has picked up bi-partisan support. 
 
"I love the idea," Democratic Sen. Lee Harris told WSMV. "I think it’s one of the most innovative ideas I’ve heard all year in the Tennessee Assembly. We have some folks out there who are repeat offenders who continue to drink and drive and we have to do something about it."
 
According to Holsclaw and Niceley, the proposed law would make it harder for people with serious drinking problems to have access to alcohol
 
If passed, the law would require people convicted of a third DUI to carry a driver’s license or identification card which would indicate that it is illegal for that person to purchase alcohol. 
 
The bill should come up before the full judiciary committee next week. 
 
I’m sorry, but this bill will not prevent a person from obtaining alcohol and it also will not reduce the number of DUIs. If a person is addicted to alcohol, they will find a way to get it without buying it. Niceley acknowledged as much when he spoke with IJReview about the possibility of having someone else purchase the alcohol for them. 
 
“Everyone knows that will happen. The question is: Will you buy me alcohol if I’m slobbering drunk? Hopefully, their friends will cut them off. We all know there are ways around it, [but] we’ve got to do something.” 
 
The “something” here completely misses the mark. 
 

 

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New Law to Expand DUI Tests to Boaters


As the weather warms up, people can take to the many rivers, lakes, and beaches throughout Southern California. And many of them will be doing so in a boat or other type of watercraft. Unfortunately, of these boaters, many will be under the influence.  
 
 
California Assemblyman Marc Levine hopes to reduce the amount of alcohol-related boating accidents by expanding DUI tests to people who are operating a boat. 
 
Specifically, the proposed legislation would allow law enforcement to obtain a search warrant to test the blood of a person suspected of operating a marine vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
 
Levine’s proposed legislation, AB 539, expands on SB 717, which the governor signed into law in 2013. SB 717 allows law enforcement to obtain search warrants to test the blood of drivers that are suspected of driving under the influence when the driver refuses to submit to a chemical test. 
 
“Boating under the influence is a serious public safety problem. California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the nation, but we need tough boating laws as well,” said Levine. “This bill will encourage responsible and safe boating by making sure that law enforcement has the authority to determine whether a boater is under the influence.”
 
According to Levine’s office, there were a total of 4,062 recreational boating accidents in 2013 that involved 560 deaths and 2,620 injuries. 
 
“Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents,” a news release from the Levine states. “Where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 16% of deaths. Alcohol or drug use occurred in almost 11% of the accidents and 33% of the deaths involving operator error of a recreational boat.”
 
The penalties for boating under the influence (BUI), which I’ve written about before, are similar to those of a California DUI. A person is convicted of boating under the influence of California Harbors and Navigation Code 655 can face up to $1,000 in fines and fees, six months in jail, and a DUI program. 
 
 
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What is the Statute of Limitations for a DUI?


When someone is released after being arrested for a California DUI, they’re usually given a citation which includes a court date and courthouse location.  It is not uncommon, however, for DUI defendants to show up to court on the date specified only to have the clerk tell them that their case is not on the court’s calendar because the prosecutor has not yet filed charges. They’re then told that they’ll receive a notification in the mail with a new date once the prosecutor files charges.

 

There are several steps that occur, usually over the course of a couple of months, before DUI charges can be filed.

The arresting agency must first complete their report. This includes the actual written report, the interview of witnesses, the examination of evidence, and the preparation of any video footage.

Once the law enforcement agency completes its report, their file is sent to the prosecuting agency. Here in Southern California, the prosecuting agency is usually a City Attorney or a District Attorney. The prosecuting agency then reviews the file which was given to them by the arresting law enforcement agency and determines if there is enough evidence to file charges.

Often is the case that, by the time this process is complete, the date written on the bottom of the citation has come and gone.

So when this happens, the question arises, “How long does the prosecutor have to file the charges?”

California Penal Code section 802 states, “Except as provided in subdivision (b), (c), or (d), prosecution for an offense not punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison shall be commenced within one year after commission of the offense.” Subsections (b), (c), and (d) are not applicable to DUI cases. Therefore the statute of limitations on any misdemeanor DUI is one year.

So, just because a case is not filed by the date on the citation does not mean the case is gone or that the prosecutor simply forgot to file charges. They have a year.

People are also mistaken when they believe that the statute of limitation on a DUI has passed simply because they’ve done nothing on their case for more than a year. In other words, just because you’ve ignored that DUI you got arrested for seven years ago does not necessarily mean that the statute of limitations has run. If charges were filed within a year of your arrest regardless of what happened afterwards, the statute of limitations has not run. 

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St. Patrick’s Day DUI


Traditionally March 17th commemorates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland as well as marks the death the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. In the United States, however, St. Patrick’s Day has become a day where we celebrate Irish American culture. And how do many of us do that? With copious amounts of green beer, amongst other drinks. 
 
 
Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that statistically DUIs skyrocket on St. Patrick’s Day. You can bet your four-leafed clovers that law enforcement will be out this St. Patrick’s Day looking to arrest drunk drivers who have had one too many green beers. 
 
Although St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Monday, bar goers can expect increased police presence throughout this weekend. Law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California will be setting up sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols in high traffic locations. 
 
Don’t count on green luck to avoid getting arrested on a DUI this St. Patrick’s Day. The following is a list of things people can do to ensure they’re not spending a pot-of-gold’s worth of money fighting DUI charges:
 
- Appoint a designated driver. Make sure that the designated driver remains sober. Often is the case that “designated drivers” just don’t drink as much as their passengers. This is not a designated driver, but someone who runs the risk of getting arrested for drunk driving.
 
- Use alternative means of transportation. We live in a time where a trolley is not the only way to get somewhere without driving. Take a taxi…if you can get one. Good luck with that. Use Uber or Lyft or another ridesharing app. Although a little more expensive, they more available and a little nicer than a cab.
 
- Stay the night. Unless you want to be arrested for drunk in public, don’t try this one at the bar you go to. However, if you attend a St. Paddy’s Day party, ask the host if you can crash on the couch. 
 
- Don’t drink. This may not be the most appealing option if you want to partake in the festivities. However, it is the only surefire way to avoid a California DUI if you plan on driving this St. Patrick’s Day. 
 
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Man Swallows Penny Before Breathalyzer


A Canadian man from Ontario who was suspected of driving drunk tried to trick a breathalyzer by swallowing a penny. 
 
 
According to police, an officer noticed the man driving an SUV without headlights on at about 2:30 a.m. Following the stop, the officer suspected that the man was intoxicated. When officers attempted to give the man a breathalyzer, he popped something in his mouth. Police said that when the man was asked what he had put into his mouth, he allegedly stuck his tongue out displaying the penny. The man then swallowed the penny after the officer asked him to remove it from his mouth. 
 
Not only was the man charged with drunk driving, but he was also a charged with obstructing a peace officer for allegedly swallowing the penny. 
 
Although rumored to trick the breathalyzer into providing extraordinarily high readings and thus allowing a person to claim that the breathalyzer was faulty, sucking on a penny or, in this case, swallowing a penny will do nothing to affect the accuracy of a breathalyzer. 
 
Another rumor was that this DUI “cheat” is what caused the U.S. mint to change pennies from all copper to mostly zinc in 1982. The change, however, was the result of the government saving $25 million in annual metal costs, not to prevent people from tricking breathalyzer. 
 
The trick itself is no trick at all. Although swallowing a penny wasn’t tested, Mythbusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman tested whether swallowing a penny affected a breathalyzer’s results. The myth was busted when Savage and Hyneman confirmed that the penny had no effect on the breathalyzer. 
 
If the penny had no effect on the breathalyzer, then why was the man also charged with obstructing a peace officer? 
 
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