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  DUI Laws & Info - Legal News

Man pleads not guilty in deadly Lodi crash

  DUI Laws & Info  -   POSTED: 2014/02/02 18:48

A man has pleaded not guilty to murder, driving under the influence and other charges in a car crash in Central California that killed five members of a family, including a pregnant woman.

The Record of Stockton reports that 28-year-old Ryan Morales entered the plea in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Monday.

Authorities say Morales was driving at freeway speeds in a residential area in Lodi on Oct. 22 when he crashed into a pickup. Five of the pickup's occupants died.

Authorities say Morales had been drinking apple-flavored vodka with his father. A preliminary analysis allegedly showed his blood alcohol count was 2 ½ times the state's limit.

Authorities say they sought a murder charge against Morales because he acted with complete disregard for human life.

An Ohio driver who made an online video confessing to causing a fatal wrong-way crash after drinking heavily was scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday.

In a 3 1/2-minute video posted last week, Matthew Cordle admitted he killed a man from a Columbus suburb and said he "made a mistake" when he decided to drive that night.

"My name is Matthew Cordle, and on June 22nd, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani," he says somberly. "This video will act as my confession."

Cordle, of Powell, another Columbus suburb, was due to appear in Franklin County court Tuesday afternoon after being charged with aggravated vehicular homicide a day earlier and turning himself in. Cordle also is charged with a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

He could plead guilty as early as Tuesday but might also have to wait for his case to be assigned to a permanent judge.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien said Cordle faces up to 8 1/2 years in prison if convicted.

Cordle's attorneys on Monday downplayed any suggestion that Cordle made the video in hopes of winning a light sentence. But a harsh sentence could also send the wrong message to people trying to take responsibility for crimes, they said.

A rural Nevada judge is expected to decide Wednesday whether a teenager accused of drunken driving in a crash that killed five people should stand trial in state court on felony charges.

Eighteen-year-old Jean Ervin Soriano is due Wednesday in Moapa Justice Court for the conclusion of an evidence hearing that began May 15.

Soriano is a California juvenile detention escape.

He's been jailed since the March 30 crash of his friend's SUV into the a van on Interstate 15 outside Las Vegas.

Five of seven family members in the van died. They were heading back to Southern California after an Easter visit to a sick relative in Denver.

Soriano faces seven felony driving under the influence charges and two misdemeanors.

Prosecutors say he had a blood-alcohol percentage of 0.12.

Man pleads not guilty in deadly DUI crash

  DUI Laws & Info  -   POSTED: 2013/01/11 17:04

A California man has pleaded not guilty to charges in a deadly drunken driving crash that killed a man and four dogs.

Prosecutors say 31-year-old Paul William Walden was drunk behind the wheel of car traveling down a Carmichael street at 80 mph with no lights when he blew through a stop sign.

The car struck 21-year-old Harison Long-Randall, his 23-year-old girlfriend Gemily West and her dogs. Long-Randall and the four dogs were killed.

Walden fled the scene and was captured a short time later.

The Sacramento Bee says Walden pleaded not guilty on Thursday to murder, vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and other charges in last July's crash.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March.

The Supreme Court is considering whether police must get a warrant before ordering a blood test on an unwilling drunken-driving suspect.

The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a case involving a disputed blood test from Missouri. Police stopped a speeding, swerving car and the driver, who had two previous drunken-driving convictions, refused to submit to a breath test to measure the alcohol level in his body.

The justices appeared to struggle with whether the dissipation of alcohol in the blood over time is reason enough for police to call for a blood test without first getting a warrant.

In siding with defendant Tyler McNeely, the Missouri Supreme Court said police need a warrant to take a suspect's blood except when a delay could threaten a life or destroy potential evidence.

First Time Offender Laws in Alabama

  DUI Laws & Info  -   POSTED: 2012/09/14 15:39

If you are arrested for a first DUI in Alabama you will be subject to both administrative (license suspension) and criminal (jail, fines, etc.) penalties. The assessment of penalties is case-specific -- that is, various circumstances such as the amount of damage, injury, speed or other other factors will influence the penalties. Unlike many states, Alabama does not explicitly mandate enhanced penalties in light of elevated BAC (blood alcohol content) at time of arrest.

Administrative Penalties

Arrest carries mandatory license suspension of 90 days. Hearing concerning impending license suspension must be requested within ten (10) days following arrest with Alabama Department of Public Safety

Refusal to submit, if applicable to a given DUI case, carries a mandatory license suspension of 90 days for first offense.

Courts can mandate alcohol or substance abuse assessment, treatment, or screening.

Vehicle confiscation and ignition interlock devices do not occur in first offense convictions.

Criminal Penalties

First offense is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of one (1) year of incarceration, with no minimum period mandated. Most cases are resolved without further incarceration, after the initial arrest and booking.

Fines applicable in first offense range from $600 to $1200, plus fines and fees incurred in completing any alternative sentence arrangement.

Convictions remain on a person's record for five (5) years and may be used to influence sentencing for subsequent DUI convictions.

New DC drunken driving law to take effect

  DUI Laws & Info  -   POSTED: 2012/08/01 16:01

A new law that toughens penalties for drunken driving in the nation's capital takes effect Wednesday, but the city's police department still is not using breath tests on suspected drunken drivers more than a year after the tests were suspended.

The new law, which was approved by the D.C. Council and signed by Mayor Vincent Gray earlier this summer. It doubles mandatory minimum jail terms for people with blood-alcohol concentrations of .20 percent or higher and establishes a blood-alcohol limit of .04 percent for commercial drivers, including taxi drivers.

The law also establishes new oversight for the district's breath-testing program. But there's still no timetable to the resumption of breath tests, which D.C. police stopped using in February 2011 in the wake of revelations that their breath-testing devices had produced inaccurate results. Police have been using urine and blood tests instead.

A year earlier, District of Columbia officials had notified defense lawyers about nearly 400 drunken-driving convictions that relied, at least party, on inaccurately calibrated blood-alcohol tests.

More than two dozen people sued the district over convictions based on those flawed tests, and the district Attorney General's office said Tuesday that all the outstanding lawsuits had been settled. The district paid a total of $136,000 to 17 plaintiffs, with individuals receiving between $2,000 and $42,000, said Jeffrey Rhodes, a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

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