Category Archives: DUI

3 Alcohol Problems that are Prone to DUI

Alcohol problems may lead to unwanted cases such as DUI. Here are 3 of those problems and some DUI cases caused by them.

1.   Binge Drinking

WP1

Binge drinking happens when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol on a single occasion. This uncontrollable scenario usuallys lasts for several hours. Binge drinking is most common on young adults between 18-21 years old. Binge drinking may lead to legal offenses such as drunk driving, rape, gang fight and many more.

Sample DUI case: It was a Sunday evening when a group of 7 teenagers in a Mercedes C320 slammed a Ford F-150 at Freedom Boulevard Aptos. The vehicle was moving at 60 mph and the driver is driving under the influence of alcohol. The incident killed 4 people and 3 were injured. (Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel News)

2.   Alcohol Abuse

 WP2

Alcohol abuse is defined as a drinking pattern that follows a series of consequences for over a period of time. Some of such consequences include:

  • Failure to fullfill tasks and reponsibilities at home, school or work
  • Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous such as drunk driving
  • Continued drinking which affects relationships
  • Drinking as a way to de-stress

Sample DUI case: A 57 year old man from Brazos County was sentenced with 25 years of imprisonment after pleading guilty to 9th charge of DUI. The case became grave because he has numerous records of DUI due to alcohol abuse. His first DUI case was in 1978 and the following records were in 1992, 1993, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2011. (Source: Chron)

3.   Alcohol Dependence

 WP3

There’s a misconception about alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. A lot of people didn’t know that individuals may drink abusively without being dependent to alcohol. Alcohol dependence is also called alcoholism. It is a progressive disease that includes a strong craving for alcohol. An alcohol dependent person may experience the following:

  • He cannot control how much he drinks
  • He can experience withdrawal symptoms once he stopped drinking
  • He has tried to quit drinking but hasn’t been able to
  • He continuously drinks even if it has already affected his relationship with other people

Sample DUI case: A drunk woman was driving with her 2-year old son. She drove beyond the stop sign and then slammed into a flower delivery van. This incident killed the 72 year old driver of the delivery van. The authorities said the woman took prescription sedative, swigged champagne, and filled a plastic cup with whiskey before the incident. She was sentenced to 9 to 23 months of imprisonment. She has been doing treatments for depression and alcohol addiction. (Source: Philly)

If you are experiencing any of these drinking-related problems, seek help from professionals. These problems have a high risk of leading into a DUI/DWI arrest.

Defense Strategies Used by DUI Lawyers in Las Vegas

Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

DUI lawyer

A defense attorney formulates concrete defense strategies for his clients. This is to assure that the DUI case will be dismissed. Here are some of the common defense strategies that DUI/DWI lawyers use:

Involuntary intoxication

There are some situations that the driver gets intoxicated without his knowledge. The driver was given a drink that has more alcohol content than he/she actually thought. The driver (or the defendant) must be able to prove in court that he/she is not liable for his/her own intoxication.

Failure to read Miranda rights to the driver

This can be used in several circumstances such as when the authorities started to interrogate the driver or when the driver was brought into custody even without reading the Miranda rights to him/her.

Other causes of high reading in breathalyzers

There are times that breathalyzers read the alcohol level inaccurately. Some of the reasons of such include acid reflux or heart burn which causes the driver to blow mouth alcohol instead of alveolar air from the lungs. Braces, cavities, dentures and denture adhesives, food impactions, etc. can also cause mouth alcohol. Using of breath spray, cough syrup or cold medicine before breath tests can also affect the results.

Unjustified DUI Stop

A lawyer uses this defense if the arresting officer could not provide a legitimate reason for asking the driver to pull over or reasonable suspicion that the defendant committed a traffic violation caused by alcohol intoxication. If the officer cannot provide justified reasons for the DUI traffic stop, the DUI case will be dismissed.

Other factors that can cause poor sobriety tests results

An officer administers a field sobriety test if a driver is suspected of driving under the influence. There are some instances when the driver struggles in completing the test because of certain conditions like flashing lights due to traffic, cold temperature, uncomfortable outfit or the test area is too dark. Anxiety or nervousness because of the situation could also cause the driver to fail the test.

The symptoms of intoxication have rational explanation

Common signs of intoxication are slurred speech, flushed face or bloodshot eyes. But there are instances when these signs are not caused by alcohol intoxication. Bloodshot eyes can be caused by allergies or fatigue. Flushed face can be caused by embarrassment, nervousness or other types of emotions. Slurred speech could be caused by some health disorders.

DUI and Alcohol Addiction

Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

2

Alcohol addiction is not always easy to spot in yourself or a loved one, but it leaves a scar on the person.  It may not always be clear what the cause of alcohol addiction is, but we need to find it out as soon as possible.  From here, we can make a step towards change.

Use, Abuse, and Addiction

The effects of alcohol vary widely from person to person.  People with a family history of alcoholism are more likely to develop a drinking problem.  People who suffer from depression or anxiety may also be at risk.

There are numerous reasons why people drink alcohol.  Some try them out of curiosity, for the fun of it, to be accepted in a peer group because friends are doing it, and other likely reasons. For many people, the questions of abuse and addiction is more closely tied to the consequences of use rather than the amount of substance consumed.  Even if you rarely consume, if drinking interferes with your daily activities in life, then you have a problem.

 

Seek Help and Stick With a Plan

Denial and addiction have always been best friends.  Denial is strong in a person who is addicted, and it is often hard for them to realize the destruction that they have caused to themselves or others.  Getting them to seek help may be a problem.  Often, they will simply not listen to advice.  If you know someone whom you think has an addiction problem – your spouse, a friend, or a family member – think of ways on how to properly talk to them.  Consider how you might want to persuade them to make that decision on their own.

It may not be always easy to get people we know to seek addiction treatment, but it is vital that we try.

Recovery Plans

There are many rehabilitation facilities close in your area and it is best to get a consult.  This is just one of the many rehabilitation centers for your loved ones that you may want to consider:

Las Vegas Alcoholics Anonymous – http://www.lvcentraloffice.org/

DUI as a result of Alcohol Addiction

We are aware that (BAC) blood alcohol level is the concentration of alcohol present in the bloodstream. The more a person drinks, the higher the BAC. A BAC of 0.05% means that there is 0.05 grams of alcohol in every 100 millimeters of blood. However, it is possible for two people to drink the same amount of alcohol but have different BACs.  This is because factors like gender, weight, alcohol consumed and time plays an important role in alcohol consumption.

You need to face DUI charges if you were caught drunk driving and your BAC exceeded the following BAC limits:

– 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21

– 0.04% for commercial license holders

– 0.08% for everyone else

In average, there are over one million drivers being accused of DUI each year and criminal charges related to drunk driving in Nevada. If you are accused of DUI, you need to seek help from a drunk driving defense lawyer right away.

 

Are you accused of DUI/DWI?

If you happen to be arrested for DUI or DWI, seek the legal advice of Atty. Ross Goodman, one of the best criminal defense lawyers in Las Vegas.  He can help you save your driver’s license and get your drunk driving charge reduced or dismissed. Just call Atty. Ross Goodman at (702) 383 5088 for a free legal consultation.

DMV demerit point system

Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

Dashboard of a car

DMV, in an effort to promote good driving practice, has implemented a demerit point scale system. A person will be given a “point” by committing a driving infraction (i.e. reckless driving, speeding, driving too slowly). If a person accumulates 12 points within a year, his or her license would be suspended for 6 months. Each infraction has a certain point attached to it. Below are some of the infractions with their corresponding points:

Infraction Point(s)
Driving while impaired 7
Breaking the “open container law” 5
Hit and Run – Render aid after accident 6
Reckless Driving – Drag racing, speed contest, etc 8
Careless Driving 6
Use of Phone while driving (2nd offense) 4
Disobeying stop signs or traffic lights 4
Failure to dim headlights 2
Following too closely 4
Improper lane 2
Over speeding ( 10 mph over the limit) 1
Over speeding ( 20 mph over the limit) 2
Over speeding ( 30 mph over the limit) 3
Over speeding ( 40 mph over the limit) 4
Over speeding (41 mph or more over the limit) 5
Driving on the wrong way 4
Unsafe backing 2
Improper U-turn 3
Failure to yield row to emergency vehicles (Fire truck, ambulance, police, etc) 4

A written notice will be mailed to the person if the 12 points has been accumulated. The person would be given a chance to appeal for the license suspension. However, a person who is charged with “driving under the influence” will automatically face license suspension.

If you still want to retain your driving privileges, an experienced DUI/DWI attorney can help you. Attorney Ross C. Goodman can help reduce your penalties or have the case dismissed. Contact his office at (702) 383 – 5088 for a free legal consultation.

The Open Container Law in Nevada

Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

goodman law group

picture of a judge hammer, alcoholic drink and car key

Nevada is one of the many states in the United States that implements “Open Container Law”. According to 23 U.S. Code 154, “the state should prohibit the possession of any open alcoholic beverage container, or the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, in the passenger area of any motor vehicle (including possession or consumption by the driver of the vehicle), while driving a vehicle on a public highway, or the right-of-way of a public highway.”

To understand the law better, let us first discuss the legal definition of the following terms:

  • Alcoholic beverage – This is classified in the Section 158 of the US Code as: Beer or wine of not less than 0.5% of alcohol by volume and distilled spirits.
    • Beer, as defined by the law includes “beer, ale, porter, stout, sake, and other similar fermented beverages containing 0.5% alcohol volume or more. Brewed or produced from malt, wholly or in part”.
    • Distilled Spirits – they are also known as ethyl alcohol, ethanol, or spirits of wine in any form. They are commonly known as brandy, whisky, rum, or arrack.
  • Open alcoholic beverage container – this includes any bottle, can, or other receptacle that contains “any” amount of alcoholic beverage, open or has a broken seal, and the content are partially removed.
  • Motor Vehicles – these are vehicles driven or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use on public highways. In the state of Nevada, motor vehicles that are designed to transport many passengers has certain privileges (the state allows the passengers to consume alcoholic beverages). These include buses, taxis, limos, house trailers, vans, etc.

Let’s go back to the Law. The law states that:

  • Possession of any open alcoholic beverages is prohibited – This means that an opened beer, ale, brandy, whisky, rum, or arrack, sake while driving a vehicle, can get you charged with DUI. This includes empty cans or bottles.
  • In the driver seat and passenger area of any motor vehicle – This includes any area in the vehicle that is designed to accommodate the driver and the passengers. Some examples include glove compartment, in-front of the speedometers, pocket at the back of the front seat, etc.
  • The law applies to all the people inside the vehicle – It means that it is not legal for any of the passengers to possess or consume alcohol while inside the vehicle. Passengers inside a motor vehicle that is designed to transport many passengers are exempted from this law. (See the definition of Motor Vehicle for the list of vehicles) 

Charged with DUI?

If you know someone who is charged with DUI in Las Vegas, consult a DUI/DWI defense attorney as soon as possible. Ross C. Goodman is well-experienced in defending DUI charges. He can provide the client with legal advices that can turn the results of the case into the client’s favor. Contact the office of Goodman Law Group at (702) 383 -5088 for a free consultation.

Nevada DUI statistics

Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088

crashed car

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR), two of the nation’s largest drunk driving advocates, released the statistics regarding DUI-related incidents in Nevada. Here are the data given to us by the organizations:

***Note the data provided are from the year 2012. There are no data released yet for the current year (2014). These however, may serve as a reference. We will update this blog post as soon as the new data are released by both organizations.

Total DUI fatalities: 82

  • People Under 21 DUI fatalities: 9

The 82 DUI related fatalities represents 30% of all the traffic deaths in Nevada. It means that one-third of motor vehicle related fatalities involves DUI. There are 9 cases of DUI fatalities that involves minors. Persons who are involved with DUI related fatalities will be charged with Category B Felony.

Offenders under Category B Felony shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than 2 years but not more than 20 years, plus fines between $2,000 and $5,000.

 

DUI-related fatalities that involves BAC of 0.15 or higher: 62

Out of 82 DUI related fatalities mentioned above, 62 involves people who have a BAC of 0.15 or higher. The data states that drivers who drive with a BAC of 0.15 or higher are prone to fatalities.

 

Percent of DUI-related vehicle crashes that involves repeating offender:

  • BAC of 0.08 – 0.14: Nil
  • BAC of 0.15 or more: 100%

Repeating offenders are found out to have a BAC of 0.15 or more. There are many reasons that can contribute to this factor. Some of them include:

  • The offenders are too drunk to drive properly (BAC of 0.15)
  • Due to the effects of alcohol, the offender may have forgotten that he is under probation.
  • The offenders did not participate in an alcohol treatment program.

Total DUI-related arrests: 11576

  • Minors (17 years old and below): 76

There are over 11,500 people who are arrested in Nevada alone. Over 70 people who are arrested for DUI involve minors (source FBI Crime Report). Note that the data include only those people who got arrested. There are people who drive under the influence of alcohol who didn’t get arrested.

Are you charged with DUI? Hire a Lawyer

DUI is a serious offense that requires immediate legal consultation from a prominent DUI lawyer. It carries severe penalties and can leave a permanent criminal record to the offender. Attorney Ross Goodman has defended numerous DUI cases that are dismissed by the court. He can help you turn the results of the case in your favor – either the penalties in the case will be reduced or the case will be dismissed. Call his office at (702) 383 5088 for a free legal consultation.

Missing a DUI Court Date

court case

The simplest answer here is, don’t miss your DUI court date no matter what. It does not matter if you are intentionally trying to avoid the court, forgot about the DUI court date, got lost on the way, or some sort of mishap happened that caused you to be late as the judge handling your case will likely issue a bench warrant.

What’s a bench warrant?

Like in other states, bench warrants in Nevada are issued by the judge, particularly if they find the defendant “in contempt of court”. The bench warrant is basically an order for a suspect to appear in court, and anyone with a bench warrant risks being arrested by the police if they identify the suspect. These bench warrants can be “quashed” or removed with the help of a dui attorney however.

What can cause contempt of court?

  • Not paying the fines
  • Neglecting court orders
  • Missing court dates

If the judge finds the defendant in contempt of court, they may be jailed for up to twenty-five days and/or fined for up to $500. It’s also highly possible that your Nevada driving license will be suspended, although it might be already a given if it involves driving under the influence.

Bench warrants vs. Arrest warrants

Some people can’t tell the difference between a bench and arrest warrants. Here’s how they differ from each other:

  • Bench warrants are issued by the judges themselves (or “the bench”). They are only issued if a case is already in progress.
  • Arrest warrants are also issued by judges, although they can only be issued when formally requested by the police. These warrants signal the start of a criminal case and allows the police to arrest the suspect.

Recalling or quashing a bench warrant

To quash or recall a bench warrant, the defendant must make a court appearance by turning themselves in, or if the court allows, have a dui attorney make an appearance on their behalf. This also allows the defendant to pay the bail or have a bail bonds firm to handle it; in some cases, the bail can be eliminated even without the presence of the defendant.