Currently browsing

April 2015

California DUI Laws

Although driving under the influence is a serious crime no matter what state you happen to live in, it’s definitely an offense to be reckoned with in California. Even so, many Californians are not fully familiar with the specifics of California DUI law.

In California, there are two very basic drunk driving laws in place that every motorist should be aware of. They are as follows:
• Law 23152(a) states that it’s a misdemeanor to operate a motor vehicle of any kind while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs (legal or otherwise).
• Law 23152(b) states that it’s a misdemeanor to drive a motor vehicle of any kind while you have a blood alcohol level of .08% of higher.

dui
It should also be noted that many California courts are quite tough on drivers accused of DUI-related offenses, especially in regards to repeat offenses. Despite the fact that 23152 is really only one act, it does – as detailed above – cover two separate offenses. According to Sacramento Criminal Lawyer Michael Rehm, it is possible to wind up convicted of both offenses. “Vehicular manslaughter” covers a completely different area altogether and will only apply in instances where there has been a death.

What Are My Rights If Accused of DUI?

Of course, no one ever plans to be accused of driving while under the influence. However, it’s a good idea to fully understand your rights if you ever are. Many driver’s rights are routinely ignored by the police. Be aware that:
• Police legally need “probable cause” to stop you, detain you, or arrest you regardless of the offense. The details of probable cause must adhere to legal regulations.
• You are not required by law to submit to field sobriety testing. However, you should also be advised that refusing to cooperate with police can have consequences.
• When and if you are arrested for DUI, you must be advised of your Miranda rights under the U.S. Constitution before you are questioned in any way, shape, or form.
• In California, you must be provided with a choice between breath testing and blood testing. Should you decide to refuse (as you are not legally required to submit to either one), you should be formally advised of associated consequences.
• Should you undergo a breath test at the police station, you must be provided with an opportunity to also obtain a blood sample for later independent testing under the supervision of your legal representative.

What Are the Penalties If Convicted of DUI?

Regardless of why you were detained and arrested in the first place, there are a number of DUI penalties that can apply in the event you’re convicted. Some people are fined, given probation, or required to perform community service. Others wind up doing jail time or having their license suspended.
It’s important to realize that even fines can be hefty – ranging from $300 to $1000 and above. Jail time can cover time served from a mere four days to six full months behind bars. DUI school and required installation of vehicle ignition interlock devices are additional possibilities if convicted.

California’s Water Shortage

California Water
California has to date endured multiple years of extreme water shortage. However, while water shortage in general is nothing new to California residents on a historical basis, this is the first time in a while such conditions have been sustained for so long at quite this level, according to Eureka Personal Injury Attorneys. What’s more, the voters have spoken in regards to their feelings about it all. As of late February of this year, it can officially be said that very close to all California voters – over 94% to be more exact — believe that the current water shortage is a “serious” problem and that something must be done about it. However, those polled were admittedly split on whether or not rollbacks to environmental protection should be implemented as a potential way to address the issue.

Exploring the Reasons for the Current Water Shortage

Many people are naturally looking for answers as to why the water shortage is so severe at this time. After all, California has been what many would call an arid location for thousands of years. (This is exactly why during the days of the Native Americans, it was one of the nation’s most sparsely populated regions.) Historically, California doesn’t receive enough annual rainfall to truly support a blooming, sustainable population.
Twentieth century politicians on both state and federal tiers made it their mission to turn California into a blossoming paradise despite these facts. They also largely succeeded. However, many people consider the current state of affairs to be proof positive that California’s vastly unnatural state of being is incompatible with efforts to sustain natural ecosystems and environments.  In other words, the situation has reached a point where there isn’t really enough water to meet the needs of both the natural environment and the people that call California home. Yes, we’re currently in the middle of a long drought… but the lack of rainfall is not the only contributing issue.

How Will California Politicians Address the Issue?

 

Groundwater
California’s political teams are already working to solve the dilemma created by the current water crisis. However, it may be a while before some of the efforts are able to bear fruit that we can all see and experience. For instance, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation last fall that allows for more efficient groundwater management. However, since it will be close to 20 years before all affected agencies will be legally required to comply with the new laws, this makes them of far less use in the short term.

Water rationing is already in full effect statewide. However, not everyone is going along with such rations willingly. This is especially the case with agriculture and understandably so. Agriculture is currently responsible for up to 80% of the state’s water usage, so they’re being hit hard by rations and pending regulations.  Many politicians and citizens alike feel future regulations should affect agriculture entities differently than it will the average citizen, the better to keep water affordable for everyone. However, without California farmers, many parts of the state would quickly recede to dust bowl status. Politicians and environmentalists are currently exploring more options related to drought resistant crops, new methods that conserve water, and so forth to help strike a balance everyone can live with.