SCRAM Providers in Orange County


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SCRAM Providers in Orange County

SCRAM Providers in Orange County

SCRAM stands for “Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor”.

orange county scram

Orange County DUI cases where a prior (or more than one prior – that is, a second DUI or higher) is alleged often have the option of wearing a SCRAM ankle bracelet in exchange for lower jail time.  Orange County Judges like SCRAM, as it ensures sobriety and addresses the underlying issue or problem better than jail does. This is a list of SCRAM Providers in Orange County.

The SCRAM device is an ankle bracelet that a DUI offender wears around his/her ankle. The SCRAM bracelet tests the DUI offender’s sweat for alcohol about once per hour, silently. The SCRAM device then wirelessly transmits the results at least once per day via the SCRAM Modem.

scram bracelet

The SCRAM device is an example of “transdermal alcohol testing.” Alcohol in the body is eliminated from the body either through metabolism or through excretion (via the breath, urine, sweat and saliva). About 1% of the ingested alcohol escapes the body through “insensible perspiration,” an imperceptible ethanol vapor that passes through the skin as a sweat vapor.

A SCRAM bracelet / anklet detects this alcohol and reports it automatically to a monitoring center.

The SCRAM device weighs about 8 ounces.  SCRAM allows for continuous testing regardless of the location of the person under supervision, which increases the sampling detection.

scram alternative sentencing

In Multiple Offense Orange County DUI Cases, a SCRAM bracelet can help by creating an alternative to jail time, by promising sobriety, and using the SCRAM device to ensure sobriety is complied with.

Approved SCRAM providers in Orange County, California, include the following:

1.  SCRAM of California
(Silas Miers)
402 West Broadway
Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619.237.0300 email:
(Scram of California has an Orange County office also, at 5000 Birch St. West Tower, Suite 3000, Newport Beach, CA 92660, Phone: 949-943-3899).

2.  Diversified Monitoring Systems
1633 East Fourth Street, Suite 152
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: (714) 245-9910
(The MOST Program that is often used by the courts utilizes this program provider.  See

3.  Sentinel Offender Services
201 Technology Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: 800-327-1178

If you are charged with DUI in Orange County, especially a second time offense, or a third time DUI offense, you should obtain the services of an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately. A good DUI defense lawyer will help you gather evidence and witnesses, dispute test results, and will work hard to have your charge reduced or dismissed or to win an acquittal at trial. DUI is considered a serious offense in California, so take it seriously; if you’re facing the charge, hire an experienced California DUI defense attorney.

Contact us now – Let’s Get Started.

Don’t delay contacting us.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your court date later. The DMV needs action within 10 days of your arrest.  Contact us today.

Orange County DUI Checkpoints, Dec. 11-13, 2015

Orange County DUI Checkpoints, Dec. 11-13, 2015

DUI Checkpoints in Orange County

Orange County DUI Checkpoints, Dec. 11-13, 2015. ‘Tis the season for law enforcement to be looking for drunk drivers.  While next weekend is extremely high in DUI arrests, Orange County Police Officers and Deputies will be out in force looking for persons that are driving under the influence this weekend.

The Garden Grove Police Department have planned a DUI checkpoint for tonight (Dec. 11 2015) from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m..  With today’s rains, police will be extra careful to get drunk drivers off the road.  While the DUI checkpoint location was not announced, most DUI checkpoints in the past in Garden Grove have been on Brookhurst, near Westminster boulevard, an area near many bars and restaurants that are popular in Orange County.

The City of Laguna Beach has announced that they will be having saturation patrols, which are specially trained officers, driving and looking for driving behavior that may indicate driving under the influence.

Even if DUI checkpoints are not particularly effective in the goal of removing intoxicated drivers from the road, funding in the form of grants from the federal government, and payment specifically for officer overtime,  keeps them scheduled every month.


DUI Checkpoints are even admitted by law enforcement to be less effective than other means of removing drunk drivers from the road. But, even though DUI checkpoints don’t work, police state they had a deterrent effect preventing people from driving in the first place.  The truth is that funding in grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), MADD, and the Federal Government ensure DUI checkpoints are used first before other measures.


The US Supreme Court, as well as the law in California, makes DUI checkpoints legal, as long as they follow certain criteria, including:

  • Decision making by supervisors: This is important to ensure that checkpoints aren’t set up in “arbitrary and capricious” locations. The court didn’t say so, but we’re guessing they wanted to avoid any accusations of racial profiling.
  • Limits on discretion of field officers: The theme of distrust of the officer continues. Strict procedures and a random selection of drivers according to a preset pattern (every third driver, for example) are suggested to avoid abuse.
  • Maintenance of safety conditions: We’re not sure how it applies to constitutionality, but the court wanted lots of bright lights and signs.
  • Reasonable location: The location should be based on relevant factors, such as areas with high incidences of DUI or DUI accidents.
  • Time and duration: There are no hard and fast rules, but the timing should be set to optimize the effectiveness of the checkpoint. In other words, put ’em up when the drunks are out.
  • Indicia of official nature of roadblock: This is more babble about bright lights and warning signs. They do mention that the lights and signage should be visible for the sake of notification to the drivers. Drivers also can’t be pulled over for avoiding the checkpoint, unless they violate a law to do so.
  • Length and nature of detention: The time of the stop should be minimized as to infringe on a person’s rights as little as possible. That means peek at the eyes, smell for booze, and look for cans. If there are no signs of intoxication, the driver should be let go. If they look or smell drunk, field sobriety tests are appropriate.
  • Advance publicity: Ingersoll was in favor of advance publicity. It referred to the deterrent effect and stated that the notice minimizes intrusiveness to a person’s rights. In 1993, the court in People v. Banks stated that publicity was not a requirement, but it certainly helps.

Remember, if you are arrested for DUI, for any reason, you will need to contact the DMV within 10 days.  You will also need to know about how best to protect yourself from a system designed to convict you and punish you in every way possible.

Contact us now if you have a DUI.

Don’t delay contacting us.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your court date later. The DMV needs action within 10 days of your arrest.  Contact us today.


DUI under the influence of Valium

DUI Valium
DUI under the influence of Valium

In Orange County DUI drug (DUID) cases,  especially involving a DUI under the influence of Valium, the Orange County Crime Lab calls experts at trial to testify on doses, levels, effects, and impairment.

Expert witnesses in a DUI case are used on either side whenever someone is accused of driving under the influence of Valium.  The prosecutor’s experts usually take the position that there is no level of Valium that is safe to drive under. If it’s in your blood, they consider that illegal and unsafe, no matter what levels are detected.


Valium is used to treat anxiety, acute alcohol withdrawal, and seizures. It is also used to relieve muscle spasms and to provide sedation before medical procedures. This medication belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. It works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA).

Nordiazepam is a metabolite of Valium (the generic is Diazepam). Anyone taking diazepam will have both diazepam and nordiazepam in their blood – not two separate drugs.

Both diazepam and nordiazepam are very long acting.  The half-life of diazepam is between 40-100 hours.  It can be detected up to a week later after a single dose. After chronic usage for months or years, it can be detected for months. A DUI under the influence of Valium can be the result of medications long ago in time.
Sometimes, clients of our law firm don’t even remember taking the valium, because it was so long ago. Our Orange County DUI Lawyer usually asks the following if a test is positive for Valium or its metabolites:
  1. *Did you have any medical or surgical procedures for which you received sedation of any type?” (e.g. colonoscopy, dental work, pain management procedure, MRI/CT scan – these are all procedures where a physician might administer diazepam as a sedative or in combination with anesthesia).  If yes, we find out from the client’s  medical records what medications he or she was administered.
  2.  Aside from the medications that the patient listed, we also ask about any medications client had taken within 4-6 weeks of his or her arrest.
In most cases, if our client had been taking diazepam and stopped a month before his or her arrest, they probably wouldn’t even think to tell us about it.
Contact our law firm today
Questions about a DUI under the influence of Valium?  Call our Orange County DUI Attorney or contact the firm anytime.  We are happy to help you in any way that we can.

Can a breath test and a blood test from the same DUI subject have different results?

Can a breath test and a blood test from the same DUI subject have different results?

A new academic paper examines whether or not the same subjects, who should have the same alcohol factors when being tested, could have different results when blood is drawn from them, and when a breath machine tests their blood at the same time. In Orange County DUI cases, both DUI blood tests and DUI breath tests, are used to measure alcohol.

dui blood test

Published on November 20, 2015, the paper, titled “Comparison of venous blood alcohol concentrations and breath alcohol concentrations measured with Draeger Alcotest 9510 DE Evidential” was published in the Forensic Science International Journal.

Noting that most blood and breath comparisons over the past 70 years were done as either drinking trials, or using police report data, which often had discrepancies and variance in timing between the breath machine test and the extraction of blood, the study set out to test blood under realistic circumstances and using strict protocols to ensure valid measurements.

Using 78 people for the test, in Germany, the test researchers used very short timing protocols, to ensure that the breath and blood were drawn from the body fairly close to one another.

It was shown in the paper that the ratio of blood alcohol to breath alcohol had a wide discrepancy.  As measured in the group, it varied greatly (between 1571:1 and 2394:1) and the ratio was shown to increase with increasing BAC. A constant conversion factor that is suitable for variable forensic purposes could not be presented.

Can a breath test and a blood test from the same DUI subject have different results? Yes.

And that means problems for trying to correlate DUI cases between a breath test, and a blood test, which in the real world of DUI arrests are not taken together, almost ever.  Especially with high blood alcohol DUI cases, this might be a problem.  If there is a discrepancy between results, that might mean that the DUI blood testing was not accurate, or the DUI breath testing was not accurate, both, or that the actual measurement discrepancy is variable for reasons discussed in the paper.

Contact us now with questions

Don’t delay contacting our law firm, or Orange County DUI Lawyer Robert Miller if you need help.  We can start you on a strategy that will help your DUI case immediately.  Contact us today.

What constitutes resisting arrest (PC 148)?

What constitutes resisting arrest (PC 148)?

What constitutes resisting arrest (PC 148)?

  • Police Officers have training on the use of force and are allowed to use various methods, techniques, and technologies, to use to prevent any officer safety issues.

    When someone refuses instructions, obstructs the officer, delays, or physically resists, that can be a violation of Penal Code section PC 148.

    For police officers, typical training in the use of force includes pepper spray, batons, ground grappling, handcuffing techniques, straight batons, handguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, officer survival techniques, survival, and advanced SWAT techniques, among others.

    There is a variety, or continuum, of force, that officers are allowed to use, depending on the threat.  The guide is what a reasonable and prudent officer would do in the same situation.  The question each officer has to ask themselves, and in turn justify is that they felt that their use of force was necessary to protect themselves or someone else from what they thought was imminent harm.

    When it comes to Orange County criminal cases, police officers in OC are taught that an officer has the authority to ask a potential suspect in a DUI arrest in Orange County or another similar situation to do almost anything.  A US Supreme Court case has held that traffic stops are fairly dangerous due the unknown – what the driver has in the vehicle, and what may happen with nearby traffic, or passengers.  It is considered reasonable for many officers to request anyone in the vehicle to exit if the officer feels that would be safer for them.

    So when a police officer asks someone to exit the vehicle and they say “no”, or don’t respond, that’s when the use of force starts being considered.  Every case is different, however — what the facts are, the timing and the overall situation or circumstances are extremely important.

    If a DUI suspect refused to get out of the car, any reasonable and prudent officer would extract her physically rather than let her get the car in gear, or move to the back seat, or find a weapon, etc.  There is no need for commands.  Just reach in and put the driver in a hold and move her.

    Police are always thinking about officer safety first.  It is drilled into them by their law enforcement instructors and specialized driving instructors in POST training.

    Officers state that rarely does anyone stop or pull over where the police want that person to.  So they often have to work with the cards dealt, but they could ask a driver to move to a closer, safer location.

    There are officer safety reasons to request a driver in a DUI case to exit, including the following:

  • separating them from other occupants to question them
  • preventing them from further operation of the vehicle
  • Determining if you think that they are impaired
  • Moving them to your patrol car because that is a safer place for you to talk to them than while you’re standing beside them in the location you described
  • Moving them so that you can hear better
  • Moving them so that they can’t access anything in their vehicle\
  • Excessive nervousness, checking traffic and sizing up whether to take off or not
  • Rude, interrupting, or verbally combative passengers in their car

    If a driver is handcuffed it is arguable that pepper spraying her may be excessive.  But again, facts matter. What was she doing that precipitated the pepper spray?  Was she continuing to struggle, kick, squirm, spit, resist?  An officer who sprayed her would probably be held to be a reasonable use of force.  Pepper spray is low on the use of force continuum.  It does not injure people.  It does incapacitate them and deters further injury to both the officers, the prisoner, and to potentially other people standing or driving by.  Usually, officers are taught to command suspects to stop their action before spraying them.  Did they say “stop” whatever she was doing other than standing and complying?

    All of those are issues in a Penal Code section 148, resisting arrest, criminal case.  Contact us if you need the help of an Orange County Criminal Attorney.

Contact our law firm today


Orange County DUI Checkpoints results in seven arrests

Orange County DUI Checkpoints result in seven arrests

Orange County DUI checkpoints are common during the holiday season.  A recent Orange County DUI Checkpoint resulted in seven arrests. Out of over 5,700 drivers that went through DUI checkpoints in two cities this weekend, seven people suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs were arrested during DUI checkpoints in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa, both on Friday night, according to press releases from the respective police departments.

orange county dui lawyer

Of the 3,252 vehicles that passed through the Costa Mesa checkpoint on Harbor Boulevard at Flower Street between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., 289 vehicles were selected for screening. Eighteen DUI investigations were performed, four drivers were arrested for drunken driving and six were cited or arrested for driving without a license. The checkpoint was conducted by Costa Mesa Police Department jointly with the California Highway Patrol.

Huntington Beach police arrested one driver for drunken driving and two more for driving under the influence of drugs. The Huntington Beach checkpoint screened 883 of the 2,535 vehicles that passed through the checkpoint at Beach Boulevard and Speer avenue between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Five field sobriety tests were given, five citations were issued for driving without a license and another five arrests were made for outstanding warrants, according to the Huntington Beach news release. That means that Orange County DUI Checkpoints result in seven arrests.

Huntington Beach Police Department expects to conduct another checkpoint in the near future, and Newport Beach has a DUI checkpoint scheduled for Wednesday, December 21st.

Contact us now – Let’s Get Started.

Don’t delay contacting us.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your court date later. The DMV needs action within 10 days of your arrest.  Contact us today.

OC DUI Checkpoints Christmas 2015

OC DUI Checkpoints Christmas 2015

A number of OC DUI checkpoints for the Christmas holiday have been announced.

Tustin DUI Checkpoint

The Tustin Police Department announced a DUI checkpoint from 8pm on Friday December 18th through 3 a.m. Saturday the 19th somewhere in the city, according to Orange County Law Enforcement Officials.

OC DUI checkpoints

Garden Grove DUI Checkpoint.

The Garden Grove Police Department operation runs somewhere in that city from on Friday December 18th through 3 a.m. Saturday the 19th—with a repeat performance somewhere else in that city during the same time period Saturday night through Sunday morning, according to Lt. Robert Bogue.

Newport Beach DUI Checkpoint

From the Newport Beach Police Department, the NBPD announced a DUI checkpoint for Wednesday the 23rd.

Orange County DUI Patrols

Orange County police agencies are also holding extra patrols targeting drunken drivers.  More effective, by far, than DUI checkpoints, these “saturation patrols,” assign officers to specific streets known for DUI arrests, crashes and fatalities and look for behavior indicating drunk driving.

The Garden Grove Police Department announced its saturation patrols will begin on Christmas Eve—Dec. 24—and continue nightly through Jan. 2.

These special DUI operations are funded by California Office of Traffic Safety grants, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which mean generous funding for various police departments.

For more on why OC DUI checkpoints don’t work and don’t keep the public safer, see my article on why DUI checkpoints are a bad idea.  You may be very surprised on the real reasons behind DUI checkpoints.

Be safe, and happy holidays.  Call our Orange County DUI Lawyers anytime, at (877) 942-3090, if you find yourself in trouble.

DUI and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License

What happens when you are arrested for DUI and have a Class A License (Commercial License?)

DUI and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License – A DUI with a Commercial Class A License is subject to certain rules and handling. The DMV has jurisdiction over a commercial license, so they control what happens with that license when there is a DUI arrest.

DMV Class A Commercial License

A Commercial, Class A California Driver’s License is defined as any legal combination of vehicles, including vehicles under Class B and Class C. any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 lbs.

DUI and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License – the law.  Commercial Drivers are not subject to the same alcohol levels as the regular public (Class C) licenses.  For any other driver, it is illegal to drive above a .08% (Vehicle Code section 23152(b). California Vehicle Code section 23152(d), however, makes it a crime for any commercial driver’s license holder to drive with a .04% or higher blood alcohol level.

As mentioned in our guide to DMV hearings, all persons arrested for a DUI, no matter what type of California license, is required to request a hearing to save their license within 10 days.  The DMV is very strict about the ten days rule.

With cases where a person has a Class A license, where a DMV hearing has been requested, and while a stay is on the record with DMV and the matter is pending APS hearing, the Commercial License right to drive a commercial vehicle will be suspended for a period of at least one (1) year.

If there is, on the driving record, a  class A endorsement
absent or disqualified, there might be the right to file a writ and have an immediate ex parte to keep that person driving, if there is a legal issue described in the writ, and immediate harm for the ex parte (emergency) action.

DUI and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License  – Getting a License Back.  Once a APS hearing is conducted, and if the DMV finds against the holder of the commercial license, a commercial driver may also
downgrade to a Class C license with the normal 30 day suspension and the 5 month restriction. To get a Class A license back, with endorsements, a driver will have to re-qualify, by taking the driving and written tests all over again.

If there is enough time, the advice from our office often is to call or otherwise contact the DMV ASAP, and downgrade the license to a Class C.  Then our office will contact the DMV and request the hearing. If th ehearing results are negative, after the restricted license for non-commercial drivers, the driver can take the tests described above to reinstate the Commercial Class A driving privileges, even with the DUI on their record.

If you have any questions, use the Contact the Firm part of our website to ask any questions of our Orange County DUI Lawyers.

DMV decisions in a DUI case

DMV decisions in a DUI case

One of the questions we get frequently, especially for those that are awaiting a decision following a DMV hearing for a DUI, is, “how long does the DMV have to make a decision?”

California DMV Admin Per Se

The reason that is a common question is that DMV hearing officers rarely make the decisions after a driver’s license hearing from a DUI at the hearing itself.  Although they have the power and ability to do so, and they sometimes will make a ruling, in most cases, they issue a written ruling sometime after the hearing.

The DMV hearing officer manual requires them to issue a written ruling in all cases — whether there is a set aside (a decision to dismiss any action against a California driver’s license), or a decision suspending driving privileges.

The DMV rarely grants set asides immediately, but luckily for most decisions, the rate of a set-aside, where the licensee gets their license back, that rate has been steadily going up, for a number of reasons, as the chart below shows:

DMV Wins in a DUI

The answer to the question, “how long does the DMV have for decisions in a DUI case”, is contained in Government Code section 11517 (a) (3), which states, in part: “The agency shall issue its decision within 100 days of the submission of the case.”  

Often, DMV hearing officers decide cases wrongfully, against both the requirements of the Evidence Code and against case law in favor of the driver.  The DMV is required to suspend a license if the three issues in a DMV hearing are found to be supported by admissible evidence and issue a set-aside, canceling the suspension from a DUI, when the evidence is not sufficient.

Our law firm has had many Orange County and Los Angeles cases where we have either won a DMV dismissal in the DUI case or have won against the DMV on appeal.

Use our Contact the Firm link if you need assistance with a DMV hearing matter.

Diet soda and alcohol results in a higher blood alcohol level

When you have a jack and diet coke, you save calories, but did you know that you could end up with a higher alcohol level with diet soda and alcohol, than with non-diet versions of soda?

download (1)

It has been known since at least 2002 that alcohol levels raise higher, controlling for all other variables, when a drink contains artificial sweeteners, as compared with drinks with or without sugar.  That has been confirmed in peer reviewed studies in 2012 and 2013.

The most recent research paper on the subject tested the effect using differing doses, and to find any differences tween genders.  (Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015 Dec 1;157:197-9. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.10.015. Epub 2015 Oct 23.)


Consumption of food with alcohol before or during drinking is an important factor that will decrease peak breath alcohol concentrations (BrAC).  With the  evidence showing that mixing alcohol with diet beverages results in higher BrAC when compared with mixing the same amount of alcohol with sweetened beverages, the purpose of the more recent study was to examine the phenomenon using two different moderate alcohol doses.

The testing method was simple: Twenty study participants, 10 of which were males, and 10 females, attended five sessions where they received 1 of 5 doses (0.91 ml/kg vodka + 3.64 ml/kg of diet soda, 0.91 ml/kg vodka + 3.64 of regular soda, 1.82 ml/kg vodka + 7.28 ml/kg diet soda, 1.82 ml/kg vodka + 7.28 ml/kg regular soda, and a placebo beverage).

BrAC was recorded repeatedly up to 180 min after dose administration, and the results were that participants had significantly higher BrAC when the mixer was diet as compared to regular for both alcohol dose conditions. No gender differences were observed.

When you have a night out drinking, be aware of the fact that mixing alcohol with diet beverages can result in higher alcohol levels when compared to the same amount of alcohol administered with a similar sweetened beverage.  The study noted that most individuals were unaware of these differences, which is a risk that could put people above the legal limit without knowing it.

If you find yourself facing a DUI, then please call our firm, toll free, at (877) 942-3090, anytime.  We are here to help.