DUI case dismissed for medical condition causing woman to be four times the legal limit


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DUI case dismissed for medical condition causing woman to be four times the legal limit

DUI case dismissed for medical condition causing woman to be four times the legal limit

A woman in New York was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and weaving when she was pulled over and tested and found to have a 0.33% alcohol level.  (The legal limit is at or above 0.08% in all 50 states). She had her DUI case dismissed for medical condition.

auto brewery syndrome

Our Orange County DUI Lawyers have learned that her DUI case was dismissed, however.  Her DUI lawyer, Joseph Marusak, who practices law in Buffalo, New York, did the research work and found that the blood alcohol level did not match the drinking in the case.

As reported in The ABA Journal, the client, a 35-year-old school teacher from Hamburg, was pulled over by police in October 2014 after another driver called the police to report her car was weaving.

As the Buffalo News reported, Marusak discovered a rare intestinal disorder called Auto-Brewery Syndrome in which ordinary food is converted into alcohol because of yeast in the digestive system. Marusak sent his client to Dr. Anup Kanodia, who has treated people for the disorder. The client was observed by medical personnel for a 12-hour period when she wasn’t drinking, and her blood alcohol levels ranged from .279 to .40.

Auto-brewery syndrome, also known as gut fermentation syndrome, is a rare medical condition in which intoxicating quantities of ethanol are produced through endogenous fermentation within the digestive system. One gastrointestinal organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of yeast, has been identified as a pathogen for this condition.

yeast can cause dui

The Buffalo News spoke with Kanodia, who said some people with Auto-Brewery Syndrome can tolerate high alcohol levels because their bodies are used to them. He acknowledged, however, that it would not be safe to drive during a flare-up.

In support of their motion, the defense submitted an affidavit from Anup K. Kanodia, M.D., from Columbus, Ohio, wherein, based upon specialized medical testing, he diagnosed the defendant with having ABS.

Kanodia said he is working with five other lawyers in the United States and Canada who are citing the syndrome as a defense in DUI cases.

The defense also submitted an affidavit from a WNY Pharmacologist which forensically established that the defendant’s BAC would only have registered between .01 and .05% from the four alcoholic beverages she had consumed earlier in the day.  Under New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, an individual whose BAC is between .01 and .05% is presumed to be sober.

The defense further provided the Court with an analysis from the Erie County Medical Center’s Forensic Toxicology Lab regarding three blood samples taken from the defendant in a twelve hour period during which two Registered Nurses and a Physician’s Assistant continuously monitored the defendant to ensure she did not consume any alcoholic beverages.  The three blood samples yielded BAC results which were double, triple and quadruple the legal limit (.08%).

DUI Defense lawyer Marusak presented the medical findings and sought a dismissal of the case. Town of Hamburg Justice Walter L. Rooth, II dismissed the charges of Driving While Intoxicated (New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192-3) and Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192-2-a).

Because this was an involuntary medical condition, as opposed to being caused by the voluntary excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, it could not be said that she voluntarily consumed alcohol.  Auto Brewery Syndrome (ABS) is a medical condition wherein an excessive amount of yeast in an individual’s intestines ferments sugars from ingested foods and nonalcoholic beverages into alcohol.

Marusak’s client changed her diet after her diagnosis and hasn’t had another episode, it was reported by her DUI Defense Lawyer, Joseph J. Marusak, who was working Of Counsel to the law firm of Kloss, Stenger & LoTempio.

In its decision DUI case dismissed for medical condition, the Court identified the reasons for the dismissal by specifically referencing the contents of the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss papers, as well the mild symptoms of impairment allegedly observed by the arresting officer, as noted from the officer’s paperwork.

The dismissal led to stories in Vice News, and on the website Jezebel, and in People Magazine, CNN, and on NPR.

It is believed that the court’s ordering her DUI case dismissed for medical condition, based on the defendant’s medical evidence and testing, plus the evidence from the scientific community, is the first of its kind. It also underscores the importance of the gut biome and gut bacteria in affecting the entire body.

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Contact us for questions regarding your DUI case. If you have a complex DUI case in Orange County, call our office.  We know the right forensic alcohol DUI experts and have the science and legal background, to handle specialized cases such as this one.


DUI Checkpoint in Los Angeles County results in 2 arrests

DUI Checkpoint in Los Angeles County results in 2 arrests

On January 16, 2016, in Compton, CA, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Services Detail conducted a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint at Rosecrans Avenue and Dwight Avenue between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., and that DUI Checkpoint in Los Angeles County results in 2 DUI arrests.  Only two DUI arrests, from 738 vehicles that passed through the DUI checkpoint, and from seven hours of stopping traffic and investigating. 

Orange County DUI Checkpoing

As noted on this blog, DUI checkpoints are one of the worst ways for law enforcement to detect and apprehend drunk drivers.  Saturation patrols are much more effective, and have a substantially higher arrest and conviction rate.  However, since all federal and state funding goes to DUI Checkpoints only, they have become a profit center for police departments. 

DUI Checkpoint in Los Angeles County results in 2 arrests – statistics

The statistics for the Compton DUI Checkpoint were as follows:

738 Vehicles through the Checkpoint

490 Vehicles Screened

1 DUI-Alcohol impaired suspect arrested

1 DUI-Combo (Alcohol / Marijuana) impaired suspect arrested

1 Suspect was Arrested for Knowingly Allowing an Unlicensed Driver to Drive, 14604 (a) CVC

4 Suspended / Revoked Drivers were Cited and Sent to Court

7 Unlicensed Drivers were Cited and Sent to Court

3 Vehicles were Impounded for 30 Days

6 Vehicles were Stored for 1 Day

Drivers caught and arrested for DUI can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses. The cost of a DUI can be $15,000 to $17,500 for a first time offense.

Despite the fact that the DUI Checkpoint in Los Angeles County results in 2 arrests only, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Services Detail have said that even with the low arrest rate, they are still planning  additional DUI/Drivers License Checkpoints to spend the funding given specifically for this purpose, including officer overtime.  This checkpoint, like all others in California, are funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety http://www.ots.ca.gov/ through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationhttp://www.nhtsa.gov/.

See our blog entry on How to Drink to Avoid a DUI.  Or, AS A DRIVER, PLAN AHEAD WITH THESE TIPS:

  • Arrange rides home for your friends, family, co-workers and yourself before the drinking begins
  • Identify and provide free non-alcoholic drinks or other promotional items to the Designated Driver
  • Party hosts and servers must limit drinks to your guests or patrons. Don’t serve more than one or two over several hours.
  • Cut back on the amount of drinks you plan to bring to the party – and provide plenty of food.

Call our office if you have any questions about Los Angeles DUI cases, or need an Los Angeles DUI Lawyer, anytime.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI: What to do with the FAA and your Airman’s Certificate

Pilot Licenses and a DUI:  What to do with the FAA and your Airman’s Certificate

DUI and Pilots

Pilot Licenses and DUI. You are a pilot.  You depend on your FAA Airman’s Certificate and License, and your Medical Certification, for your career.  And you know the FAA takes DUI cases seriously. If you get a DUI as a pilot, what do you need to do?  This article discusses Pilot Licenses and a DUI:  What to do with the FAA and your Airman’s Certificate.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – Planning Ahead

Logic tells you that the best course of action is to plan ahead.  Using taxis, ride sharing services like Uber or Lyft, or the kidness of friends, avoids you driving without any substances in your system and avoids the problem Pilot Licenses and DUI from the beginning.

After their arrest, many pilots try to explain to the FAA the circumstances around their DUI event, and mention that they did not think they drank that much or how close they got pulled over to their home, or how much they needed to drive that night as a matter of necessity.

None of that matters to the FAA.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – if arrested

The next thing to understand is to not refuse a breathalyzer test when the officer requests you to perform one. That is a “refusal” under California law, and in legal terminology the FAA views that as equivalent to a DUI, no matter whether or not you were truly impaired or over the legal limit.  With a California Driver’s License, you can suffer a one year hard suspension of your driving privileges if you refuse, and that action alone for holders of Pilot Licenses and DUI convictions can cause the FAA can pull your certificate, or take other actions, if you refuse.

Note that you must report to the FAA DMV actions or DUI arrest on the medical certification application in section 18(v) when you are arrested, not just when you are convicted. 

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – if convicted

There are two things, as a pilot, that you also need to do when you are convicted of a DUI. Federal Aviation Regulation 61.15(e) states that when an airman is convicted of an action involving alcohol or drugs, a report must be made to the FAA Civil Aviation Security Division not later than 60 days after the motor vehicle action. Pilot Licenses and DUI are a growing problem, so there is an <http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/investigations/airmen_duidwi/> online form that you can download and submit to the security division: Online Airmen DUI Report.  (Under 14 CFR 61.15, all pilots must send a Notification Letter (MS Word) to the FAA Security and Investigations Division, within 60 calendar days of the effective date of an alcohol-related conviction or administrative action.)

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – if you miss the deadline

Failure to send a Notification Letter within 60 days to FAA’s Security & Investigations Division is grounds for:

  • Denial of an application for any certificate, rating, or authorization issued under this regulation for up to one year after the date of the motor vehicle action
  • Suspension or revocation of any certificate, rating, or authorization issued under this regulation

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – your medical certification

The other reporting requirement is Item 18(v) on your next FAA medical application. The application requires that the applicant must report any arrests, or convictions, or administrative actions relating to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Please note that even if your DUI lawyer has the case dismissed, or the charges are reduced to anything below a DUI,  that result is still not an excuse not to report, as the arrest itself triggers mandatory reporting for Pilot Licenses and DUI! If you were pulled over, requested to perform a field sobriety test, and/or asked to perform a breathalyzer, that is reportable in the affirmative on the application, by itself.

Your FAA medical certificate is handled separately for Pilot Licenses and DUI, as alcohol abuse is treated as a potential physical or psychological issue.  The FAA medical personnel will then require your AME to obtain the arresting officer’s report, in addition to copies of the court records of your hearing.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – high alcohol levels

If your breathalyzer results are equal to or greater than 0.15 percent, you will need to provide a substance abuse evaluation. That will require you to locate a licensed counselor in substance abuse/dependence, or a psychologist or psychiatrist who has extra training in addiction medicine, and be evaluated. Depending on the results of the evaluation, you may be required to provide even more extensive (and expensive) evaluations. If your breathalyzer is less than the 0.15 percent, then you may not need to do nothing else.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – a personal statement

The FAA often also requests that you submit a “personal statement” surrounding the events leading up to the traffic stop and DUI arrest, including comments about your past and current alcohol/drug use. My personal advice is to be honest in the letter. Do not be confrontational, and it is in your best interests to stick to the facts, be truthful and honest, and remorseful if anything.

In all of these circumstances, the FAA medical records office maintains a record of how many DUIs you collect. Two DUI events within a three-year period will result in the requirement for an evaluation by an addiction trained psychologist or psychiatrist. Three DUIs in a lifetime is considered by the FAA to be a possible sign of alcohol dependence and will result in a denial of your medical application. In order to attempt to regain your medical certificate after that event, you will be required to obtain:

  • psychological and psychiatric evaluations by addiction trained specialists who are familiar with FAA policies;
  • a certified true copy of all the driving records in states you hold licenses in; and
  • a typed letter from yourself concerning your alcohol- or drug-use habits.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – where to send information

The Address to Send Notification Letters to:

Federal Aviation Administration
Security and Investigations Division (AMC-700)
P.O. Box 25810
Oklahoma City, OK 73125
Fax to: (405) 954-4989

The FAA Form 8500-8 “Application for Airmen Medical” contains an express consent provision which authorizes the National Driver Register (NDR) to release information about your driving record to FAA. Information on the NDR record will contain pointers to states that keep a driving history on you. The FAA will obtain applicable records to determine if you have a reportable alcohol-related MVA.The National Driver’s Registration (NDR) also reveals all alcohol related arrests and convictions to the FAA via authorization from the medical application. You should expect that the FAA will be notified of your arrest within a week.

The consequences vary from being placed on probation to termination or revocation of your Pilot Licenses and DUI punishment in addition. Failing to disclose can exacerbate the problem and cause more serious and more recent disciplinary results to Pilot Licenses and DUI action against driver’s licenses.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – International Travel

International Travel and DUI

A conviction can also cause problems entering certain countries, most notably Canada.  That country, and certain others, often deny access to visitors with DUI convictions. This would be especially difficult for commercial pilots, who are required to travel to many foreign countries as part of their employment.

Pilot Licenses and a DUI – we can help

Our office has represented many pilots in the past, and as someone that held an FAA Private Pilots License, I am especially sympathetic and helpful towards those with an Airmen’s Certificate.  Pilot Licenses and DUI take special handling. We can help you and keep you flying.

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 license later. Contact us today.


Is a DUI expunged automatically after 10 years?

Is a DUI expunged automatically after 10 years?

Criminal Conviction for DUI
Our Orange County DUI Lawyers received the following question about whether or not after 10 years, a DUI expunged automatically:

Q.  My last DUI was 15 yrs ago. The court did not revoke my license, but the DMV did & in order to get my license back, the DMV required I enroll in & complete the 18-month multiple offender program & get an SR-22. I was eligible for a RESTRICTED license allowing me to drive to & from work & school, etc., provided I was enrolled in & in good standing with the 18-month program. I did get started on the program but 4 months in, I was distracted by personal matters & took a leave of absence & never went back. I did not apply for the restricted license during those 4 months.

I just learned California expunges DUI convictions after 10 years but understand this has nothing to do with the DMV decision. Is there also a time frame when the conditions set forth by the DMV to get my license also go away?
Answer:  Unfortunately, this is a common misunderstanding – that there is an automatic expungement of a DUI conviction after 10 years. While a DUI cannot be used as a prior once 10 years have passed, that does not mean that it disappears from a criminal record – in fact, if you ran a criminal record, you will find it is still there, and would be there for life until you do an expungement.
A DMV driver’s record shows all actions, for life, like criminal records. Unlike a criminal conviction, the driving record does not have a procedure for expungement – the DMV requires that you follow their procedures to get a license back, no matter how much time has passed, to get whatever you need done and your license reinstated.
The alternative is to give up driving privileges in California, and have a license issued in another state, for which California can issue a waiver of any driving privileges, or any license hold that might cause you a problem in another state.
DMV Information and Penalties for a DUI
Questions about a DUI expungement?  Contact our firm and our Orange County DUI Expert, Robert Miller for advice today.

DUI Arrest Warrants in Orange County

DUI Arrest Warrants in Orange County

DUI Arrest warrants

DUI arrest warrants in Orange County, like many types of warrants in California, can happen for a variety of reasons.

The most important thing to know is this: Take care of any warrants as soon as possible.  A warrant is a priority situation that you will want to take care of right away. With a warrant, you can be arrested anywhere, and anytime, and the arrest can be justified.  You could technically be arrested at work, at home, or anywhere, as long as there is a warrant.

If you had an Orange County DUI case, but didn’t show up for your court date, or didn’t comply with some part of your sentence or missed a court deadline, you might have a warrant for your arrest, and not even know it.

You can check Orange County DUI arrest warrants at the following website, run by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  It is anonymous, and doesn’t send information to law enforcement:

Orange County Arrest Warrant Search


Police are Enforcing DUI Arrest Warrants in Orange County

Every so often, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department DUI Task Force goes into action to clear up all outstanding arrest warrants at once. The local newspaper (the OC Register), had a story on the DUI task force going after Orange County DUI offenders on December, 14, 2015, as a coordinated effort all over the county. As the story stated:

OCSD Deputies attempted service on 36 warrants. Nine offenders were arrested who either failed to show up for a court date or violated terms of their probation in an outstanding DUI case. Another six turned themselves in following the attempted warrant service, after receiving a notice that they were visited by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and that there was a warrant for their arrest.

“The best bet for anyone with a missed DUI court date is go to court on their own now,” says OC Deputy Manuel Cruz. “If you don’t, that warrant isn’t going away. We’re going to come find you and take you to jail.”

Orange County DUI arrest warrants can mean increased punishment for missing the deadline set by the court.  If caught, you can face fines, community service, a work program, or even jail time for failing to appear in court. When family, friends, and co-workers find out, you can face personal embarrassment as they you are led away in handcuffs, as well as missing work while sitting in jail.

Again, when there is any kind of DUI warrant, you can be arrested at any place, at any time.  Even if you are jaywalking and the police pull your record, you can be arrested and held until you see a judge.

Contact us.  Our Orange County DUI defense lawyers can clear up a warrant in 24 hours for you. If you find you have a warrant, or if you have been sent a notice from Orange County Superior Court indicating that you have a warrant for your arrest, let us help fix that for you.  Use the Contact Us form to send us your details and to get started immediately.


DUI blood tests – the gas chromatograph

A gas chromatograph machine is what is used to test for alcohol in DUI cases where there is a blood test taken.

gas chromatograph dui blood testing

The word “chromatograph” sounds like a mouthful, but it comes from the greek words Chromato, meaning color, and graphy, meaning representation.

Chromatographs are the visual representation of the raw gas chromatograph (GC) data which is in itself inaccessible for use in determining the outcomes of the analyses. The software employed by the analytical equipment takes the raw data and make it possible to visualize the peaks, their area and height and relationship to other peaks in the samples in the form of a chromatogram. X and Y axis give the dimensions for time and response. The Forensic toxicologist is reviewing the chromatograms to report the ID of observed peaks and relative amount of the compounds peaks IDd in each samples chromatogram. The types of chromatograms that are required for every analytical run are as follows: QC, Test mixtures, Method Blanks, Matrix Blanks, absolute/solvent/gas blanks and washes. Not to mention the chromatograms associated with the development of the standard curve and calibrations used in the calculation of the AMOUNT of ethanol over a range ~ca from zero to over 0.5% . Furthermore- you must have the “batch sequence list”- the list of all samples run in that batch showing their sequence, timing and intervals for each type of NAMED injection relative to your clients sample.

QC: quality control: measures the ability of the analytical equipment to do its job to defined qualifications of sensitivity, accuracy and precision. Usually is chromatograms showing the ability of the analytical equipment (GC) to resolve known reference standards of defined amounts of Ethanol over 6 or more injections with +/- a defined value of certainty. Usually a low, 0.8 and high amount of ethanol reference standard is run at the beginning and end of each batch run.

TEST MIXTURES: Chromatography demonstrating the ability of the analytical equipment to baseline resolve each component of a complex mixture of similar compounds to those being tested in suspect samples. Used to demonstrate the ability for complete separation of known compounds, measured against their expected retention time and peak height/area under defined operational parameters. Is the machine is unable to meet the defined resolution, separation and peak heights of a mixture of known compounds, it cannot be used for analysis of unknowns.

METHOD BLANK Chromatogram: When the internal standard “IS” (usually propanol- n- or 2-) is added or “spiked” into a sample and analyzed by GC- used to demonstrate the IS is clean and free of contamination, elutes as a single baseline resolved peaks at its predicted retention time and that it does NOT interfere with the peak of the interest (ethanol).

MATRIX Blanks: using a qualified source of the matrix ( fluid) from which suspect samples are extracted (in this case blood), this known blood matrix is also spiked with the same IS in the SAME concentration to show that the matrix – blood- does NOT affect the peak retention time, peak height or area nor produce any additional peaks in the chromatogram. We mass spectrometrists usually refer to this as checking for “matrix effects”- a very well documented phenomena whereby the same compound in water/solvent behaves differently when in a “Matrix”- thus indicating there are influences of the matrix on the value of that IS in a regular Method Blank to be used as a measurand for accurate reporting of ID or amount of the unknowns.

ABSOLUTE/TRUE BLANK chromatograms: injection of either the carrier gas, methanol or nothing to show that between the sample vial and the detector there is nothing that would contribute to peaks or bumps in a chromatogram that may interfere with the analysis. Demonstrates the analytical equipment is free of any contamination from injector to detector including the column, syringe needle, spepta etc…

Chromatograms of WASHES: performed at intervals within an analytical run as per the defined frequency by that labs accreditation body. Usually it’s every 8-10 injections: used to show lack of contamination and carryover of compounds from one sample to the next when running many suspect samples sequentially in a “batch Run”. A wash is best performed as a methanol or solvent only injection- many labs however include the IS in their “washes” to show the IS peak retention time and height of the IS is consistent throughout the batch run. The inclusion of the IS peaks in this wash chromatogram however can mask or co-elute with any carryover contamination peak(s) and thus is not the best choice as a true wash.

Thus each chromatogram contains the information necessary to determine all the original intent of the analysis: peaks representing each compound found in the samples, the relative amount of each peaks contents, the time at which each peak is present in the timed sample run which can be equilibrated against other peaks to determine identity, and if the analytical equipment is capable of separation of compounds in BOTH a test mixture and of real samples which-biological in origin ( i.e., blood) are the most complicated. Chromatograms are the very essence of what is produced when blood samples are analyzed by GC. If the chromatogram is not present for an analyst to review, there can be no determination of the presence and amount of BA nor the certainty the analytical equipment is capable of such determinations.

For questions, see our Orange County DUI Survival Guide.

Orange County DUI Statistics

Orange County DUI Statistics

Orange County DUI Statistics

Orange County DUI Statistics are available and accurate mainly because DUI arrests are fairly well documented.  Police reports go to both the DMV and the prosecutor’s office for filing of charges with the court, and the DMV keeps track of what charges are entered on the person’s record once the case reaches a disposition (trial, settlement, or DUI dismissal).

orange county dui

Orange County DUI Statistics – not the highest for DUI

The overall highest per capita rate for DUI is San Diego, which is not a surprise.  San Diego has a number of colleges and Universities, and is close to the Mexico border – the five miles of the Interstate 5 Freeway coming from Tijuana into the USA is the five mile stretch of roadway with the highest rate of DUI in the entire country.

For Orange County specifically, using the data from the California Office of Traffic Safety reveals the cities that are highest for DUI in California, and in Orange County.

Looking at Orange County DUI statistics, of course larger cities would typically have higher rates of DUI.  Looking at statistics and viewing them per capita controls for population and provides the true Orange County DUI Statistics.

Orange County DUI Statistics – Not the Highest DUI Death Rate

The in conducting the analysis of alcohol-related fatalities based off statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it was discovered that the following U.S. cities had the highest fatality rates, per capita. (Note: NHTSA statistics deem an accident to be “alcohol-related” if a driver had a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater, which is above the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle.)
  1. San Bernardino, CA
  2. Mobile, AL
  3. Riverside, CA
  4. Tulsa, OK
  5. Lubbock, TX
  6. Knoxville, TN
  7. Fresno, CA
  8. Spokane, WA
  9. Sacramento, CA
  10. Little Rock, AR
San Bernardino had the highest alcohol-related fatality rate by far. From 2010-2012, there were 92 fatal auto accidents involving drunk drivers. With a population of more than 210,000, San Bernardino’s DUI fatality rate (collisions per 1,000 residents) came in at 0.4368, nearly six times the national average of 0.0731.
Men still dominate DUI arrests and fatalities. In 2010, males accounted for some 77.6 percent of DUI arrests in California. But according to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (CDAP), the proportion of females among convicted DUI offenders has risen consistently every year since 1989.

Orange County DUI Statistics show a problem in The OC.

Despite a very active law-enforcement presence and consistent prosecution by the district attorney’s office, Orange County has one of the worst drunk-driving problems in California. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, 10 Orange County cities rank among the worst in the state for rates of injuries and fatalities caused by DUI. Of all California cities with a population between 100,000 and 250,000, Orange ranks No. 1 for drunken driving fatalities and collisions. Santa Ana and Anaheim rank No. 3 and No. 10, respectively, among cities with more than 250,000 people.
DUIs in Newport Beach make it No. 1 for cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000. Yet it’s not for lack of enforcement; Newport Beach police arrested more than 650 people for suspected DUI in 2011.
CHP statistics from 2010 show that Orange County ranked second only to Los Angeles County in the state for DUI deaths and injury collisions. During that year, there were more than 1,000 DUI-related injury collisions in Orange County, more than in either San Diego or San Bernardino counties. The arrest rate is quickly growing among young people in college towns. Fullerton DUIs, for example, went from fifth in DUI arrests of drivers younger than 21 in 2009 to first in 2010.
Arrests for driving under the influence dived nearly 26 percent in Orange County from their peak in 2008 through 2013, according to the most recent figures from the state. That’s just a bit better than California overall, which saw DUI arrests fall 25 percent over the same period.
Accidents involving impaired drivers did not plunge as dramatically, however. The number of crashes resulting in death or injury in O.C. fell from a peak of 462 in 2005 to 359 in 2011 to 401 in 2012 – 13 percent in all. In California overall, such crashes fell 24 percent from their peak in 2003.
Fullerton’s lively downtown bar scene helped produce 721 DUI arrests through November 2014, compared with 623 through November of this year, said Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes.
Santa Ana had 807 DUI arrests last year, and 704 through the first week of December this year, said Corporal Anthony Bertagna.
In Fountain Valley, there were 201 DUI arrests in 2014 and 135 in 2015, with just days left to go, Llorens said.
In Cypress, arrests fell from 56 in 2014 to 27 through November.
Irvine logged a drop in Irvine DUI arrests from 594 in 2013 to 531 in 2014 to about 410 to date this year.
Costa Mesa saw arrests dive by more than half in 2014.
Westminster’s DUI arrests totaled 255 in 2013, 254 in 2014 and 230 through the first week of December, said Deputy Chief Dan Schoonmaker.
Some cities reported more DUI arrests. Anaheim’s DUI arrests ticked up, from 555 in 2014 to 563 to date in 2015, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt.
Newport Beach, Tustin and Brea had arrested more people through November of this year than they had in all of 2014, officials said.
Newport Beach and Orange had the state’s highest rates of crashes in which at least one driver had been drinking, when compared to other California cities their size. Fullerton and Laguna Hills had the worst rates of crashes that involved underage drinkers.
Total Fatal and Injury
Alcohol Involved
Had Been Drinking Driver < 21
Had Been Drinking Driver 21 – 34
Total Fatal and Injury
Alcohol Involved
Had Been Drinking Driver < 21
Had Been Drinking Driver 21 – 34

Statistics of total overall California DUI Arrests

  • 75 percent of DUI arrestees were male.
  • 43 percent were Latino.
  • 42 percent were white.
  • 53.6 percent were age 30 or younger.
  • 0.5 percent were under 18.
  • 0.4 percent were older than 71.
  • 37 percent of those involved in crashes that killed or injured were drunk; 39 percent were high on drugs.

Source: the California DMV annual report.

For Orange County, last year there were over 97% of DUIs that were misdemeanors.  Less than 3% of DUIs were felony DUI cases.

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 arrests drop – city by city

The press have been noting that Orange County DUI arrests have been dropping for over a decade, including a huge drop for this past year, in 2015.

Like Los Angeles County, which reported a drop in 2012, and again in 2013, and in 2014, Orange County has seen, each year, a drop in DUI related fatalities and DUI arrests and convictions.

orange county dui lawyers

Here is a look at the various agencies in California and their individual changes in DUI arrest statistics in Orange County.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department – O.C.’s largest law-enforcement agency – logged 1,392 DUI incident reports last year and 1,180 reports in 2015, with only three days left to the year.

Fullerton Police had 721 DUI arrests through November 2014, compared with 623 through November of this year, said Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes.

Santa Ana had 807 DUI arrests last year, and 704 through the first week of December this year, said Corporal Anthony Bertagna.

The Fountain Valley Police Department reported 201 DUI arrests in 2014 and 135 in 2015, with just days left to go, Llorens said.

Cypress Police Department arrests fell from 56 in 2014 to 27 through November.

Irvine logged a drop in Irvine DUI arrests from 594 in 2013 to 531 in 2014 to about 410 to date this year.

The Costa Mesa Police Department saw Costa Mesa DUI arrests drop by more than half in 2014.

Westminster Police’s DUI arrests totaled 255 in 2013, 254 in 2014 and 230 through the first week of December, said Deputy Chief Dan Schoonmaker.

But in some areas, the DUI arrest rate went up. Anaheim’s DUI arrests rose from 555 in 2014 to 563 to date in 2015, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt.

Newport Beach, Tustin and Brea had arrested more people through November of this year than they had in all of 2014, officials said.

Staffing, and outside grants to run checkpoints, can impact these totals. The state and federal government give grants for DUI checkpoints, under a “use it or lose it” mandate.

Costa Mesa’s DUI arrest declines are largely because it reassigned DUI enforcement officers to full-time patrol duty, they say.

Santa Ana ran 21 checkpoints last year, netting 115 arrests; it ran 16 this year, netting 62 arrests.

Anaheim usually runs 10 checkpoints, which yielded five DUI arrests last year. Its 64 “saturation patrols” – where officers rove the city, specifically looking for inebriated drivers – were far more productive, netting 84 arrests.

Overall, the rate of DUI in Orange County, and all California DUI arrests have been declining.

This is typical for statistics comparing Orange County DUI checkpoints to Orange County DUI Saturation Patrols.