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Schwarzeneggar Puts The Cuffs on DUI's

Wednesday, 10/17/2007

Governor Schwarzenegger has signed legislation to crackdown on DUI offenders and to prevent minors from getting alcohol. Essentially, five bills recently signed into law strengthen current DUI laws to discourage drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and to increase penalties for underage drinking violations and the manufacturing of fraudulent ID’s.

“As leaders of this great state it is our responsibility to do everything we can to make sure our citizens are safe,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “These bills protect public safety because they provide important tools to law enforcement and prosecutors that will make people think twice before they get behind the wheel and place innocent people in harm’s way. They also take important steps to help ensure that no one who is underage can get their hands on alcohol.”

The following bills were recently signed into law:

AB 421 by Assemblymember John Benoit (R-Bermuda Dunes)

  • Reduces the time frame that the clerk of the court has to forward abstracts of court records or certain vehicle-related code convictions to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Effective October 1, 2008.

AB 678 by Assemblymember Ted Gaines (R-Roseville)

  • Clarifies several sections of California code to correspond with specific Penal Code sections.
  • Makes changes to the definition of a "serious felony" and imposes and removes certain mandatory sentances relating to vehicular manslaughter.

AB 808 by Assemblymember Nicole Parra (D-Hanford) - Joint Authored by Assemblymember Todd Spitzer (R-Orange).

  • Requires anyone applying for or renewing a driver's license to sign a form that acknowledes that if someone is killed as a result of their driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can be charged with MURDER.

AB 1165 by Assemblymember Bill Maze (R-Visalia)

  • Makes it illegal for a person who is on probabation for DUI to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.1% or greater. Effective January 1, 2009.

AB 1658 by Assemblymember Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster)

  • Substantially increases fines and penalties for juvenile alcoholic convictions.
  • Increases initial fines for a person to sell alcoholic beverage to a minor (13-21). Minimum fine is raised to $500 for first violation and $1,000 for each violation after that.
  • Multiplies fines and penalties for juvenile attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages with fake identification. Fines are increased to $500 for first violation and $1,000 for each violation after that.
  • Double's fines and penalties for juvenile convicted for possession any alcoholic beverage on any street or highway. Fines are increased to $500 for first violation and $1,000 for each violation after that. This is in addtion to the possible 36-48 hours community service handed out by the court.

More News from Scharzenegger....

In June, the Governor announced $70 million in traffic safety grants awarded to 136 agencies and communities across the state. The grants are currently being used in a variety of ways including through enforcement efforts such as sobriety checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols, emergency rescue equipment and illegal street racing patrols. There are also behind-the-scenes programs such as DUI prosecutor education, increased scrutiny of repeat offenders through probation departments, emergency room interventions for suspected drunk drivers and more efficient sharing of records and information among different agencies.

In December 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger announced an award of $3.7 million to 93 law enforcement agencies across the state to conduct sobriety checkpoints during the winter holiday season and continuing into 2007. The grants supported heavy enforcement periods throughout the National Impaired Driving Mobilization effort, including the December and New Years holidays.

Bills from 2005-2006...

In order to discourage DUI offenders , Governer Schwarzaneggar signed numerous bills.

SB 207 by Senator Jack Scott (D-Altadena)

Authorized pre-conviction vehicle impoundment for any individual suspected of driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of 0.10% or more and has one or more prior DUI convictions.

SB 547 by Senator Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks)

Established a Sacramento County pilot program authorizing vehicle impoundment for up to 30 days and alcohol-related intervention for individuals suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) when the driver has suffered a prior DUI-related conviction.

SB 1756 by Senator Carole Migden (D-San Francisco)

Required that a person convicted of a first time DUI, meeting specific criteria, shall have their license suspended for 10 months to conform to the DUI program duration.

AB 1353 by Assemblymember Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge)

Increased the length of treatment programs from 45 to 60 hours for first time driving-under-the-influence offenders with a blood alcohol level of 0.20 percent or more.

AB 2752 by Assemblymember Todd Spitzer (R-Orange)

Increased penalties for specified underage DUI offenses.

DUI, driving under the influence, is a serious problem in California. According to the California Highway Patrol, in 2006, there were 37,981 DUI collisions including 841 fatal and 15,391 injury collisions resulting in 983 victims killed and 23,191 victims injured.

According to a 2006 report by the DMV, 4.7 percent of all first-time DUI offenders will be arrested for DUI again within one year. In 2004, there were a total of 139,331 DUI convictions, 32,880 were repeat offenders.


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