Articles Posted in Traffic Representation

This year’s Fourth of July weekend proved to be a weekend of poor decision making after celebrating; 48 DUI arrests were made by local police officers. During the same window of time these arrests were made, from 6 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Saturday, one fatality was reported. The wreck that caused this fatality occurred on Thursday night in San Diego county on I-805, in the southbound lanes; south of El Cajon Blvd. The wreckage was a scene of a three vehicle affair; one of them being a semi-truck. The specific details of the crash are not yet available to report, but the unidentified driver of a sedan from the accident was sent to the hospital with extremely serious injuries – and later was pronounced dead on Friday by the Medical Examiner’s office, thus the lone fatality.

The fatality statistics are calculated county wide, but the DUI count is just based on local police arrests. The number of DUIs has increased slightly from the previous year, where CPH arrested a stunning 46 drunk drivers.

Across the state of California there were 15 fatalities and a monstrous grand total of 747 drunk drivers arrested, a huge leap from last year when 9 people lost their lives and 564 drivers were arrested for DUI. Four of the fatalities were the result of the individuals not using their seat-belt while in the vehicle. In addition to those four, two motorcyclists and a pedestrian were killed, the details of these incidents not yet released. Do not drink and drive! But if you happen to have a DUI charge already, make sure you have an awesome lawyer and check out our firm!

A devastating, fatal collision occurred yesterday afternoon involving a 55-year-old man from Oceanside. He was riding on his Triumph motorcycle, bobbing and weaving through vehicles as he passed them near State Route 76 in front of the Oak Knoll Campground. Witnesses told officers arriving on the scene that the crash happened around midnight, with one of these witnesses evening saying he experienced the motorcyclists reckless driving on the highway.

“He passed me,” the witness stated, “and even did it over the double-yellow line.”

it appears as if this behavior continued, leading to his untimely death. The motorcyclist tried to pass a Toyota Corolla, not seeing that the car ahead of him, the Corolla, was attempting to turn left, thus creating a recipe for a disaster collision. The motorcycle driven by the 55-year-old man impaled into the side of the 4-door, but the momentum of the cycle itself was left high enough to continue to slide underneath the car and out the other side.

Last weekend in North Park, San Diego, a very interesting series of events took place. Apparently a 42-year-old man, his name not revealed as of yet, was driving through a liquor store parking lot and pummeled into two parked vehicles. This first event of more to follow occurred around midnight, Sunday the 25th. After scraping his Ford Escape against stationary vehicles, the driver sped away from the scene, only to get into even more trouble. About four blocks away, he floored-it through a red light and smacked into another moving vehicle, a black Saab. This unfortunate collision took place at the intersection of Park Boulevard and University Avenue.

The wreck ended up being fairly serious, with all individuals inside of each vehicle sent to nearby hospitals. The vehicles suffered significant damage, with doors having to be removed by firefighters to rescue the injured people stuck inside. The driver of the black Saab suffered a neck fracture, with his passenger also suffering minor injuries. The loose-cannon driver of the Ford Escape and his passenger also suffered minor injuries, but non life-threatening. San Diego police are running toxicology reports to determine the sobriety of the collision-happy driver of the Ford Escape, but may go ahead and initiate charges anyway. The Traffic Division is currently investigating the details of the collision.

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A woman cited for wearing Google Glass while driving in San Diego has been released from any charges. The woman was pulled over by CHP around 7:30 p.m. for speeding on Interstate 15 in late October, the same time that the officer gave her a ticket when he saw that she was wearing the glasses. This one-of-a-kind case, the first ever in the United States, has received national recognition, sparking the debate on whether Google Glass technology is a distraction for drivers. San Diego traffic court commissioner John Blair felt that there was insufficient evidence that the woman behind the wheel, Cecilia Abadie, was actually operating the glasses while driving. Also dismissed was the related speeding ticket, for similar reasons. The officer cited Abadie for violating California Vehicle Code Section 27602, which states that drivers can’t view television or video signals was driving. Blair concluded that each ticket had no proof beyond a reasonable doubt to support its accusation. According to California’s current traffic laws, Google Glass is indeed illegal to operate while driving, however in this particular case, Blair argued that the officer failed to present legitimate evidence that Abadie had the glasses in use while she was driving. The Google Glass features a reflective display screen on the right lens, blocking vision of the right eye and posing a threat to drivers. Abadie testified that she had the glasses in sleep mode and was not operating them during the drive. Google Glass wearable technology is Google’s newest experiment. They feature wireless Internet access, Bluetooth technology, voice recognition, and can perform tasks including responding to voice commands, checking email or airline flight times, and taking pictures or videos. The glasses are currently being tested by 10,000 people across the nation, and aren’t expected to become available to the public until later this year for a lofty price of $1,500.

Sources:

“Google Glass Driving Ticket Dismissed”- UT San Diego, January 16, 2014

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department has launched a special DUI enforcement effort to control DUI cases connected to the Del Mar Racetrack. On opening day of the iconic races, ten people were arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol out of a total of 25 who were evaluated. Out of these evaluations, three drivers were also cited for driving on a suspended license and one for driving without a license. Sheriff deputies and police officers from all over the county are in patrol of the area, covering 111 traffic stops in Del Mar and surrounding areas in Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Northern San Diego, from around 4 p.m. to midnight as a DUI saturation patrol. The effort includes officers from San Diego, Coronado, Chula Vista, National City, San Diego State University, and University of California San Diego departments, all in support of zero tolerance. The program is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A grand total of forty-five citations have been issued thus far and 10 vehicles have been impounded. Drivers found guilty of impaired driving can face jail time, insurance hikes, loss of their license, and fines up to 10,000, all of which are subordinate to the danger they are putting themselves and others on the road in when they get behind the wheel. Now facing DUI charges, these recent arrestees are highly recommended to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to address the charges against them. Law enforcement officers will continue to be out in force and on the lookout for drunk drivers for the remainder of the horse-racing event. Sheriff’s Lt. Julius Faulkner stated in a press release, “If you’re over the limit, you will be arrested.” San Diego law enforcement is encouraging motorists who see drunk drivers to call 911 and report them right away.

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bar.jpgProfessional football player Aldon Smith of the San Fransisco 49er’s was arrested on January 28th for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. The police report states that Smith was spotted swerving on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami Beach, Florida and was pulled over a little after 4:30 am. After failing a field sobriety test that checked his blood alcohol level (BAC), Smith was taken to a correctional facility where he spent the next 3 1/2 hours following his arrest. Information on whether the athlete was represented by an attorney during this time has not been released. Authorities released Smith once he posted the 1,000 bond for bail.

Aldon Smith was drafted to the 49er’s in 2011 as the seventh overall draft pick. With 14 quarterback sacks in his first year in the NFL, Smith not only set a franchise record for a rookie linebacker but also ranked first among all NFL rookies in sacks. Unfortunately, this success is being followed by a DUI arrest and much negative attention as Smith faces the heat of unwanted media pressure and a knock to his star reputation. Also something to consider is how this might affect prospective endorsement deals and/or his salary for the coming NFL season.

In an attempt to put a handle on the situation, the 49er’s released a statement later on the day of Smith’s arrest stating, “We take these issues very seriously but will reserve further comment at this time. The 49er’s will continue to gather facts and monitor the developments closely.” 49er’s head coach Jim Harbaugh was aware and informed of the arrest as well. After dealing with his own DUI in 2005, I am sure Coach Harbaugh will be having a talk with his young star.

At the end of the day, people make mistakes and this goes to show that even some of the most idolized and successful of them are capable of a mistake now and then. All we can hope is that Smith takes this as a learning experience to grow from and doesn’t make the same mistake again! At this time, Smith’s next move is to hire an attorney to represent him against DUI court penalties.

Sources:

Aldon Smith DUI Arrest: 49er’s Linebacker Seen Swerving on Miami Street, ninersnation.com, Jan. 30, 2012
Aldon Smith Faces DUI Charge In Miami Beach, stltoday.com, Jan. 28, 2012

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Following New Year’s weekend, the California Highway Patrol released information concluding an increase in fatal traffic deaths and a decrease in DUI arrests in comparison to last year’s statistics. The report was recorded between the time of 6 pm Friday evening to Sunday at 11:59 pm, containing a total of 5 traffic deaths and 58 DUI arrests, differing from 1 death and 60 arrests last year.

Over the course of 2011, the CHP logged 22 traffic deaths statewide which is down from 25 the previous year. In 10 of these instances, the CHP reported those who were killed failed to wear seat belts while driving. In contrast to New Year’s stats, the total number of DUI arrests for the year have increased from 961 last year to 1,181 people.

According to data from the North County area, the majority of drunk driving arrests on New Year’s eve and New Year’s day occurred in Oceanside and Encinitas, where Oceanside police officers arrested a total of 6 drivers, and in Encinitas a total of 5. Other cities with violations include San Marcos with 3 arrests, Carlsbad with 1 arrest, and a total of 2 arrests in both Vista and Escondido.

Julianna Elyse Thomson, 23, a Carlsbad resident was accused of killing Arthur Jacobs, 64, in a hit and run accident on July 27th. Ms. Thomson, whose case is taking place in Vista Superior Court, plead not guilty to charges of vehicle manslaughter, hit and run, and DUI/drunk driving on Tuesday, August 2nd. If found guilty of all these charges Ms. Thomson could face up to 15 years in a state prison.

In court on Tuesday, Ms. Thomson was placed back into jail due to the arraignment judge, Marshall Y. Hockett, increasing her bail. Her bail was originally set at $100,000 and was raised to $200,000 due to pleas made by the prosecution and the relatives of Mr. Jacobs. If Ms. Thomson’s family and supporters can come up with the additional the bail, she will be re-released from jail. The prosecution’s reasons for the bail increase were stated simply as wanting to keep the roads safe from someone who was driving while extremely intoxicated, along with Ms. Thomson fleeing the scene. The decision was finalized by Superior Court Judge Hockett after hearing Mr. Jacobs daughters statement.

The fatality accident happened on July 27th, around 9:45 p.m. on El Camino Real, when Mr. Jacobs was struck by a Ford F-150 driven by Ms. Thomson. Mr. Jacobs was riding his bicycle to work at one of the local hotels when the Ford F-150 veered into the bicycle lane striking Mr. Jacobs, sending him flying through the air into bushes and then a concrete wall. Ms. Thomson did not stop but instead sped away, taking a wide u-turn at the next cross street. However, because of her high speed she was unable to maintain full control of the vehicle, hitting a pole, utility box and some bushes. Despite damaging her own truck, she continued driving to a nearby apartment complex, successfully fleeing the scene. Police found her at this apartment complex where several witnesses stated she was acting very hysterical. Ms. Thomson appeared to be very distraught and shocked, as well as slapping herself when police arrived at the scene.

In Escondido, North County San Diego, around 9:00 p.m. an 18 year old women driving a Mitsubishi Mirage carrying a 16 year old passenger collided with a pickup truck. The traffic collision occurred at the intersection of South Escondido Boulevard and South Centre City Parkway. The 18 year old female was pronounced dead on sight of the accident while her 16 year old passenger suffered serious injuries. The 37 year old man who was driving the pickup truck suffered minor injuries. The 18 year old driver had pulled out to make a left turn onto South Centre City Parkway when the pickup truck collided with the side of the Mitsubishi Mirage; causing both cars to roll and finally ending after colliding with the center divide. Police don’t believe the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, dui, when the traffic accident occurred.

Parents please inform your kids to drive safely!! As parents we often warn our kids of the dangers of drinking alcohol and driving but we must also harp on them about the dangers and consequences of just distracted (cell phone use) driving. A car or truck driven poorly is no difference than handing a loaded firearm to an inexperienced gun handler….No matter how good your kids think they can drive share with them all the teenage deaths that have resulted from traffic accidents in the last two years in San Diego County. The number will shock you! The slightest distraction from the road is all it takes to cause serious injury or even worse death.

The full article can be found here:

On Thursday, April 15th, a large crowd of supporters gathered in front of the Escondido City Hall building in support of the Driver License checkpoints that the Escondido police department has continuously conducted for the past six years.

More than a 150 people showed, lead by Patricia Bennett, in support of the traffic checkpoints. In contrast this support for the checkpoints and for Police Chief Jim Maher, who has been pressured to remove the traffic checkpoints or resign, the protest against the traffic checkpoints was three times smaller. What does this say about the cities feelings towards the checkpoints and the Police Chief as cars passing by drew honks and cheers? However, what’s poplar doesn’t always equate with justice!

These traffic checkpoints are a very controversial issue in Escondido and possible other neighboring cities who might start to adopt same or similar policy changes. Simply, are the traffic checkpoints conducted by the Escondido police department constitutional? I think not especially when every car is stopped and the driver interrogated by law enforcement about their drivers license. Supporter’s claim the checkpoint have lowered the hit and run cases by a third. But the one question remains, are these checkpoints specifically targeting low income area’s where Latinos are being targeted? If so, then theses checkpoints need to be reformed immediately or changed in the way they are conducted to meet all constitutional requirements.