Category Archives:Blood alcohol content

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OC DUI Cases Could Be Affected by Lab Error

The Orange County Crime Lab error has led to some inaccurate alcohol blood level test results that could affect hundreds of DUI cases. 
The Orange County Crime Lab produced inaccurate blood alcohol test results in 2,200 driving-under-the-influence cases filed by prosecutors this year.
Prosecutors in recent days sent letters to people charged with driving under the influence, including 900 whose cases resulted in convictions. The letters advised them that their cases were among those with miscalculations.
Crime lab officials said the “human error” occurred over nearly five months and led to mistakes in the forensic examination of blood alcohol content. But they insist the miscalculations were so few that they affect only about 200 cases. As few as 20 people could see their blood alcohol test levels drop below 0.08%, California’s legal definition of DUI impairment.
However, flaws with the lab’s basic testing probably will affect many more cases because sentence enhancements and negotiations are often based on how far over the legal limit a motorist was determined to be.
Orange County Crime Lab Director Bruce Houlihan said the facility, which serves the entire county, discovered flaws in its analysis Oct. 10 while conducting an audit. In reality, a small human error led to an instrument to be wrongly calibrated. The lab tests each blood sample twice using two machines and then averages the results. The error affected one of the machines beginning May 29. The machine uses five calibrator data points for levels of alcohol in the blood; one was entered incorrectly. As a result, the machine was off by 0.003 percentage points.
About 200 cases will have the blood alcohol average change by 0.01 points. Twenty people will have their blood-alcohol content dropped from 0.08% to 0.07%, below the DUI legal limit. 
However, Farrah Emami, a District Attorney spokeswoman, said that though the changes may affect some cases, drops in blood alcohol content below the legal limit do not guarantee that charges will be dropped.
If you or a loved one believe that you may be a victim of the miscalculation in your blood alcohol level by Orange County Crime Labs, it is important to contact an experienced and dedicated criminal attorney at Don Ho Law today to fight your conviction. Our goal at Don Ho Law is to provide an aggressive and comprehensive defense for those accused of a crime throughout Southern California. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact Don Ho Law today.

Published by Don Ho LawDon Ho is an experienced criminal defense attorney who serves Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties. 
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Comedian Kevin Hart Arrested for D.U.I.

As law enforcement begin to set up more drunk driving check points, thanks to newly established government funding, the number of DUIs increases as well.

Early Sunday morning, Los Angeles traffic police arrested the stand-up comic Kevin Hart on suspicion of drunk driving. California Highway Patrol observed Hart speeding down a freeway at 90 mph in his black Mercedes, weaving across traffic lanes and almost running into a gas tanker truck. Hart admitted to being drunk to police prior to taking field sobriety tests, according to the comedian’s twitter.

Through the year, officers have set up checkpoints in both Riverside and Orange Counties, contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment. At these checkpoints, officers will also check for proper licensing and will strive to delay motorists only momentarily.

“Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI class, and other expenses that can exceed $10,000,” said Sgt. Peter Giannakakos, of the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Department.

Funding for checkpoints is provided to local police departments by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

If you or a loved one is being charged with driving under the influence, it’s important to be represented by an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Don Ho is a leading criminal defense attorney in Riverside and Orange Counties and can help fight your charges and/or minimize your fines and sentence.

Published by Don Ho Law. Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Riverside and Orange County, California.

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Drunk Driver in Angels Player Death Sentenced

In one of the more high-profile cases in Orange County in recent years, Andrew Thomas Gallo of Riverside was convicted of killing Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart and two friends and seriously injuring a fourth person. Adenhart had just made his fourth major league start, pitching six scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics. The friends were on their way to a bar in Downtown Fullerton when their silver Mitsubishi Eclipse was broadsided by the minivan driven by Gallo.
It was determined after the crash that the driver of the Eclipse, Courtney Stewart, was also intoxicated. An autopsy revealed her blood alcohol level to be 0.16 percent, or twice the legal limit. Gallo’s defense attorney attempted to make the argument that these facts should have been a contributing factor in the accident. Should the fact that Courtney Stewart was also legally drunk be a contributing factor? Does it change your opinion to know that she was only 20 at the time of the accident? Due to her age, Stewart is technically committing a crime by driving with a blood alcohol level over 0.01 percent.
In the end, the jury found Gallo guilty on 6 of the 7 charges brought against him. Gallo was convicted on three counts of second-degree murder and other felonies, including hit-and-run and DUI charges. He was sentenced to 51 years to life in prison, with the possibility of parole in 49 years. At the sentencing hearing, the families of the four victims spoke in open court about their respective losses. Gallo sat emotionless as the families spoke to the judge, only breaking down after his father spoke, asking the court for leniency.

The Orange County law firm of Don Ho, LLP can assist you with DUI or any other criminal matter.
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