Discounted St. Patrick’s Day Uber Rides

When it comes to having a night out, it helps when someone has your back. Committed to community support and your personal coverage, Amy Chapman is proud to once again offer discounted Uber rides for riders traveling on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17, 2019). The Law Office of Amy Chapman will offer support on St. Patrick’s Day for $200 worth of Uber rides for customers between 2pm and 10pm. The first 40 people to sign up will each receive a coupon code for $5 off their Uber ride.

St. Patrick’s Day Accidents

As we move into March, many are gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day and making plans that typically involve drinking. While drinking can be fun in moderation, the reality of binge-drinking on St. Patrick’s Day has sometimes brought deadly consequences for those who drive on this day.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during St. Patrick’s Day holidays from 2006 to 2010. In 2010 alone, 80% of alcohol-related accidents on St. Patrick’s Day involved drivers who had blood-alcohol levels nearly twice the legal limit.

Fortunately, thanks to efforts to combat drunk driving across the state, the number of drunk-driving fatalities during the St. Patrick’s Holiday period in Sonoma County has decreased in recent years. Drivers and pedestrians alike should still exercise caution when traveling to and from destinations during the holiday.

If you witness a friend or family member attempting to drive while intoxicated, stop them and help them call an Uber home. The cost of getting home safely is much less than that of getting into a potentially fatal accident.

Community and Well-Being First

Uber is a reliable, well-known rideshare service that serves over 40 million people monthly. We caution drivers that the results of driving under the influence can be deadly to drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike. Your health, safety and legal security can be compromised due to one person’s irresponsible decision, and calling an Uber on St. Patrick’s Day can help reduce the risk of injury or death.

Hundreds of people have been injured or lost their lives to DUI-related incidents in previous years, and Amy Chapman’s goal is to ensure that individuals celebrating St. Patrick’s Day remain safe at every part of the night. When making plans for this St. Patrick’s Day, consider utilizing a rideshare service such as Uber.

With careful planning and smart decision-making, we can help make your St. Patrick’s Day the safest it has ever been. Simply fill out the form below to receive a discount code, which will be mailed to you prior to St. Patrick’s Day. The first 40 people to sign up will each receive a coupon code for $5 off their Uber ride valid from 2pm to 10pm on Sunday, March 17.

Discounted Uber Rides for St. Patricks Day

When it comes to having a night out, it helps when someone has your back. Committed to community support and your personal coverage, Amy Chapman is proud to once again offer discounted Uber rides for riders traveling on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17, 2019). The Law Office of Amy Chapman will offer support on St. Patrick’s Day for $200 worth of Uber rides for customers between 2pm and 10pm. The first 40 people to sign up will each receive a coupon code for $5 off their Uber ride.

St Patricks Day Bar Treats

St. Patrick’s Day Accidents

As we move into March, many are gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day and making plans that typically involve drinking. While drinking can be fun in moderation, the reality of binge-drinking on St. Patrick’s Day has sometimes brought deadly consequences for those who drive on this day.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during St. Patrick’s Day holidays from 2006 to 2010. In 2010 alone, 80% of alcohol-related accidents on St. Patrick’s Day involved drivers who had blood-alcohol levels nearly twice the legal limit.

Fortunately, thanks to efforts to combat drunk driving across the state, the number of drunk-driving fatalities during the St. Patrick’s Holiday period in Sonoma County has decreased in recent years. Drivers and pedestrians alike should still exercise caution when traveling to and from destinations during the holiday.

If you witness a friend or family member attempting to drive while intoxicated, stop them and help them call an Uber home. The cost of getting home safely is much less than that of getting into a potentially fatal accident.

Community and Well-Being First

Uber is a reliable, well-known rideshare service that serves over 40 million people monthly. We caution drivers that the results of driving under the influence can be deadly to drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike. Your health, safety and legal security can be compromised due to one person’s irresponsible decision, and calling an Uber on St. Patrick’s Day can help reduce the risk of injury or death.

Hundreds of people have been injured or lost their lives to DUI-related incidents in previous years, and Amy Chapman’s goal is to ensure that individuals celebrating St. Patrick’s Day remain safe at every part of the night. When making plans for this St. Patrick’s Day, consider utilizing a rideshare service such as Uber.

With careful planning and smart decision-making, we can help make your St. Patrick’s Day the safest it has ever been. Simply fill out the form below to receive a discount code, which will be mailed to you prior to St. Patrick’s Day. The first 40 people to sign up will each receive a coupon code for $5 off their Uber ride valid from 2pm to 10pm on Sunday, March 17.

 

Discounted Uber Rides

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Is it Illegal to Drive While High in California?

Since the use of recreational marijuana was legalized in California on January 1, 2018, many people have questions about the legality of driving while high. Is it illegal to drive under the effects of marijuana in California?

The short answer is yes, it is. But while the laws surrounding high driving echo those of DUI laws, there are some key differences you, as a driver, should be aware of. Driving under the influence of any substance in California is illegal, and understanding your rights as a driver is key to ensuring that you act responsibly and stay off the roads while under the influence of any drug.

At The Law Office of Amy Chapman, we are dedicated to representing your best legal interests with knowledge, compassion and integrity, and we are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding driving while high in California.

What are the Consequences of Driving while High?

Drunk drivers are responsible for at least 25 percent of motor vehicle fatalities, and many drivers who are pulled over for erratic or reckless driving also test positive for cannabis. Because each person’s body metabolizes tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) differently, the effects of driving under the influence of marijuana may present more strongly in some individuals than others.

Factors that affect how “high” someone may become include THC tolerance, differences in smoking/ingestion techniques (such as traditional smoking vs. consuming edibles) as well as the differences in marijuana strains consumed. For example, while a “sativa” strain may acutely increase awareness in some users, it can also increase the prevalence of paranoid or erratic behavior in others.

With regards to the legal consequences of driving high, it is a crime to drive under the influence of any substance that impairs a driver’s ability to recognize and respond quickly to any threats to the safety of themselves, other drivers and pedestrians on the road. The following is outlined in California’s Vehicle Code:

DUI Offense (Drugs and/or Alcohol)Possible Penalties
1st DUI6 months jail and/or $390-$1000 fine and/or 3-9 months DUI school and/or 6-10 months suspended license
2nd DUI96 hours-1 year jail and/or $390-$1000 fine and/or 18-30 months DUI school and/or 2 years suspended license
3rd DUI120 days-1 year jail and/or $390-$1000 fine and/or 30 months DUI school and/or 3 years revoked license
Misdemeanor DUI with Injury5 days-1 year jail and/or $390-$5000 fine (plus compensation to injured parties) and/or 3-30 months DUI school and/or 1-3 years revoked license
Felony DUI16 months-3 years state prison and/or $390-$1000 fine and/or 18-30 months DUI school and/or 4 years revoked license
Felony DUI with Injury16 months-16 years state prison and/or $1015-$5000 fine (plug compensation to injured parties) and/or 18-30 months DUI school and/or 5 years revoked license

 

How Reliable are Chemical Marijuana Tests?

There is no legal standard or limit for how much marijuana is “too much” to drive. While a chemical test—administered as a blood or urine sample—can be used to prove if a driver is driving under the influence of marijuana, it is not the only way to indicate if a person is driving while high.

These chemical tests are not without fault. Unlike how a breathalyzer can indicate current blood-alcohol content levels, conventional marijuana tests can only identify if marijuana is present in a person’s body. It cannot indicate reliably when marijuana was last used, nor can it indicate how much was used.

Due to these faults, there are a number of non-chemical ways officers will use to determine if a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. These may include:

  • The defendant’s driving pattern;
  • The defendant’s manner of speaking towards an office;
  • The defendant’s performance on Field Sobriety Tests (or refusal to participate in them);
  • The presence of marijuana or paraphernalia in the defendant’s car or on their person; and
  • Physical symptoms of intoxication, including dilated pupils, rapid breathing/heart rate, marijuana odor, red eyes and slowed reaction time;

What if I have Been Wrongfully Accused of Driving While High?

Because of the general unreliability of conventional marijuana tests, there may come a time where you are wrongfully accused of driving while high. Perhaps you tested positive for cannabis in a blood test, when in reality you were completely sober at the time of being pulled over.

Barring any other unsafe driving practices punishable by a misdemeanor or felony, you may be able to have your marijuana-related driving offense dismissed if the prosecution cannot prove that you were intoxicated at the time of your traffic incident.

The Law Office of Amy Chapman has an extensive understanding of California’s DUI laws, especially as they pertain to marijuana use after Proposition 64. We are fully committed to providing the legal assistance you need—especially during a wrongful accusation—to allow you to maintain your driving record and avoid costly fees and potential jail time. If you or a loved one has been wrongfully accused of driving while intoxicated under the effects of cannabis, contact us today to discuss your legal options.

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in California?

The answer to the question of “Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in California?” is, simply, yes.

Amy Chapman Law Police DUI CheckpointAccording to California’s Vehicle Code, “A driver of a motor vehicle shall stop and submit to a sobriety checkpoint inspection conducted by a law enforcement agency when signs and displays are posted requiring that stop.”

As simple of an answer as “yes” may be, it becomes slightly complicated when the legal guidelines and procedures of a DUI checkpoint, otherwise known as a “sobriety checkpoint,” must be considered.

At The Law Office of Amy Chapman, we understand the importance of knowing your rights in any situation, especially on the road. Because of this, we’ve outlined important details and answered common questions you may have about DUI checkpoints in order to ensure that the law is being followed by all parties involved.

How Will I Know When and Where a DUI Checkpoint Is?

Learning about a DUI checkpoint in the digital age is easier than ever, and official releases from law enforcement agencies often outline when and where sobriety roadblocks will occur. While advance public notice of upcoming checkpoints is ­not required, posting adequate notice of roadblocks as they are occurring is.

In short, this means that you may not find out about a DUI checkpoint until you come upon it on the road. Police department websites, local newspapers and news websites, and local TV news stations are often your best source to finding out about DUI checkpoints prior to driving.

Amy Chapman Law Office Santa Rosa DUI Checkpoints

What Should I Expect at a DUI Checkpoint?

In general, a DUI checkpoint consists of a brief discussion with an officer to determine if you are driving while intoxicated. The interaction typically begins with rolling down the window and being asked for your driver’s license and registration.

More specifically, the officer conducting the test will be looking to see:

  • If you fumble or have trouble providing your license and registration;
  • If you smell like alcohol;
  • If you have trouble or hesitate in answering the officer’s questions;
  • If there are any alcoholic beverages, drugs or paraphernalia in the vehicle; or
  • If you exhibit slurred speech, red/watery eyes, or any other sign of physical impairment.

If a driver exhibits signs of impairment, further investigation may ensue as a result. This can lead to being required to perform a California DUI field sobriety test (FST) or a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) breathalyzer test.

Based on the results from these tests, you may be arrested if there is probable cause that you are:

  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC) ;
  • Driving with a BAC of .08 or greater (Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC); or
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) (Vehicle Code 23152(e) VC).

Can I Legally Avoid or Refuse a DUI Checkpoint?

It is possible to avoid a DUI Checkpoint entirely by turning around and/or taking a different route—provided it is done so in a safe and legal manner. Legal DUI Checkpoints are required to post sufficient warning to drivers regarding lane closures due to DUI checkpoints, allowing drivers to bypass them altogether should they chose.

Normal traffic laws must still be obeyed when circumventing a DUI checkpoint, and you are still liable to being pulled over if you commit a traffic violation, have a vehicular defect (i.e. a broken headlight), or display signs of obvious intoxicated driving.

Once you are at a checkpoint, however, Vehicle Code 28.14.2(a) VC requires that all drivers stop and submit to these checkpoints. Refusing to comply with the officer’s instructions will likely lead to an infraction.

Amy Chapman Law Office Santa Rosa DUI Checkpoints and the Fourth Amendment

DUI Checkpoints and the Fourth Amendment

As part of our Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution states that individuals are protected against “unreasonable searches and seizures” of property by the government. In contemporary times, this amendment has expanded to protect individuals from stop-and-frisk searches, wiretaps and other forms of surveillance without probable cause.

Some have argued that certain discriminatory checkpoint practices can constitute a search without reason. Therefore, interpretation of the Fourth Amendment becomes complicated when the implications of a DUI checkpoint are brought into question.

In general, the legal requirements for California DUI checkpoints (in compliance with both the US Constitution and the California Constitution) are:

  • Supervising officers must make all operational decisions;
  • The criteria for stopping motorists must be neutral (i.e. non-discriminatory);
  • The checkpoint must be reasonably located;
  • Adequate safety precautions must be taken;
  • The checkpoint’s time and duration should reflect “good judgment”;
  • The checkpoint must exhibit sufficient indicia (such as proper signage) of its official nature;
  • Drivers should be detained for a minimal amount of time; and
  • Roadblocks should be publicly advertised in advance.

I Believe I Encountered an Illegal DUI Checkpoint, or Was Wrongfully Charged. Now What?

Should a DUI checkpoint fail to meet Federal or State Constitutional guidelines, utilize discriminatory practices in stopping vehicles/drivers, or should investigations be conducted in an unsafe or unreasonable manner, then they may be considered illegal (and possibly, a violation of the Fourth Amendment). As a driver, you have the right to challenge the legality of a DUI checkpoint in court.

There are times where lines are crossed and harsh sentences are made, leading to legal concerns over a tarnished driving record should these charges not be dismissed.

Your safety and wellbeing are our number one concern.

California’s New Gun Control Laws – What You Need to Know

On August 28, 2018, the California Senate passed a new gun control law (AB-2888) which permits the requesting of gun restraining orders against individuals who display violent behavior. In addition, with three additional new gun control bills targeting those convicted of domestic violence and/or those placed on involuntary psychiatric holds, substantial changes in California’s gun laws are expected pending the approval of Governor Jerry Brown.

At The Law Office of Amy Chapman, we strive to ensure that our clients understand their legal rights to owning firearms, and how this new legislation may affect them. We’ve outlined the major changes that are set to occur under these four new gun control bills. How will these gun control laws change preexisting laws? Are your rights as a legal gun owner threatened? We hope to address some of your questions and concerns below.

AB-2888 – Gun Restraining Orders

Assembly Bill 2888 amends Sections 18150, 18170 and 18190 of the Penal Code and authorizes a court to issue an ex parte gun violence restraining order against any subject of a petition who poses a significant danger of harm to themselves or to others. These restraining orders can last indefinitely or for a year, and may be renewed through petition.

An immediate family member, employer, coworker, teacher or law enforcement officer may file a petition requesting an ex parte gun violence restraining order from the court. Those who are issued a restraining order under this new gun law are prohibited from having any firearm or ammunition on their person, and are also prohibited from owning, purchasing, possessing, receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition as well.

AB-3129 – Lifetime Gun Ban for Those Convicted of Domestic Violence Misdemeanor

Although federal law imposes a similar lifetime ban for those convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, California’s existing state law has been much more lenient, only imposing a 10-year firearm ban up until this point. Assembly Bill 3129 amends Section 29805 of the Penal Code and imposes a lifetime ban on firearm possession those convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.

The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%—a chilling statistic that emphasizes the need to ensure the protection of domestic violence victims and survivors. With this new bill, proposed by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), we share Rubio’s hope in that AB-3129 will help guarantee the safety of domestic violence victims in the long-term.

AB-1968 – Lifetime Gun Bans for Those Placed on Involuntary Psychiatric Hold Twice in a Year

Existing California law states that any person admitted to a designated mental health facility for posing a danger to self or others must not possess a gun for 5 years following release. Assembly Bill 1968 amends, repeals and adds to Section 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code that any person placed on involuntary psychiatric hold twice in a year (due to the risk of harm to self or others) may now face a lifetime ban on owning firearms.

Proposed by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), this bill would also allow patients to petition the court at a later date to have their gun ban lifted upon proving to the court that they intend to own and use a firearm in a “safe and lawful manner.”

AB-2103 – Increased Requirements to Acquiring Carry Concealed Weapon Permits

The requirements for the acquisition of Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) permits in California have traditionally varied by both city and county law, but most often have granted permits on the grounds of an applicant’s “good moral character” and a general training course—as is the case in Sonoma County.

Assembly Bill 2103 bolsters both local and state requirements to acquire a CCW permit, and would entail that applicants receive at least 8 hours of specializes training on firearm safety, handling and technique. In addition, applicants will be required to pass a live-fire shooting test on a firing range to demonstrate that they can both handle and fire a gun safely.

Contact an Experienced California Firearms Attorney

As long as the Second Amendment stands, guns and firearms will always be at the center of legal reform across both state and federal jurisdictions. These four new bills have already seen some pushback from anti-regulation gun owners, but many more look to them as a way of guaranteeing the safety of as many of our state’s citizens in the long-term as possible.

California’s gun laws are not perfect, but they have provided an example of how effective gun laws can create a safer community for all residents—gun-owners or not. If you have any questions regarding the new changes in firearms law in the state of California, The Law Office of Amy Chapman is happy to provide answers. Contact us today for a free consultation.