California’s DMV is cracking down on motorists who improperly apply for disability parking placards so they can use specially marked parking spots, the Los Angeles Times reported. Agency enforcement actions in cases of improper use of disability placards have more than doubled over the last year, when crackdowns were prompted mostly by citizen complaints.
Demanding bail for traffic trials happens all across California. Let’s say you get a ticket for running a stop sign, but you know you didn’t to it. You go to court and ask the clerk or judge for a trial so you can put the officer to their proof. In most California courts, you will be asked to post “bail” before they will give you your day in court. Though flatly unconstitutional, courts from San Diego to Del Norte routinely force motorists to “pre-pay” the amount of the violation’s fine in order to set their traffic case for trial. We have always considered bail for traffic trials illegal and unconstitutional, and DMV lawyers usually advise their clients to refuse. Sadly, many motorists are unaware that charging bail for traffic trials is illegal, and they allow themselves to plead guilty to violations they may have beaten. The outrageous fines that can accumulate–coupled with the driver’s license suspension that often may accompany them–make this an access to justice issue. No less than the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court agrees. On Monday, Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye asked the Judicial Council to expedite the creation of a statewide rule that make it clear that Californians do not have to pay for a traffic infraction before being able to appear in court.
Officer Jeremy Schenck started his law enforcement career on the wrong side of a police car. As a teenager in upstate New York, he was riding in a friend’s car when an officer pulled them over and found they had alcohol in the back seat. While the officer drove him home that night, Schenck worried a little about what his parents would say when they learned he had been about to drink underage. But he was more focused on how cool it was to be riding in a police car. He knew then that he wanted to be back in a police car — and next time, he would be in the driver’s seat. With more than 12 years on the Prince William County police force under his belt now, Schenck has abundant experience on the other side, as the one catching those who drink and drive. For five years running, he has been the champion of the county at arrests on charges of driving under the influence. Each year, Schenck has made more such arrests than any other officer in Prince William. In 2011 and 2012, he caught 255 and 234 drunk drivers, respectively, putting him ahead of police officers in all the jurisdictions in Northern Virginia. Crime statistics for last year have not been released. Mothers Against Drunk
Back in 2013, Texas resident Larry Davis ran either a red light or stop sign (reports vary) in his Buick in the city of Austin. Despite his insistence that he had had only one drink, he was put in handcuffs and arrested for driving while intoxicated. Then, when he was given a Breathalyzer test by the AustinPolice Department, he blew a 0.00. Nonetheless, as KVUE reports, Mr. Davis spent the night in jail. While at the station, Mr. Davis agreed to give a blood sample as well, to prove he was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. The results would later come back 100% negative. Davis’ attorney, Daniel Betts, told KVUE, “My reaction was just shock that this happened.” (KVUE) The Austin Police Department stands by the arrest, saying they believed Davis showed signs of impairment, that while standing on one leg, he “swayed,” and “needed his arms for balance.” They also suggested that he could have been on marijuana, a drug that wouldn’t necessarily show up in a test. The APD said they’re going by a “take-no-chances” policy. That being said, they did acknowledge how unusual it is that Davis was arrested despite registering a zero on his breath test. Davis’ attorney, Daniel Betts (KVUE) The Statesman reports that people, including Davis’ attorney, Mr. Betts,
Jeffrey Bednarek, a former drive examiner in the El Cajon branch of the California DMV, pleaded guilty to accepting $50,000 in bribes to issue more than 100 fraudulent driver licenses. He will be sentenced April 25. Apparently Bednarek was part of a wider scheme operating across Southern California.
Tuesday California’s DMV concluded the public hearing phase of its process for drafting regulations governing the testing of autonomous vehicles. Now DMV has until January 1, 2015 to enact regulations governing insurance and testing standards.