Thursday, September 24, 2009

267 Citizens Stopped, One Arrested. Government Congratulates Self.

Check points results in one DUI arrest

Police arrested one person on suspicion of driving under the influence and cited more than a dozen people Tuesday night during a DUI check in Costa Mesa, officials said.

At the checkpoint at Wilson Street and Pomona Avenue, police stopped 267 vehicles for inspection, pulling aside more than 14 of them for additional questioning. Police made one DUI arrest, according to a news release issued Wednesday.

Police cited six drivers for not having a license or driving with a suspended one and another seven for various vehicle code violations. Four vehicles were impounded, police said.

Costa Mesa police scheduled another DUI checkpoint for Tuesday.

Newport Beach DUI News

Newport Beach police will receive nearly $200,000 in state money for its DUI enforcement program. The Newport Beach City Council approved the grant Tuesday night.

The police department will have $192,000 budgeted for DUI checkpoints, extra patrols focused on DUI enforcement, and other alcohol awareness methods, from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2010.

The money comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The city pays for overtime costs associated with enforcement up front and is reimbursed by the state, according to the City Council staff report.

The grant will fund six DUI checkpoints, 110 DUI saturation patrols, two DUI court sting operations, where police hide out near the Harbor Justice Center to catch people driving to court with suspended licenses.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

DUI Here? Now, What About Going to Canada?

Getting right with Canada

There are three ways to get admitted into Canada once you've been convicted of a DUI. But you have to be prepared for lots of hassles, paperwork, fees and months of waiting for the Canadian bureaucracy to process your application.

1. If the completion of your DUI sentence is less than 5 years old, the only way to get into Canada is with a temporary resident permit, which costs $200 Canadian. (Having had your DUI knocked down from a gross misdemeanor to negligent or reckless driving can still prevent you from going to Canada.)

You'll need to show the reason for your visit is "urgent," said Peter Lilius, immigration program manager for the Canadian Consulate in Seattle.

A ski trip to Whistler is not deemed urgent. Think more along the lines of having an ill relative in Canada or an important business meeting you need to attend.

Even then, being admitted is not guaranteed.

The officers at the port of entry, said Lilius, "have the discretion."

Before driving to the border, you can click on the Seattle Canadian Consulate Web site at www.canadainternational.gc.ca/seattle.

You can download an application for a temporary visit and either mail it in or bring it in person.

"Processing times may be lengthy," says the consulate.

The Web site also contains frequently asked questions about visiting that country.

2. If you completed your DUI sentence more than five years ago, you can apply for Approval of Rehabilitation. The nonrefundable fee is either $200 or $1,000 (Canadian), depending on the seriousness of your crime.

The Canadians want proof "that you have a stable lifestyle and that it is unlikely that you will be involved in any further criminal activity."

It involves considerable paperwork. You will need to provide your FBI file. You will need to provide a "police certificate" of criminal history, if any, from every state in which you lived more than six months since age 18. You will need to explain each offense. You will have to provide dates and all your home addresses and places of employment since age 18.

Processing time can take a year or more.

But, if you're approved, then you'll no longer have problems at the border because of your past.

3. If you have had only one DUI, and sentencing was completed more than 10 years ago, you can drive to the border with basically the paperwork for the Approval of Rehabilitation.

A border officer can approve you on the spot, at no charge, and that past DUI will no longer be a problem when crossing the border.

Again, it's at the officer's discretion.

There also are law firms that specialize in helping you through the process.

David Andersson, a Canadian citizen who can practice law both in the U.S. and Canada, works with the law firm of Chang & Boos, which has offices in Bellingham.

Expect to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for them to handle the paperwork, which includes having someone from the firm accompany you to meet with Canadian border officials. Expect it to take three to six weeks from the start of paperwork to meeting with border officials.

Andersson says his firm handles only 10 to 15 such cases a year, a tenth of what it could do.

"I call it my drunk American practice," he says.

OCDA Looks To Make Example of Semi-Celebrity

Real Housewives' husband charged with drunken driving

Matt Keough, the former Major League Baseball pitcher who appeared on "The Real Housewives of Orange County" television program, has been charged with driving under the influence in an Aug. 15 incident in Coto de Caza, prosecutors said today.

Keough, 54, who lives in Coto de Caza, is facing one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol with an earlier felony DUI conviction within 10 years, and one felony count of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more with an earlier felony DUI conviction within 10 years, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said in a news release.

Keough is also charged with sentencing enhancements for having a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent or more and an earlier 2005 felony DUI conviction, prosecutors said.

Keough was stopped at about 1:25 p.m. Aug. 15, when prosecutors said he ran a stop sign while driving his Chevrolet Suburban in Coto de Caza. Keough failed to stop when an Orange County sheriff's deputy activated his emergency lights, prosecutors said, and continued to drive a quarter mile to his home. The deputy detained Keough as he was walking toward the back door of his house, prosecutor said.

Keough refused to answer standard DUI investigation questions or perform field sobriety tests, according to prosecutors. He is accused of having a blood-alcohol limit of 0.30 percent an hour after the traffic stop and of having an open container of beer inside his vehicle, prosecutors said.

Keough appeared, along with his former Playboy centerfold wife and three teenage children, in the reality TV show "The Real Housewives of Orange County" on Bravo.

In the show's third season, Keough's wife, Jeana, announced the couple had separated.

From the late '70s to the mid-'80s, Keough pitched for a number of Major League Baseball teams, including the Oakland Athletics, the New York Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros.

In 2005, Keough pleaded guilty to felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol after he crashed his SUV into another SUV at a Rancho Santa Margarita red light, pushing the SUV into a man walking his bicycle across the street.

The man had to be hospitalized. Keough wandered away from the accident. His blood alcohol level was 2.5 times the legal limit more than three hours after sheriff's deputies tracked him down in a nearby store, according to Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino.

Keough was arrested in 2007 on charges that he violated the terms of his parole and in January 2008 was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

Keough is scheduled for arraignment Monday, Nov. 2, in the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. If convicted, he faces three years in state prison, prosecutors said.