Tuesday, December 28, 2004

New Year's Eve

It may be crazy to take a pregnant woman to Vegas, but here we go, all two and a half of us ... New Year's Eve weekend in Vegas! We already have tickets for "We Will Rock You", the Queen Musical, and "Ka", the new Cirque de Soliel Show, and a party New Year's Eve at Tangerine, the show in Treasure Island, and "Midnight", the show at the Luxor. Plus catching up on all the stuff we missed our last trip, and maybe a tour of the Grand Canyon. Whew! Stay tuned for the updates when the hangover wears off!

Laguna Beach - The "Real" (crazy) OC?

October 1 - 7, 2004 Laguna Beach: 911 Cop log confirms it takes a village of idiots

by R. Scott Moxley

For decades, people worldwide have known Laguna Beach as a tranquil seaside village. "Laguna’s the Riviera of Pacific Coast," announced an August headline in the Toronto Star. A local Chamber of Commerce flack proudly calls Laguna "the jewel of Orange County’s coastline," while some Lagunatics are wont to refer to it as "Mayberry by the Sea" because of its small-town charms.

MTV’s newest reality show Laguna Beach: The Real O.C.—a 90210 meets The Real World chronicling of the lives of privileged Laguna teens—no doubt intends to capitalize on the beach town’s enticing mixture of aw-shucks and megabucks. But despite such well-worn propaganda, there’s an undeniable seedy side to sunny Laguna that you won’t see on Laguna Beach—heck, it’d make the producers of Cops grimace. Check out this sampling of recent real-world Laguna Beach police reports:

Brooks Street Beach: Police caught four people having sex on the beach—and we don’t mean the mixed drink. Vista del Sol: Woman reported that she and her husband hid in their bedroom as a man began ringing their doorbell and violently jiggling the door handle. Upon arrival police found a stupefied San Bernardino man standing on the front porch and asking, "Where am I?" He was transported to jail for drug intoxication. Forest Avenue: Authorities arrested an Aliso Viejo man for drug intoxication. High Drive: A man wearing dark glasses and a straw hat spied into a resident’s window and yelled incoherently. Carmelita Street: A man was arrested for being on drugs. Forest Avenue: Three men yelled profanities at people walking past a store. South Coast Highway: Police found a traffic hazard when they found a man sitting in the middle of busy Coast Highway. Cleo Street: Cops arrested a Newport Beach man for allegedly possessing stolen credit cards and a cache of methamphetamine during a routine traffic stop. Park Avenue: A homeless man was reported sitting on a resident’s roof at 2:34 a.m. Saint Ann’s Beach: Residents saw a man wearing a black outfit and videotaping children playing at the beach. Bluebird Canyon Drive: Police cited a man for allegedly possessing marijuana. Broadway: An intoxicated woman with long blond hair and carrying two shopping bags struck a woman standing at the bus depot. Cleo Street: A heavily intoxicated man refused to leave Ralph’s after employees declined to sell him alcohol. Victory Walk: A man found a used syringe at a work site. Vista de la Luna: A resident called police to claim a huge snake was trying to enter his window. Cedar Way: A man was arrested for being drunk in public after he passed out in an alley. Glenneyre Street: An angry man was screaming at people. Main Beach: In two unrelated incidents, men were arrested for allegedly using concealed video cameras to tape children playing at the beach; according to cops, both men admitted they were filming the kids for sexual jollies. North Coast Highway: A Laguna Niguel man was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving after a crash in which someone was injured. South Coast Highway: Police arrested a man for battery, resisting arrest and vandalism after he allegedly slugged a woman. Flamingo Road: Cops arrested a Laguna Niguel man on suspicion of felony drug possession. Laguna Canyon Road: A driver yelled profanities out of a car window. South Coast Highway: A disturbed woman left several threatening letters with hotel managers. Table Rock Beach: Police found a missing 16-year-old Temecula girl while she drank alcohol with a group of people on the beach. South Coast Highway and Vista del Sol: A Mission Viejo man was arrested for DUI, holding pot and speeding after police responded to an early morning drag race. Ruby: A woman told cops that during an argument a neighbor sawed off her tree branches. Vista del Sol and South Coast Highway: A Mission Viejo resident was arrested for drunken driving after reportedly driving "all over the road." Acacia Drive and Cedar Way: Teenagers threw a water bottle from a moving car and struck a pedestrian. Alta Laguna Boulevard: Cops arrested a Los Angeles man for allegedly possessing drugs. El Bosque: A woman reported that her neighbor threatened to shoot her dog. South Coast Highway: A man stole an old Volkswagen, somehow got it going at speeds exceeding 100 mph (!), crashed into a minivan in Dana Point and was arrested at gunpoint after running from cops. Oak Street and South Coast Highway: A man was seen spitting on campaign posters. Cliff Drive and Jasmine Street: Passions start early: police broke up a fistfight at 9:44 a.m. Cleo Street: A Foothill Ranch man was arrested for DUI, marijuana possession, peeing in public and blocking oncoming traffic.

Remember, if you need an Orange County DUI lawyer or DUI attorney, contact me through our websites, http://www.orangecountydrunkdriving.com, or http://www.expertlawfirm.com

Friday, December 24, 2004

Holiday greetings

Well, our office closed for the day, and then I got another case dismissed for a client (which is good in this case). That makes five wins in less than a week! Great way to begin the holiday, which we had off to a great start with our first tree as a married couple (which is beautiful by the way - both the tree and the couple, heh heh), and tonight I cooked a formal dinner for five people in the French Provencial Holiday Style (wild rice, vegetables, poultry and fruit sauce) - very fun! I have some great friends.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Nostradamus now used to predict DUI?

The 'Nostradamus' test
by Sergeant Foster Mayo
Michael de Nostradame was born on December 14, 1503 at St. Remy in Provence, France. Happy belated 501st birthday, Michael!
Nostradamus (the Latin version of his name) is best known for his work, The Centuries, which he began in 1554. The Centuries have remained constantly in print for over 400 years, though of late, mostly in the tabloids with wild interpretations of his predictions about the end of the world, UFOs, and the return of Elvis, etc..
People in law enforcement have “inquiring minds” too, but are more likely to read boring, but more relevant, reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Their predictions are more frightening than the possibility of Elvis returning:
Out of a random 100 drivers, 25 will drive DUI during any given year.
The typical DUI violator commits that offense about 80 times per year.
If alcohol is involved, an accident is 9X more likely to result in a fatality.
NHTSA sponsored University studies during the 70s and 80s that brought about standardization in the techniques of identification and apprehension of drunk drivers. From these studies, law enforcement has adopted a technique of identifying an impaired or drunk driver, which sounds similar to Nostradamus, but is very different, called the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.
Nystagmus is the involuntary jerking in the eyes, which is common to all of us. Alcohol, and other depressants, inhalants, and PCP, impair the small muscles in the eyes and enhance the nystagmus until it is readily visible to the naked eye of the observer. While often thought of as a “test” it is a quick and highly effective method to determine if a driver is impaired or can safely negotiate their vehicle. This painless screening technique is often seen along the side of the roadway when a police officer is moving a pen or light in front of a driver and is asking the driver to follow it with their eyes. It can be accomplished in as little as two minutes and, along with other sobriety screening techniques used by trained police officers, has been shown to be as high as 91% reliable in determining impairment.
The descriptors “drunk” and impaired” are not synonymous. A “falling down drunk” may not be able to successfully start his/her car and may be so obviously “drunk” that friends take their keys away so they cannot drive. The impaired driver is usually convinced that they are NOT and will refuse the assistance of friends and designated drivers. Impaired drivers are more likely to take excessive risks such as speeding, passing or turning abruptly because of diminished judgment and slower reaction times.
When a police officer encounters a driver that he/she believes may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer is bound by laws and ethics to verify that the driver is safe to continue to their destination. Unless you are a CDL driver and driving a vehicle which requires a commercial driver’s license, or under 21 years of age, and NOT under the influence of other drugs, it is not a violation of the law to drive with a alcohol percentage of less than .08%. The trick is to know when the breath alcohol concentration is over .08%. Actual breath testing is time consuming and inconvenient. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus and other standardized field sobriety screening techniques have proven to be a quicker and faster way to screen out the impaired drivers and allow the rest of us to proceed safely to our destinations.
While some tabloids report that Nostradamus was successful in predicting the arrival of UFOs and Elvis, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is more successful in predicting an impaired driver’s future, or at least 180 days of it.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Problem Child

As a child, I had fame of some sorts for a while. The columnist for the Long Beach Press Telegram did a class visit and found out that I had returned from the country of Iran, and could read, count, and relate statistics and tales from that country. That resulted in one published column, and then another one after I took an IQ test and was found to have a 152 IQ. My parents were also given the opportunity to put me ahead a grade, but declined to do so. Looking back, I suppose more emphasis was given to sports, fitness, and learning about the outdoors I love so much as an adult, but I wouldn't give up any of the booksmarts I had back then, or the joy I had reading as a child. Although I hated the travel as a child, there's no way I'd give it up now for anything - it's a pleasure to meet people from Spain, Greece, Iran, Guatemala, and recite the phrases or discuss the country that I remember so well from childhood.