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July 2017 Archives

California man sentenced to 15 years for fatal DUI crash

A 27-year-old California man was sentenced to a prison term of 15 years on July 21 for his role in a fatal 2016 drunk driving accident. The man last appeared in court in May when he pleaded no contest to a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter. The Visalia resident was serving probation for an earlier DUI conviction when he was involved in a crash that claimed the life of a 42-year-old woman and left her five passengers injured.

NHTSA study suggests growing marijuana impairment problem

The number of marijuana-impaired drivers on the roads of California and other U.S. states has increased by a worrying 50 percent in just seven years according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency's most recent National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers also reveals that THC, which is the chemical compound in marijuana that gives the drug its intoxicating properties, was found in the blood or oral fluid samples collected from 13 percent of the nighttime drivers who took part in the study and 9 percent of the drivers who were tested during daylight hours.

Scientists make marijuana breath test breakthrough

Voters in California chose to make the recreational use of marijuana legal in November 2016, and law enforcement agencies in the state expect to encounter more motorists under the influence of the drug as a result. This is a problem because police officers do not have a reliable way of telling whether or not a motorist is impaired by THC. Alcohol testing is effective because levels of alcohol detected in breath and blood samples can be reliably linked with degrees of intoxication in both large and small individuals regardless of how much they drink. However, THC testing is far more scientifically nebulous.

2 men indicted on murder, drug trafficking charges

On June 29, two California men were indicted on charges associated with a shootout that occurred at a dollar store in Bakersfield. A third person was also thought to be involved in the incident, though he was not included on the indictment. However, another six individuals were included due to a possible heroin and methamphetamine trafficking ring that was thought to be connected to the shooting.

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