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Court clerk and 11 others arrested for illegally fixing 1,000 DUI cases
In September this year, Jose Lopez Jr., 36, clerk at Orange County Superior Court, was arrested at his Anaheim home for running a bribery racket in exchange for dismissing hundreds of drunken driving cases without the knowledge of the prosecutors. Federal agents also arrested 11 other middlemen who were accused of accepting bribes on his behalf. Lopez falsified court records on the computer system to protect those prosecuted for drunk driving or traffic-related offenses, from the consequences of a drunken driving charge.
Deirdre Fike, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office said, “Mr. Lopez used his position of trust for personal gain and, in the process, conspired with others to pervert the legal system.” He added, “Today’s arrest should send a message that fixing tickets and tampering with witnesses is taken seriously by law enforcement and corruption by public officials will result in serious consequences.”
According to the 38-count indictment, Lopez and the alleged middlemen were charged with conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Drunken driving is on the rise
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more people die in car crashes every year in the United States than in any other high-income countries. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a big problem in the United States. Every day, nearly 30 people die in road accidents that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. Research has suggested that a combination of alcohol and drugs in a person’s system is the main cause of road rage and car crashes in the country. Statistics show that a remarkable percentage of motorists who have been already prosecuted for driving under the influence of alcohol, often tend to repeat their offenses. This is a clear indicator that such individuals aren’t getting the right kind of counseling and treatment for alcoholism.
Reasons why so many otherwise intelligent and informed people often lose control of the wheel after a few drinks because alcohol-
- Disrupts neuronal pathways, which in turn can impair judgment.
- Slows down reaction time, preventing one from applying the brakes effectively.
- Affects motor coordination, interfering with a person’s ability to maneuver the wheel.
- Hinders perception and decision-making abilities, making it difficult to judge distances.
- Intensifies emotions, causing an individual to get angry on other motorists while driving.
Way to an addiction-free future
Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicants poses threat not only to the driver but to the public at large. It inhibits an individual’s decision-making ability resulting in him or her driving dangerously.
If you or your loved one is trying to overcome addiction of any kind, seek help from the Orange Country Drug Treatment and Addiction Centers. Our treatment advisors will help you get the best treatment plans suiting your needs. Chat online or call us at 714-202-4669 for more information.