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Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Rubbernecking Could Get You Arrested

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Dec 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

We may hate it when other drivers do it, but we may also fall prey to the morbid curiosity that is rubbernecking. Gawking or looking to see what happened in a roadside traffic accident can make traffic worse as drivers slow down to get a good look at the crash. It can also lead to other accidents as drivers take their eyes off the road in front of them, and look back only to find they've rear-ended another vehicle. However, for one North Bay man, rubbernecking at the scene of a broken fire hydrant led to his eventual DUI arrest.

After a car ran over a fire hydrant in Novato, water was shooting high into the air, causing drivers to slow down and look at the scene as they drove past. One of those drivers, Karl Keller, a 57-year-old man from San Carlos, nearly hit another vehicle as he was rubbernecking. Police took notice and tried to pull over the driver who took off on Highway 101. Keller was eventually stopped where he was arrested for failure to yield, driving on a suspended license, and driving under the influence of alcohol.

A rubbernecking driver in Fremont was not paying attention when he rear-ended a police patrol vehicle parked at the scene of an accident. A San Pablo man was on the other side of an accident when he slowed to gawk at an accident scene on I-80, and was hit from behind by another driver. Luckily these accidents did not result in any serious injuries, but they did help to slow traffic further, as more drivers slowed to check out the dented vehicles and shaken drivers.

In an attempt to prevent this dangerous, but tempting desire to get a better view of an unfortunate accident, one man has come up with a product to put it all out of view. Carl Cannova, frustrated with his own experience in rubbernecking traffic slow-downs began working on a portable device to screen an accident from passing drivers. The SRN 1000 is a “privacy, safety and security barrier system.” Cannova reports it is weather resistant, and sturdy in up to 30 mile per hour winds. The system is to be used by law enforcement officers at the scene of an accident.

The privacy screens are already in use by police, sheriff's departments, and even coroners in more than 20 states. In Florida, Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino has purchased the system for their department, and claims the device, “allows crime scene investigators to take their time.”

If you come across the scene of an accident, do your best to pay attention to the traffic in front of you, and not the traffic crash, or you may find yourself in your own fender-bender. If you end up under arrest, contact a DUI lawyer who has dedicated their legal career to defending people facing criminal charges in the East Bay. With over 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands how a criminal conviction can affect your future, and how to fight to keep a conviction off your record. If you are facing a DUI or other crime, contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for over 38 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the Immediate Past President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense. Lynn is a Specialist Member of the California DUI Lawyers Association and lectures frequently to other attorneys regarding DUI and DMV issues.


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