DUI - Home Improvement's Taran Noah Smith convicted of DUI
Taran Noah Smith and DUI Conviction
Taran Noah Smith, Home Improvement Alumni, has been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) and drug possession, according to news reports. The DUI arrest was made in February of this year after police suspected he was smoking marijuana while operating his vehicle.
Los Angeles police found Taran Noah Smith parked in front of a fire hydrant in Los Angeles, California, and made the DUI arrest. This Tuesday Smith pleaded guilty to the drug possession and no contest to the driving under the influence (DUI) charge.
Under California DUI laws he was sentenced to a 12 hour drug and alcohol program and a six month drug diversion program. Taran Noah Smith will reappear in court again in June of 2013 and will serve three years probation.
Taran Noah Smit, age 27, has avoided the limelight since his stint on the ABC sitcom. Smith played the youngest son, Mark, on Home Improvement until the show was discontinued in 1999. Instead of movie or television stardom, Taran Noah Smith had several personal difficulties including a lawsuit he filed against his parents at age 17 which claimed that they spent his earnings from his show. Taran Noah Smith also married an older woman the same year but filed for divorce in 2007.
Arizona Reduces DUI Penalties
In an unprecedented move, Arizona will reduce DUI penalties for first-time DUI offenders beginning January 1, 2012. Starting on the first day of next year the requirement to install an ignition interlock device after a DUI conviction will be reduced from one year to six months.
Sen. Linda Gray, R-Glendale, who has worked to make Arizonas DUI laws tougher, actually proposed the change. Gray supported the changes because she believes given the cost to have the device installed (the devices cost about $120 to install and $80 a month to maintain) drivers can learn their lesson after six months noting that Arizona's DUI fatalities have decreased since requiring first-time offenders to install interlocks, dropping to 210 in 2010 from 399 in 2006.
Other advocates of the change note that according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety the device may only deter drivers while it is installed and does little to lower recidivism long-term.
Arizona is still considered one of the toughest states on drunk driving and is only one of 15 states that requires first time drunk driving offender to install an interlock device. Only New Mexico and Pennsylvania require the device for one year.
Opponents of Arizona DUI law changes include MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). The Arizona chapter notes that they will evaluate the changes and determine if the rate of drunk driving fatalities increases in the coming months. If they start to see an increase, MADD notes they will begin efforts to repeal the law.
Hiring a Drunk Driving Lawyer
If you have been arrested for drunk driving it is time to talk to a DUI lawyer about what you will need to do. All states have severe DUI penalties and fighting a DUI on your own is never a good idea.