The holidays are a time for family, friends, and festivities. Unfortunately, it is also a time when the roads are more congested and dangerous than ever. People drink more alcohol during this time of year and may be on the streets inebriated. This can lead to serious traffic accidents that cause injuries or even death. To drive legally as a person over 21 years old, you must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of less than 0.08% and not be impaired such that you cannot operate your vehicle safely. If you are arrested for driving under the influence during this busy period, things may be more complications than usual.
Increased Police Presence
If you get pulled over for any reason during holidays, expect to be treated more harshly than usual — especially if it's late at night or early in the morning. Although this doesn't mean that you'll automatically be arrested for a DUI as soon as you start drinking on New Year's Eve or Christmas Day, police tend to be more vigilant during this time of year and will look for any reason to stop drivers.
Police may set up checkpoints or roving patrols because of other public safety concerns, such as increased shoplifting or people drinking at bars after regular hours. It's a judicious idea always to have your license, registration, and proof of insurance in the glove compartment so you can hand them over quickly, and not have to fumble around your car, if asked.
While this advice might not make sense at first, remember that it's common for police officers to hear a lot of excuses during their shifts — especially when dealing with intoxicated drivers — and they've learned how to recognize those excuses. Just listen politely while they ask you questions, and answer them as respectfully as possible. DUI's are fought and won in court, not on the side of the road.
Penalties for DUI in California
In California, most DUI charges fall under Vehicle Code Sections 23152(a), Driving While Impaired, 23152(b), Driving With a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or higher, 23152(f), Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs, and 23153, DUI Causing Injuries. All of of these DUI related charges can be filed as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the particular circumstances of the case. The penalties for a first-offense DUI conviction in California include the following:
· up to six months in jail
· the license may be suspended for up to one year or longer
· fines of up to $1,000 plus court imposed penalties and assessment fees
· installation of an ignition interlock device on your car that prevents you from starting your vehicle if you have been drinking
· mandatory participation in an alcohol education program
· community service hours
· probation with random drug testing and other restrictions designed to keep you sober
Additionally, if you are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your insurance rates will increase dramatically.
Speak to Our Top Rated DUI Defense Attorneys to Discuss Your Legal Options
While most people don't intentionally get drunk and drive, the temptation can be strong during this time of year. When you face a DUI charge, you may be looking at the loss of your driving privileges, freedom, and steep fines. In relation to this, a DUI also carries a criminal conviction that can seriously affect your employment, housing, and immigration status.
When you hire a Kann California Law Group attorney, you can rest assured knowing that you have skilled and experienced legal professionals on your side that know all aspects of the criminal justice system and how it works in your jurisdiction. Our DUI defense attorneys understand how local laws apply to DUIs, so they can help protect your rights and ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved in your case. Contact through our online contact form or call us at (888) 744-7730 for a free review of your case.