Drinking and driving is a serious offense for which you can be held criminally liable. But the laws governing drunk driving in California are highly complex, and even if you take care to understand them, there are many ways that you could potentially break the law without realizing it.
During the holidays, in particular, it's never a good idea to drive after you've had even a small amount of alcohol because of the increased vigilance from law enforcement during this time. If you're considering getting behind the wheel after having had an alcoholic drink, you should know that California steps up its DUI enforcement during the holiday season through sobriety checkpoints and heightened patrols to reduce drunk driving incidents.
It's the Holiday Season: Things You Should Know About DUI in California
A DUI isn't just a ticket. If you cause an accident because you're drunk, it can become a criminal offense that entails a long-term court process and result in serious penalties, including jail time, probation, fines and license suspension.
If you plan to drink during the holiday season, keep these tips in mind:
1. Don't drive if you've been drinking: It takes a drinker two hours to metabolize each one-ounce shot of liquor. If you've had more than three drinks in any hour, you're considered legally intoxicated in California. Make arrangements for someone else to get you home safely.
2. If you must drive after drinking, don't get behind the wheel for at least several hours have passed since your last drink — and even then, it is not advisable.
· Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is a great way to avoid dehydration from all the alcohol you consume.
· Eat food before you drink alcohol. You'll feel less buzzed if you eat food before drinking because it slows down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.
3. Public transportation is always an option: If you plan on drinking at all during your night out, take advantage of public transportation or carpooling instead of driving yourself home. That way, you won't be behind the wheel and putting yourself and others in danger if you are over the legal limit. In the unfortunate event that you are arrested and charged with DUI, you need a lawyer to help you through the process and protect your rights.
4. Become familiar with your state's DUI laws: California's legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent. Generally, the higher your blood alcohol content, the greater your level of impairment. Use a BAC calculator to determine if you're over your limit, or grab a phone app like DrinkTracker. Just be aware that the estimate is merely an estimate, so don't take the chance of getting behind the wheel if you're feeling buzzed.
Legal Help is Here from Our Experienced DUI Attorneys in California
A DUI is a serious charge and can carry penalties that can follow you for years in the form of criminal fines, incarceration, drivers license suspension or revocation, and other adverse consequences. For this reason, you must contact our DUI attorneys right away if you are charged with drunk driving during the holidays. Just because you are charged with a DUI does not mean that you will be convicted of it—there are defenses available to you to limit or eliminate the serious consequences of this charge!
Here at the Kann California Law Group, we specialize in handling these challenging cases and have a proven track record of successful outcomes. Fill out our online form to set up a free and confidential consultation with our legal team today.