After decades of safety education, tougher laws and police crackdowns, California drivers are more aware of the dangers of drunk driving. Statistics show that fatal traffic accidents are less common than they used to be, and researchers agree that one reason is that people are less likely to drive drunk than they used to be. However, DUI arrests continue to be among the most common sources of criminal charges in California courts.
The California Highway Patrol recently announced it had arrested more than 1,000 people over the Memorial Day weekend last month. By some calculations, the CHP arrested about 14 people per hour over the 78-hour weekend. The CHP also announced that 34 people lost their lives in drunk-driving-related accidents over the weekend.
Clearly, the authorities must enforce drunk driving laws in order to protect the public safety. But it is important for everyone to remember that people who are accused of DUI offenses have the right to a defense.
The penalties that come with a conviction on DUI-related charges in California can be harsh. They can include jail time and steep fines as well as suspension of driving privileges and other penalties. Having a license suspended can be a huge burden, interfering with the ability to get to work or accomplish other routine tasks.
Anyone who has been accused of drunk driving should talk to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can listen to a person's story, explain their legal options, review the evidence and present a case to defend their rights and protect their future.