Any California driver who is confronted with allegations of driving under the influence should be concerned about the potential consequences. For those with a commercial license, a DUI charge and conviction can have an even greater impact on their lives. Their livelihood might depend on fighting the charges and achieving a satisfactory result. Knowing the law when facing DUI allegations and having a strong legal defense are critical toward that end.
When you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, a police officer has several ways of determining whether you are too incapacitated to drive safely. The officer may instruct you to walk a straight line, touch your nose and perform other tasks. They will take notes about whether you appeared to be swerving in your vehicle before you stopped, whether your breath smelled of alcohol, or whether you slurred your words. All of this can and will be held as evidence against you in court. But some of the most compelling evidence comes from a test of your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC.
One aspect of California DUI and DWI charges that confuses many people is the division between the criminal and administrative processes involved. It's important to understand the division because both move quickly, and both can lead to lasting consequences.
Like many other states, California has an implied consent law which provides that drivers have consented in advance to submitting to a BAC test should they be pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. Police can give a driver a chemical breath test at the scene and the results can be used as evidence against the driver.
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.
California imposes many penalties on people who are tried and convicted of drunk driving, including fines and possible jail time. Some of the penalties begin immediately after arrest, before the person has had a trial, and these can wreak havoc on a person's life.
Everyone can agree, laws made in the name of public safety and well-being are probably the most obvious laws in creation. However, it doesn't make it any easier when a person is alleged to have broken those laws. Being accused of drunk driving can bring some serious penalties if convicted. The penalties imposed for a DUI conviction are definitely more severe than in decade's past.
No one lives life without making mistakes. The severity of these mistakes, however, differs from person to person. Unfortunately, some of us make the choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This is not a good decision to make, but that doesn't mean that your rights should be thrown to the wayside. Being confronted with DUI charges requires experienced representation on your side.
Tougher legislation has been hitting DUI offenders nationwide. Since criminal law is handled at the state and county level, this is a trend that has been gaining in popularity all over the country and California. California in particular has been the most recent state to join the majority of states that require drivers convicted of DUI or drunk driving to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. Now it seems that it is even more impactful than ever for those accused of DUI to examine the legal options before them.
We have all heard of a friend or family member getting pulled over after having one too many alcoholic beverages. Maybe you have found yourself accused of doing this. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding an arrest, and any specific things that happened before or leading up the alleged drunk driving incident, can affect the severity of the charge and/or the potential punishment that may be dealt upon conviction.