Archive for the ‘ DUI ’ Category

What Must the Government Prove for an Orange County DUI Conviction?

Posted on: March 13, 2017 by in DUI
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For an Orange County DUI Conviction, the district attorney must meet all elements of California law for DUIs.  One element is that the government must prove that you were driving while you had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) high enough to justify arrest.  There are many different ways the prosecutor can prove an Orange County DUI. However, some situations are more complicated and more difficult to prove than others.

The first and easiest is if the police had a valid reason to pull you over.

There are several situations where you may be lawfully pulled over and questioned about a DUI.  The arresting officer may pull you over for any vehicle code violation, whether it is related to alcohol impairment or not.  Alternatively, the stop does not even need to be directly tied to driving at all.  If the officer had probable cause that any crime was committed and that you likely committed it, then they can make the stop to further investigate.  The key however, is whether the officer can sufficiently “articulate” the reason for the stop.

If the officer can articulate the reason for the stop, then there will be sufficient probable cause for the officer to further investigate whether he can make a DUI arrest.  This may seem like a simple task, but in truth this stage is where the government’s case is most vulnerable.

It is always the primary goal of Core Law Group’s DUI defense attorneys to immediately investigate whether the initial stop was valid.   If the initial stop was not valid, then any evidence obtained by the officer from that point on may be inadmissible and ultimately result in a dismissal of your case.  However, it takes a trained eye and knowledge of California vehicle and penal codes to identify errors made by an officer when initiating car stops.

The second requirement is if the officer has sufficient reasonable suspicion to believe you were driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance.

Once an individual is pulled over for a DUI, they are almost always asked by the police officer if they have had anything to drink. Every police officer is trained to ask this question.  The reason is that an answer in the affirmative automatically gives them necessary probable cause to move on to the next stage of investigation.  This is when individuals should exercise their right to remain silent. However, experience shows that almost all our clients, by nature, are honest and tell the officer if they have been drinking.  Once you tell the officer that you have had any amount of alcohol to drink they can automatically continue to observe and test you.

However, if an individual does not admit to having consumed alcohol then the officer must take the additional step of using their skill, knowledge, training, and experience to determine if objective signs of impairment are present.  Again, they must be able to articulate these facts, which can be difficult. Therefore, it is best that an individual does not volunteer or admit they have consumed alcohol.

The third requirement is if the Arresting Officer’s investigation resulted in sufficient probable cause to believe you may be driving under the influence.

This is normally the stage where the officer asks a driver to step out of the vehicle and perform multiple field sobriety tests (FSTs).  Through FSTs officers can document why they believe an individual was driving while impaired.  However, these tests are not perfect and there are many specific requirements officers must meet while administering the test and documenting the results. If the FSTs were not administered properly, the arresting officer may lack the probable cause necessary to make a DUI arrest.

Of course, police departments have found a way to ease their burden at this stage of the investigation as well.  Just about every agency in California uses Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) tests to bolster their argument for probable cause. This is when the officer offers the driver a Breathalyzer at the scene of the investigation.  Police officers know that most individuals mistakenly believe they must consent to this test and they use that to their advantage.  The reality is that prior to arrest, the PAS breath test is voluntary.

If an individual agrees to the PAS Test and blows over the legal limit, then the officer has easily established probable cause for a DUI arrest. However, the arrest at this stage is not fool-proof.  California law requires the arresting officer to give a very specific admonition to the driver stating that the PAS test is voluntary.

Finally, the mandatory chemical test must provide sufficient proof of probable cause for the arrest.

After a driver has been arrested, a driver must agree to a chemical test (either a breath test or blood test) pursuant to the California Vehicle Code.  A refusal results in automatic suspension of driving privileges and sentencing enhancements in the criminal case. This mandatory chemical test (unlike the PAS test discussed above) is usually given at a police station or sub-station and the driver is given the election of whether he or she wants to submit a breath test or blood test.  If a breath test is elected, a breathalyzer is administered to record the individual’s BAC. If a blood test is elected, then a sample of blood is taken for further testing. Once again, neither test if fool-proof.

There are many defenses that need to be explored at the various stages of a DUI arrest.  It takes a trained DUI attorney to identify defenses.  It is important to have a lawyer explore the defenses available and defend you after an Orange County DUI arrest—there is simply too much to lose.

8 SCARY TRUTHS ABOUT DUI

Posted on: December 3, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney

Everyone who drives on California’s streets and highways already knows that driving under the influence is against the law and that in some cases you can go to jail for a DUI conviction. Everyone also knows that driving under the influence is dangerous and that impaired drivers are frequently responsible for fatalities and other tragedies. But what you may not know is that driving under the influence is a global public safety and law enforcement problem, that teens are particularly at risk, and that men are more at risk than women – although women are catching up fast. Driving under the influence is a multi-faceted social and cultural problem that negatively impacts families and communities, national economies, healthcare and criminal justice systems around the world.

Driving under the influence is treated as a serious crime in the state of California. If you are convicted of a first-offense misdemeanor DUI in this state, the penalties can include up to six months in jail, three to five years on probation, a fine ranging from $390 to $1,000, three months of court-ordered rehabilitation, and a six-month driver’s license suspension. As if that’s not enough, in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, and Tulare County, you’ll also be ordered by the court to have an ignition interlock device – an “IID” – installed in your personal vehicle after you’re driver’s license suspension is lifted.

Subsequent DUI convictions, or convictions for driving under the influence that involve serious injuries or fatalities, will result in even harsher penalties. You probably already know that DUI laws are aggressively enforced and prosecuted in California, and now you know the penalties for a first conviction. Listed here are eight more scary truths that you may not know about driving under the influence:

TEENAGERS ARE AT RISK

On average, eight teenagers are killed every day in the United States in DUI-related traffic crashes. If you are the parent of a teen driver, talking with your teen and monitoring his or her activities is absolutely imperative. Traffic accidents are the number one cause of death of teenagers in the United States, and one-third of all teen traffic fatalities are in alcohol-related collisions. The legal drinking age in California is 21, so the “legal limit” blood-alcohol content rule of 0.08 percent doesn’t even apply to drivers under 21. Those drivers may be prosecuted for underage DUI if any amount of alcohol is measurable in their blood – no exceptions. If your teenager is arrested for driving under the influence, and if any measurable amount of alcohol is detected by a DUI chemical test, your teen will be arrested and charged, and you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately.

Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney

YOU COULD LOSE YOUR LICENSE

Many Californians do not realize that when you are arrested for DUI in this state, you actually have two barriers to retaining your driver’s license; the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the criminal court. In the state of California, your driver’s license can actually be suspended simply because you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence – whether or not you are eventually convicted. After you are arrested, you have ten days to request a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to defend your driver’s license. Contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately after a DUI arrest, and have your attorney request the DMV hearing. With only ten days to defend your driving privilege, you must act at once.

ALCOHOL PROBLEMS ARE GLOBAL

What, really, are the effects of alcohol? The World Health Organization has recently released a landmark report on alcohol use and abuse in more than a hundred nations. The report, “The Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health,” focuses on the consequences of alcohol overconsumption at both global and national levels. Alcohol is the number one choice of drug over all other drugs in the United States and throughout the world. Alcohol abuse is also a serious international healthcare concern, and governments around the world are struggling every day to deal with alcohol and its influence on crime, healthcare costs, and public safety. According to figures published by the World Health Organization, alcohol is partly or directly responsible for 2.5 million deaths each year. Globally, 320,000 young people aged 15-29 die every year from alcohol-related causes, a figure that represents nine percent of all deaths in that age group.

YOUR INSURANCE RATES WILL INCREASE

A DUI conviction means that your auto insurance rates will increase. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes amounts to more than $59 billion, so auto insurance companies impose their own penalties on drivers convicted of DUI with no hearing, no defense, and no appeal. If you’re convicted of driving under the influence in California, expect your auto insurance costs to go up – and probably never to come back down. Also after a DUI conviction, California requires you to request an SR-22 form from your auto insurance company. An SR-22 is the document which proves that you carry liability insurance, and it restores your driver’s license after your license suspension is lifted.

DUI THREATENS EVERYONE

The overconsumption of alcohol weakens the immune system, and it negatively impacts our ability to make sound judgments. Alcohol is involved in about forty percent of all traffic accidents that result in fatalities in the United States. Every day, about thirty people die in the U.S. in alcohol-related traffic collisions. 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2013. Over one million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence every year in this nation.

Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney

MORE WOMEN ARE BEING CHARGED WITH DUI

By about a two-to-one margin, males are more likely to be arrested for driving under the influence – or involved in a DUI-related crash – than females. However, in recent years, women have been closing the DUI gap. The number of women arrested for driving under the influence in California has increased every year since 1989. From 1999 to 2011, DUI arrests of women ages 21 to 30 jumped 134 percent in Los Angeles County, and DUI arrests of women ages 51 to 60 rose by 81 percent. Other southern California counties report comparable statistics. Researchers have no single explanation for the increase in women’s DUI arrests; however, a recent study issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one out of every eight women and one out of every five high school-age women surveyed admits to binge drinking. With more women working and functioning as single parents, more women are driving – and driving under the influence – than ever before.

DUI HAPPENS MAINLY ON WEEKENDS

The legal “BAC” level (blood alcohol content level) in every state is 0.08 percent for drivers age 21 and older. During a typical week, the drivers who use a BACtrack Smartphone Breathalyzer measure the highest average BAC level between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings, where users average 0.113 percent. The lowest average BAC level is Tuesday mornings from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. – 0.018 percent.

DUI HAPPENS MAINLY AT NIGHT

Fifty percent of the drivers who die in nighttime traffic accidents are over the legal BAC limit at the time of the crash, while only fifteen percent of the drivers who die in daytime traffic accidents are over the legal BAC limit. Obviously, more impaired drivers are on the road at night, so you may want to avoid unnecessary nighttime travel. California police agencies also tend to conduct sobriety checkpoints at night and rarely in the daytime.

TO LEARN MORE

If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Orange County or elsewhere in southern California, there is absolutely no reason to assume that you will be convicted or that your situation is futile. It’s possible that you’re actually not guilty. Alcohol traces from food particles or from acid reflux can make a breath test inaccurate. Medical conditions such as GERD and heartburn can also make a breath test inaccurate, as well as diabetes, hypoglycemia, or even an Atkins-style diet. If none of those conditions apply, it’s possible that you had a drink or two before getting behind the wheel, but you were still below the legal blood alcohol content level. If you blew into a breathalyzer, it’s also possible that the breathalyzer wasn’t calibrated accurately. Another possibility is that the traffic stop that led to your arrest was itself illegal. Except at a sobriety checkpoint, the police must have “reasonable cause” to stop you in traffic. These are only several of your defense possibilities after an arrest for driving under the influence.

Although convictions for driving under the influence are common, they may not be as common as you think. Good attorneys win a large number of cases for their DUI clients in this state. The conviction rate for DUI defendants in California is about 70 percent, so in three out of every ten DUI cases, the DUI charge is reduced to a lesser charge, entirely dismissed, or the defense wins the case at trial. Interested in learning more about DUI laws in California? Comment below or reach out to us on our social media channels, we’d love to hear from you. If you need legal help regarding a DUI matter in southern California, contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney today.

DUI “ENHANCEMENTS” EXPLAINED

Posted on: November 23, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI lawyerCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

One of the many ways that California lawmakers combat impaired driving is by finding ways to increase DUI sentences. For example, if you are stopped for DUI while you are driving recklessly, or if you are stopped while you have a passenger age 14 or younger in your vehicle, the sentence for a DUI conviction may be extended or “enhanced.” An enhancement penalty usually means sixty or more additional days behind bars. If it’s your second or third DUI conviction in California, the “enhancement” can last even longer. Thus, if you are charged with DUI in Orange County, it’s imperative to fight the charge and to retain the advice and services of an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately.

Speeding alone does not rise to the level required to establish a DUI enhancement. The state must prove that you were driving recklessly while you were intoxicated, that is, over 20 mph over the limit on surface streets or more than 30 mph over the limit on highways. California law defines reckless driving as driving with a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property,” and that is often quite difficult for a prosecutor to prove. If you are stopped for driving under the influence with a child or children age 14 or younger as your passenger or passengers, a child endangerment enhancement will be attached to the charge against you.

Whether or not enhancements are attached, if you are charged with driving under the influence in southern California under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b) – now or in the future – call an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately. When the charge is DUI, it’s imperative to have experienced counsel. An experienced DUI lawyer can contest DUI test results, challenge the testimony of the police, and fight hard for the justice you need and deserve. After any arrest for driving under the influence in southern California, make the call as quickly as possible.

IMPAIRED BOATING – DON’T DO IT

Posted on: November 18, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI lawyerCalifornia Harbors and Navigation Code 655

It may not be spring or summer, but that doesn’t matter in southern California, where the weather – usually – is great every month of the year, and we often enjoy outdoor recreations even in the middle of winter. However, if your idea of delightful recreation is fun on the water, you need to know that “BUI” – boating under the influence – is a crime in California. Comparable to driving under the influence, BUI can be the charge if you are operating a boat and your blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeds the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Even if you don’t exceed that limit, you can still be charged with boating under the influence if a law enforcement officer believes that you are too impaired to continue to operate the craft safely. If you face a BUI charge in southern California, contest it, and speak right away about your legal defense with an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

If you are operating a commercial watercraft such as a charter fishing boat or a sightseeing boat, the legal BAC limit is only 0.04 percent, and for personal watercraft such as a jet ski or water skis, there is zero tolerance; users of personal watercraft may not measure any blood alcohol content whatsoever under the law (California Harbors and Navigation Code 655). If you are convicted of boating under the influence, the punishments will be similar to the punishments for a DUI conviction including fines, probation, alcohol education classes, and the real possibility of time in jail.

To defend you against a charge of boating under the influence, a good DUI defense attorney may use the same strategies used for DUI defense. Did law enforcement officers have a reasonable cause for stopping you? Were your rights violated in any way? If you were tested for BUI, was the test properly administered? Breathalyzer results can be disputed; witness testimony can be challenged. Your attorney will fight aggressively for justice and will bring your BUI case to its best possible resolution. Enjoy the California waters – even in the winter – but don’t put your future and your freedom at risk. If you are charged with boating under the influence in southern California, discuss your case with an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately.

A HIGH PRICE TO PAY

Posted on: November 11, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI lawyerCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a), 23152(b) and 23513

Prior to 1981, all impaired drivers who caused fatal accidents in California faced a vehicular manslaughter charge. That year, however, California’s Supreme Court decided that in the most egregious cases, an intoxicated driver’s actions warrant a charge of second-degree murder. If convicted of a DUI-related second-degree murder, a driver can be sentenced to a California state prison – possibly for life. It’s a high price to pay for having a few drinks with friends. If you are charged with DUI in Orange County – whether it’s a misdemeanor and your first offense or a felony DUI and you’ve had several DUI convictions – take your case immediately to an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

A Capistrano Beach woman was found guilty in September of second-degree murder, of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, and of driving with a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.15 percent, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Kelly Michele Wolfe, 46, was convicted of killing an elderly woman and injuring the woman’s grandson in a hit-and-run crash in 2013. Wolfe fled the scene without rendering assistance, the DA’s office said, and she was arrested later at her home. Wolfe had a prior DUI conviction in Nevada in 1995, according to court records.

When the charge is felony DUI, you must be represented by an attorney who routinely handles a variety of DUI cases for scores of clients – someone who knows how to bring your DUI case to its best possible conclusion. If the charge is second-degree murder, the penalty is fifteen years to life if you are convicted. Now or in the future, if you are charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a), 23152(b), and/or 23513, contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer at once. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony DUI charge, make the call as quickly as possible.

THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH DUI

Posted on: October 30, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI defense attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

If you are charged with driving under the influence in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California, fight the charge and put your case immediately in the hands of an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. Frankly, most DUI cases are quite routine and almost boring. They are misdemeanor cases involving first-time DUI offenders who didn’t hurt anyone or cause any damage. However, one recent DUI incident in Orange County could have been a thrilling scene in a spectacular Hollywood action film.

In October, an Anaheim police sergeant attempted to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation in the early morning hours. The driver refused to stop, and the subsequent pursuit reached 70 miles per hour on Anaheim streets, but it didn’t last long. The driver crashed into a fire hydrant and sent geysers of spraying water as much as 200 feet into the air. The vehicle then knocked down a fence and came to a stop after crashing into a tree in the front yard of a residence, according to Anaheim Police Department Sergeant Daron Wyatt. The suspect was hospitalized for minor injuries and then booked for failure to yield and for driving under the influence.

If you are charged with DUI in Orange County under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), don’t plead guilty unless an experienced DUI defense attorney recommends it in your case. If you’re accused of driving under the influence anywhere in southern California, you should know that working with a good DUI defense attorney is the best way to deal with the situation. A good DUI lawyer will protect your rights, explain the law and the options it gives you, and lead you through the legal process to the best possible conclusion of your DUI case. If you’re charged with DUI now or in the future in southern California, protect yourself and contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately.

18 MORE MONTHS FOR IID PROGRAM

Posted on: October 28, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI defense attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

If you are charged in Orange County or anywhere else in California with driving under the influence under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), take your case immediately to an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney. In Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, and Tulare County, if you are convicted of DUI for the first time, you will have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. You’ll pay about $100 for the installation, and you’ll also pay a monthly maintenance and rental fee.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 61 into law in September. The legislation extends for another eighteen months the four-county IID pilot program that was set to end in December. California established the pilot program in four counties in 2010 to determine if mandatory IID use is an effective tool against intoxicated driving. The IID pilot program will now extend through mid-2017, giving lawmakers additional time to study the effectiveness of the IID to reduce drunk driving. The IID requires a driver to “blow” a breath sample to start a motor vehicle. If the IID measures alcohol on the driver’s breath above a specified limit, the vehicle won’t start.

A DUI conviction can change your life in profound but very unpleasant ways. You’ll be fined, your driver’s license will be suspended, you’ll be put on probation, and you’ll have to attend DUI school. A jail sentence is also quite possible. Let an experienced DUI lawyer guide through each stage of the legal process, protect your rights, and fight aggressively on your behalf. Your attorney can challenge the legality of the traffic stop, the results of breathalyzer tests, and the veracity of the arresting officer’s testimony. No lawyer can ever promise a specific outcome in any criminal case, but the fact is that good DUI lawyers routinely prevail on behalf of their clients in southern California. If you are charged with DUI, speak at once to an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.

DON’T BRING THE BICYCLE

Posted on: October 21, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI lawyerCalifornia Vehicle Code 21200.5

31-year-old construction worker Matthew Riedel says that he would never drive a car while intoxicated, but he frequently rides a bicycle home – for six miles – after a night of drinking at the popular bars on Williamson Street in Madison, Wisconsin. Riedel told the Capital Times that he makes the ride “at least twice a week.” He’s able to do it because Wisconsin has no prohibition on bicycling while intoxicated. California, on the other hand, explicitly forbids cycling under the influence or “CUI.” Discuss your rights and options at once with an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer if you are charged with cycling under the influence in Orange County or anywhere else in southern California.

If you are convicted of CUI in California under California Vehicle Code 21200.5, you will not be sent to jail. However, you can be fined up to $250, you’ll establish a criminal record, and you’ll have a misdemeanor conviction on that record. If you are under 21, your driver’s license could also be suspended for a year. This year, if you observe the holidays with alcohol and friends, don’t ride the bicycle. Leave it at home. Instead, arrange to ride with a designated driver or call a cab, a limousine, or a ride-sharing service.

When your blood alcohol content (BAC) level reaches or exceeds 0.08 percent, you may not legally operate a bicycle, a boat, or any motor vehicle in the state of California. Even without a BAC measurement, if a law enforcement officer reasonably believes that you are too intoxicated to operate a bicycle, boat, or motor vehicle, you can be arrested and charged with BUI (boating under the influence), CUI, or DUI. If you are charged with any of these crimes over the holidays or in the new year, don’t plead guilty, and don’t fight the charge by yourself. Instead, contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer immediately.

THE HOLIDAYS AND DUI CHECKPOINTS

Posted on: October 12, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI lawyerCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

With Labor Day gone, school back in session, and the holidays approaching, it’s that time of year when police departments in California conduct more DUI checkpoints. If you are detained at a DUI checkpoint, be cooperative, and you’ll probably pass through without trouble. After you’ve identified yourself and produced your license and vehicle registration, you may politely decline to answer any questions. If you are arrested at a DUI checkpoint, obtain legal help at once and contact an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

You may be asked to take a field sobriety test or a “PAS” (preliminary alcohol-screening) test at the checkpoint. You must comply if you are under 21 or on probation for a previous DUI conviction. Otherwise, you should politely decline to be tested at that time. If you are placed under arrest, however, and the police ask you to submit to a DUI test, you must comply at that time – and only after being arrested – or face an additional criminal charge. It really goes without saying: don’t drink and drive. Arrange in advance for a designated driver, call a cab, or find a room or a couch for the night. If you’re detained at a sobriety checkpoint, arrested, and charged with DUI, obtain legal help as swiftly as possible by contacting an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

No attorney can ever promise or guarantee a particular result in any criminal proceeding. Still, a trained and experienced DUI attorney can often bring into doubt DUI test results and the testimony of the arresting officer(s). In California, DUI charges are sometimes reduced and sometimes dismissed entirely. Alternately, a reasonable plea bargain may be accepted, or you may be found not guilty at a trial and acquitted entirely. A good DUI lawyer can evaluate your case and provide the legal advice and the aggressive legal defense that’s right for you. If you are charged with DUI in southern California under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b), make the call without delay to an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.

DUI? CALL AN ORANGE COUNTY DUI ATTORNEY

Posted on: October 7, 2015 by in DUI
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Orange County DUI attorneyCalifornia Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b)

With the holidays bearing down upon us, it means people everywhere will be celebrating, drinking, and getting arrested for DUI. The holidays always mean heightened DUI enforcement by the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies. You can count on seeing some news stories about DUI “task forces” who will be looking to make every possible drunk driving arrest. If you’re charged with DUI this holiday season, contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney immediately.

The law in California says that you cannot drive a vehicle if you are at or over the 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) level. Everyone reacts differently to alcohol, but if you drink more than a 12-ounce beer or 6-ounce glass of wine, you are probably wise to refrain from driving until you’ve had a night’s sleep. If you weigh a hundred pounds or less, even one beer or glass of wine can put you above the legal limit. If you do choose to drink, don’t drive. Use a designated driver, a car service, or a taxi, or find a room or a friend’s couch for the night. It might be inconvenient, but it’s not as inconvenient as the jail, the hospital, or the morgue.

If you are nevertheless charged with DUI – let’s assume that you’re wrongly accused and you’re innocent – how do you defend yourself? Speak first with an experienced DUI lawyer. A good DUI lawyer will challenge any DUI test results as well as the testimony of the arresting officer(s). An arrest is not the equivalent of a conviction. Don’t give up. Fight the charge. You cannot be convicted of DUI unless the state can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced DUI lawyer can protect your rights, explain your legal options, and fight aggressively for justice on your behalf. If you face a DUI charge under California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b) during the holidays, speak at once to an experienced Orange County DUI attorney.