Articles Tagged with DUI

Within the last year in California, reports reveal that there were 882 fatalities due to drunk driving. As a result of this high number of fatalities, California strongly enforces its regulations regarding drunk driving. These consequences can follow an individual convicted of DUI around for a long time. If an individual is subject to a driving under the influence stop, there are certain pieces of advice that one needs to follow. It is recommended that the following pieces of advice be followed if an individual is subject to a driving under the influence stop:

  • Argue You Were Not Under the Influence. Your attorney might very likely be able to show that evidence demonstrates that you were not intoxicated at the time that you were stopped by law enforcement.
  • Blood Alcohol Content Defense. Because your body continues to metabolize alcohol after you drink, your blood alcohol content is not necessarily at its highest point after you’ve just finished your last drink. As a result, it may be possible to argue to law enforcement that your blood alcohol content was lower while you were driving rather than while you were operating the vehicle.

The month of May is an exciting time for many young people and their family and friends.  Graduation ceremonies and celebrations, whether for high school, college, graduate, or professional school, are filled with fun, festivities, and food. After all the years of hard work to earn a degree, a little celebrating is certainly in order. Sometimes, however, the merrymaking can go too far. When this happens, alcohol is commonly involved, and criminal charges may follow.  Drinking and driving, property damage, disorderly conduct, and unlawful physical altercations are among the most common occurrences this time of year.  

First, in the aftermath, is the profound embarrassment – spoiling a nice celebration with a messy scene, police involvement, and criminal charges, all in front of your friends and family. It is truly a nightmare scenario – especially at the very moment you are marking as a transition from hard work and accomplishment to new successes. Ultimately, though, embarrassment will be the least of your problems. Depending on the specific criminal charges, you may face fines, community service, and even jail time – penalties that can impede or even derail your future plans. The charges will cast a shadow of your reputation, and conviction will tarnish it and potentially upend your educational or vocational aspirations. In the wake of such circumstances, and with so much at stake, you need a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights and mount the strongest possible defense against the state’s efforts to convict you.

Alcohol is a Common Factor in Celebration-Related Criminal Charges

Most DUI charges in the state of California are classified as misdemeanors.  This is the case most of the time even if you have previous misdemeanor DUI convictions on your criminal record. The caveat concerns what are known as “aggravating factors.”  The purpose of this article is to explain the types of aggravating factors capable of justifying a felony DUI charge. If you have been charged with felony DUI in California, you need to contact an experienced California DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The penalties for a felony DUI conviction are severe. With your future, finances, freedom, and reputation at stake, you need a skilled attorney.

Aggravating Factor #1: Causing Injury or Death While Under the Influence

The first aggravating factor serving as grounds for a felony DUI charge in California is causing injuries or fatalities to another person while driving under the influence of alcohol. The number one concern of California’s driving-related laws, including those pertaining to drinking and driving, is the health and safety of the state’s drivers and pedestrians. In the eyes of the state, then, injuries or fatalities that result from a conscious decision to drink and get behind represent the most flagrant violation of California’s driving laws.

Although they may not be the best tool for the identification of drunk drivers, DUI checkpoints are still commonly used in the San Diego area (and throughout the state of California). The efficiency and accuracy of these checkpoints are debatable. DUI checkpoints were modeled after roadside safety checks as well as license and registration inspection checkpoints. At a DUI checkpoint, police will check a driver’s sobriety. If the driver exhibits any signs of impairment, the driver will be asked to exit the vehicle and perform a series of field sobriety tests. In Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, the U.S. Supreme Court held that DUI checkpoints were constitutional and that they did not violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable search and seizure. Therefore, it is not likely that DUI checkpoints will go away anytime soon.

In recent years, sobriety checkpoints have been increasingly utilized in the San Diego area. Proceeds from fines and California state grant dollars have only served to encourage the use of these checkpoints. DUI checkpoints are most often set up on the weekends throughout the county.

Just last week, six motorists were arrested for driving under the influence at a DUI checkpoint in the East Village neighborhood of San Diego. Six vehicles also were impounded during the checkpoint that occurred at the 1400 block of G Street on Saturday night. San Diego police officer Mark McCullough said that 2,597 vehicles passed through the checkpoint that night, and 1,050 of those were screened by police.