In California, people are still being arrested for DUIs at a record pace. Thousands of people are arrested every single month. I've been practicing criminal defense now for twenty-five years, and I still see, just based on my own business, that most of the crimes that people are arrested for are DUIs. And yes, a DUI is considered a crime.
It could be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor. You could be facing jail or prison time and a whole host of other issues, including losing your driver's license for some time.
These DUIs are taken very seriously, and I think part of the thinking behind it is that you're not just putting your own life at risk when you get into a car after consuming alcohol. You're putting other people's lives at risk, and when you do that, the government feels they are justified in getting involved and making sure that people who do this are punished.
And it is a very political issue. You have Mothers Against Drunk Driving and several other organizations.
The CHP — the California Highway Patrol — all these guys are trained to do — is to catch people drinking and driving on the road or using other things that could put you in a dangerous position. For example, drugs, prescription medication, alcohol, and both.
The bottom line is that California is taking this very seriously. Recently, Colorado passed a law where the new legal limit is .05, and there is a lot of talks that California will follow suit. The problem with this not happening is there's nobody to champion the rights of individuals who drink and drive.
I mean, who would do that? How would they do it, and they would be laughed at. So, that lets the legislature run wild. They can do whatever they want. They can pass laws, and everybody's going to say, that's such a good law, and of course, when they give it, they're going to have victims/families of victims of DUI accidents there right behind them, and nobody's going to take up any challenge against that.
New Drunk Driving Bill Could Make California One of the Toughest in the Nation
If the new legal drinking level goes to a .05, that will be devastating for many people because there are still people who go out, drink alcohol, and drive.
The .05 means for many people, a drink or two will put you in a position where you're going to get arrested for a DUI even if you argue that you feel fine.
You do not feel like you're under the influence of alcohol. Many people don't realize that you don't have to be drunk to get a DUI.
If you're drunk, you're going to get a DUI for sure. The issue is whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle, and that's why they do those field sobriety tests out in the field because those tests are supposed to be designed to determine whether somebody can safely operate a motor vehicle.
Also, they put this presumption in the law. If your blood alcohol is a .08 or greater, it's presumed you can't safely operate a motor vehicle. Going down to a .05 will put a lot of people in jeopardy.
Making The Decision to Drink and Drive
Another thing that people should realize is deciding if you're going to drive a vehicle or not is a decision that should be made after you've had some drinks. It's not a decision that should be made when you're out in the community, can't get back home, and your car is there.
The decision as to whether or not you're going to drink and drive is a decision that needs to be made before you take off that night. Before you drink, you need to say; I may be drinking tonight.
Therefore, I'm going to set things up so that I don't put myself in a position to get a DUI, and that means taking Uber, letting somebody else drive, walking — whatever you have to do — because once you get arrested for a DUI, you're put in the back of a police car. You're handcuffed. You've put in a drunk tank with a bunch of other people.
Then you're going to realize, what have I done here? What type of a position have I put myself in, and now the DMV will get a notification, so they're going to try to take your driver's license away. You're going to have to appear in criminal court.
So, it is a real possibility that the legal driving limit will be reduced, and if it is, that will cause hundreds of more people to be arrested.
So, if you have a DUI and need help, you need damage control, you need to get out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible, pick up the phone and call The Hedding Law Firm. We've been handling these matters for many years with much success.