What Are the Statistics of DUIs in California?
Drunk driving is a serious problem across the United States. Of those polled, approximately 43% of individuals admit to having driven under the influence of alcohol at least once in their adult lives. Alcohol-related car crashes became an epidemic in the 1970s, and though new laws are in place to limit future accidents, it remains a problem today.
About a third of all traffic fatalities in California are linked to drunk drivers. In 2022 alone, DUI accidents cost the lives of 1,069 people in California. Approximately 30 people die daily across the U.S. in DUI motor vehicle accidents.
The majority of DUI convictions are of those aged 40 years old or younger. Less than 1% of DUI arrests involved underage minors.
And the vast majority of DUI charges in California are first-time offenders.
What Happens Immediately After Your First DUI Offense?
After you’re pulled over, perform a blood alcohol test, and are arrested with a DUI violation, your driver’s license will be subsequently suspended. The police will forward a copy of the license suspension and the license to the DMV. The DMV reviews the police report and the test results from the time of the arrest.
You will likely be taken directly to jail. The stay will probably be a short one, though, provided nobody was hurt in the accident. You could be released within a few hours.
You may request a hearing within ten days of the driver’s license suspension. Otherwise, it will be reinstated at the end of the suspension period. You will, however, be required to pay a fee to have it reissued. The suspension may last for up to six months if you do not win in your DMV hearing or DUI court case.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol?
The DMV process for license suspensions is separate from the criminal charges that will come down upon those accused of DUI offenses. DUI consequences vary from state to state.
In California, a first-time offense will include the following:
- A driver’s license suspension.
- Attending a victim impact panel.
- DUI school attendance of three to nine months.
- Financial penalties totaling between $1,500 and $2,000.
- Increased insurance premiums.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device, requiring breath tests before allowing a car to drive.
- Probation usually lasting between three to five years.
- Up to six months in jail.
- Work release in some counties.
Can You Legally Refuse a Breath or Blood Alcohol Test?
State law requires that drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs must take a chemical test to determine whether they’re over the legal limit. These tests could be blood tests or breath tests (like a breathalyzer). They’re sometimes known as BAC testing for blood alcohol content.
Even if the police officer ‘requests’ that you take part in such a test, it’s not really a request. You must perform such a test. Failure to do so will result in additional fines or lengthened suspensions.
Do Repeat DUIs Carry Harsher Penalties?
To the state, repeat DUIs show a lack of seriousness in reforming oneself. A second offense has much greater consequences than a first offense. Every additional violation after that gets increasingly worse.
Generally, a first-time offense for driving under the influence is charged as a misdemeanor. A second-time offense may also be considered a misdemeanor, provided that there were no additional aggravating factors.
DUIs become felonies if the driver causes bodily injury to any other person while driving intoxicated. DUI car accidents that result in fatalities get even worse penalties.
How Can DUI Attorneys Help?
A DUI conviction can be incredibly costly, and not just in a financial sense. You may serve extended periods in jail, may lose certain freedoms, may find it difficult to obtain future employment, and you could have your driver’s license permanently revoked.
If you’re charged with a DUI, you must respect the seriousness of the situation and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney without further delay. Don’t settle. You need qualified legal representation in order to get out of this situation without permanent damage to your finances, freedoms, and reputation.
The Law Office of Daniel Deng has years of experience serving clients in California accused of criminal offenses. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, contact our law firm today for a zero-obligation free consultation.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Experienced DUI Lawyers Today
The Law Office of Daniel Deng is a highly respected California criminal defense firm. We pride ourselves in providing respectful legal representation to every new client who walks through our doors. Those who have been accused of a DUI need to take immediate action to limit the damages to their bank account, their freedoms, and their personal reputation.
Do not underestimate the seriousness of the criminal offenses you’ve been accused of, and do not settle for lackluster legal representation when you deserve better. Schedule a free initial consultation with our DUI lawyers and legal team of associates to discuss your case in more detail. In the free case review, we will go over your legal options and attempt to provide you with an idea of the services we offer clients while providing useful legal advice for how you should proceed from here.
Contact our Rosemead, California law firm today by calling the Law Office of Daniel Deng at 626-280-6000.