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DUI, California’s Most Common Crime and it Could Happen to You

DUI, the Most Common Crime and it Could Happen to You

DUI arrests are on the rise since the end of Covid.  More people are out and about, mixing and mingling, and generally being themselves again.  Convictions after a DUI after a DUI arrest are nearly 70%.  This does not include reductions for Wet or Dry Reckless or any other lesser convictions.  The average age of a Californian arrested for DUI is 31.  If you think you’re too old or too young, you’re wrong.  And, if you are Hispanic, you are even more likely to get arrested for DUI.  Hispanic drivers make up over half of the people arrested for DUI each year despite being less than 40% of the state’s population.

If you think you didn’t consume enough to get arrested for DUI, think again.  The average blood alcohol concentration for a Californian arrested for DUI is .16, twice the legal limit in the state. If you men try and get your wives to drive or you women think your safe, maybe you’ve got something there:  78% of the DUI arrests in California were men and the arrest rate for women is still decreasing.  Now I’m not saying they are smarter than we are, but statistics don’t lie.

California stats give some scary news

Over 66% of first offenders are sentenced to jail time.  Over 95% of repeat offenders are sentenced to jail.  Now, with a sentence for jail, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will be spending time behind bars, particularly as a first offender.  You could get work service or house arrest instead of jail.  You could get sentenced to a day or two of jail with credit for the day or two you may have already served.  But, that 66% number should scare you.  As for the 95% number, we know that a second DUI mandates 96 hours or more in jail.  A third offense is 120 days, and a fourth offense is 180 days minimum.  If these numbers don’t scare you, there’s likely something wrong with you.

The good news is that license suspensions are down.  The means to get a restricted license back is better than it’s been in years.  And, in certain circumstances, you may even be able to avoid the dreaded ignition interlock device.

Alcohol related fatal traffic collisions are on the rise in California.  About one third of all the State’s fatal accidents are alcohol related.  About 20% of fatal accidents are drug related.  These are the DUI cases that are not misdemeanors.  These are the DUI cases that could bring years, decades or even “life” in prison.

If you are facing DUI charges, don’t throw yourself on the mercy of the court.  There is no mercy from the court.  Don’t try to go it alone.  Some cases can be reduced or dismissed.  Some sentences can be reduced.  There are alternatives to jail time.

Talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has a proven track record of success in criminal court.  Call me: Attorney Jeffrey Vallens  (818) 783-5700

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