‘Tis the season to be jolly – and the time of year you’re most likely to find yourself in jail, if you drink and drive. With increased holiday celebrations and those delicious festive cocktails that accompany them, you can bet that our streets and highways will be literally covered with law enforcement patrols between now and the beginning of the new year. It’s their job to keep impaired drivers off our roads, which in turn helps keep the rest of us alive to welcome the New Year.
You can anticipate sobriety checkpoints in great numbers, and in spots where drunk drivers tend to be. And if you stumble into one of those checkpoints and are arrested for DUI, expect to spend some not-so-quality time in the local jail. And keep in mind that California law allows law enforcement agencies to seize and impound a drunk driver’s vehicle, which can be costly when it comes time to retrieve your car.
There is an easy way to avoid all these hassles, and we all know what it is – if you drink, don’t drive.
The good news is that driving-under-the-influence arrests have been dropping steadily in the past few years, down nearly 16 percent locally between 2009 and 2011. Santa Barbara County had roughly 7 DUI arrests a day and statewide DUI arrests come to nearly 500 in each 24-hour period. Still seems like too many people are driving while impaired.
The legal blood-alcohol content limit for driving in California is .08. But what many drivers don’t realize is that, even if your blood-alcohol level tests below that threshold, a police officer can still require you to perform a field-sobriety test, and if you can’t pass that, you could end up in jail.
Being in jail is bad enough, but the real pain comes later, when you are convicted and must pay for your crime. Typical out-of-pocket expenses for a first-time DUI offense could set you back thousands of dollars in addition to a license suspension and increased insurance rates once you are able to drive again.
If you find yourself facing a DUI arrest report after the holidays you should find a DUI Lawyer. Keep in mind that you only have 10 days following your arrest to contact DMV to request a stay on your license. The biggest mistake someone with a DUI conviction will often make is thinking it is a something they can handle themselves. Hiring a Santa Barbara DUI attorney will give you the best possible chances at fighting the penalties for a DUI conviction. Santa Barbara DUI Attorney Kenneth M. Hallum offers a free case consultation. Call today, 805-564-3101. Know your rights, options and defenses against drunk driving.