In California, drunk driving rates remain high despite the fact that they have still decreased over the past few years. In 2011, the total number of DUI arrests stood at an outstanding 180,212. You should also know that in California, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is the single largest cause of automotive related fatalities in the entire state. Over 1,800 people were killed by intoxicated drivers in 2011!
BAC Limits and Penalties
If you have a blood alcohol level of at least .08%, a police officer can charge you with DUI. There are some other guidelines for specific drivers as well, such as a commercial truck driver not being permitted to have a BAC over .04 or someone under a DUI probation having over .01. If you are under the age of 21, you can be charged if you have a BAC of over .01 as well. However, if you are wondering if you will be incarcerated for these offenses, there are some other things to be taken into consideration. For instance, were you a first-time offender or not? The minimum sentences applied to offenses increase significantly for second, third, and fourth-time offenses within a ten year period. If this is your second or third DUI, you may find that you face harsher penalties because of the dangerous nature involved, and you may even face up to a year in jail after a second. If this is your third time, that time may only increase and you could face as many as 120 days in prison or more. Here are some examples of what you may experience for a first DUI penalty if you are 21 or older:
- Immediate license suspension for at least 4 months.
- Up to 6 months in jail.
- Up to $1,000 in fines, also keeping in mind that there will be additional penalty fines and fees.
- $125 for license reissue.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device.
- A DUI program of a specific length.
- SR-22 filing.
Alternatives to Incarceration
Prison isn’t the only sentence when we’re talking about DUIs. No, there are alternatives to help the offender rehabilitate rather than spend long months or even years in prison for their actions. Some common alternatives include community service, house arrest, electronic monitoring, ignition interlock devices, and residential rehabilitation programs. There is also a Work Furlough Program specific to San Diego that allows inmates to have a job while they are serving time in prison for their actions.
What Options Do I Have?
The best way to avoid incarceration for a DUI is to contact an attorney who is experienced in this type of law. These attorneys are helpful and beneficial to you the moment that a police officer stops you for DUI suspicion. It is also most beneficial to have an attorney on your side if you have been in a drunk driving accident and somebody else was involved and possibly hurt because of your actions. Likewise, if you were involved in one of these traumatic accidents and the other driver was to blame, you may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, loss of income due to time off work, disability, and more. Find out more by calling The Law Office of Peter Blair to find out more about your possible options!