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Published on May 20th, 2014 | by Daniel Perlman


Driving, Alcohol, and the Weekends

Many Californians get behind the wheel after “downing a few”

The California Office of Traffic and Safety conducts a yearly survey called the “California Roadside Survey of Nighttime Weekend Drivers’ Alcohol and Drug Use.” During the summer of 2012, the OTS collected data on one weekend in eight communities and on two weekends in another community. A random sample of nighttime drivers was interviewed on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to midnight and 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. Anonymous breath tests and oral fluid samples as well as responses to questionnaires were collected from over 1,300 drivers.

Of the 1,449 drivers that provided a breath sample, 7.3% tested positive for alcohol and one percent of tested drivers were at .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) or above. These statistics mean that about one in twelve drivers on the road those summer nights had consumed a least some alcohol while 14 or so drivers were above the legal limit. We’ll never know if the other 50 plus drivers who wouldn’t provide a breath sample might have had a alcohol related reason for their refusal.

This information all points to the fact that many Californians get behind the wheel after “downing a few” and also accounts for law enforcement’s increased efforts to remove these drivers from the roads. The BAC limits vary with the drivers age as well as the license type. The legal limit is 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC) or more for a Class C regular drivers license, 0.04% BAC or more for commercial driver license holders, and 0.01% BAC or more for drivers under 21, and drivers on probation for a DUI.

What you can expect for a first DUI offense

The first offense is very costly, both in terms of time and money. The jail time can be from 96 hours to six months with a fine of $390 to $1000. Failure to pay the fine can result in a penalty assessment equaling three times the amount of the fine. Your drivers license will be suspended , typically for six months and you will be requires to complete a DUI program lasting for as many as nine months. The court may issue an order to install an ‘Ignition Interlock Device’ (IID) in your car. You may need to fulfill the California SR22 (proof of financial responsibility) Insurance requirement for a restricted license.

All this can seem overwhelming and will place major stress on the life of those experiencing a 1st time DUI arrest. The council of an experienced DUI defense attorney is the best source of help in this stressful situation.

Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman

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