Long Beach DUI Attorneys
The State of California ranks high on the number of arrests for driving under the influence each year, with nearly 200,000 annually.
Law enforcement has been on the lookout for any signs of intoxication while driving and will pull cars over if they suspect any form of illegal activity.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
Driving after consuming a few alcoholic beverages may not seem very dangerous, but studies have shown that even with trace amounts of alcohol in the blood stream can impair a driver. Men that weigh about an average weight of 160 pounds only need two drinks before they will start feeling the effects and experience a significant amount of impairment. For women who are generally much smaller, it only takes typically one, maybe two drinks before putting themselves at risk on the road.
Legally the blood alcohol content (BAC) level limit is .08 percent for the State of California. While this may be the level at which you can be arrested for a DUI, lower levels of BAC can still affect your driving. At .01-.02 percent, your reaction time is lowered, attention span is shortened and your steering may become sloppy. When reaching .03-.05 percent, it becomes more difficult to stand, your response time to emergency situations is dampened, coordination is challenging and the time it takes to process basic information is significantly altered.
Higher up the spectrum you go, you become less aware of the speed you may be traveling at in your vehicle and your concentration is debilitated. People may not be aware that all of these changes are occurring within their nervous system when setting out on the road and that while they feel fine they may actually be intoxicated. Any percentage above .08 is considered illegal and can result in a DUI charge.
Possible Penalties if Convicted
Even a first time charge for drunk driving can result in serious ramifications. When there are multiple offenses for driving under the influence on a driver's record, the consequences can increase exponentially. In the event that anyone was hurt or killed by a DUI accident, felony charges may apply that could land the driver in prison for years. The following is a list of the basic penalties for a conviction of driving while intoxicated:
First Time DUI:
- Jail time from 4 days to 6 months
- Fines from $1400-$2,600
- License suspension for 30 days to 10 months
- Possibility of Ignition Interlock Device installed in vehicle
- Jail time from 10 days to 1 year
- Fines from $1,800-$2,800
- License suspension for 2 years, with a possibility of reducing the time to 1 year
- Ignition Interlock Device installed in vehicle
- Jail time from 120 days to 1 year
- Fines from $1,800-$18,000
- License suspension for 3 years
- Ignition Interlock Device installed in vehicle
Defense Against Possible DUI Conviction
There is certain protocol that law officers must follow when pulling over and arresting someone with a charge of driving drunk. First of all, they must have reasonable evidence to prove why they stopped the driver in the first place. When performing any breath and blood tests they must wait at least 15 minutes and observe the driver before administering the test. During this time the individual is not supposed to eat, drink, vomit, smoke or burp because these can significantly affect the results of a breathalyzer test. These different actions all bring the alcohol up to the driver's mouth and breath, altering the BAC percentage rate.
Certain health factors and illnesses such as diabetes, being on certain diets, epilepsy, asthma and reflux diseases can also alter the outcome. Different chemical compounds within the human body as a result of these different issues can play a part in making it look as if the driver's BAC level is higher than it actually is. It is essential that if you are facing charges for a DUI, that you hire an attorney that is knowledgeable on various prosecutor tactics and common ways to defend against these types of accusations.
Obtaining the Legal Help You Deserve
Dealing with charges for driving under the influence can cause significant fear and stress. Get in touch with our competent and aggressive legal team to better understand how we can assist you during this difficult time. As a former prosecutor, our team is well-acquainted with handling cases of drunk driving from the other side. This has enabled them to learn invaluable information on what the judge is looking for and how to defend against faulty sobriety tests.
Our lead lawyers, Anthony Falangetti, has been included in the list of California Super Lawyers® for 2012-2014, denoting his hard work and achievement in the field of criminal defense. It is the goal of our firm that each and every client is treated with respect and dignity throughout the legal process. Please contact our office today to learn about how we can best protect your rights in a DUI case.