The holiday season is a wonderful time for reunions, celebrations and new beginnings with friends and family. Alcohol happens to be one of the things Americans celebrate with. However, drinking responsibly is important if you plan to drive home after an event. Unfortunately, a DUI could impact more than just your holiday. It could impact every facet of your life, so it is better to avoid one:
Reason #1: Driving Under the Influence Is Dangerous
The most important reason to avoid a DUI is that driving under the influence is dangerous. Alcohol acts as a depressant that slows down the nervous system. This means that alcohol delays brain functions, slows reaction time and negatively affects coordination.
Safe driving involves concentration. A driver needs to be able to quickly respond to weather conditions, road conditions and situations with other drivers. Not only does alcohol slow reaction time, but it also makes it difficult to perceive and comprehend a situation. When a driver cannot efficiently comprehend or respond to his or her surroundings, they are at a higher risk of crashing, injuring themselves and potentially injuring passengers, other drivers and pedestrians.
Reason #2: California Agencies Instate a Maximum Enforcement Period
It is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and local law enforcement agencies will be on high alert for impaired drivers. During the days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day, you can expect law enforcement to instate a maximum enforcement period, which means every available officer will be on duty and there will be a zero-tolerance policy for drunk drivers.
In addition, there will likely be sobriety checkpoints set up on highways and local streets to check drivers for signs of impairment. However, agencies should provide sufficient warning to drivers about where and when sobriety checkpoints will be placed.
Reason #3: California Has Strict DUI Penalties
California has some of the strictest DUI penalties in the country. Consequences of a DUI typically depend on blood alcohol concentration (BAC), damages or injuries incurred and prior offenses.
DUIs are expensive. Base fines from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) could cost up to $1,000. However, after penalty assessments, a DUI could cost thousands of dollars. In addition to fines, California has an automatic license suspension law for DUIs. A first-time offense constitutes an automatic license suspension of six months.
A first-time DUI could also result in jail time, probation and completion of a drug and alcohol program. In some cases, defendants are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles, which requires a person to pass a breathalyzer test before the car will start.
Need a San Jose DUI Defense Attorney?
Once you have been charged with a DUI, you only have 10 days to schedule a hearing with the DMV to appeal your license suspension. We recommend that you speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney beforehand. A DUI defense attorney could help you understand your rights and responsibilities under California law and could help you keep your license.
The Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich represents San Jose and Bay Area residents who have been charged with a variety of crimes. We do not believe that one choice should impact your everyday way of life. Call our office today at (408) 898-9653 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and discuss the charges made against you.