DUI by Ages 60 or Older in Los Angeles

  • May 25, 2017

    Drunk driving doesn’t have age limits. Young people, adults and even seniors can commit drunk driving. In recent years, the number of seniors who are charged with drunk driving has increased. There are a number of possible reasons for the increase.

    First, older people are living longer and more active lives than ever before. That means that they’re driving into their later years more often. In addition, detection methods for drunk driving have gotten better over the years. What officers may have just shrugged off as old age before they are now able to detect as intoxication.

    Drunk driving isn’t just driving under the influence of alcohol. You can also face a drunk driving charge if you drive while under the influence of a controlled substance. This can include prescription drugs. Older people often take medication that can hurt their ability to drive safely. This may be to blame for the fact that people over sixty receive drunk driving charges in larger numbers than ever before.

    Drivers over sixty often face unique challenges when it comes to drunk driving charges. Your Los Angeles DUI attorneys can help you evaluate these challenges and make sure that you take advantage of all of your constitutional rights. For example, older drivers often have a decline in their driving abilities. This can lead to more frequent violations of traffic laws.

    If a person is more likely to unintentionally violate a traffic law, they might be more likely to come to law enforcement’s attention. They might not be able to stay in their lane of travel. They might run a red light.

    In these cases, law enforcement might pull the driver over to investigate. This can lead to an investigation for drunk driving. Even if a person over sixty isn’t more likely to be a drunk driver, they might be more likely to come to law enforcement’s attention.

    A person who is over sixty might also be less able to perform a field sobriety test. They may have a nerve or muscle issue that prevents them from standing on their legs or walking. They might be more likely to take seizure medications or other medications that prevent them from performing a horizontal gaze nystagmus test accurately.

    Two of the standardized field sobriety tests look at balance and coordination. If you have a preexisting medical condition, you might not perform well even if you’re completely sober. The law enforcement officer might interpret this as intoxication, but this might not be a reasonable assumption. You can work your DUI attorney to look at your case and evaluate if law enforcement made an unreasonable conclusion in arresting you for drunk driving. If they acted unreasonably, your attorney might be able to get your case dismissed.

    The state prosecutor understands that alcohol abuse is often the product of an underlying medical condition. People over sixty might commit drunk driving out of feelings of depression or loneliness. If you’re convicted of drunk driving, you may receive treatment for these underlying issues as part of a term of probation. Your probation officer may be able to direct you towards resources in order to help you find the appropriate counselors and other treatment providers that can help you tackle any substance abuse problem or underlying mental health problem.

    Your attorney understands the unique issues that go along with a drunk driving offense over the age of sixty. They can work with you to help you address your needs and defend your case as aggressively as possible. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner they can get started working on your case.

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