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Los Angeles DUI during the Holiday Season

  • September 1, 2017

    The holiday season reflects a very festive time of the year. Office and family parties take place all throughout the City of Angels. People spend more time shopping and cavorting as work slows down across a wide range of different industries. Festive moods lead some to do things they normally wouldn’t do. Drinking quantities of alcohol might not be truly out of character for many holiday partygoers. At a holiday party or event, however, they choose to indulge. Unfortunately, someone who doesn’t drink very often may suffer a lack of judgment and get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.

    Regardless of the circumstances leading up to driving under the influence, a DUI is legally a DUI. In California, a DUI may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. In other words, driving under the influence is a crime. First and second offenses normally would be charged as misdemeanors. Even misdemeanor DUI offenses come with serious repercussions. Those who choose to drink and drive during the holiday season quickly discover how life-impacting these repercussions can be.

    No matter what you “think” about your alcohol consumption, the law stipulates anything beyond a blood alcohol content of 0.8 means you are too drunk to drive. And the fact the alcohol came from a once-a-year holiday party means nothing. The law is very clear.

    The Dangers of Driving While Intoxicated

    Once a driver gets behind the wheel intoxicated, he/she is placing him/herself and others at great risk. The chance for an accident increases immensely when inebriated. Mental clarity is reduced and reaction time decreases. All that sets up a potential accident.

    Being pulled over for weaving while driving and failing the sobriety test leads a driver into major trouble. This is without an accident occurring. If a DUI causes property damage, bodily injury, or, worst of all, a wrongful death, then the situation becomes much more dire. Several other criminal charges may be added to the DUI. Civil lawsuits might be filed as well. And all this derives from drinking a little too much during a holiday get together.

    Take Proper Preparations

    Among the best things you could do to avoid a DUI is to have a plan for driving after a party. Actually, having a plan to be driven home whenever you are intoxicated can avoid a lot of legal troubles. Doing so could even prove life saving. Asking someone to act as a designated driver or calling a taxi cab would be far better than driving on your own. Ridesharing services are very popular these days. Booking a trip to and from a location can be done very easily through tapping an app on a smartphone.

    Even those who do not plan on becoming intoxicated should have a plan in place. Again, simply opening up a ride sharing account and setting up a credit card payment on the account doesn’t take long at all. Once finished, a reliable backup plan now exists to avoid instances of a DUI.

    Making the Mistake of Driving

    Whether you choose to drive while intoxicated or you drove not realizing you were legally drunk, if the police pull you over, the result will be the same. An arrest and arraignment in front of a judge will follow.

    Contacting an attorney to help mount a defense against a DUI charge would be very prudent. Even with a first-time offense, the penalties for a DUI can be significant. An attorney could work a plea bargain agreement that would minimize the impact of a guilty plea.

    The option may exist to enter a plea of “not guilty” and challenge the case in court. Unless the prosecution can prove the defendant was both legally intoxicated and behind the wheel of a car and do so beyond a reasonable doubt, achieving a guilty verdict becomes monumentally difficult.

    Regardless of how the charges are handled, the defendant needs the right attorney handling the case. Effective legal representation helps the cause of anyone finding him/herself facing DUI charges. DUI cases are very serious matters do to the risk to public safety. Defendants must take the charges seriously and seek out the best possible attorney to mount a defense.

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