Designated drivers for summer safety[MIGRATE]

By Cpl. Brianna Turner | July 03, 2013

News Brief

News Brief (Photo by Ramon E. De La O Sr.)

With summer in full swing, social gatherings are common and with that in mind motorists are reminded that California laws on driving under the influence are some of the strictest in the nation.

There are two parts to a DUI case, one is the defendant being too impaired to operate a motor vehicle, which is proved by irregular driving habits, sobriety tests or the smell of alcohol on the defendant.  The other is based on chemical testing; proving that the defendant was over the legal blood alcohol content level of 0.08.

According to it is important to ensure the designated driver has the keys before the drinking begins, they should refuse any alcoholic beverage and they are not the “least drunk of the bunch.”

Penalties for a DUI are dependent on a number of circumstances including the number of the defendants past convictions, or if the incident resulted in injury to others. The convictions for DUIs will become more severe, the more they occur.

Without probation, the penalties for a first conviction within 10 years are:
• 96 hours to six months of jail time
• Fines of $390-$1,000
• Six month license suspension

A second conviction within a ten year period may result in:
• 90 days to one year in jail
• Fines of $390-$1,000
• Two year license suspension

Three offenses within 10 years may cause:
• Three year license revocation
• $390 to $1,000 fine
• 120 days to one year in jail

Four DUIs are charged as felonies, which include, but are not limited to:
• 16 months or two to three years in state prison or 180 days to one year in a county jail
• Four year license revocation
• Fines of $390 to $1,000

When a civilian client is arrested for a DUI they are fighting a civil administrative battle with the Department of Motor Vehicles and a criminal battle with the charging District Attorney’s office. Members of the armed forces face additional penalties based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Manual for Court Martial.