July 4th weekend is where we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and our nation’s birth. During that celebration we also drink, cops know it, and they will be out in force this weekend to make the state a lot of money so BE CAREFUL!
5 TIPS TO AVOID A DUI CONVICTION
1 Don’t do it-avoid any type of vehicle, including a bike.
I know it sounds obvious but that is the easiest way to avoid a DUI conviction. Use a designated driver, AAA of Southern California is also offering its free Tipsy Toe service, which offers anyone a free tow home of up to seven miles. Tipsy Toe is available from 6 p.m. on Friday, July 3 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 4. All you have to do is call 1-800-400-4AAA.
2. Follow the rules of the road-If police pull you over but you haven’t broken any traffic laws you might be able to later argue that police lacked probable cause to make the stop (DUI check points are lawful-Supreme Court said in 1990, Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990), the Supreme Court held that DUI checkpoints DO NOT violate the 4th Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures even though the DUI checkpoints do constitute a “seizure.” )
3. Make sure all lights & turn signals function properly( If they don’t, THAT gives police probable cause to make the stop)
4. NEVER admit to drinking
5. Don’t consent to any field Sobriety tests (you are not required to submit to any field sobriety tests. You are however required to submit to a chemical test (breath or blood) or you will lose your license for one year. Biggest choice to make is breath or blood. They say that if you are really under the influence, a blood test may be the best way to go based on various ways you can challenge it. Blood can be re-tested, etc.)
In California, you have 10 days to request a DMV hearing from the date of the arrest. A public defender does not handle that.
For DUI checkpoints in your area, go to the web. There are helpful sights such DUIBlock.com. and the LA ist.
- Saturday from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. the sheriff’s department will have a checkpoint running at an undisclosed location in West Hollywood.
- Saturday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. an LAPD checkpoint will be expecting you at Lankershim Boulevard at Vanowen Street in fragrant North Hollywood.
- Saturday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. a checkpoint will be up and running at Reseda Boulevard at Parthenia Street in Reseda.
- Sunday from noon to 8pm: A saturation patrol of extra police cars and motorcycles will be cruising through LAPD’s 77th Street Division, which covers the heart of South L.A.
- Sunday from 5pm to 1am: A saturation patrol will cover the LAPD’s Southwest Division area, which stretches from USC to Baldwin Hills.
- Sunday from 5pm to 1am: A saturation patrol will be watching over LAPD’s Mission Division area, which includes Arleta, Panorama City, Sylmar, North Hills and Mission Hills.
- Sunday from 6pm to 2am: A saturation patrol will spend time in the LAPD’s Central Bureau area, which includes downtown, Westlake, Echo Park, Boyle Heights and more.
POSSIBLE DUI PENALTIES
In California, DUI can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction. The vast majority of DUI offenses are charged as misdemeanors, but it may be charged as a felony depending on the circumstances of an individual’s case. If a drunk driver’s actions are determined to have resulted in the injury or death of another person, their charges are often times filed as a felony offense. Those who have been arrested for multiple DUI offenses in the past 10 years are often times charged with felonies as well.
Although it is impossible to properly evaluate what an offender’s consequences will be following a DUI arrest, minimum penalties for a first-time offender in California include fines and penalties of about $1,500, a lengthy alcohol education program, and three years of informal probation. In addition, a misdemeanor criminal conviction will be part of the defendant’s criminal record and the court will attempt to restrict the defendant’s driver’s license for three months.
If you are arrested, you should either use a public defender (often the best option, particularly if you don’t make that much money) or a private attorney who handles criminal defense matters and does not want to just take your money to plead you guilty.
Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July weekend.