Funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has again made it possible to put all available officers on the street for a massive holiday DUI crackdown. A countywide effort consisting of saturation patrols all over Stanislaus County resulted in more than sixty DUI arrests over the course of the seven day period prior to the Christmas holiday.
California law enforcement officials seem pleased with the number of arrests thus far, but are not planning on letting up at all as the end of the year approaches. Saturation patrols are planned to continue through Stanislaus County and all across the state of California in an effort to keep the streets safe through New Year’s celebrations.
The possible punishments for a DUI conviction in California are among the most severe in the country. First time offenders convicted of a California DUI could face fines of up to a thousand dollars, a prison term of up to six months and a revocation of driving privileges for four months. Any California driver who refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test can face even more severe punishments, including a license suspension of a full year.
While the severity of the punishments alone should be enough to convince any DUI driver to hire an attorney, there is an aspect of California DUI law that makes hiring a DUI attorney an absolute necessity. California drivers can be convicted of a DUI even if their BAC is under the legal limit of .08 if they perform poorly on a field sobriety test or if the arresting officer perceives them to be impaired.
Any time a judge is basing his decision on the perceptions of an arresting officer without the concrete proof of a BAC test, having a qualified attorney by your side is critical. A good DUI attorney may be able to cast doubt on the biggest piece of evidence for the prosecution, which could result in reduced, suspended or possibly even dismissed charges.