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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in drunk driving

California DUI attorney, California defense attorneyYou may have heard through the social grapevine of a “zero tolerance” DUI policy in California. Although one is in place, it is not applicable to all situations or all drivers. A zero tolerance policy indicates that if you are caught driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in your body, you can face serious charges. State laws and officers are harsh on DUI, but they are not quite so severe as to say no drinks for anyone who drives, which eliminates a social hour after work or a drink at a ball game. To alleviate fears and rumors, let us discuss what the zero tolerance policy is all about.

Underage Drinkers

The zero tolerance policy does not change by any traditional California laws for those over the legal drinking age. Instead, it is an extension of the regulations. First and foremost, the zero tolerance does impact underage drinking and driving. Instead of normal drinking limit, those who are underaged must have less than a 0.01% blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which happens to be the smallest amount of alcohol that a breathalyzer will detect. Even commercial drivers do not have these strict of standards, as their limit is 0.04% by state law.

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sobriety testing, San Jose criminal defense attorneyIf you have been accused of driving under the influence in California, there are several things you need to know to know about your rights when it comes to chemical testing. Whenever you get behind the wheel of a car in the United States, you are under the auspices of implied consent.

Understanding Implied Consent

Every state in the country has some form of implied consent law, which means that by operating a vehicle on a public road, you are agreeing to submit to chemical testing if pulled over and asked by an officer of the law to undergo a test. Refusal to submit to a requested chemical test when driving on a public road is a violation of the law, and punishment can be much harsher than it would have otherwise been. That is, fines and jail time could be greater than if the chemical test had revealed that you were driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

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Posted on in DUI

holidayEach year around the holiday season, traffic on the roadways increases significantly.  It is estimated that 30 percent of all Americans travel during holiday celebrations.  As you can imagine, with a surge in travel also comes a rise in DUI-related traffic incidents.  In 2013 alone, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-related vehicular accidents, accounting for nearly one-third (31 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.   For those affected, the holidays are not always so merry and bright. 

With the climbing amount of traffic fatalities in the Bay area this year, local law enforcement is out to ensure that everyone makes it to their holiday destination safely.   In addition to patrol units, we can anticipate sobriety checkpoints.  Through their new campaign, “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,” the San Jose Police Department reminds drivers to be cautious of the amount they drink before you drive, even if it is just one beer.  There are a few methods to ensure that you can have a memorable celebration without getting a DUI: 

  • Abstain From Drinking: Not only will you not risk a DUI, but you may also even be able to provide transportation to a friend, family member, or acquaintance if they are in need of assistance.  
  • Get a Designated Driver (DD):It is best to agree upon this before you make your plans, so this person is aware that they are responsible for your safety. They are not supposed to drink alcohol that night (or take any medications that may impair driving abilities).  If you see them not fulfilling their duty and partake anyway, find another DD. There also are many public service sober ride options available online.
  • Take Public Transportation: There are dozens of cab companies that will gladly take you home (for a fee). The bus system is another option if one is running within walking distance of your location.
  • AAA Tipsy Tow: This is a free service offered during the holidays by AAA (whether you are a member or not). It gets your vehicle, and you, home within a five-mile radius. Their number is 1-888-AAA-HELP (222-4357).
  • Stay the Night: Most hosts care about their guests’ safety. If you have had too much and there is not a better option, stay the night where you are.

If all else fails, and you do end up drinking, driving, and are pulled over by police, there is hope. Make sure that you have a trusted, knowledgeable attorney to call to assist you in everything that happens after the DUI. Having processed cases in excess of 3,000, Attorney Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich can be that life-altering phone call. To schedule a free consultation with our San Jose DUI defense lawyer, call 408-625-1130.

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drunk drivingCalifornia police arrested 1,226 people for driving under the influence on Labor Day weekend this year. This is a sharp increase from the previous year, during which there were 1,168 DUI arrests on the holiday weekend.

If you were one of these drivers, then you probably have a long list of questions about DUI and the potential consequences. Read on to learn more about the penalties for first-time offenders:

What Are the Penalties?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_chemical-testing.jpgIf you plan on drunk driving in the state of California, plan on having to take a breathalyzer test. That is to say, you do not have the right to refuse chemical testing if you are pulled over for alleged drunk driving in California. This is a right that you surrender with the acceptance of your California state license. If you refuse to submit or to complete the required chemical testing, you will be slapped with a hefty fine or mandatory imprisonment.

Per the California Department of Motor Vehicles, simply refusing to participate in chemical testing will also result in the suspension of one’s ability to drive a motor vehicle for one year (up to two years if there are multiple infractions in less than one year), in addition to fines and jail time.

According to the National Motorists Association (NMA), you could be slapped with heavy penalties as such even if you are not found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than the legal limit of 0.08 percent. If an accident occurs and you are found to have any alcohol content in your system and the official on the scene declares that you were too impaired to drive — even if you were below the legal alcohol limit — you can be declared responsible for the accident, even if it was not technically your fault.

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