California DUI Arrests Are Prevalent
Facing DUI charges in California? You're not alone. California DUI arrests are very common. In fact:
- In 2013, there were 160,388 California DUI arrests.
- In 2016, the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended 134,595 licenses due to drunk driving under the Administrative Per Se law. The Admin Per Se law suspends the license of anyone arrested for DUI.
DUI is one of the most common criminal charges in California today. While DUI used to be treated as more of a simple traffic violation, today it is a serious criminal offense with accompanying penalties. In a state like California, many people rely on their car to get around, especially in suburban areas. Reliance on cars paired with strict DUI enforcement contributes to the shocking number of DUI arrests each year.
So why are California DUI arrests so common? The number of arrests is due—in large part—to the efforts California law enforcement put into stopping drunk drivers.
- California operates approximately 2,000 sobriety checkpoints per year.
- California received $21,834,357 in traffic safety grants in 2016 just to target alcohol-impaired driving.
California spends more resources on catching drunk drivers than many other states. Some estimates suggest as much as one in five Californians have been arrested for DUI. Again, you are not alone in facing DUI charges.
The Good News
The odds may seem against you, but there is hope. The upside of the prevalence of California DUI arrests is many people have been through the system and made it out OK. The system has balances in place to ensure people can return to their normal lives as soon as possible. Minimal jail sentences and restricted licenses are just a few of the outcomes of a typical California DUI. These help to normalize the offense. Also, there are many good attorneys who specialize in DUI defense and have handled thousands of cases, meaning they know the best way to fight your charges.
The Bad News
Because California DUI arrests are so common, there is a formidable system in place for prosecuting and punishing offenders. The Department of Motor Vehicles takes swift action against your driving privileges after a DUI arrest, even before you are convicted. Under the Admin Per Se law, the California DMV steps in even before charges are filed in many cases. The criminal courts process countless DUI cases throughout the year, so prosecutors have been through the gamut. They've dealt with every trick in the book and have heard thousands of stories. So, you can't get away with saying you thought you were OK to drive or that you only had a few drinks. The system is sophisticated, so your defense needs to be, too.
What to Do After a DUI Arrest
After being arrested for a DUI, your first step should be to call an attorney. These cases are fairly systematic. The penalties are relatively standard, and the elements the prosecution must prove are limited. But because DUI cases are relatively cut and dry, attorneys know how to identify and leverage every advantage you have available. As a result, only a percentage of DUI arrests result in convictions. In fact, many good attorneys have helped thousands of DUI defendants walk away with a clean criminal record. But doing so takes strategy, a thorough knowledge of California DUI law, and careful attention to detail.
Speak with a Visalia criminal defense attorney if you are facing DUI charges. Working with an attorney experienced in DUI defense will give you the best chance at a more favorable outcome. A seasoned attorney will know the best way to fight your charges. Some DUI defense attorneys even have good working relationships with the court, judges, and district attorneys you could be dealing with. This can increase the chance your attorney can work out a plea bargain for a lesser charge.
If you are facing DUI charges in the Tulare, Fresno or Kings County area, call experienced criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens today for expert counsel. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, we can help you fight your charges and clear your name. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, attorney Martens is ready to defend your rights. Contact our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at MartensL[email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.