An article on Wehoville.com states that drivers who are accused of operating under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs cause collisions once a week on average in West Hollywood. This is according to a new report by WeHo by the Numbers based on numbers from the California Highway Patrol and other agencies. The report states there is a big difference between West Hollywood and neighboring cities such as Beverly Hills, Burbank, Culver City, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica when it comes to DUI collisions.
What the report found is that DUI collisions seem to be twice as common in West Hollywood compared to nearby cities: 31 DUI crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in West Hollywood versus 15 in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Burbank respectively; 10 in Culver City and six in Beverly Hills. The report also qualified those numbers with the observation that DUI crashes actually make up a smaller share of total collisions in the city compared to neighboring areas. So the DUI collision rate may be higher in West Hollywood in part because the overall collision rate is higher.
Should You Fight A DUI?
If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you should certainly fight the charges instead of pleading no contest. This is because there are a number of factors including medical conditions and equipment malfunctions that can mess up a DUI investigation by generating falsely high readings. DUI blood testing is also prone to error. As California DUI defense attorneys, we have found so many times that when we test clients’ blood samples at independent labs, we get different results.
Sometimes, we also discover that the original sample was contaminated, negating the evidence altogether. Moreover, police officers and agencies don’t follow proper procedures and protocols while conducting DUI investigations leaving significant room for error. So, our advice would be to defend the charges because the consequences of a DUI conviction could be devastating. The stakes are too high for you to not try.
Consequences Of A DUI Conviction
If you are convicted of a DUI in California, you are looking at many years of facing the consequences, even if it’s a first-time DUI. Here are just some of the consequences you may be looking at after a drunk driving conviction in California:
- Jail time: For a first DUI offense, you could be looking at up to six months in county jail. An experienced DUI defense lawyer may be able to get you out of a jail sentence, particularly if it’s your first one, and be able to secure alternative sentencing such as community service, probation, or house arrest.
- Monetary penalties: Under California law, a first-time DUI offender could end up paying up to $1,000 in fines and potentially more in restitution. You may also have to spend money on other things such as posting bail, paying to get your impounded car back, and for your vehicle’s towing and storage.
- License suspension: When you get arrested on suspicion of a DUI, the Department of Motor Vehicles gets notified as well. The DMV will begin the process of suspending your driver’s license. At the time of your arrest, the police officer will take your license away and it is up to you to request a DMC hearing within 10 days of your arrest to get your license reinstated. If you fail to do so, the DMV will suspend your license for four months. If you are convicted of a DUI, the law requires that your license be suspended for six months. An experienced DUI defense lawyer might be able to get you a restricted driver’s license that will allow you to get to work, school, or an alcohol education program.
- Probation: In addition to jail time and monetary penalties, the court may impose a probation period of up to five years. Terms of your probation may include not driving with any measurable alcohol in your blood; mandatory submission to chemical tests if stopped on suspicion of a DUI; not committing a criminal offense; maintaining valid auto insurance; and enrollment in a DUI program.
- Insurance rate hikes: It goes without saying that a DUI conviction will prevent you from getting a “good driver” insurance discount for a period of 10 years, which means your premiums could go up.
- Installation of Ignition Interlock Devices (IID): In Los Angeles County, if you are convicted of DUI, even for the first time, the court will require you to install an ignition interlock device at your own expense for a period of at least five months. This device will essentially force you to provide a clean breath sample before your vehicle can even start. If the slightest trace of alcohol is detected in your breath, you won’t be able to start the car.
- Record: A DUI conviction will remain on your criminal record for a decade. This means anyone who does a background check, be it a potential employer or landlord, will see your conviction. They could of course use that information to deny your a job or housing.
- Other consequences: Any criminal conviction is likely to affect your job, career, and personal life and a DUI conviction is no exception. It might affect your ability to do your job as you may be facing restrictions on your driving. Your family members and friends may treat you differently or even distance themselves from you.
Why You Need A DUI Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, it is crucial that you speak with one of our experienced Southern California DUI defense lawyers who can take apart the prosecution’s case and successfully defend the charges you are facing. We can also help you minimize the consequences and accomplish the best possible outcome.
We have significant experience fighting for the rights of our clients and have successfully defended hundreds of clients who have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Call the Law Offices of Randy Collins today for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.