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A 27-year-old Tustin woman has pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in connection with a crash that nearly killed an Orange police officer in December and left him on a long road to recovery. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the 32-year-old officer was in a neighborhood during the early hours of Dec. 10 helping another officer take a report.
At the time, the woman, who was driving a 2016 Hyundai Veloster, crashed into the officer as he stood behind his cruiser. Prosecutors said the woman was driving at 40 mph while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The police officer suffered severe injuries below his waist and lost several pints of blood en route to the hospital. He had to be placed in a medically induced coma and underwent eight surgeries.
The woman pleaded guilty to three felony counts including DUI causing injury and driving with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. She is facing up to three years in prison when she returns Oct. 24 for sentencing. She could have faced up to six years in prison had she been convicted in a jury trial.
This story illustrates the devastating consequences of a DUI arrest and conviction. There are a number of serious consequences for a DUI conviction. You could face jail or prison time depending on the nature of the incident and the severity of injuries sustained by the victims. If you are convicted of a first offense in California, you could be looking at a four-month driver’s license suspension.
A second or subsequent offense within 10 years of the first, will result in a one-year suspension. The court may also require you to attend alcohol or drug counseling programs or order you to install an ignition interlock device, which requires drivers to blow into the device before beginning to drive. The vehicle will not start if alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath.
These types of consequences are not mere inconveniences. They could have real repercussions including job loss or the loss of a professional license, which could deal a deathblow to your career prospects. A DUI charge or conviction could also affect your emotional state and have an impact on your relationships and personal life.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of a DUI, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your rights. First, stay calm and be polite to the officer who stopped you. If the officer asks you to step outside the vehicle, comply right away. Do not answer any questions that could potentially incriminate you. Give your name, license and vehicle registration to the officer. But, do not discuss details of where you were, whether you were drinking or how much you’d been drinking. Request an attorney to be present before you answer any questions.
You do have the right to decline a field sobriety test. These tests are known to be misleading and don’t offer an accurate picture of a driver’s condition. You could also refuse a Breathalyzer test, but you do need to submit to a chemical or blood test at the police station. If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, it is critical that you contact an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer who will fight to protect your rights every step of the way. Call (888) 250-2865 or fill out our form to get help from an experienced attorney today.