Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cost of a California Drunk Driving Charge

California DUI lawyer news

Cost of a DUI conviction adds up

December 26, 2007

Drinking and driving can be costly - very costly if you end up with a California DUI .

The joyful gatherings of the holiday season often include alcohol, but the consequences of driving drunk or impaired can be deadly. In 2006, Monterey County saw 662 alcohol-related collisions, which resulted in 16 people killed and 312 injured.

In 2006, although only 9 percent of traffic crashes were alcohol-related, they accounted for 41 percent of all traffic fatalities. Children are the most vulnerable - more than half of the 414 children 14 or younger who died in alcohol-related crashes during 2005 were riding with a drinking driver.

It is possible, however, to measure the financial costs for the California DUI drinking driver - and they can exceed $5,000 to $10,000. That doesn't cover medical costs, vehicle property damage and the guilt if someone is hurt.

A California DUI / DWI has serious consequences and can put you in jail.

A driver under 21 with a blood alcohol reading of 0.01 or higher may have his or her license revoked. With a blood alcohol reading of 0.05 or above, a driver under 21 can be arrested and have his or her license suspended or revoked.

If you are over 21, and your blood alcohol reading is 0.08 or more, your driver's license will be immediately taken away and you will be arrested for DUI. A 30-day temporary license will be issued, which will allow time for a review and appeal. If you refuse to take a blood or breath test, your license will be suspended for one year.

If you took the California DUI chemical test, your license can also be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles for four months. A second offense within 10 years can result in a one-year suspension. If you refused the chemical test, your license will be suspended for one year. A second offense within 10 years results in a two-year suspension of your license, and a third offense in 10 years means a three-year suspension.

In addition to the DMV penalties, you also face California DUI court action. On your first DUI conviction you could serve 96 hours to six months in jail. After release, you could serve three to five years of probation. The court may also suspend your license for six months and require you to complete a DUI program. The length of the program vary.

A DUI means lost time at work for jail and court appearances. It also means a price tag of $5,000 to $10,000 or more, which may include fees for vehicle towing, storage, booking and fingerprinting, car insurance increases, DUI fine, an alcohol assessment for the court system, DUI victims fund, community service fund and DUI classes.

If you use a good California DUI attorney,you have a chance.

The only way to avoid a California DUI / drunk driving is to not drink and drive. If you do drink, have a designated driver, call a cab or use public transportation, sleep at the party or get a taxi to a motel.