Tuesday, September 23, 2008

California DUI cases go down, negligent operator update

California DUI criminal defense lawyers report California posted the greatest decrease in drunken driving deaths last year according to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nationwide alcohol-related traffic fatalities decreased by 4% from 2006 with fatality rates falling in 32 states. www.sandiegodrunkdrivingattorney.net/about

California had 117 fewer alcohol-impaired driving deaths in 2007. A driver is considered drunk when he has a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08%. According to the study, 15% of all drivers reported driving under the influence of alcohol at some time during the past year.

Last year, nearly 13,000 people died in vehicle crashes involving a drunk driver, down from 13,500 in 2006. Led by Wisconsin where more than a quarter of adult motorists reported driving drunk, states in the upper Midwest posted the worst drunk-driving rates in the country. Utah, where less than 10% of adult motorists reported driving under the influence, had the lowest incidence of drunk driving, followed by Southeastern states (11%) where religious beliefs often discourage drinking.

Unfortunately, alcohol-related fatalities among motorcycle riders increased in 50% of the country’s states. The 1,621 motorcycle deaths attributed to drunk driving last year constituted an increase of 7.5% from the previous year. “

Like many state, California vigorously pursues drunk drivers. A charge of DUI (driving under the influence), Drunk Driving or DWI results in two cases: a California criminal case and a California Department of Motor Vehicles case. A conviction of DUI in California can result in heavy fees, penalties, loss of driving privileges and even jail time. If you lose your driving privileges, you risk jeopardizing your job if, like most Californians, you rely on your vehicle to get to and from work.

California DUI convictions also accumulate points against your license. If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, you can be charged as a negligent operator and your license suspended or restricted. In California, you can be considered a negligent operator if you accumulate:

4 or more points in 12 months,
6 points in 24 months, or
8 points in 36 months.

Point counts may include tickets received in other states. When 2 points are accumulated, a warning letter is issued, followed by a notice of intent to suspend at 3 points and suspension with probation at 4 points. If you violate the terms of your probation, the state can permanently revoke your driver’s license. If you are charged with DUI in California, a California criminal defense attorney with experience in DUI/Drunk Driving and negligent operator cases can make the difference between keeping your license and losing it. Your California DMV lawyer will make the right objections, arguments and requests. www.sandiegodui.com