DUI is most often a misdemeanor offense in California and involves a driver operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. To be considered “under the influence” under California drunk driving law, the driver must have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater or must have physical/mental abilities that are impaired due to alcohol and/or drugs. To prove that a driver was operating a motor vehicle under the influence, law enforcement and the District Attorney will use performance on field sobriety tests and the outcome of a breathalyzer test or blood test that was administered after the driver’s arrest.
Driving under the influence may cause serious vehicular accidents. Drunk driving accidents are most likely to occur in the evenings and on weekends. The rate of alcohol-involved fatal traffic accidents in California was four times higher at night than during the day with 36 percent of fatal alcohol-involved traffic accidents occurring in the evening versus the 9 percent of alcohol-involved traffic accidents occurring during the day. Additionally, 15 percent of all fatal traffic accidents involved alcohol impaired drivers during the week while 31 percent involved alcohol impaired drivers on weekends. Recent statistics have stated that approximately three out of every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives.
According to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on St. Patrick’s Day 2008, 37 percent of the drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above.
There are many signs that a driver may be drunk, including swerving, random speed changes, and excessive braking. Additionally, drunk drivers often operate their vehicles without their lights on in the evening and frequently drive on the wrong side of the road. Drunk drivers have delayed responses to traffic conditions and often use the wrong turn signal when making a turn.
As you can see, drunk driving accidents are happening at an alarming rate in this country, and these negligent and dangerous drivers are destroying the lives of innocent people. When a loved one is unexpectedly killed by a drunk driver, families are devastated and destroyed. As the victim of a drunk driving accident, or the relative of a loved one who has been killed by a drunk driver, you have the right to hold the drunk driver accountable for the injuries or death that they caused as a result of their recklessness.
On the other hand, if you have been charged with Drunk Driving (DUI/DWI) in California, you are facing serious criminal consequences. If you are convicted of a DUI or DWI, you are facing the loss of your freedom, suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, a required alcohol school as well as a three to five year term of probation and thousands of dollars in court fines and related costs. In addition you will be facing either the cancellation of your automobile insurance or a tremendous increase in your annual car insurance premiums.
According to an Orange County Car Accident Lawyer, it would be better to follow the law and avoid driving under the influence. In doing this, it would prevent further injuries and death of innocent people.