The attorneys at the Law Office of Benjamin R. Greene & Associates regularly represent clients in Bakersfield and throughout Kern County who are facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges, license suspension, reckless driving, and even drunk driving are often the result of a good person making a bad decision. We can help you deal with this dilemma and ensure that one bad decision does not have a devastating impact on your life.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
In the 1980s, many people were able to drive drunk over and over again and avoid ever going to prison. Today, things have changed drastically. The permissible blood alcohol content level has been lowered to .08% from .10%. You would be surprised at how little alcohol is required to reach a .08. Many people think they are fine or just a “little buzzed” and are surprised to find out they are driving over the limit. In this regard, “drunk driving” is a bit misleading because you don’t need to be “drunk” under the common understanding of that word to be over the limit.
If you are convicted four or more times for DUI within 10 years, the district attorney will likely seek a felony conviction. Once convicted of a DUI felony, any subsequent drinking and driving within 10 years will likely be prosecuted as a felony as well. DUI convictions, even for a first time offender, typically have mandatory minimum jail sentences, fines, and license suspensions. The common refrain I hear from clients, “but I need to drive to work,” is no defense to a mandatory license suspension. If you refuse a breath, urine or blood test, California law requires a longer mandatory license suspension. You are usually required to take and complete a class to receive your license back, which is more money out of your pocket.
Many people are arrested for drunk driving even though they have not been drinking at all. How is this possible? The use of any substance, legal or illegal, affecting your ability to drive like a sober, prudent person can result in your arrest. Elderly women who haven’t had a drink in thirty years have been arrested for driving under the influence of pain medication. Painters have been arrested for driving under the influence of paint fumes. In a recent news story, a man was arrested for driving under the influence of caffeine: he drank several Red Bulls and popped a few caffeine pills prior to driving.
The worst case scenario is a DUI accident in which someone is injured. Any injuries, no matter how slight, generally motivate the prosecutor to file felony charges. Many good people who would never hurt a soul have caused grave accidents by driving drunk. It can be a truly life changing experience. In addition to criminal penalties, civil lawsuits frequently follow these accidents. Also, any judgment obtained by a victim against a drunk driver is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Experienced DUI Lawyers
Are you are facing DUI charges and a suspension of your driver’s license? Our attorneys have the administrative and trial experience necessary to obtain favorable results.