Halloween DUI is Not Trick or Treat

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Halloween DUI is Not Trick or Treat

With Halloween right around the corner, its the perfect time to remember that driving under the influence (i.e., “DUI“) or driving recklessly can end up with you in jail.

CHP Press Release About Halloween and DUI

Recently the California Highway Patrol released a press release to remind us of the following:
Halloween is often recognized as a holiday that offers just as much fun for adults as it does for children. Youngsters may look forward to a night of trick-or-treating, but many adults choose to partake in the festivities, too – oftentimes with alcohol included. While Halloween may be a spooky night, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and California Highway Patrol (CHP) want to help ensure that it is also a safe one. If you plan on making alcohol a part of your celebrations this year, designating a sober driver or finding a safe ride home should be a top priority. “Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs always presents serious, life-threatening risks, but even more so on a night when pedestrians and children are out trick-or-treating,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “By taking just a few extra minutes to designate a sober driver, you will not only avoid the serious risk and costs associated with a DUI, but you will also help protect your own life and the lives of those around you.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2009 and 2013, 43 percent of all traffic fatalities on Halloween night involved an impaired driver. In 2013 alone, 26 percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved an impaired driver. “With Halloween falling on a weekend this year, we expect an increase in celebrations,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “With a few simple precautions, you should be able to enjoy the fun and get home safely. Drive sober, avoid distractions behind the wheel, and be especially alert around pedestrians.” Whether out trick-or-treating for the night or heading to a party, it is equally important for adults and children to take necessary safety precautions. For those walking door-to-door, consider using light producing or reflective devices to remain visible to cars. Only cross the street at crosswalks or corners and only when it is safe to do so. Costumes should be kept short enough to avoid tripping, and masks should be lifted or removed while on or crossing a street. Drivers need to pay extra attention to pedestrians – especially small children – as they may be unaware of their surroundings and trick-or-treaters can appear out of nowhere. Party hosts need to be ready with non-alcoholic drinks, food, and the responsibility to make sure their guests get home safely.

Charges for DUI – Drunk Driving

Charges for drunk driving (“DUI“) are not only serious but also can carry serious consequences at any time, but especially on Halloween when children are trick or treating throughout their neighborhoods. Penalties for DUI vary by case and severity, but following are sentencing guidelines of what you may face if you drink and drive and are then convicted of a DUI.

First Conviction for DUI

For a first conviction for a DUI in California, you would receive:

  • Jail-time of at least 96 hours but not over 6 months.
  • A fine of at least $390 but not over $1,000, including penalties.
  • Suspension of your driver’s license of six months. The court may grant your a temporary restricted license, however it can’t be reinstated until you provide proof of the completion of a “driving under the influence” state-approved program, and also showing financial responsibility.
  • Based on the circumstances of your DUI, being a first time offender you may also be required by the court to install an Ignition Interlock Device, which will be installed at your expense.

For a second conviction for a California DUI you would receive:

  • Jail-time of at lease 90 days but not more than 1 year.
  • A fine of at least $390 but not over $1,000, including penalties.
  • Suspension of your driver’s license of 1 year. Your license cannot be reinstated until you have provided proof of financial responsibility and proof of completion of a state-approved “driving under the influence” program.
  • Based on the circumstances of your DUI, being a first time offender you may also be required by the court to install an Ignition Interlock Device, which will be installed at your expense.

For a third California conviction for DUI you would receive:

  • Jail-time of at least 120 days but not more than 1 year.
  • A fine of at least $390 but not over $1,000, including penalties.
  • The state will consider you an “habitual traffic offender” for 3 years after you’ve been convicted.
  • Suspension for 2 years of your driver’s license. Your license cannot be reinstated until you have provided proof of financial responsibility and proof of completion of a state-approved “driving under the influence” program.
  • You may be able to apply to the court for a restricted driver’s license, but you may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device, which will be installed at your expense.

For a fourth California conviction for DUI you would receive:

  • Jail-time which may include both jail and prison or at least 180 days but not than 1 year.
  • A fine of at least $390 but not over $1,000, including penalties.
  • The state will consider you an “habitual traffic offender” for 3 years after you’ve been convicted.
  • Suspension for 3 years of your driver’s license. Your license cannot be reinstated until you have provided proof of financial responsibility and proof of completion of a state-approved “driving under the influence” program.
  • You may be able to apply to the court for a restricted driver’s license, but you may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device, which will be installed at your expense.

When you are arrested and then convicted in California of a DUI, typically a judge will apply guidelines that determine the minimum and maximum sentencing. A judge will also take into consideration the specifics of any previous convictions you may have for DUI.

Illegal Things to Consider When Driving in California

When driving in California, you should be aware of the fact that the following points are illegal:

  • Drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from transporting or carrying unsealed wine, liquor, or beer, in their vehicle if they are driving alone. Exceptions are if it is work-related.
  • Drivers under the age of 21 are prohibited from driving with a blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) of 0.01 or higher.
  • Drivers under the are of 21 are prohibited from consuming any form of alcohol, including prescription drugs or cough syrup.
  • Any driver or any age is prohibited from driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. A BAC of 0.08 is the standard measurement all states use in order to establish whether a driver is impaired.
  • The driver of any vehicle requiring a commercial driver’s license is prohibited from driving with a BAC of 0.04 or higher.
  • A driver under the age of 18 is prohibited from driving with ANY measurable BAC.
  • Repeat offenders are prohibited from driving with a BAC of 0.01 or higher.

Although these laws are specific to California, the same DUI laws are similar in states throughout the United States.

Working with Sevens Legal, APC

If you are arrested and face a conviction for DUI, you need to work with a criminal defense lawyer such as Sevens Legal, APC. Once you have discussed the specifics of your cast with a Sevens Legal, APC, attorney they will let you know about your case’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the punishment you may face and your risk of conviction. Your defense attorney will also be able to discuss any plea deal as well as whether it would be best to move forward to a trial, taking into consideration your best interests.

The criminal defense attorneys at Sevens Legal, APC, believe every client has a right to the best defense possible. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.

Sevens Legal, APC
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800

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