Overcrowded jails and a recent law may be responsible the punishments that DUI offenders are receiving in Kern County, north of Los Angeles. According to Supervising Deputy District Attorney Ken Green, impaired drivers are receiving less jail time in Kern County because of the law known as AB 109. AB 109 shifts the responsibility for incarcerating many low-risk inmates from the state to the counties. The state will continue to incarcerate offenders who commit serious, violent, or sexual crimes, but the counties will supervise, rehabilitate, and manage low-level offenders. Up to 30,000 state prison inmates could be transferred to county jails under the law. Most people, of course, very much want to avoid being in either a county jail or a state prison. If you’re charged with DUI in southern California, have an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney advocate on your behalf and fight for the justice you deserve.
Currently, a first DUI conviction in California is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, but because of overcrowding, officials are finding that their options are limited. By keeping low-level offenders out of state prisons, the state says it can save almost half a billion dollars – about ten percent of its budget – every year. “AB 109 cuts down the number of beds and you can’t let the rapist, child molester, or murderer out. But you have to let someone out,” Green told KERO News. “It sends the wrong message. We want people to know they have consequences” for driving under the influence.
Obviously, the best way to avoid DUI consequences is simply to not drink before driving. Jail is only one possible consequence of a conviction; you can also face fines, a license suspension, probation, and mandatory attendance at DUI classes. If you are charged with DUI in Orange County, before you do anything else, consult immediately with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.