You do not want to be charged with DUI in California. The consequences, both legal and personal, can be quite severe. If you’re charged with DUI in the southern California area, call an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately. A good DUI lawyer can often find a flaw in the prosecutor’s case and help you avoid a conviction. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, your attorney will work for reduced or alternative sentencing. An arrest is not the equivalent of a conviction, and all hope is not lost. Unless, of course, you go to court drunk.

Earlier this year Patrick Johnson, 51, of Vernon, Vermont was not allowed to enter a plea to a DUI charge. The judge determined that Johnson was too drunk to enter a plea. Judge Richard J. Carey ordered a blood alcohol test conducted on Johnson after Johnson told the judge that he had consumed six ounces of vodka just before the hearing. Judge Carey sent Johnson to jail when the blood alcohol test registered Johnson’s blood alcohol content at 0.28 percent, more than three times the legal limit for driving. Johnson reportedly has two previous DUI convictions in Vermont.

Some people simply cannot control their drinking, as Johnson’s case reminds us. Even the prospect of standing before a judge – who can legally take your freedom from you – wasn’t enough to deter Patrick Johnson from drinking. While many drivers charged with DUI are innocent and don’t belong in court at all, others like Johnson aren’t deterred or even apparently bothered by the prospect of the harshest penalties. It’s probably safe to say that the system could be improved in a variety of ways. For now, however, if you face a DUI charge anywhere in southern California, your best hope for justice is calling an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible.