Most readers will be familiar with the idea of “mission creep.” It’s when a mission begins modestly, keeps expanding, and eventually spirals out of hand. You send in a few Marines to liberate some people, and the next thing you know, you’re building a nation, installing a new government, and defending a border. Military missions aren’t the only missions that are vulnerable to mission creep. DWI enforcement in the United States has yielded to mission creep in a way that’s unfair to innocent drivers and a threat to everyone’s rights. If you’re charged with DUI in southern California, you’ll need to obtain legal counsel immediately. You’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney.

Driving under the influence is dangerous. In 2013, more than 10,000 people in the United States were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents. DUI laws were originally intended to protect the public from drivers who are impaired and to deter those drivers from impaired driving in the future. Somehow, the law enforcement establishment lost sight of that simple goal, and mission creep set in. DWI laws now punish people for drinking a particular amount – the legal limit – whether or not they are too impaired to drive. The original American Medical Association suggestion was that the legal limit should be a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.15 percent. Over the years, lawmakers have gone beyond that suggestion, first reducing the legal limit to 0.10 percent and then again to 0.08 percent. How you drive doesn’t matter. You could be driving perfectly – it’s having a particular BAC level that’s against the law.

DUI laws have also created a revenue stream that local governments have come to count on – another expansion of the “mission.” Although they won’t admit it, many police departments enforce an unwritten quota rule and expect a particular number of DWI  arrests each month – whether or not actual drunk drivers are genuinely threatening the public safety. If you’re charged with DWI in southern California, you might be a victim of “mission creep,” and you’ll need to contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney without delay.