If you read the headlines, you know police are forever and always “cracking down” on drunk driving. It was the same headline forty or fifty years ago. Cracking down on drunk driving is a popular thing to do – the truth is that some drunk drivers really are a genuine threat to innocent people. The problem is, no matter what the authorities do in their never-ending crackdown – reducing the legal DUI limit, increasing the fines and penalties for DWI convictions, or ordering convicted DUI offenders to use IID devices – nothing really seems to keep the most dangerous drivers off the roads. Instead, thousands of first offenders – who haven’t hurt anyone and won’t do it again – are pushed through the system and relieved of some of their income, every year.
If you’re charged with DUI in Orange County take your case immediately to an experienced Orange County DWI lawyer. The perpetual DWI crackdown has meant more “sentencing enhancements” or additional penalties tacked onto DUI convictions. Sentencing enhancements are enforced in California where these specific criteria exist:
- Child endangerment: An extra penalty is imposed when anyone under 14 is in a vehicle when a driver is stopped for suspicion of DWI.
- An accident: Any property damage can enhance a DWI penalty; if an allegedly intoxicated driver injures someone, the charge may be a felony.
- Recklessness /speeding: A DUI sentence is enhanced if the offender drove 20 miles-per-hour over the limit on a surface street or 30 miles-per-hour over the limit on a freeway.
- Prior convictions: If you have a DWI conviction within the last 10 years, your minimum jail time, DUI school attendance, and license suspension duration are all enhanced.
- High blood-alcohol level: California enhances a DWI sentence when a driver’s blood-alcohol content level equals or surpasses 0.15 percent.
The state must prove these charges beyond a reasonable doubt, but a good Orange County DUI lawyer can challenge the state’s evidence and fight on your behalf for justice. If you’re charged with DWI in Orange County – with or without enhancement charges – make the call.to an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer as quickly as possible.