It's the Holiday season and once again it is also high season for Driving Under The Influence cases in the Los Angeles area. Driving Under The Influence cases make up a solid majority of criminal cases in the Los Angeles area and are one of the most common crimes that attorneys are faced with in their criminal practice. Sadly it is probably true that everybody knows somebody who has either had a DUI or been affected by one at some time in their lives.
That being said forewarned is forearmed. One of the first questions people ask me is always what is the legal limit needed to convict a person of DUI in the State of California. California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) sets the limit at .08% blood alcohol or greater. That's not a very large amount of alcohol and one can achieve that blood alcohol level with just a couple of drinks depending on a number of factors including their weight, tolerance, food intake and a number of other factors.
Convictions for first time DUI offenses typically result in a fine that can be nearly $1500.00. You will have to attend a mandatory alcohol class and suffer some kind of driver's license suspension. Subsequent convictions can cost far more and can result in substantial jail time. The best defense to a DUI is taking a cab or having a designated driver.
Brian Michaels is a former prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office and is presently in private practice in Encino and Century City, California specializing in Criminal Defense and DUI litigation.