Yolo County Department 1 and your DUI case
(UPDATE MARCH 15, 2017) In 2011, I wrote a guide for persons arrested for DUI offenses in Yolo County, to prepare them for what happens with a misdemeanor DUI in Yolo County (Woodland). Things have changed dramatically and I intend to update you here on some of the changes that have taken place.
The courthouse moved to 1000 Main Street in Woodland in 2015 and is still fairly new. The arraignments for Yolo County misdemeanor DUI cases are held in Department 1 on the first floor, at 9:30am.
Aside from a new courthouse, there have been significant changes in the treatment of DUI cases in this county. The most recent sentencing guidelines (see link below) were updated in 2016 and include things you will want to be aware of before you step into court.
The biggest deal is the use of SCRAM in nearly all DUI cases. Prior to this, the court would simply order that people convicted of a DUI abstain from alcohol for various periods of time, from 6 months to the completion of probation. SCRAM is a continuous alcohol monitoring bracelet and the vendor is SCRAM of California. (WWW.SCRAMCA.COM). When it is ordered, the individual must wear the ankle bracelet for a period of time. If the individual doesn't have any problems for a set period of time, the court will allow the device to be removed. If a person has a reported incident they are sent back to court, it results in a probation violation and additional jail time is ordered. This ranges from 5 days to 45 days. In addition, the period of time the SCRAM bracelet has to be worn increases. The only positive is that if the device is ordered, the fine is lowered. On a first offense the fine is reduced from $3229 to $1958.
While real jail isn't ordered in every case, a certain number of days are routinely ordered. Time imposed on DUI cases can be from Time Served to State Prison on a Felony case. Things like a high Blood Alcohol Level (BAC), refusing the chemical test, having children in the car, excessive speed, etc. may add time to your sentence. Drugs DUIs may complicate the sentence as well.
In addition to everything above, Yolo DUIs are complicated by the fact that the arraignment is set out about 3 months. This makes it difficult or impossible to arrange for the DMV action to line up neatly with the court action. DMV is an entirely different matter which I will leave for another Guide or article on my website.