TOUCHDOWN!

We all love to hear the word Touchdown! It means it is football season. However, terms we don’t want to hear in sports… “there is no crying in baseball” and the friggin football game starts at 9am? We all love to watch football but who drinks beer at 9am on a Saturday or Sunday?

This weekend many of us will find ourselves celebrating a win, or drowning our sorrows with beer, when the game is over. Since we have all been staying home for months and months and bored for months, some of us may go out after drinking and …you got it… get stopped by our city's finest. We are stopped for speeding or unsafe lane change or worse we are in an accident, that hopefully, someone else caused.

Now what do you do when the police arrive and what will happen?

Many clients ask if you can get a Jail sentence for a DUI? Yes, you can get a jail sentence. In most cases, the DA will demand Jail as part of your sentence!!! However, a good DUI lawyer will get around it with alternatives to jail.

During the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s holidays, many of our neighbors will have stupidly attended an office or a neighbor’s party and drink…without thinking about the consequences. They, as well as our Indian Wells Tennis tourists, will drink and not use good judgment.

These drivers will drink more than they should or more than they realize. Many will be stopped for speeding, unsafe lane change or not having an up-to-date tag on their license plate.

Some will also get in a fatal car accident and injure/ kill an innocent party and be charged with Manslaughter or Murder. This tragedy happened a few years ago, to my 25-year-old client Celena Nava. She worked at Eisenhower and was jogging in Coachella with a friend. She was hit and killed by a drunk driver….may she RIP.

The pain the family experienced, is beyond words. It will last a lifetime, and there is nothing anyone can do to remove the pain. The money I recovered for the family for Celena’s Wrongful Death, can’t begin to ease the pain the family will experience as they celebrate future birthday’s and holidays.

I have sued drunk drivers for injuries they have caused to my clients for over 30 years AND I have successfully defended drunk drivers when I changed hats. Most drivers did not realize they could be charged with a drunk driving with the little alcohol they consumed. They incorrectly looked at the number of drinks they consumed, rather than the amount of alcohol in the drinks. For DUI purposes, a drink equals 1 ounce of alcohol; 12 ounces of beer or 4 ounces of wine.

However, when the bartender pours a 6-8 ounce glass of wine and you have two drinks you have consumed the equivalent of 3 or 4 drinks. Likewise, my clients tell me they “were not drunk.” The law does not require one to be drunk, but rather Under The Influence or Impaired.

The correct charge is Driving Under The Influence, not Drunk Driving. Being under the influence occurs with everyone, when their ability to drive is impaired. That occurs when you reach a .08 blood alcohol level. However the Indio DA will file on .07’s…..and YES the DA and the court often ask for a minimum of 10 days in jail on a first offense DUI.

A good DUI lawyer will also look at what medications the driver has consumed, be they prescriptive, over the counter, or illegal. Many pills have a warning not to mix with alcohol and not to operate heavy machinery after taking the medication….this means a car (not a tractor).

The combination of alcohol and these pills will create a Potentiation, so that the driver is a lot more under the influence at .07 or .08 than the average person. It is possible they are as much under the influence as someone with a much higher reading.


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