Were You Charged with DUI on St Patrick’s Day in SoCal?
You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, it’s become one of the biggest drinking days of the year for a lot of adults who like to get out and socialize. There are several opportunities to tie one on, including parades, pub crawls, and block parties.
But there can be a downside to all that partying. During the St. Patrick’s Day period, the nation averages about 72 deaths caused by drunk driving crashes, according to the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration.
Taking the right precautions will dramatically reduce your chances of suffering from an alcohol-related mishap this St. Patrick’s Day. That’s why our team at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP has put together this list of ways to help ensure that the holiday will be a safe one for you and your friends.
Tips for Staying Safe
People take their partying pretty seriously on St. Patrick’s Day. There are even revelers who start lining up outside bars at 8 in the morning. And some bars open as early as 6 a.m. It’s not surprising that the number of people binge drinking skyrockets on St. Patrick’s Day.
If you want to join in the festivities, here are some pointers for protecting yourself and staying out of trouble:
- Only drink what’s poured in front of you. Accepting a drink that someone hands you could lead to some pretty unfortunate consequences. You could be consuming any type of drug or controlled substance, and this may even lead to sexual assault.
- Don’t go drinking alone. There are a lot of unfortunate things that could happen when you’re by yourself, and bad actors who are inclined to commit theft, robbery, or assault, are more likely to prey on someone who’s by themselves.
- Pace yourself. Make sure to eat a good meal before you go out drinking. Take your time and don’t be in a hurry to have a good time.
- Never drink and drive. Plan ahead to take a cab or make sure you have a designated driver.
- Never get in a car with someone who’s been drinking. You might think your friend is ok to drive, but you really don’t know how much they’ve had to drink. And some people may seem coherent when they’re actually in no condition to drive.
- Don’t let friends drink and drive. Don’t be afraid to take away your friend’s keys if you have to. They may get upset at the time, but they’ll probably thank you for it later.
- Drive defensively. Stay alert if you’re the designated driver on St. Patrick’s Day, or if you just happen to be out driving. Don’t assume that other drivers are going to follow the rules and be particularly cautious when entering an intersection.
- Walk safe. A lot of the people who get hurt or killed on St Patrick’s day are pedestrians. Be extra careful crossing the road and never expect the driver to stop for you. Drivers are much less likely to see you if you’re walking alone, so try to stay with the group.
- Buckle up, don’t drive too fast, and follow all the traffic rules.
- Don’t hesitate to call an Uber or a cab if you need a ride and you don’t have a designated driver.
What to Do If you Get Pulled Over
If you get pulled over after you’ve been drinking, stay calm, and always remain polite when talking with a police officer. Never admit to consuming alcohol, and if the officer asks you if you’ve been drinking, simply say that you’re invoking your constitutional right to stay silent.
Never submit to a field sobriety test on the side of the road. It won’t help you, and it could hurt you a lot. Don’t take a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) breathalyzer test when you’ve been pulled over. The only time you should agree to alcohol testing is after you have been arrested.
Penalties for DUI in California
California has some of the most stringent drunk driving laws in the nation. Even for a first offense, you could be looking at large fines, jail time, a suspended license, mandatory alcohol classes, and up to three years of probation.
The penalties grow a lot worse for repeat offenders. And you could be looking at some serious jail time if someone is seriously injured or killed in a crash, or if you’re traveling with passengers under 14 years old.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be facing up to 30 months in prison and massive fines if you injure someone while driving under the influence. And vehicular manslaughter carries up to 15 years behind bars, depending on the circumstances.
Were You Arrested for Drunk Driving?
Exercise your right to stay silent and call a DUI attorney right away. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP have earned a national reputation for successfully defending high-profile clients. We’ll find the best strategy to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Call (213) 688-0460 to schedule a case review today.