All across Orange County, people are looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day festivities at their favorite restaurants and bars. Large crowds are expected starting Friday and going well into Monday, the actual date of St. Patrick’s Day this year. In addition to free-flowing green beer, you should also expect to see an increase in DUI checkpoints throughout Orange County targeting intoxicated drivers.
Last year, 45 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI in Orange County on St. Patrick’s Day.1 This year, there will be several DUI checkpoints scattered throughout Orange County and not all of them will be revealed to the public beforehand. Therefore, it is important to drink responsibly and have a plan to get home safely.
Tips for a Responsible St. Patrick’s Day Night Out
This St. Patrick’s Day weekend, DUI checkpoints are expected to start as early as 7 p.m. on Friday evening and will last throughout the weekend. DUI checkpoints typically are held until 2 a.m.
The Orange County DUI Task Force has three simple tips to help drivers avoid possible prison time, heavy fines, suspended licenses, injuries or death that can result from driving under the influence:
- Have a plan for a safe way home before the festivities begin;
- Before drinking, have a designated sober driver and do not take your car keys with you before heading out;
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member for a ride or use public transportation to get home safely.
You can also check out these 5 smartphone apps that will help prevent you from driving drunk.
Following these simple steps could save you from the harsh consequences of a DUI conviction on St. Patrick’s Day or on any other night.
Driving Under the Influence (California Vehicle Code Section 23152)
Under California Penal Code Section 23152,2 it is unlawful to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and unlawful to drive under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08% or higher.
A DUI conviction is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail, a $2,000 fine and a six-month suspension of your license.
According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, the total cost of a first-time DUI conviction could total up to $16,000. A first-time DUI conviction for someone under the age of 21 could cost over $22,000. These figures include often-overlooked costs including restitution fees, legal fees and increased auto insurance rates.
Not included in these totals are potential additional expenses for bail fees, the cost to repair damages to your vehicle, hospital fees or any salary lost due to missing time at work. These expenses alone could run in the thousands of dollars.
Call the Orange County DUI Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, it is important that you speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich. Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients accused of DUI in Orange County.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich Southern California DUI attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.
All of the above information was retrieved from the following sources: