Orange County saw a substantial increase in drunk driving arrests over the Labor Day holiday weekend. The Orange County Register reported that 262 people were arrested for DUI in Orange County from September 2 through 5. This is a substantial increase from the 187 Labor Day weekend DUI arrests in 2010. The recent increase in enforcement was part of the “Avoid the 38” DUI enforcement program that resulted in 856 arrests from Aug. 19 through Sept. 5
It is not clear if this aggressive enforcement has resulted in fewer DUI collisions or fewer incidents involving drunk drivers. It has, however, likely resulted in many more individuals forced to struggle with license suspensions, heavy fines and an increase in insurance premiums.
Any time there is a crackdown on drunk driving there is the potential for an increase in wrongful DUI arrests. Police officers who are specifically searching for signs of drunk driving are more likely to see signs of intoxication where it doesn’t exist. Arresting officers conducting field sobriety tests, for example, may mistake fatigue or illness for driving under the influence.
It is crucial that individuals facing DUI charges seek legal guidance because the penalties for a DUI conviction can be life changing. Penalties for first time offenders include jail time from 96 hours to six months, a fine of $1,000, a six month license suspension and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).
The Orange County drunk driving defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan have years of experience fighting wrongful DUI charges in southern California. We carefully examine the circumstances of the arrest to determine if our client’s rights were violated and fight to have the charges reduced or thrown out. Call our offices today at 866-430-8383 for a free and comprehensive consultation.