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Santa Ana Drunk Driving Charges a St. Patrick's Day Weekend Risk

March 17, 2011

Santa Ana DUI Defense Lawyer Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr. and the staff at our law offices wish each of you a safe and enjoyable St. Patrick's Day weekend. Please celebrate responsibly and call if you need legal help.

New Santa Ana reports a host of activities that begin today and last through the weekend. Whether it's live music, food or drink, St. Patrick's Day has plenty to offer and many will continue the annual celebration right on into the weekend.
While St. Patrick's Day began as a religious holiday, and is a national holiday in Ireland, the United States has claimed it as its own for more than two centuries. It is among the busiest days of the year for restaurants and bars and is one of the nation's leading days for beer consumption.

Authorities plan sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols. Both increase the risk of questionable arrests, infringe upon a motorist's rights to be free from unlawful search and seizure, and result in stops and drunk driving charges in Santa Ana that involve questionable probable cause. Consequently, such charges can and should be vigorously contested. The penalties for drunk driving are quite literally becoming more severe by the day -- especially those for a repeat violations. A first offense is often the most beatable; failure to contest the charge will result in a drunk driving conviction on your record, will expose you to more severe penalties in the future (as if the penalties for first-time offenders are not severe enough) and could increase the likelihood that you will be stopped by law enforcement and cited again.

Just this week the Sacramento Bee reported on a new law requiring motorists convicted of drunk driving in California to install an ignition interlock device. The device prohibits a car from starting if it detects alcohol on a driver's breath. The newspaper laments the fact that the devices are being installed in the car of just one out of every 10 offenders as the program gets under way.

We lament the fact that they are being installed at all; the law is a perfect illustration of the increasing penalties and embarrassment that accompany a DUI conviction in Santa Ana or elsewhere in the state. In the past 8 months more than 13,000 motorists have been convicted of drunk driving in just four counties -- Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda and Tulare.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported earlier this year that the government is working to develop a breathalyzer machine that could be made standard equipment in automobiles -- or permanently installed in the vehicle's of offenders.

If you are facing drunk driving charges in Santa Ana, contact the Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr. to discuss your rights. Through three decades of experienced, Attorney LaBarbera has argued over 200 criminal trials and appeals. Call (714) 541-9668 for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights.