Many California drivers who end up arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) are pulled over because of violating some other traffic law. Traffic violations that lead to a traffic stop may be minor safety violations or non-moving violations. Some traffic violations may be more serious, including speeding, running a stop sign, reckless driving, or exhibition of speed.
During the traffic stop, if the police suspect the driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding may result in sentencing enhancements for the DUI charges. Speeding with a DUI could involve a minimum term of 60 days in county jail, in addition to the other criminal penalties.
Additional Penalties and Sanctions for a California DUI
Under California Vehicle Code 23582, any person who drives a vehicle 30 or more miles per hour over the maximum posted speed limit on a freeway, or 20 or more miles per hour over the maximum posted speed limit on any other street or highway, during the commission of a DUI, in addition to the DUI punishment, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of 60 days in the county jail.
The driver shall also be ordered to participate in and complete an alcohol or drug education and counseling program. There are several California DMV-approved DUI school locations in Alameda County.
Additional Jail Time for Reckless Driving DUI
Most people do not think of speeding as that big of a deal. People speed all of the time. However, speeding combined with impaired driving can increase the risk of serious injury or a fatal car accident. This is one reason that speeding can enhance DUI penalties by adding up to 2 months to county jail time.
If the impaired driver does cause bodily injury to another driver, passenger, or bystander, it can result in possible felony charges under California Vehicle Code 23153. A fatal drunk driving accident can be charged as voluntary manslaughter while intoxicated, with penalties including up to 4 years in prison.
Other DUI Penalty Enhancements
Other situations can increase the penalties associated with a drunk driving conviction, including high BAC DUI. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .015% or higher is almost double the per se limit for a DUI. With a high BAC DUI, the Alameda County Court can enhance the penalties in sentencing, including increased jail time.
Exhibition of Speed or Reckless Driving as a DUI Plea Bargain
An exhibition of speed or reckless driving can be a reduced charge after a drunk driving arrest. In some cases, your East Bay DUI defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the DUI charges. Your lawyer may be able to show the D.A. that the police may have done an improper search or there were problems with the chemical tests. Instead of risking a “not guilty” verdict or having the case thrown out, the prosecutor may be willing to negotiate a reduced charge of exhibition of speed or wet reckless driving.
The penalties for speeding or reckless driving are much lower than a DUI and may not result in an automatic suspended license and help the defendant avoid jail time. Exhibition of speed or reckless driving can be sentenced to a fine and probation. In some cases, exhibition of speed can be charged as an infraction instead of a misdemeanor. Talk to your East Bay defense attorney about plea bargain options in your case.
Should I Plea Bargain or Fight the Charges?
It can be a difficult decision to accept a plea agreement or challenge the case in court. The decision depends a lot on your approach to the case and the evidence against you. If there is a lot of evidence against you that supports a DUI verdict, it may be more difficult to challenge the prosecutor's case. However, your DUI defense lawyer can give you a better idea of your defense options when facing DUI and speeding charges.
Possible angles to build a strong defense include showing the police did not have reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop or probable cause to arrest the driver. The police may have also conducted an unlawful search of the driver or the vehicle, violating the driver's constitutional rights. Even after arrest, the police may have made serious errors in conducting the chemical tests, resulting in unreliable BAC evidence.
East Bay DUI Attorney
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 38 years of DUI experience and understands the consequences involved after a DUI arrest. Representing drivers and their families in Oakland and Alameda County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws, and the local officers and prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.