The police are on the lookout over the holidays for drivers who may be celebrating a bit too much. California Highway Patrol (CHP) and police departments across Alameda County and Contra Costa County have increased patrols over the holidays. Sobriety patrols are looking for drivers who may be weaving, have delayed reactions, or even driving at night without headlights.
If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Oakland or the East Bay, you don't have to plead guilty. A criminal conviction can have long-term consequences on your future. Talk to an experienced California DUI defense attorney to find out your legal options. Contact East Bay DUI defense lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.
Drunk Driving Arrests Over Christmas
Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are popular winter holidays that will take place in December this year. Even for non-religious people, these holidays represent a time when you gather together with friends and family to celebrate. Many people travel home (or to visit family) over December, when many people have time off work and kids are out of school on winter break.
The holidays can be a season for celebration. You might share in drinking some spiked eggnog, alcoholic punch, or drinks at the office Christmas party. Getting home after a night out drinking can be challenging if you don't have a designated driver. Even if you intended to just have a couple, you may still be over the legal limit.
A drunk driving arrest in Oakland is a sure way to spoil the holidays. But you might be able to avoid a conviction or losing your driver's license if you act quickly and call an experienced East Bay DUI defense lawyer.
Will You Have to Stay in Jail After a Christmas DUI Arrest?
Under California law (Penal Code PC 825), you are supposed to get your first appearance before the court "without unnecessary delay." This means within 48 hours for most people. However, 48 hours does not include Sundays or holidays. Christmas Day is a holiday for the California court system and falls on a Monday in 2023. However, most people who are arrested on non-injury misdemeanor DUI cases are cited out after several hours.
If you are arrested Friday night, you may not be able to see a judge to get released until after Christmas day. If the judge can have your arraignment or first appearance by Saturday night, the following Sunday and Christmas (Monday) don't count for the 48 hour requirement. You may not get out of jail until Tuesday, December 26.
If you do end up under arrest over the Christmas holidays, get in contact with your California DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. They can help get you released quickly so you don't have to spend the holidays behind bars.
Holiday Sobriety Checkpoints in the East Bay
Sobriety checkpoints are constitutional in California. Law enforcement still have to follow certain rules to make sure the DUI checkpoints don't violate your rights. Requirements include:
Minimize intrusion on drivers
Neutral system for stopping drivers
Safety measures in place
California police departments generally announce checkpoints in advance. The purpose of publicizing a checkpoint is for the deterrent effect. If drivers know there will be a checkpoint, they may stay home instead of risking passing through a checkpoint and getting arrested for a DUI.
Last year, there were a few Alameda County sobriety checkpoints shortly before Christmas. On December 16, 2022, police set up roadblocks in Dublin, Livermore, and Newark. If you get stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, you may be required to show your license and proof of insurance. If the police suspect you were drinking alcohol, you could be stopped for a further investigation.
If you do get arrested at a sobriety checkpoint in the East County this December, have the contact information on-hand for an experienced DUI attorney you can trust.
DUI Defense Attorney for Drivers in Oakland and the East Bay
There is never a good time to get arrested for drunk driving in Oakland or the East Bay. However, the winter holidays can be one of the worst times. If you are arrested for a DUI, call an experienced DUI defense attorney for help. East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 40 years of California DUI defense experience and understands the consequences of a drunk driving conviction. Contact East Bay DUI defense lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.