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Why Do Hard Working, Law-Abiding People Commit DUIs?


My average client is not a criminal. Let me explain. Although driving under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offense, it is different from most criminal offenses in that it can be committed by law-abiding citizens, people who support the police, people with families and successful careers.

In a DUI case, the prosecution does not have to prove that a defendant intended to commit the offense or even that they were aware that they were too impaired to drive. A person can be guilty of DUI even if they honestly believed that they were sober enough to drive.

It is common for people to limit their drinking to a couple of beers or a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and believe that they are sober enough to drive. Sometimes, people drink alcohol and then wait for two or three hours before driving, honestly believing that they have given it enough time to eliminate the alcohol consumed earlier. These people are shocked when they end up being handcuffed and taken into custody to face a DUI prosecution.

Often the breath or blood alcohol level with these cases is low or borderline, but they are still charged with DUI. The law allows the police to charge someone for DUI even with a breath alcohol level below a .08% if they think that the person is too impaired to drive. People may be legally impaired to drive even with a breath alcohol level as low as .05%.

The public is very quick to condemn people arrested for DUI and makes little distinction between defendants and the attorneys that represent them. However, not everyone charged with DUI is guilty, and not everyone deserves to be treated like a criminal by the police, the justice system, and the public. Penalties for a DUI can substantially affect people's lives and the penalties imposed are not always fair, reasonable, or proportionate to the offense.

If you are facing a DUI prosecution, you need professional representation by an experienced DUI lawyer. Los Angeles DUI lawyers at Gold & Witham have more than 40 years of collective experience successfully defending DUI cases. Please call for a free case evaluation.