At the beginning of 2022, the law regarding DUI diversion changed. DUIs are no longer eligible for diversion in California. Please contact our office with any questions. Email us at OR Call us at: (415) 523-7878

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Additional Information On Mitigating A DUI Sentence In California

It’s really important when you’re fighting your DUI case to obviously do everything you can to help show that you’re not going to do this again. A lot of people let their guard down. I’ve seen a number of people in the past year or so who have a DUI, and we’re fighting their case, pick up another one. A lot of people just think, “It’s not going to happen again”, or else, people aren’t working hard enough to stop drinking or using drugs. I can only do so much. I can advise and I can talk about consequences. I can talk to my clients, and I do all the time, about lives and what’s expected and how they can help me and why things are so important, but really you got to take ownership of your life. You have to do certain things if you want to stay out of jail and that’s the bottom-line.

I have clients right now who have picked up additional offenses and who are still on probation because they did not stop drinking and driving; some of them have major alcohol problems, unfortunately. Sometimes I get some really good results that make people think, “Wow, I’m kind of immune and it wasn’t just luck, they’re not going to get me again. I got this great lawyer”, but you know what, don’t put yourself or put me in that position. What happens is if you get another DUI while you’re still on probation then there is a zero tolerance and you lose your license for a year. It’s very hard to beat that one. There is no restricted driving license, no work license, nothing, you don’t get to drive for one full year and possibly more if you do pick up another DUI while you’re on probation and get convicted or DMV gets you on it and you don’t even have to be at or over an 0.08. You can be at or over a 0.01 because there’s zero tolerance and that can do it right there. You got to just come up with ways to change your lifestyle. If you’re someone who goes out with friends, goes to bars, goes to clubs, likes to just go out at night and drive home then you can’t do that anymore. I know it sounds easy and everybody says it, “Look, we got Uber. We got Lyft and we got all these taxis and call someone and all of the stuff”, but what happens to people is they may think, “Okay, I’ll have a drink or two and wait it out and then I’ll be okay”, or they think they’re not going to drink or they just don’t really think out the consequences. If you drove to work and you have your car and you’re going to go out with people afterward then you have to get home somehow. Maybe that’s the day that you find another way to get to work and Uber home. You have to think ahead because if you have those keys in your pocket and you’ve had drinks and then we let our guard down when we’ve had more than a few and that’s a problem because then we don’t make good decisions. We think, “I’ve waited long enough”. Too often someone’s coming to my office and said or called me on the phone and said “I was following the one per hour rule”. That’s not a rule, that’s a myth because alcohol burns off at less than a drink an hour. If you’ve got food in your stomach then it takes longer to absorb. You may have two or three more drinks in your system than you realize when you’re getting behind the wheel. It’s a matter of being careful and changing your lifestyle, which everyone can do, you just got to work at it. What happens with these cases and it’s sad, it’s horrible, it’s life-changing, but people don’t think or they’re careless and just don’t make that evaluation. It could even be the first time you ever get one of these.

Someone can get seriously injured or killed and you go to jail potentially for many, many years or life. It can be kind of life-ending for not just the person you hurt but for yourself and for the families and friends and it’s just something that people have to be so aware of. We have to think before we go out and there is that same thing before you drink. There are so many different ways to address this and deal with it. Unfortunately, in society drinking is kind of the norm and people do it in high school and college and they are young adults. In some countries, they have zero tolerance. You even have any alcohol in your system at all and you get pulled over, there is no tolerance for it penalty wise, fine wise and jail wise. They all have better public transportation systems and ride shares and all that but they grow up with “You don’t take your car out to the bar”. I know I am going on and on about this but it is something that needs to be addressed better than it is in this country and that just starts with everyone becoming more aware. I hope that people who are reading this get it and they can spread the message. If it’s listening to my going on and on about how we need to improve helps one person then I’ve done my job. I hope I’m helping a lot more than that because life is fantastic and it’s just a shame when we see people throwing it away.

The other thing is what our kids are seeing in our homes. People go out all the time, go out to dinner and have a drink or two and drive away and the message there is that it is okay to drink and drive. It actually is if you’re not impaired, but it’s not the zero-tolerance method that has kept the numbers down in other countries. It’s going to take something like that to make changes. Unfortunately, too many people have issues with alcohol and can’t stop at one or two. If you weigh 100 pounds then two is going to get you anyway. We have to find a way to educate better. The penalties get it done for some people but not for everyone and that’s why they’re making people go to jail. In Marin County, it’s the only county in the Bay Area that does this, but automatically on a second offense, you’re dealing 96 hours in jail. I was just talking to someone today about that and he was like, “really?” and I’m like, “Yes, really”. This is something that I would have told that person because I tell all my clients what happens on a second offense in that county during the first time. Unfortunately, they forgot or it wasn’t so important that they changed their ways.

For more information on Mitigating DUI Sentence In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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