As regular readers of our Los Angeles DUI blog know, penalties for getting convicted even for misdemeanor DUIs can be quite intense and can lead to lengthy license suspensions, substantial time behind bars, massive fees, spikes on your insurance rates, unpleasant probation terms, and more — and that’s just for first time offenders who don’t hurt anyone or commit other crimes.
But DUI law is constantly in flux.
Consider, for instance, a new proposed law out of Springfield, Illinois, where members of the state House voted last Wednesday 15-0 to approve legislation to allow DUI offenders with revoked licenses to get a second chance to get behind the wheel.
Even members of the anti-DUI advocacy group, Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, backed the legislation, because it gives deserving people a second chance. The legislation would let people who have been convicted for DUI up to four times obtain restricted permits to drive… with lot of caveats:
• First of all, they must wait five years.
• Secondly, they must demonstrate that they have been sober for three years by completing alcohol treatment programs.
• Finally, they need to install breathalyzer devices in their vehicles permanently.
State representative, Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook, sponsored the bill, and it will now be sent to the floor for a vote.
Is SB 1996 a “good thing” for the community? Does it create hazards for drivers? Should motorists and pedestrians applaud it or condemn it?
These are all very important questions, and they speak to a critical point, which is that DUI legislation really should be based on good science and objective research.
What actually works, in the real world, in terms of reducing fatalities and DUI related accidents on the road?
What actually works in terms of rehabilitating drivers and preventing them from repeating their mistakes behind the wheel?
What actually works in terms of developing auto and road engineering systems to minimize the likelihood of crashes?
California law punishes recidivist (repeat) DUI offenders more harshly than it does first time offenders. For instance, if this is your first DUI, and you are convicted, you may face 48 hours in custody (up to six months behind bars), a one year license suspension, a minimum of six weeks of alcohol school and other penalties.
However, if this is your third or fourth arrest within 10 years, your minimum jail time, license suspension time, and alcohol school time will be jacked up significantly. You may lose your license for three or more years and face way more 48 hours behind bars, depending on circumstances.
No matter what happened in your case, an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney here at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers is standing by to assist and help you make smarter decisions. Call or email us today for a free consultation.