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According to the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2012 alone, 172,893 people were arrested for DUIs in California. While the majority of these DUI arrests were misdemeanor arrests, in 2012, 5,047 arrests were felonies. In 2011, of the 180,212 people arrested for a DUI, 142,121 people were convicted of the crime. The numbers are a sober reminder that not every driver arrested for a DUI is convicted.

In California, if you’ve been arrested with a DUI, the arresting officer will immediately suspend your license. The DMV will then review copies of the officer’s report. You have the right to dispute the suspension or revocation and a hearing will be scheduled within ten days of any suspension of your license. The California Department of Motor Vehicles notes that drivers may drive for 30 days under a temporary license until the matter is decided in court. During this time, you can request an administrative hearing to prove that your license suspension was not justified. A DUI defense lawyer like Dick Margarita with The Law Office Of Dick Margarita who is familiar with the law may be able to assist you in fighting for your right to drive.

Of course, the best way to avoid the legal difficulties of a DUI is to avoid drinking and driving altogether. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 3 in 10 Americans will suffer as a result of an alcohol related accident. State Farm reminds drivers that the best way to prevent drinking and driving arrests and accidents in Sacramento, California, is to choose a designated driver before going out drinking.

Individuals throwing end-of-summer parties can help guests drink responsibly by serving alcohol early during the party and to stop serving as the evening wears on. Offering food and non-alcoholic choices can ensure that those who drink moderately have the time, choices, and calories to sober up. Hosts can also monitor guests’ alcohol use and offer to arrange alternative forms of transportation to guests who appear inebriated or unable to drive.

According to the Daily Mail, Uber and other ride-sharing services have also been beneficial in reducing the number of DUI arrests in many American cities. One of the primary reasons why people drink and drive is due to the fact that they do not have any reliable alternatives to getting home. With Uber and other ride-sharing services available at the push of a cell phone button, more individuals are choosing to leave their cars at home and hire a ride when they choose to go out partying. San Francisco police reported that they made only 2 arrests for DUIs on New Year’s Eve 2014, the lowest number since 2009. Uber’s low-cost service has reduced the number of DUI deaths and the number of drivers choosing to take the risk of getting behind the wheel.

The end of summer brings barbeques, parties, and other celebrations. Drivers should plan ahead and avoid drinking and driving. The consequences of drinking and driving in California are serious, and include everything from jail time to license suspension. While a DUI defense lawyer in Sacramento, California can protect your rights if you’ve been arrested, the best way to protect yourself is to avoid being stopped and arrested in the first place.