Houman Fakhimi

California Highway Patrol to Seek Drunk Drivers This Memorial Day

The California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement throughout the state are planning a crackdown on seat belt violators during the Memorial Day weekend, The Los Angeles Times reports. And while officers will no doubt be looking for people violating seat belt laws, their main goal is likely to find people they believe have been driving under the influence in California.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, officers made 139 DUI arrests in Orange County, 144 DUI arrests in San Bernardino County and 663 DUI arrests in Los Angeles County during Memorial Day weekend 2010.

Orange County DUI attorneys understands that Memorial Day weekend is a time to relax, enjoy time with friends and family, and otherwise unwind. For some, that can include drinking alcohol. And while no one condones drinking and driving, many people who are arrested for the crime are innocent.

A DUI arrest based on a seat belt violation can be a complex situation. For one, you could be subjected to hundreds in fines. The Times says you could face a $142 ticket if an adult isn't wearing a seat belt and $445 if a child younger than 16 isn't buckled up. Nighttime drivers are less likely to wear seat belts, the report says, so law enforcement will be doing more patrols after dark.

But you could also face points on your driver's license. You could pick up a point if a child under 6 isn't strapped in. Your driver's license could also gain points for other types of infractions, which can increase insurance rates and lead to a suspension.

But that's just the beginning. If an officer suspects you have been drinking, you could be investigated for violations of various California DUI laws, which could send you to jail and subject you to criminal charges.

In order to be investigated for DUI, law enforcement will have to show you committed a traffic infraction. That could include not wearing a seat belt, weaving in and out of traffic, driving erratically or being involved in an accident. From there, officers will likely conduct field sobriety tests. They will likely ask you to submit to a breath test to determine your blood-alcohol level.

There are defenses to all these scenarios, but you must consult with an attorney immediately. For instance, officers may not be properly trained to conduct field sobriety tests or you may not be able to perform them because of a physical limitation. Breathalyzers are constantly being challenged because of defects. You should fight the charges, but trust the Criminal Defense Team.

If you're facing a DUI charge in the Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Alameda County, Ventura County or the San Diego County area, it is critical for you to contact an attorney to help you fight for your rights. Contact the California Criminal Defense Team at (714) 705-6701.