As a small (approximately 25,000 residents) city in Contra Costa County, Lafayette was named after the famous French military hero of the Revolutionary War. Residents of Lafayette have incomes of more than double the statewide average, and almost triple that of the national average. Therefore, Lafayette is known for its relatively wealthy population as well as its beautiful rolling green hills.
If you are a resident of Lafayette, you may have found yourself in the Round Up Saloon at one time or another. The Round Up Saloon is located on Mt. Diablo Blvd, and offers karaoke and an extensive bar. Or, perhaps you have spent time in the Rustic Tavern, also on Mt. Diablo Blvd, which offers a full bar, local beers and wines, a quaint pub space and a nice patio. Perhaps you have stopped off at Club 1220, located on Pine Street in neighboring Walnut Creek. This nightclub features DJs, theme nights, karaoke, and line dancing, making it a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike.
Whether you have stopped in one of these bars after work or on a weekend, or you have your own favorite stop-off spot, you may have found yourself being pulled over on your way home for DUI. You might have been pulled over by an officer who believed you exhibited some type of action which indicated impairment, or you may have found yourself in the middle of a DUI checkpoint at a location in the city. Either way, DUI charges in the state of California are extremely serious.
You could find yourself facing the following for a first-time DUI:
- $390 minimum in fines, up to $1,000
- A 48-hour jail sentence or a 90-day license restriction which allows you to only drive to and from work or to and from an alcohol treatment program
- A five-month restriction on your driving privileges
- Three to five years’ probation
- Mandatory attendance at a three-month alcohol treatment program
- Penalty assessments as high as $2,600
- Impoundment of your vehicle
- Mandatory installment of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
When Bad Driving is Not Due to Impairment
There are many situations when a driver may exhibit less-than-perfect driving skills. A turn could be misjudged, daydreaming could cause a driver to drift across the center line, numerous distractions could result in a driving glitch, or a person could exhibit bad driving due to poor vision, hearing, or concentration. Some drivers are simply impatient or careless on a regular basis while driving.
While none of these are ideal, the point is this: there are many, many reasons drivers exhibit poor driving skills, aside from being impaired from alcohol. Further, some people who are taking prescription pain medications may find their driving skills minimally impaired, as could those with certain health conditions.
When a police officer observes an instance of poor driving skills, he or she may charge the driver based solely on the incident of bad driving, rather than on BAC results. If this was the case in your DUI charges, you need an aggressive, knowledgeable Lafayette DUI attorney who will build a solid defense on your behalf, taking into consideration other reasons you may have exhibited poor driving skills.
A police officer must be able to easily articulate the reasons you were pulled over. This is known as probable cause, and means that a reasonable person would agree there was good cause to pull you over. Don’t wait and hope your charges will go away—they won’t, and you need an advocate in your corner who will ensure your rights are protected.
From our Oakland offices, Attorney Nabiel C. Ahmed helps our clients fight their charges, helping dismiss, acquit, or reduce penalties for DUI charges. Even if your driving was less-than-perfect, we’ll aggressively demonstrate that your driving was not the result of alcohol impairment.
Call (510) 907-6600 or contact with our short online form—we serve clients in Lafayette and all over Contra Costa County, and we offer consultations in jail or over the phone if you have been detained.