Criminal Offenses in San Luis Obispo County
According to usa.com statistics, the crime rate for San Luis Obispo County is higher than the national average. Violent crimes like assault and murder are low, but property crimes such as theft and burglary are higher. Police are working hard to reduce these numbers by keeping citizens informed of crimes through an interactive crime map and setting up neighborhood watches.
One crime that police are always looking to enforce is driving under the influence. A driver can be charged with DUI if any of the following are true:
- The driver was over the age of 21 and had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater
- The driver was noticeable impaired due to alcohol
- The driver was under the age of 21 and had a BAC of .05% or greater
- The driver was under the influence of an illegal, prescription or over the counter drug that caused impairment
Police work hard to identify and arrest dangerous DUI drivers. DUI rates in San Luis Obispo County are on the decline but are still very common charges. In 2011, there was a 3.9% decrease in the number of DUI arrests from the previous year but there were still 1,844 arrests made.
San Luis Obispo County Criminal Courts
Criminal Court Operations Superior Court
1050 Monterey Street
San Luis Obispo, CA, 93408
Paso Robles Branch Superior Court
901 Park Street
Paso Robles, CA, 93446
DUI Charges in San Luis Obispo County
First Time DUI
The majority of people arrested for DUI are first time offenders meaning they have no prior DUI convictions. Prosecutors want to discourage DUI offenders from repeating their crimes. That is why all first time convictions come with penalties including fines, DUI education, probation and more. If you are stopped by police with a BAC over .08% or under the influence of drugs, you will be arrested for DUI.
Multiple DUI Offenses
After a DUI arrest, police check your criminal record for past convictions for the past ten years. If you have previously been convicted of a DUI offense, your penalties will be greater. 100% of all 2nd time DUI offenders are sentenced to at least some jail time in San Luis Obispo County. In 2010, 2.9% of all first time DUI offenders are arrested again within one year.
Drug Related DUI
Just like alcohol, any type of drug can lead to a DUI charge. Once you are arrested for DUI, police will perform a blood or urine test to check for drugs in your system. If there is any indication that you were under the influence of a drug, you can be convicted of DUI. San Luis Obispo County police take drug related DUIs very seriously. In 2010 22% of all fatal DUI accidents involved some form of drugs.
Under 21 DUI
If you are under the legal drinking age, there is a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving and any amount of alcohol can lead to one year of license suspension. There were very few juvenile DUI charges in 2010. However, that does not mean that police will not charge an underage driver who is intoxicated. If an underage driver is arrested with a BAC over the legal limit for an adult over 21, they can face the same penalties.
In 2011 2.4% of all DUI charges in San Luis Obispo County were felonies. In California if you have 3 or more prior DUI convictions or a prior felony DUI conviction you will be charged with felony all future DUI crimes. Accidents that lead to serious injury or death can also result in felony charges. There is no way to know for sure what your charge will be, it depends on the prosecutor and judge's decision and is usually based on the facts of your case and criminal history.
DUI with Injury
In 2010 there were 45 fatal DUI accidents committed by first time offenders in San Luis Obispo County. Police are eager to reduce this number by discouraging DUI drivers and repeat offenders. In California there is a special law that deals with drivers who cause injury due to DUI. This law can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the case.
San Luis Obispo County DUI Defense Attorney
Prosecutors work hard to punish DUI drivers in San Luis Obispo County. In 2010, there was a 70.6% DUI conviction rate which is slightly above average for a county in California.
If you are facing charges for DUI in San Luis Obispo County, call us right away. We believe that every charge is defensible and we work hard to build the strongest possible defenses for our clients. Call us now to find out more about what we can do for you.