The Census Bureau ranked the Bay Area suburb of Pleasanton the wealthiest mid-sized city in the United States In 2005 and 2007. Located in Alameda County, Pleasanton was also been dubbed the sixty-third best place to live in 2010 in Money magazine. Its neighboring cities are Dublin, Livermore, and Hayward.
Only 24.3 square miles, Pleasanton is a lively city with a small-town feel and several occasions during which the community comes together include farmer’s market days, First Wednesday celebrations, Friday Concerts in the Park, and the Alameda County Fair. A local highlight is the regional park Shadow Cliffs, which has a lake.
Like other Bay Area suburbs, Pleasanton sees significant traffic, due to its office parks, which house the operations of a number of large employers, including Kaiser, Oracle, Macy’s, Roche, and AT&T. Pleasanton serves as headquarters to Safeway and other major corporations.
DUI Laws in California
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Pleasanton is prosecuted through the criminal justice system, not handled by the DMV the way that a minor traffic infraction is. A DUI can be charged if your “blood alcohol content” is 0.08% BAC or higher. To determine BAC, a police officer may test a driver’s breath, urine, or blood. You can face additional penalties if you refuse the tests. The “BAC” is a measurement of how much ethanol as opposed to blood is found within the bloodstream by volume. Drivers under 21 have a legal limit of 0.01% BAC, while commercial driver’s license holders have a limit of 0.04% BAC.
If you don’t meet the legal limit to be charged with a DUI, you can still be charged with reckless driving when appropriate. Moreover, the District Attorney can charge a blood alcohol allegation if your blood alcohol level is .15 percent or greater. An allegation like this can carry increased penalties at sentencing such as a longer DUI program and longer jail time.
Being Convicted of a DUI in Pleasanton Is Serious and Extremely Costly
If you are arrested with a DUI, you should hire an experienced DUI attorney to help you fight the charges, which can result in harsh consequences. Even if you are facing a first-time DUI charge, the criminal penalties in Pleasanton can be onerous. It is believed that the harshness of these penalties leads to lower arrest rates for misdemeanor DUIs.
In criminal court, a convicted driver with no prior DUI convictions may still have his or her driving privileges suspended for a 30-day to 10-month period. First offenders convicted of misdemeanor DUIs can be fined from $390-$1,000 and sent to jail from 4 days-6 months. Over ¾ must enter a first-offender DUI program.
Second and third offenders convicted of misdemeanor DUIs face the potential for very harsh penalties. A second offender’s driver’s license can be revoked for one to two years and he can be sentenced to 90 days to one year in jail. Fines are assessed from $390-$1000. Third-time offenders may be sentenced to 120 days to one year jail time and fined $390-$1,000. They may also have to enter an alcohol treatment facility for 18 or 30-month program. Additionally, their licenses can be revoked for three years. On January 1, 2012, a new law went into effect. This allows a court to order a license revocation for ten years for any individual with three or more DUI convictions in the past ten years.
Alameda County, where Pleasanton is located, is one of four counties in the state participating in an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) pilot program. The device will not allow a driver to start his vehicle without first passing an alcohol breath test. The pilot program requires every individual convicted of a DUI in Alameda County (or one of the other three counties participating) on or after July 1, 2010 to install an IID on every vehicle they own or drive. The length of time the individual must install the IID varies depending on how many prior offenses he or she has and the particulars of the DUI.
Convicted individuals required to install an IID must provide the DMV with a form verifying the installation, pay a $45 administrative service fee (ASF), and meet other reinstatement requirements before the DMV can reinstate, reissue, or restrict their driver license. This pilot program may be implemented in other California counties, if it is found to be successful at reducing drunk driving.
If a person is injured because he or she drove under the influence or in the case of felony DUIs, the penalties are harsher. For example, someone convicted of a felony DUI with an injury may face 16 mo.-10 years in prison, and an additional sentence based on how many were injured and how badly, between $1015-5000 in fines, mandatory treatment in an alcohol or drug program, habitual traffic offender status for three years, and have to pay restitution to the persons injured.
On top of these criminal penalties, people who are convicted of a DUI must also deal with court fees and DMV fees and a record that lasts ten years. If an individual is arrested for a DUI, and he or she was convicted of one or more DUIs within a decade, he or she is a second or third-time offender.
Pleasanton Enforces California’s Strict DUI Laws
According to the 2012 Annual Report of the DUI Management Information System, there were 1072 alcohol-related crash fatalities in California or 39.1%. The statewide average rate of arrest in 2010 was .8 arrests for every 100 licensed drivers. Pleasanton is in Alameda County, which has an average number of arrests. Although Alameda County is known as a liberal jurisdiction, as you can see from Alameda County’s participation in the IID pilot program, drunk driving is handled as a serious offense.
In 2010 there were 7966 arrests for drunk driving in Alameda County, up slightly from 2009’s 7837 drunk driving arrests, but down from 2008’s 8203 drunk driving arrests. For its relatively small size, Pleasanton has many DUI convictions. In 2009, there were 1001 misdemeanor DUI convictions and five felony DUI convictions in Pleasanton. 745 of the total DUI convictions in Pleasanton were first offenders. 216 of the DUIs in Pleasanton were second-time offenders. Forty-one of the DUIs in Pleasanton were third-time offenders. Four were fourth-time offenders.
If You Need Help Challenging a DUI Charge in Pleasanton, Contact the DUI Attorneys at Dudek & Cintean, LLP
The penalties for a DUI can be severe. The Pleasanton DUI Defense Attorneys at Dudek & Cintean, LLP can help you fight a DUI charge. We have extensive experience handling criminal defense cases, and we have helped many clients get DUI charges dropped or reduced based on faulty tests, improper procedures, unlawfully acquired evidence, and many other reasons. For a confidential consultation, call Dudek & Cintean, LLP at our San Francisco office at (415) 946-4020 or our Contra Costa office at (925) 335-6444, or you may use the online form here on this website.