Santa Rosa DUI Lawyer – Michael Rehm
Free Consultations – (707) 225-0731
Sonoma County DUI Lawyer
Around 2,500 drivers are arrested for DUI each year in Sonoma County. Whether they will be convicted and what penalties will be imposed often depend on the facts of their case, their criminal record, how poor the driving was, their blood alcohol level at the actual time of driving, and the quality of the DUI Defense.
Sonoma County DUI Arrests
The DUI arrest rate in Sonoma County is 0.6 arrests for 100 licensed residents, higher than the statewide average.
The fact that Sonoma County attracts so many tourists may account for the county’s elevated arrest rate. Whether arrested drivers live in Sonoma County or elsewhere, it is clear that the CHP, the Sonoma County Sheriff, and Santa Rosa Police Department are vigilant in their enforcement of DUI laws.
About 97.2% of Sonoma County DUI arrests are for misdemeanors. Another 0.4% are for juvenile offenses. The remaining 2.4% are felony DUI arrests. Felonies are typically charged when a driver causes a serious accident, although prosecutors can charge a felony if a driver has at least three prior DUI or wet reckless convictions within the last ten years.
Sonoma County DUI Convictions
Not every drunk driving arrest leads to a conviction. A capable DUI defense attorney may be able to challenge a traffic stop, an arrest, or a breath test result. In regards to the breathalyzer, certain admonitions have to read in order for the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) breathalyzer to be admitted into evidence, and the calibration records should always be inspected in order to determine how accurate the non-PAS breathalyzer results are.
In the most recent year for which the California DMV provides statistics, Sonoma County prosecutors obtained a DUI conviction in 79.2% of cases involving a DUI arrest. About 12.8% of arrested drivers walked away with no conviction. Those drivers likely benefitted from a defense that produced a dismissal or acquittal.
Only 1.7% of Sonoma County DUI convictions were for felonies. The difference between the felony arrest and conviction rates is probably attributable to plea bargaining that resulted in reduced charges, normally to a misdemeanor offense.
About 6.7% of DUI arrests were reduced to a charge of “wet reckless.” That plea bargain gives drivers the benefit of a shorter maximum sentence and can potentially have less of an impact on driving privileges, depending on what occurs at the Administrative Per Se Hearing conducted by the California DMV. In the remaining 1.3% of cases, charges were reduced to a traffic offense that carried no DUI penalties at all, but this is extremely rare.
About 3.5% of Sonoma County DUI convictions involved driving under the influence of a drug. That’s lower than the statewide average of 5.5%, potentially because of the high arrest rate of drivers who have been sampling local wines.
Sonoma County Court
The main courthouse in Sonoma County for all criminal matters is the Hall of Justice, located at 600 Administration Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Sonoma County has “DUI Court” for repeat offenders in Courtroom 15. “DUI Court” is generally adding a substance abuse counseling element to any sentence in court. It generally requires a period of supervision by the court, regular court dates, and proof of progress in whatever the underlying original sentence. How this program will be conducted now with the passage of Assembly Bill 1950 remains to be seen.
For more information on how the law applies to your particular case, or for general informational purposes, feel free to call Santa Rosa DUI Attorney Michael Rehm for a free, confidential consultation at (707) 225-0731.
FREE CONSULTATIONS – (707) 225-0731
DUI Lawyer Michael Rehm provides representation throughout Sonoma County, including Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Cotati, Sebastopol, Sonoma, and the town of Winsdsor.
Sonoma County Resources: