Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a serious offense, putting the driver along with other motorists at risk of injury or even death. In order to avoid harming yourself or others, it’s best to be aware of your alcohol intake and always choose a designated driver for holiday celebrations, parties, or occasions where you know you’ll be drinking.  If you do make the mistake of drinking too much for driving, we here at Frank Calabretta’s Bail House can assist you not only with posting bail, but also with understanding some of the complicated ins and outs of California DUI laws and DUI checkpoints.  

Can you Refuse a DUI Checkpoint?

The answer to this question is complicated. If you see a police DUI checkpoint in the distance and choose to take another route to avoid it, that is not a crime. Moreover, it is illegal for the police to arrest you simply because you drove off in the opposite direction.  However, take care, because if you break any traffic laws such as making an illegal U-turn to avoid the checkpoint or even have a taillight out, an officer can pull you over for those reasons. If you’ve been drinking, they will likely find out by talking with you or testing your blood alcohol level.   

Checkpoint Sobriety Tests

If you get to a DUI checkpoint and they ask you to participate in sobriety tests you can still refuse to take them, but if you are arrested, your right to refuse testing is no longer protected. Additionally, refusal to go through a sobriety test after an arrest can result in bigger punishments like more jail time and additional fines. It’s best to be polite and cooperate with officers to avoid harsher sentences.  

Wet and Reckless Plea Bargains in California

A “wet and reckless” is simply the name given to a charge reduction that is commonly offered as a plea bargain after being arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can’t be arrested for a wet and reckless, but rather can receive it as a reduced sentence. It typically carries a lower fine, less jail time, and less time in a DUI education program than a regular DUI plea of guilty.   

What’s The Difference Between A Wet and Dry Reckless?

A “wet reckless” means you were driving recklessly and there was alcohol or drug use involved, which will typically still go on your driving record. This is opposed to a “dry reckless” which is reckless driving where drugs and alcohol were not involved. Car insurance companies can still increase rates or deny coverage for wet and reckless just like for a DUI, and the driver will still get a point on their driving record for the offense.  

Second Offense DUI Penalties in California

Whether caught driving under the influence at a DUI checkpoint, during a routine traffic stop, or in an accident, the second offense DUI penalties in California commonly include:
  • Up to 30 months of DUI school
  • Three to five years of summary probation
  • Fines of up to $2000
  • A minimum of 96 hours in jail
  • License suspension and/or ignition interlock devices

What Constitutes a Felony DUI in California?

According to California law, a felony DUI can be incurred if:
  • You are driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and seriously injure or cause the death of someone
  • You have three or more DUI convictions within a period of ten years
  • You have a previous felony DUI and are arrested for another DUI. 
Direct consequences of a felony DUI in California include:
  • Up to $1000 fine
  • License suspension or restriction and/or the installation of an interlock device for a year
  • Up to three years in prison. 
  • Designation by the DMV as an habitual traffic offender (HTO)
  • Other consequences including a lifetime prison sentence can be handed down if the DUI driver kills someone. 
  Additionally, felony charges of any kind, DUI or otherwise come with other indirect consequences such as not being able to own firearms. Individuals currently serving a prison sentence or who are on parole are also barred from voting.  

Frank Calabretta’s Bail House Can Help

At Frank Calabretta’s Bail House in Roseville, we want to help you get out of jail and back to your family as soon as possible after a DUI arrest. No matter the circumstances of the arrest, we can assist you with a bail bond to help you get out of jail while you await your court date.  Bail House has over forty years of experience working with our local community to provide professional, confidential, non-judgemental, and efficient service. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience… even on holidays!   

Assisting Family and Friends with Posting Bail

If you don’t need a bail bond for yourself, but are looking to help a friend or family member post bail for a DUI arrest, we can assist you with that as well. We know how to help families and friends navigate the criminal justice system so they can become knowledgeable and helpful when their loved ones need them most. This article is not intended as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney for details regarding DUI checkpoints and current laws.

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