Drivers Aged 21 to 40 and DUI Charges
21- to 40-Year-Old Drivers Receive Highest Number of DUI Charges
The age group of 21 to 40 is probably the most popular age group for people who are stopped and arrested for driving under the influence. Most people are stopped after drinking in a social setting; people may go out to a restaurant or a bar and have a few drinks.
It Is Not Illegal to Drink and Drive—But It Is Illegal to Drink and Drive When You Are Impaired
We need to keep in mind that it is legal for somebody to actually drink and drive. If you’re 21 or older, it is okay to drive to a restaurant and have something to drink, and get in the car and drive. We just want to be careful that the person is not at 0.08 or above, or impaired for purposes of driving.
Many times, when we see people 21 to 40-years old, they are not driving poorly and often show no evidence of impairment at all. Anybody can get a DUI… just about everybody out there drinks… and, at some point in time, drives.
Why Police Stop This Age Group That Usually Exhibits Good Driving Skills
Most of the time when we’re dealing with the case of a 21- to 40-year-old client, we see good driving. Often, we don’t see any swerving or straddling or anything like that. Usually, the 21- to 40-year-old group of drivers are very well coordinated and typically show low blood alcohol levels. We usually see good control of the car.
Many times, officers will administer these roadside tests and the 21- to 40-year olds are pretty healthy, pretty physically fit, and generally able to do fairly well on these tests as far as walking the line and touching the nose. We would expect on a typical 21- to 40-year old first time DUI to have good driving skills and good field sobriety test results.
Request the DMV Hearing as Soon as Possible
For somebody who is 21- to 40-years old that has been arrested for a DUI, we must take immediate action by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles to demand a hearing. Like all drivers 18 and older, those aged 21 to 40 who’ve been stopped and arrested for DUI only have 10 days to demand a hearing with the DMV. If that is not done, the DMV will automatically suspend the license. That’s one key piece of information that someone who is aged 21 to 40 who’s been stopped and arrested for DUI needs to know.
Retaining an Attorney: The 21- to 40-Year-Old Drivers May Be Able to Have Their Attorney Appear in Court on Their Behalf
Another issue that’s important to know for someone who is aged 21 to 40 is that in most cases they do not have to go to court themselves; they can actually have an attorney represent them and go to court for them from the beginning to the end.
Because of this they don’t have to take off of work, they can maintain their personal lives and they can keep their lives as normal as possible while their attorney goes to court for them. The attorney can actually handle the process from beginning to end without them having to miss any work or actually come to court themselves.
The Attorney Begins Preparing the Defense Immediately for the DMV Hearing to Contest the Suspension
Another advantage to having an attorney for someone in the 21- to 40-year-old age group is to know that they are being taken care of. They will actually sleep better at night knowing that, although this happened, they’ve got a good attorney who is going to look out for their best interest.
That starts, as I mentioned, with dealing with the Department of Motor Vehicles and demanding a hearing within that ten day time period. The hearing may not get set right away, but once that request is in to the DMV, the attorney, on the person’s behalf, will get them a new temporary license. The attorney will begin obtaining discovery (which is information in the case), such as police reports, radio dispatch logs, and the audio and video recordings.
The attorney will be able to prepare for the DMV hearing, which may be set six to eight weeks down the road. At that hearing, the attorney again can appear for them and make the necessary arguments and can even call witnesses to try to get a set aside. That is the key to fighting to save the driver’s license.
If the Department of Motor Vehicles does actually suspend somebody’s license, a good attorney will know how to get that license returned at the earliest possible time and in the most efficient way.
Retaining an Attorney Saves the Individual Charged with DUI a Great Deal of Time and Stress
In addition, when an attorney is representing the 21- to 40-year-old group, they will be able to handle the court case, as I mentioned, without that person being there in accordance with penal code 977. The attorney will be able to handle the arraignment, where the person would have to stand before the court and be read what all the charges and allegations were.
The attorney can go back to court as many times as needed through what’s called the pretrial process. This process is where they get information about the case and negotiate with the prosecutors, the District Attorneys or City Attorneys to try to resolve the case or ultimately take the case to a jury trial if necessary.
Most First Offense DUI Cases Do Not Go to Trial—Nine out of Ten Cases in Los Angeles Are Resolved through a Plea Bargain Negotiation
Most court cases in Los Angeles County take about 90 days. It takes about three months to work through the system; in most of those cases, probably nine out of ten cases end up in settlement, which is also known as a plea bargain. Most of the time, the typical first DUI cases do not go to a jury trial, and the attorney can handle just about everything from beginning to end without that person coming to court.
Of course that person has the right to a court appearance if they want to. If they choose not to settle the case, for what could be a lot of different reasons, it probably would be advisable for the person who is charged with a DUI to be in court during the trial process.
The Trial Process for a DUI Charge Can Take Several Days to Several Weeks to Resolve
This could take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on the court case, depending on how complicated the case was, and depending on what court house it was in. Those are some of the factors for someone who is 21 to 40 to take into consideration.
Across the Board, You Will Save Time, Stress and Expense If You Retain an Attorney to Defend a DUI Charge
A lot of people have a bias against lawyers in general. When facing a DUI, people think, “I don’t need a lawyer,” or “What’s a lawyer going to do for me?”. No matter your age, it’s still in your best interest to pick up the phone, call a couple of attorneys, talk to them and see what they think about the case and what they think can be done.
The time saved alone by having an attorney handle the case is worth it. The amount of grief and mental anguish that’s avoided by having an attorney on your side is worth it.
Most of the time, a good attorney is going to be able to save somebody more money in the long run than what the attorney’s fees cost. Even if somebody doesn’t think that they like attorneys or doesn’t think that they want attorneys, many times it is a matter of need and necessity to have an attorney. In order to get the best possible outcome and save one from the most amount of stress and aggravation, the person does need to get a lawyer. What they’ll find out is that it’s a wise investment.