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Last Call in California - How Might Extending the Time Impact Your Risk of a DUI Charge?

Posted on in DUI

California DUI defense attorneyCalifornia’s nightlife is artistic, musical, fashionable, and fun. It also ends at two in the morning, which is a bit early for some. A bill, entitled “Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act” and introduced by Senator Scott Wiener, could change that by extending the last call until 4 a.m. Supporters believe that the bill’s passing could improve safety for the state’s nightlife crowd, but naysayers are concerned it could increase the volume of drunk drivers on the road. Who is right, and how might the extension impact your risk of a DUI charge? The following explains.

Safety, State Revenue, and Local Venues

Legislators and authorities have long considered California’s nightlife as a problem to “manage,” but that is starting to change. Finally, they see its true potential – a way to increase state revenue and the bottom line of local venues. Part of that could be related to the increasing number of people traveling in and out of the state for leisure activities, but it could also have something to do with the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed dozens of music fans. By keeping safe, licensed establishments open longer, similar tragedies are far less likely to occur.

What of DUI safety though? It is one of the main reasons that a similar bill was shot down back in 2013; legislators, law enforcement, and neighborhoods were all concerned about an increase of drunk drivers on the road. However, the reasoning here is flawed. Here is why: While, yes, there may be nightlife attendees who decide to drive drunk at 4 a.m., they are no more likely to do so at that time than they are at 2 a.m. Most others will act responsibly and call a rideshare, taxi, or designated driver when it is time to head home. Some may also use the hours between closing time and sun up to sober up so that they can drive home.

Will Your Risk of a DUI Charge Increase?

Ultimately, the risk of a DUI charge for someone that has taken the time to sober up should be no higher than it is already. True, it is possible that there will be an increase in traffic stops the first few months after the bill’s passing, but over time, it should closely resemble the current late-night/early morning environment. Still, there is always the possibility that a driver may get pulled over, which may place them at risk for a DUI charge. 

If you or someone you love is charged, contact John W. Thornton, Attorney at Law, for assistance. Backed by over 30 years of experience, our Santa Cruz DUI defense lawyer will fight to protect your rights and best interest. In every situation, we practice honest advocacy and pursue the most favorable outcome. Schedule your consultation to learn more. Call our office at 831-426-5800 today.



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