Driver Arrested on DUI and Evading Police Charges After High Speed Pursuit
According to a report from Noozhawk, a man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and evading law enforcement after a high speed pursuit. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports that 21-year-old Antonio Gonsalez of Ventura was spotted driving in an erratic manner. He evaded police, hitting speeds as high as 105 miles per hour.
CHP officers deployed strip spikes near Winchester Canyon Road. However, the driver finally pulled over on his own before hitting the spikes. Mr. Gonsalez was taken into custody near Goleta and brought to the Santa Barbara County Jail. Here, our Santa Barbara drunk driving defense lawyer provides an overview of the charges filed in this case.
Criminal Charge #1: Driving Under the Influence
Intoxicated driving is strictly forbidden in California. Under California Vehicle Code 23152(a), “it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.” For most drivers in California, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08. Though, there are some exceptions. A person actively driving a commercial vehicle can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is greater than 0.04. A person who is younger than 21 can also face a criminal charge under California Vehicle Code 23140 if their BAC is 0.05 or higher.
The severity of a DUI charge depends on a number of different factors, including a defendant's prior history of DUI convictions (or lack thereof). A first-offense DUI is charged as a misdemeanor offense carrying maximum penalties of up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and a six-month license suspension. With each subsequent DUI conviction, the criminal penalties are more harsh. Notably, a driver may also face enhanced criminal penalties if there was an “aggravating factor” present in their case—such as causing a serious accident or having a child in the vehicle.
Criminal Charge #2: Evading Officers
In California, drivers must stop when ordered to do so by a police officer. Evading an officer is a criminal offense. Under California Vehicle Code § 2800.1, is a misdemeanor offense carrying up to one-year in jail. However, there is also a related offense called a felony reckless evading. This occurs when a driver evades an officer in “wanton disregard” for the health, safety, and well-being of other people. A driver who speeds, swerves between lanes, or runs through red lights may be arrested for felony reckless evading. It is punishable by up to three years in prison.
Contact Our Santa Barbara DUI Defense Attorney for Immediate Help
At Andrade Law Offices, our Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer has extensive experience handling drunk driving cases and drugged driving cases. If you or someone you know was arrested on a DUI charge, we are available to help. Contact us now for a strictly private review and evaluation of your case. Our firm serves communities throughout Santa Barbara County, including Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvany, Isla Vista, and Carpinteria.