Newport Beach, California Criminal Defense Lawyer
Michael M. "Mike" Brewer Practice Area: DUI/Driving Offenses

Driving Under the Influence (DUI):

Although the charge is commonly referred to as drunk driving, the fact is that "driving" is not necessarily involved and one need not be "drunk," within the usual meaning of the word. A person who is in actual physical control of a vehicle need not be driving to be arrested if under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Simply sitting behind the wheel of a parked car with the ignition keys in your pocket can satisfy the driving part of the offense. To most people, the term "drunk" refers to someone who is staggering, incapable of coherent speech, etc., but this is not the standard for a DUI offense. If a person's physical and mental abilities are sufficiently impaired by alcohol that he or she no longer has the ability to drive a car safely, a DUI prosecution may follow. There is no need for any objective symptoms of intoxication, and even a driver who does not appear to be impaired to any extent at all can still be prosecuted for DUI if the concentration of alcohol in his or her blood is .08% or more.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Prescription Medications:

Everybody knows it is illegal to drive under the influence of illegal drugs, but many believe they can avoid conviction for DUI by producing a prescription for the drug in question. This is NOT true! A DUI charge has nothing to do with whether or not possession of the drug was lawful. The legal issue in a DUI case is impairment, and the standard is the ability to drive safely. It is just as unlawful to drive under the influence of a properly prescribed medication as it is to drive after drinking too much.

Driving Under the Influence (Alcohol or Drugs) With a Prior Conviction:

As in most other states, repeat DUI offenders face progressively stiffer penalties, and the fourth offense within five years may be charged as a felony instead of a misdemeanor. The elements of the offense are the same, whether or not there are prior convictions.

Driving Under the Influence - Manslaughter:

Manslaughter is the criminal charge for unlawfully killing someone without actually intending to do so. When Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is the cause of an accident in which someone is killed, the driver may be charged with manslaughter.

Driving Under the Influence - Murder:

Murder is the criminal charge for unlawfully killing someone, either deliberately and intentionally or recklessly with extreme disregard for human life. When someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes an accident in which someone is killed, and the circumstances are particularly aggravated, the driver may be charged with murder.

Take Action to Protect Your Rights:

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime in Newport Beach or throughout Southern California and you need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, call Mike Brewer of the Brewer Law Firm today at (888) 533-5798 or (949) 863-9682, or complete the contact form provided on this site to schedule your free consultation.

> Back to Top