Memorial Day serves as an early kickoff to summer across the country. For Californians who ride motorcycles, it means a chance to enjoy the warm weather by taking a trip along the coastline or through a national forest. But, with warm weather comes cold refreshments, and a sometimes chilling reminder of the physical dangers and criminal penalties associated with drinking and riding.
Motorcyclists are more likely to engage in risky behavior than other drivers
According to recent crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are more likely to engage in risky behavior such as drinking and driving than other motorists. Riders between the ages of 35 to 49 had the highest rate of alcohol-related fatalities in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available.
Although wearing a helmet can help prevent fatalities and injuries, 51 percent of riders who wore a helmet while intoxicated died as a result of their injuries. Because a change in behavior through enforcement is often the most effective way to combat the dangers of drinking and riding, police may give extra attention to motorcyclists this summer.
Therefore, riders charged with DUI in California need the help of a criminal defense attorney who can provide more than a kickstand of support.
DUI penalties in California
The legal limit for intoxication for all operators in all states is a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Riders charged with a first-time DUI offense in California could face administrative penalties of motorcycle confiscation, suspension of license and mandatory alcohol assessments. Criminal penalties could also include up to a $2,000 fine and 48 hours in jail.
How an attorney can help
Riding a motorcycle is quite a thrill. If you're out on the road with friends and enjoying a few drinks at a stop, it's easy to get caught up in the fun. Many people feel like they're still okay to drive when they're near the legal limit, but then a slip up like speeding or forgetting to signal winds up in traffic stop and charges for DUI.
Mistakes happen, but that's why a DUI defense attorney is there to help. Despite the social stigma of DUI charges, everyone is still entitled to their rights in court. An attorney can provide the support needed to maintain the balance riders won't find on just two wheels.