23 year-old Cerena Barros was arrested on charges of drunk driving after injuring a pedestrian walking his bicycle, Aaron Wells, during a chase through the city. With a blood-alcohol level over .08%, Barros is being held on suspicion of evasion, possession of a controlled substance, felony hit-and-run, and DUI with three priors.
Barros’s situation is not necessarily rare in the state of California. Many people find themselves in the position of being charged with a DUI after prior offenses and penalties and fines can be significant. She may, however, be looking at fines between $390 and $1,000 and 120 days to 1 year in prison. In addition to this, an individual like Barros will have to take part in a state-licensed drug and alcohol program for, perhaps, a period of 18 months. If someone like Barros willingly submitted to a BAC (blood alcohol test), then his or her license may only be suspended for a period of one year. But, if they did not submit to the BAC testing willingly, then his or her license could be revoked for a period of three years.
Barros herself, having three prior convictions, was technically driving illegally to begin with, having had her drivers’ license suspended. She most likely ran from the police because of this fact. Although it may occur rarely, a fourth, fifth, or further offense is often considered a felony in the state of California. Here, and for Barros, the penalties are, as one would imagine, strict in the extreme. An individual could serve up to three years in prison, face high fines, and the permanent revocation of their driver’s license, among other additional penalties.
If you or someone you know is facing drunk driving – whether in a car, bicycle or even boat – contact a San Jose DUI Attorney at Summit Defense for a free initial consultation to explore your options.