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Salinas woman, companions booked on DUI and public intoxication

After a 22-year-old Salinas woman crashed her car into a plant box in the center median on Gabilan Street in Salinas, she was arrested for DUI, and her two friends were arrested for public intoxication. The impact with the planter was forceful: The engine reportedly flew out of the car and was destroyed. However, all three passengers received only minor injuries.

Officers determined that the 22-year-old driver's blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit of .08 percent. In general, most drunk driving accidents and stops result only in the driver being arrested. However, the two passengers were reportedly so intoxicated that they were charged with public intoxication. The group was taken to a hospital and then booked at the Monterey County Jail.

In California, even first-time DUI penalties are severe. A conviction can lead up to six months in jail with a fine as high as $1,000. It can also include a penalty assessment that is equal to three times the fine. A DUI conviction can also result in a six-month long suspension of one's driving privilege and a requirement to enroll in a DUI program. There is also a $125 fee to reinstate the driver's license after the suspension is complete. In addition, some counties require first-time offenders to have a Ignition Interlock Device, which requires the driver to blow into a tube before the vehicle will start.

An individual facing drunk driving charges may benefit from consulting a criminal defense attorney. A conviction can result in a prison term and fines, but an attorney may be able to help negotiate a deal that may keep an accused person out of jail and possibly keep the DUI off his or her driving record.

Source: KSBW, "Salinas woman arrested for DUI; passengers arrested for public intoxication," April 11, 2013

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