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California man mounts DUI defense in ninth case

A California man is facing his ninth DUI charge in the past six years after an incident in late January in which he allegedly smashed his vehicle into a high-voltage box in Placentia. The man, age 51, is among the estimated one-third of alleged drunk drivers that find themselves mounting multiple DUI defense efforts. He is accused of throwing liquor bottles from his vehicle in the aftermath of the collision, according to official reports.

Statistics show that Orange County is one of the most risky areas in the state for drunk driving, with about 85 percent of cases successfully convicted. About 19,000 drivers have been convicted of multiple DUIs in the area in the past 17 years, according to official records, though the area still struggles with repeat offenders. The driver in this case got his first drunk driving conviction when he was 47. His attorney said the man was accruing new drunk driving charges while others were pending, meaning that he had five open cases at the same time. So far, he has served a year in state prison because of the drunk driving convictions.

Officials say that drivers like this defendant are often in the grips of alcoholism, and they suffer greatly because of the drunk driving arrests. These consequences can cost drivers their jobs, their families, and other key relationships. Multiple DUI convictions can have an exponential impact on those social systems, making it difficult for drivers to recover and move on with their lives.

Defendants that are facing multiple DUI charges should know that an arrest does not mean they are automatically considered guilty. Those drivers have a chance to prove their innocence, even if they are doing so in a high-conviction area. DUI penalties do not have to derail your life; finding the right criminal defense strategy can give you a second chance to overcome drunk driving charges.

Source: OC Register, "How this Orange County man got 9 DUIs in less than six years," Kelly Puente, Feb. 16, 2017

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