Second DUI offense reduced to Exhibition of Speed
I was in court last week for a client who rode his luck for a second time. I had previously represented him following an arrest for DUI four years ago. On that occasion, the DUI charges were dismissed and he pled to an "exhibition of speed" which is a violation of vehicle code section 23109(c). The penalty was a fine only. He was recently arrested again for a DUI following a traffic stop for speeding. He blew into a preliminary alcohol screening device which gave readings of .08% and .08%. Following his arrest, he gave a breath test readings of .07% and .07%. I was dealing in court with the same prosecutor that offered him the original deal four years ago, and you can imagine that he was less than impressed that my client had not learned from the experience and had been arrested again. However, the prosecutor accepted that he would have difficulties in successfully prosecuting the case, given the borderline readings, and again offered my client a reduction to an exhibition of speed with a reduced fine and ten AA meetings.
My client was lucky that he was not before a more punitive court, such as Harbor Justice Center in Orange County as he would have been looking at jail time instead of a reduction in charges. Following the hearing, I was concerned to hear from my client that he still believed he was a safe driver and could judge the amount of alcohol that he consumed before driving. I advised him that given the fact that he had been charged twice for DUI, he should not be drinking any alcohol at all before driving. I do not think that he got the message. This left me with the feeling that maybe the successful result on both occasions taught my client the wrong lesson, despite my efforts to urge him never to drink and drive again.
As a DUI defense attorney in Los Angeles, I am motivated to get the best possible results in court for my clients. However, I also try to educate my clients about the dangers of drinking and driving and when I resolve a case, I hope never to have to represent that client again. I am not always successful with this and I suspect that it is not the last time that I will be representing Mr. "Exhibition of Speed".