When people operate a motor vehicle after having too much to drink, they can often face serious consequences. In parts of California known for a drinking culture, such as Sonoma County with its 425-plus wineries, many blame establishments that serve alcohol. It is a common conception that that the majority of drunk driving charges is related to tourists having one too many samples, but arrest data from the area tells a different story about the typical DUI defense in the area.
More than seven million people visit Sonoma County each year, over 65 percent of whom cite wine and beer as their reason for visiting. Locals may think these individuals are behind DUIs in the area, but arrest data clarifies that residents are more likely to be arrested for drunk driving. These people typically imbibe at home, a bar or a restaurant.
In fact, people coming from home were five times more likely to be arrested for drunk driving than those coming from a winery. On average, over 50 people are arrested per week on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Sonoma County. This data comes from the California Highway Patrol Santa Rosa-area office.
More than half of individuals arrested for DUI in the area told officers where they had their last alcoholic beverage. For 34 percent of those individuals, the response was at home. Liability for overserving may come up in a DUI defense in California. Those involved in a DUI case, particularly those facing charges, should work with a defense lawyer to understand their options.