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An analysis of Sonoma County drunk driving stats

According to the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, 4.6 million people visit each year to drink beer and wine. This California county is home to 425 wineries and more than two dozen breweries. While it may be easy to assume that drunken tourists are responsible for roadway safety issues in this area, that is not the case. Instead, individuals taken into custody for impaired driving in Sonoma County were more likely to be coming from home or a bar.

This was according to an analysis of California Highway Patrol data. Roughly 50 people are taken into custody for impaired driving each week, and the CHP is responsible for taking 40 percent of those drivers into custody. This translates to 3,155 instances in which drivers were taken into custody by the CHP for DUI between 2015 and 2017,and a total of 1,672 motorists indicated where they had been before meeting police.

They say that only 7 percent of drivers claim to have been coming from a brewery when making contact with police. This is compared to over 35 percent of impaired drivers who say that they were recently at a bar or restaurant. According to CHP reports, the Graton Resort & Casino was most frequently named as the place that impaired drivers were coming from.

Anyone who is facing drunk driving charges may lose their license or be required to pay a fine if convicted. Additional penalties could be added for failure to consent to a Breathalyzer test. An attorney may be able to dispute the charge by casting doubt on blood or urine test results or on a police report. If successful, it may be possible for an individual to receive a plea deal or to have the case dismissed before a trial starts.

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John Patrick Ryan has been practicing law for over 20 years. Experienced in criminal law. U.S. Navy Veteran.