Driving impaired not worth the risk

Folsom Police arrest four for DUI; fines can go as high as $7,000
By: Laura Newell Telegraph staff writer
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First-time drunk driving offenders face fines, penalties, jail time and much more. “Driving under the influence (DUI) offenders will face fines, impound fees, jail, community service, DUI treatment programs and a driver license suspension,” said Chris Hill, Folsom Police Department public information officer. Fines and penalties vary from approximately $300 to $7,000 depending on allegations including whether it is a first-time offense or if the suspect was involved in a traffic collision. During the New Year holiday weekend Folsom Police officers were out in force keeping an eye out for impaired drivers. “This year we arrested four people (in Folsom) for driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve,” Hill said. “Last year there was one arrest made during that time, but seven reports of drunk driving. Dispatch received calls from citizens reporting possible drunk driving but the drivers weren’t located by patrol officers.” Hill said last year was much busier for the department because they advertised a free ride home program offered by the police department. “We offered the same program this year, but it was not advertised which left more time for proactive patrol,” Hill said. A person arrested for DUI will be booked in jail until sober, Hill said. The blood alcohol concentration decreases by .02 percent every hour, which will determine the length of time spent in jail. Jail deputies determine when the person is released and it will usually be between 8 hours to 2 days, Hill said. “When a person is arrested for DUI they are obligated to submit to a chemical test (blood, breath, urine) in order to verify their blood alcohol concentration,” Hill said. “After the sample is collected the person is then booked into jail. If their car is towed the arrestee will incur additional fees for the tow.” Hill said in California, a driver’s license is suspended for four months for the first conviction, and one year for the second offense. “If they fail or refuse to submit to a chemical test it is an automatic driver’s license suspension for one year, regardless of conviction,” Hill said. “Over the limit in California is .08 percent. It is unlawful for a person younger than 21 who has a blood alcohol concentration of .05 percent or higher to drive a vehicle.” Most DUI’s, he said, occur at night from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., and young men between the ages of 18 to 20 years old are reported driving while impaired more frequently than any other age group. “You are not only affecting yourself when you decide to drive under the influence, you are affecting others around you and putting others lives at risk,” Hill said. “Further, when you get arrested for a DUI, it will not only affect your life, it will also affect your friends and families lives.”