By Dale Gribow

I often write about the large number of DUI arrests in the Riverside County area over holidays like the upcoming Labor Day Weekend. The holidays are when we do not always use good common sense while celebrating.

It looks like the number of DUI arrests in Palm Desert over this month’s Labor Day won’t be slowing down anytime soon. The California Office of Traffic Safety recently awarded a grant to the District Attorney’s office to assist the agency’s DUI Vertical Prosecution Unit. Its purpose was to go after impaired drivers in an effort to reduce the number of impaired road fatalities and injuries.

The grant focuses on the western county region and paid for a DA. The new DA handles misdemeanor<> cases involving impaired driving, specifically from the criminal filing to the adjudication stage. The agency was supposed to add three more deputy district attorneys to prosecute misdemeanor cases.

Some crimes are more politically charged than others and Drunk Driving leads the pack. This makes plea bargaining and sentencing hearings difficult for a DUI attorney. Politics in DUI’s are a powerful campaign theme for DA’s and judges during the upcoming elections.

Nothing concerns Judges and DA’s during election time more than an adverse report of a DUI sentence that suggests the court and DA were too lenient. This becomes even more serious with a DUI fatality.

Drivers DO NOT HAVE TO BE DRUNK but merely under the influence or impaired. Depending on your weight and time of drinking this could mean 2 drinks. Standard DUI charges are typically classified as misdemeanors.

A DUI can be raised to the level of a felony if there is an elevated blood alcohol concentration, bodily injury, children in the vehicle or prior convictions. If a charge is upgraded to a felony, that can mean much more serious consequences for the driver.

A DUI accident creates 3 different matters with which a lawyer must deal. Yes 3, because there will first be an accident claim by the victim against the drunk driver. Next, we have to deal with the consequences of the DUI arrest….a DMV hearing and a court proceeding.

When arrested the DUI driver will have his California Driver’s License taken under the stop and snatch law and in its place the driver will receive a pink piece of paper that is a Temporary License good for 30 days. The arrested driver must request a DMV hearing within 10 days……….not 11. If not requested, the license will be suspended for 4-5 months. If the lawyer requests a STAY the driver will get a temporary license that is good until the DMV rules on the drinking and driving.

The DUI lawyer must provide documentation to the DA and court to document the justification for a more lenient sentence… which rarely happens. The defense lawyer must offer conditions and terms that will protect the DA and Court from a possible repeat offense by the driver. These terms of a plea bargain probation may include residential treatment, alcohol monitoring, and ignition interlock devices. Hopefully these additional penalties will help justify, protect and buffer the potential backlash against the judge or DA.


TOP LAWYER – Palm Springs Life DUI 2011-2017

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“Best Attorneys of America” Rue, (Limited to Top 100 Attorneys/State)

Legal Eagle “Best and Brightest Legal Minds” by Palm Springs Life- June 2016

Client Appreciation DUI Award/ Martindale Hubbell Client DUI Distinction Award- 2015

10 BEST ATTORNEYS for California for Client Satisfaction -DUI Law- Selected 2015.

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If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow 760-837-7500 or

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