By Dale Gribow

Most new clients ask “you mean I could go to jail for a first offense DUI? I explain “Yes in the Indio Court you will receive a period of time in Jail as part of your sentencing”! Most DA’s will demand 10 days as a start on a first offense arrest.

Though I am sometimes referred to as a criminal defense lawyer, I choose to not view my DUI clients as “criminals”. I prefer to view them, and more importantly to treat, them as good, honest people that have found themselves in a scary and unfortunate situation and not treat them as criminals.

In my role as a DUI defense lawyer I look upon my job as protecting the Constitutional rights of every American who drinks and drives and thereafter gets arrested for Drunk Driving. I change “hats” when as a lawyer I sue of behalf of someone injured by a drunk driver.


During the holidays many of our neighbors will attend their office or neighbor’s party without thinking about the consequences. They, as well as tourists, will drink and not use good judgment. These drivers will drink more than they should or more than they realize and many will be stopped for speeding, unsafe lane change or not having an up to date tag on their license plate. These are all probable cause for the officer asking the driver to take the Field Sobriety Test and a breath of blood test.

Many drivers will also get in a fatal car accident and injure or kill an innocent party. This tragedy happened to my 25 year old client Celena Nava who worked at Eisenhower. She was jogging last October 20 in Coachella and was hit and killed by a drunk driver. The pain the family has experienced is beyond words. It will last a lifetime and there is nothing anyone can do to take the pain away. The policy limits money I recovered for the family for Celena’s wrongful death, cannot begin to ease the pain they will experienced as they celebrate Christmas and New Year’s again this year.

I have sued drunk drivers for injuries they have caused to my clients for over 30 years AND I have successfully defended those charged with driving under the influence when I change hats. Most drivers did not realize they could be charged with a drunk driving with the little alcohol they believe that had consumed. They incorrectly looked at the number of drinks they consumed rather than the amount of alcohol in the drinks. For DUI purposes a drink equals 1 ounces of alcohol; 12 ounces of beer or 4 ounces of wine.

Thus when the bartender pours a 6-8 ounce glass of wine and you have two drinks you have consumed the equivalent of 3 or 4 drinks. Likewise my clients tell me they were not drunk. The law does not require one to be drunk but rather under the influence. You are under the influence when your ability to drive is impaired and that occurs when you reach a .08 blood alcohol level. However the Indio DA (unlike many other jurisdictions) will file .07’s…..and YES the DA and the court asks for a minimum of 10 days in jail on a first offense DUI.

It is also necessary to look at what medications the driver has consumed be they prescriptive, over the counter or illegal. Many pills have a warning not to mix with alcohol and not to operate heavy machinery after taking the medication. This means a car not just a tractor. The combination of alcohol and these pills will create a Potentiation so the driver is a lot more under the influence at .05 to.07 than the average person.


Dale Gribow, selected every year as “TOP LAWYER” by Palm Springs LIFE, is also AVVO PEER rated SUPERB by fellow attorneys. Gribow has been Man of the Year 7 times including The City of Hope and the City of Palm Desert.

For more than 30 years Dale Gribow Attorney at Law has been committed to protecting client’s civil and constitutional rights. Regardless of whether the matter of concern is due to a Serious Accident, DUI, Business, Real Estate or Estate Planning matter, every case is treated with dignity and diligence. The Gribow firm offers a respected legacy of experience and success to all they serve thus making Gribow the attorney of choice for thousands of clients.

If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow Attorney at Law at his NEW number

760 837 7500 and or his new email: