We all studied and heard of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet soliloquy….”That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” However, it is important to understand the context?

There had been a blood feud between the families of Romeo and Juliet and Juliet is saying it is only your name that is the enemy and the reason Juliet can’t love a Montague. Shakespeare also said in a Midnight Summer Night’s Dream…the first thing we have to do is get rid of all the lawyers. Did you understand that meant that to take control of the city, you first had to get rid of the lawyers that protect the citizens? It wasn’t that the lawyers were bad!

So does it really make a difference what we call something? We all know we shouldn’t drink and drive, because it could lead to an accident or an arrest. Does it make any difference if the Riverside Sheriffs are on regular patrols, checkpoints or saturation patrols… and you get arrested? NO, you will go through the same process.

That makes DUI Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols essential to save lives……the drivers and ours. A saturation patrol is a large number of law enforcement officers making their presence known by conducting stops, targeting inebriated, distracted, aggressive and speeding drivers, as well as those with seatbelt or cell phone violations….the whole nine yards of traffic violations.


Of course, no-one wants to be arrested for a DUI and have to deal with jail, probation, costs, stress, time wasted in court and classes etc. However to understand a DUI, please know you don’t have to be drunk. The correct charge is a Driving Under The Influence (DUI). You merely have to be Impaired/Under the Influence or Buzzed from the alcohol and or a drug. This is determined by the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Test at the scene or the Breath or Blood test at the station.

Historically, a DUI has always been called a DEUCE. This is because the Vehicle Code violation has always ended in a 2 and thus Drunk Drivers are referred to as “deuced”. A DUI was initially called a 502 requiring a .15 reading. Next it was called a 23102 requiring a .10 reading.

Today it’s called a 23152(a & b), thus allowing the DA to file two counts. One is Driving under the Influence and the second count is Driving with a BA level of .08 or more. Many juries now split the baby and find the driver innocent of one count and guilty of the other. If there is a guilty verdict of either count it is a DUI with the same sentence. So who cares what it is called?

In California you are under the influence if your ability to drive is impaired. Impairment takes place when your blood alcohol reading is .08 or higher. Thus, if you are driving on a California road with .08 or higher the burden of proof almost reverts back to you, to show that you weren’t under the influence and/or your blood alcohol was not .08.

In the Coachella Valley, few realize we have more DUI FATALITIES…per capita, than anywhere else in California. Does it really make any difference what we call it? What’s in a name?

Remember: Silence is Golden and Handcuffs are Silver so DON’T TALK to POLICE without your lawyer’s permission.

Though often referred to as a DUI 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 after screwing up.

I do however “Change Hats” when I SUE Drunk Drivers for damages to my Injured or Deceased (Wrongful Death) clients.

SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE ARTICLE? CONTACT DALE GRIBOW 760-837-7500/ dale@dalegribowlaw.com.



“TOP LAWYER” – California’s Prestige Magazine, Palm Springs Life (PI/DUI) 2011-20

“TOP LAWYER” – Inland Empire Magazine 2016- 2019

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