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Our society gives mixed messages when it comes to alcohol. Every day, we are bombarded by advertisements for beer, wine and liquor that depict drinking as a glamorous, sexy activity with no downside or consequences. So many of our social gatherings, such as parties, holidays, and family gatherings, frequently revolve around drinking.

At the same time, California law makes it a crime to drive with a certain amount of alcohol in your system. These contradictory values — the pressure to drink and the pressure not to drink — can land you in jail and cost you your driver’s license.

What is binge drinking?

Binge drinking can put you at particular risk of an arrest on DUI charges in San Diego. Binge drinking is defined as drinking to drunkenness within a two-hour period. Depending on your gender, age and size, a drinking binge can include anywhere from four, five or more drinks. A drink in this case would be 14 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine or a shot (1.5 oz.) of hard liquor.

The risk of a first DUI conviction

Everyone is responsible for what they put into their bodies, of course. But it is not at all hard to drink past the legal limit while still feeling like you are sober enough to drive safely. If caught, even if you were not involved in a car accident, you could face probation, a driver’s license suspension, having to undergo a first-offender alcohol program for 30 hours, and thousands of dollars in fines — all for a first DUI offense.

Still, you might have options if you have been charged. Depending on the police’s conduct during your traffic stop, you might be able to get some or all of the evidence tossed from court. You might also negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor that reduces the charges and lets you get your license back sooner.

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