California prohibits not only driving under the influence (DUI) but also boating under the influence (BUI). And in the areas of Lake Havasu and Needles (which borders the Colorado River), police set their sights on the water as well as the roads when hunting down people to arrest.
On this page, our Lake Havasu and Needles DUI / BUI attorneys answer the following frequently-asked-questions:
- 1. What are the DUI penalties in Lake Havasu and Needles?
- 2. What are the BUI penalties in Lake Havasu and Needles?
- 3. Will I lose my driver’s license?
- 4. Do I have to do DUI School?
- 5. Who makes DUI and BUI arrests in Lake Havasu and Needles?
- 6. Where is the jail?
- 7. Where is the courthouse?
- 8. Who is DUI / BUI lawyer Michael Scafiddi, Esq.?
1. What are the DUI penalties in Lake Havasu and Needles?
For a first-offense California misdemeanor DUI, the typical sentence consists of the following:
- Two days to six months of jail (which we can usually get suspended)
- Three years of probation
- A three-to-nine month DUI School program (scroll lower for more information)
- Six-month driver’s license suspension, however defendants can usually continue driving if they agree to install an IID (ignition interlock device)
- Fines of $390 to over $1,000
Note that misdemeanor DUI defendants are typically charged under two statutes: Vehicle Code 23152(a) for driving impaired and Vehicle Code 23152(b) for driving with an illegal blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Second and third DUIs carry harsher sentences, such as mandatory jail time, greater fines, longer alcohol & drug education programs, and mandatory ignition interlock devices installed. A fourth DUI in ten years is automatically charged as a felony.
Since DUI cases tend to last up to a year or more, our Needles and Lake Havasu City DUI attorneys use the time to investigate your case, collect evidence, and bargain with prosecutors in the hopes of throwing out or at least reducing your charges. Most of the time, we can make all your court appearances for you unless you wish to take the case to trial and testify.
2. What are the BUI penalties in Lake Havasu and Needles?
As with DUI, California boating under the influence (BUI) laws prohibit operating a motorboat, aquaplane, jet ski, and water skis with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more.
The Colorado River (bordering Needles) and Lake Havasu are patrolled by various law enforcement agencies – including the Coast Guard – that are constantly looking out for erratically-driven boats. If the authorities suspect boat operators of being intoxicated or high, they will ask them to perform field sobriety tests and submit to a breath or blood test.
Penalties for a typical California misdemeanor BUI (simple BUI) include up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and DUI School. Successive BUI convictions have longer jail terms and steeper fines. And BUI causing injury (aggravated BUI) may carry up to three years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
3. Will I lose my driver’s license?
A BUI arrest does not jeopardize the defendant’s driver’s license, but DUI arrests do. Right after a police officer arrests a suspect for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in California, the officer will confiscate his/her license and issue a thirty-day temporary one.
Meanwhile, the defendant has just ten days from the date of the arrest to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to request a DMV Hearing. This is where the defendant (or his/her attorney) contests the license suspension. DMV hearings are actually more difficult to win than criminal case trials because the state has a very low burden of proof.
First-time DUI defendants who lose their DMV hearing can usually continue driving during the six-month suspension period if they have an IID in their car. But subsequent DUIs may result in a two-to-three year license suspension.
4. Do I have to do DUI school?
For convictions of either driving or boating under the influence, judges always include an alcohol and drug education program as part of the sentence. First-time offenders are often ordered to complete only three-to-nine months (depending on their BAC level), while second- or third-time offenders have to take eighteen- or thirty-month programs.
One local DUI School in Needles that offers both First Offender and Eighteen-month programs is:
Needles Center for Change,
Mental Health Systems, Inc.
300 H Street
Needles, CA 92363
5. Who makes DUI and BUI arrests in Lake Havasu and Needles?
Arrests in Lake Havasu City are typically made by law enforcement officers in the Lake Havasu Police Department. The station is located at 2360 McCulloch Blvd. N. Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403. The phone number is (928) 855-1171.
Arrests in Needles are typically made by law enforcement officers from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. The Needles Patrol station is located at 1111 Bailey Avenue, Needles, California 92363. The phone number is (760) 326-9200.
There are several law enforcement agencies that patrol the water of Lake Havasu at any given time, including the Lake Havasu PD.
6. Where is the jail?
For misdemeanor DUI and simple BUI, arrestees in Needles and Lake Havasu are often released from the nearest sheriff’s substation as long as they can post bail. Otherwise, they may be taken across San Bernardino County to be booked at such jails as:
West Valley Detention Center
9500 Etiwanda Ave.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
Adelanto Detention Center
9438 Commerce Way
Adelanto, California 92301
7. Where is the courthouse?
Now that the Needles Courthouse no longer handles criminal matters, DUI and BUI cases are currently heard in the Bartow Courthouse, Department Five, located at 235 East Mountain View Avenue. The phone number is (760) 256-4758.
The San Bernardino County D.A.’s Office prosecutes all DUI and BUI matters, and all court appearances and hearings usually take place on Fridays. People can ask the front desk for information about DUI School.
8. Who is DUI / BUI lawyer Michael Scafiddi, Esq.?
Michael Scafiddi, attorney at law, draws on his past career as a prosecutor, police officer, and DUI investigator to craft the most foolproof defense possible for your case. Police frequently make mistakes, and their breath-testing equipment is often faulty, so Michael Scafiddi searches for these and other holes in the state’s evidence in an effort to dismiss or reduce the charges against you.
Lake Havasu BUI/ DUI lawyer Michael Scafiddi enjoys nearly 25 years of law enforcement and criminal defense experience. His experience covers the entire spectrum of California “under the influence” law, including vehicular manslaughter cases. Scafiddi is also a participant in the California DUI Lawyers Association and the National College for DUI Defense.
If you have been arrested for California DUI or BUI around Needles or Lake Havasu, do not wait to contact our San Bernardino criminal defense attorneys at (909) 863-5500 for legal help. Our office is located at 432 N. Arrowhead Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92408. Our DUI attorneys have been serving Needles, CA and Lake Havasu for more than a decade. Our experienced attorneys have perfect 10-point AVVO ratings and stellar peer reviews.
The law offices of Shouse Law Group provide legal representation throughout northern, central, and southern California, including Los Angeles County, San Jose, San Francisco, Riverside County, Palm Desert, Orange County, Irvine, Inland Empire, Hemet, San Diego, and more.
Our legal team has years of experience and an impressive track record of getting DUI and BUI charges reduced or dismissed. We defend against all types of criminal charges, from traffic tickets and theft offenses to domestic violence and drug crimes. Our practice areas also include personal injury, family law, and estate planning in addition to criminal defense law.
Arrested in Arizona? Contact our legal team at Shouse Arizona Law Group at (602) 946-4200. Our Maricopa County attorneys appear in justice courts throughout the state of Arizona, including Phoenix, Bullhead City, Kingman, Mohave County, and more. Learn more about our AZ DUI lawyers.