Law enforcement officials earlier this year declared 2010 to be the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Year of the DUI Checkpoint.Ã¢â‚¬Â
College students are of the many participants in growing DUI statistics in California.
Cal State Fullerton student Brandon Salgado, business major, is just one of many students to experience receiving a DUI.
On the night of his DUI, Brandon had met with one of his friends for dinner. He drank five margaritas and one shot of tequila before he left the restaurant.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I realized that I was buzzed, but I had never really taken a breathalyzer and didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really understand what .08 felt like,Ã¢â‚¬Â Salgado said.
He was pulled over by police when he was driving through Irvine on his way home to Ladera Ranch. When the police officer asked if Salgado had been drinking he said no. The officer pulled out a light and ran it back and forth across his eyes. Salgado was asked to get out of the car.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He explained that my eyes Ã¢â‚¬ËœflutteredÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and that was a sign of being under the influence. When he brought out the breathalyzer, I blew into it, and soon after he put the cuffs on my hand,Ã¢â‚¬Â Salgado said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“He was frustrated with me because I had not been honest, but was being a little more sympathetic once he had me in cuffs.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Salgado was taken to Santa Ana jail, where he was given a blood test. But the amount of alcohol in his blood stream was too high, he was going to receive a DUI.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Then I was placed in a holding cell with the rest of the people that had been admitted,Ã¢â‚¬Â Salgado said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The rest of the night was spent moving me into different cells, usually with people who also had been brought in for DUI.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Consequences for DUI offenders persists even after jail time.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I had to attend (Alcoholics Anonymous) classes once a week for about a month and a half and the classes lasted about seven hours,Ã¢â‚¬Â Salgado said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the end, it ended up costing thousands, between actual DUI fines, classes and towing fees.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The $10,000 ride home is usually a lesson learned for many people who have received a DUI.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a very sobering experience. You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t drive for six months and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very job limiting because you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get a job outside of the neighborhood. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s depressing,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Damon Laguna, 32.
Tom Lavelle, 20, said he knows 30 people that will not drink and drive when they hear about his DUI experience.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I feel like the whole thing was a learning experience,Ã¢â‚¬Â Salgado said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have driven at times that I know I was more intoxicated than this unfortunate night. Also, I believe that after this experience, I have been more responsible about letting my friends drive. It was an expensive learning experience.Ã¢â‚¬Â