Ventura, CA- Drinking goes with the Fourth of July like American flags and fireworks. That means over the long holiday weekend an untold number of people got behind the wheel of their cars and drive home drunk. Sadly, holidays like the Fourth are also marked by more fatal traffic accidents. Long holiday weekends are prime opportunities for police to step up their efforts and nab as many drunken drivers as possible and this past week is no different.

Fourteen law enforcement agencies in Ventura County managed to arrest 46 people for driving under the influence over Independence Day Weekend, according to a press release. Two drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and two others were arrested for drug and alcohol impaired driving.

Fortunately, there were no fatal drunk driving accidents in the county over this Fourth of July.

If you happen to be on the unfortunate individuals who got charged with a DUI this weekend, the first thing you need to do is contact a Ventura DUI attorney immediately. A DUI is not a frivolous charge; it will change a person’s life in more ways than they realize.

The cost alone—a DUI can cost upwards of $10,000—can be more than some offenders can afford, and the costs continue long after you’ve appeared in court or completed your sentence. A convicted DUI offender can expect to pay exorbitant insurance premiums for years following their arrest. If ignition interlock devices are required, the offender must pay for installation and monthly maintenance fees. The list goes on.

Usually, the first punishment an alleged DUI offender is subjected to is a temporary suspension of their driver’s license. It is almost always taken away immediately and unless you get assistance from an attorney, you won’t be able to drive until you appear in court. With legal help you may be able to retain your driving privileges under the condition you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.  And limit your driving as the court dictates, which means you may only be allowed to drive to and from work, but it’s better than not being able to drive at all.

The next step is to decide how you will approach your case: Do want to try negotiate for a plea bargain? Should you try and have your charges reduced? Do have a greater chance of beating a DUI conviction by appearing in court? Will I have to serve community service? Go to rehab? Go to DUI School? How long will my license be suspended?

There’s no simple answer to any of those questions; the penalties a person faces depends on the individual circumstances of their arrest, such their blood alcohol content, how they performed in field sobriety tests and whether they cooperated with police. When building your defense, your Ventura County DUI attorney will question everything about your arrest. They will challenge an officer’s reason to stop you and to question their observations of your intoxication.

Many aspects of your arrest and even your personal life weight heavily in your DUI defense and your attorney knows how to use those aspects to your advantage and possibly help you avoid a DUI conviction.