Los Angeles DUI Speed Enhancement
Section 23582 of the California Vehicle Code is commonly known as the “speed enhancement” and is a sentencing enhancement that may apply to certain DUI charges. The enhancement may be assessed when someone violates Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) (driving under the influence), Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) (driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher) or Vehicle Code Section 23153 (DUI with injury) AND drove 20 to 30 miles per hour over the speed limit in a reckless fashion. If convicted of the DUI with the enhancement, there is a mandatory 60 jail sentence that is required. Not even a judge can drop the jail requirement if the enhancement is charged and proven.
On the freeway, driving in excess of 30 mph over the speed limit would trigger the speed enhancement, while on public surface streets a driver need only be travelling 20 mph over the limit to risk implicating the speed enhancement. It is important to remember that speeding on its own is not enough to support the sentencing enhancement. The prosecutor must be able to establish both the excessive speed and “reckless driving.”
California Vehicle Code Section 23103 defines reckless driving as driving a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This occurs when a person is consciously aware of his or her conduct and its likelihood to cause harm or damage, and that person intentionally ignores this risk. California courts have found that this is a very high standard that requires more than a mere possibility that the conduct in question could cause harm, but in fact harm or damage must be “probable.” Courts have further held that speeding and driving drunk by themselves are not enough to classify driving conduct as “reckless,” and some intentional act or omission is additionally required.
Because the speed enhancement automatically requires 60 days in jail if sentenced, it is critical that you have a lawyer on your side to fight your case. Attorney Michael Kraut was a deputy district attorney for over 14 years who will aggressively defend your DUI and sped enhancement charges. He will explore every angle and argument to ensure you have the best defense possible. Contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group at (323) 464-6453 24/7 today to set up a free consultation.