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DUI Information Center – Sonoma County, CA

Santa Rosa Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer Paul Burglin

Skilled Guidance for Drunk Driving Offenders in Sonoma County

Sonoma County has numerous restaurants, bars, wineries and wine-tasting events, as well as casinos. Local police patrol the roads around these establishments, while the California Highway Patrol is ever present on the highways. Late at night, they are looking to pull drivers over for the most minor of infractions (e.g., no front license plate, using a cell phone, touching a fog line, etc.). Tourists are often stopped in rental cars because their headlights didn't activate or because they slowed down looking for a B&B or hotel.

A DUI arrest can be traumatic, especially for a law-abiding citizen. You may have already spent some time in the county jail drunk tank, had your car towed, and perhaps missed a flight home.

The consequences for a drunk driving conviction in Sonoma County are significant. You are facing a suspension of your California driving privileges, as well as a criminal prosecution in the Sonoma County Superior Court in Santa Rosa. How this quagmire will turn out for you depends on the totality of circumstances (e.g., reason for the enforcement stop or police contact, conditions and performance on the field sobriety tests, accuracy and test results on breath or blood samples, etc.) and whether or not you have a competent attorney properly trained in DUI defense work. In some cases, your charges can be dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense, and a license suspension or revocation may be avoided.

To minimize the negative consequences, it is best to retain a DUI attorney who is Board-Certified by the National College of DUI Defense as approved by the American Bar Association. Only five attorneys in California have this certification, and it indicates a high level of skill, knowledge, and experience in this area of the law.

Driving Under the Influence

Sonoma County DUI Process

Sonoma County DUI Process

Motorists arrested for DUI in Sonoma County are usually booked into county jail for at least four hours and then given a future court date for their arraignment. Sometimes, they are cited and released without being booked. It is best to get an attorney involved before the arraignment so your case has the most effective legal defense and you can avoid having to personally appear yourself. However, if there are felony charges (by reason of injury or death, child endangerment, or prior DUI convictions), bail will most likely have to be posted, and your personal appearance will be required in Court along with counsel.

Sonoma County DUI Charges and Penalties

Sonoma County DUI Charges & Penalties

When you are charged with DUI in Sonoma, you are facing various penalties even on a first offense. Your driver's license is subject to an administrative suspension by the DMV for four months or a year if you refuse the chemical test. You may also incur fines and penalty assessments of up to $2,300 and potentially up to six months in county jail. You may be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any car you own or operate.

California DUI Laws

California DUI Laws

The drunk driving laws in California are strict. A motorist arrested for DUI usually faces two criminal charges: driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above. Sentencing enhancements for high alcohol test results or chemical test refusals may be imposed. There is also a separate administrative proceeding initiated by the California DMV to suspend your driver's license or privilege to drive here.

Testimonials, Awards, and Recognition

  • Paul was very helpful and supportive during my DUI case. He was able to get my charges reduced and get my license back. I felt he was very understanding of what I was going through, as well as being very intelligent when it comes to DUI laws. He would always respond to my emails and calls ASAP. I HIGHLY recommend him. If I ever need an attorney again in the future, he is the one I will call upon.

    - RS

  • I was arrested for DUI and blew a .09/.09 on the breath machine. The highway patrol officer said I almost caused a car accident by swerving into an occupied lane on the freeway right in front of him. Mr. Burglin and his expert witness convinced the jury that I was under the legal limit at the time of driving and I was found 'not guilty' of everything.

    - J.L.

  • I was sitting behind the wheel of my truck with the engine running in the middle of an intersection. I had a .25 alcohol level and I threw up in front of the cop. I bombed the field sobriety tests. The Marin County jury hated my guts but they found me 'not guilty' on all charges.

    - G.T.

  • Paul Burglin has been my attorney in four separate jury trials - two in Sonoma County and two in Marin County. Two cases ended in hung juries and the other two ended in full acquittals. The last trial involved a cop who testified under oath that I had pointed a gun at him. Burglin absolutely destroyed him on cross-examination. It was unbelievable!

    - G.M.

AV Martindale Hubbel
National College for DUI Defense
National College for DUI Defense
DUI Defense Law
Super Lawyer


If you are among the numerous visitors to Sonoma County from out-of-state, your DUI arrest ruined an otherwise wonderful visit. Don't compound your misfortune by neglecting to retain a good attorney. To fight the charges against you, you want a strong advocate in your corner fighting hard to protect your rights and interests. An experienced and properly trained Sonoma County drunk driving attorney can handle the entire process for you, so you do not have to spend time and money traveling back to Santa Rosa for your hearings.

Obtain a Blood Alcohol Concentration Estimate

The blood alcohol calculator is provided so you can obtain an estimate of your blood alcohol content (BAC) based on several common factors, such as your age, gender, weight, number and type of drinks you consumed, and the time frame in which you consumed them. There are numerous other factors and variables that impact actual breath test results, so the results you see here are for informational purposes only.

California Drunk Driving Law

California Drunk Driving Law Co-Author Paul Burglin

Attorney Paul Burglin of Burglin Law Offices, P.C. co-authors California Drunk Driving Law, a two-volume legal guide that is commonly referred to as the "Bible of DUI Defense." This book contains hundreds of authoritative case interpretations, creative decision-based drunk driving defenses, and answers to nearly all questions that come up on this topic. Attorney Burglin is not only Board-Certified by the National College of DUI Defense, he is also a Regent for the College and Editor-in-Chief of its national journal.

California Drunk Driving Law is updated annually to provide the most current information, and it is used frequently by other attorneys in the state when they are preparing a DUI defense.

Speak with an Experienced Sonoma County Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

This information guide is provided by Santa Rosa DUI defense attorney Paul Burglin. Contact our office today at 707-320-4007 for a no-obligation, confidential consultation with attorney Paul Burglin.

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