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Court Said Don't Drive at Newport Beach DUI Hearings; 4 Caught Doing it Anyway

On Aug. 3, four drivers were cited as the Sheriff’s Department staked out the Newport Beach courthouse looking for people who got behind the wheel without a valid license or with a suspended license because of a driving under the influence case.

Sheriff’s deputies followed 15 suspects from their hearings in Orange County Superior Court as they walked to the parking lot, according to a news release issued by the Sherriff’s Department. According to officials, they specifically followed individuals who were warned not to drive.

Suspects Warned Not to Drive

Five of the 15 suspects slid behind the wheel of their vehicles and drove away as soon as they left the courthouse. The news release said that the people who chose to drive were stopped near the courthouse by waiting deputies.

Four of the drivers received misdemeanor traffic citations and their vehicles were impounded for 30 days. It turned out that the fifth driver was not notified that his license was suspended, so he received his official notification when he was pulled over near the courthouse.

On June 1, 2015, CBS Los Angeles reported a similar undercover sting that Orange County Sheriff’s deputies ran at the same courthouse. That operation resulted in eight citations, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department periodically performs stings at the Newport Beach courthouse as a way to deter drivers from driving on suspended or revoked licenses. It’s funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Caught driving on a suspended license?

As tempting as it may be, you don’t want to be caught driving on a suspended license after a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). Under VC Section 14601.2, you cannot drive while your license is suspended or revoked for DUI.

If you are caught driving on a suspended license after a DUI, you face the following penalties:

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • A fine not to exceed $1,000
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirement

If you’re facing a 14601 VC violation, the prosecutor may prefer to save their time and resources for more serious offenses, which can work to your advantage. In that case, they may be willing to dismiss driving on a suspended license, especially if you have little criminal history and you’ve taken the appropriate steps to get your license reinstated.

In legal trouble? Don’t wait – contact an Orange County DUI attorneyfrom the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, LLP for the skilled defense your situation demands!