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DUI charges hit celebrity basketball coach

A conviction on DUI charges can carry heavy penalties, even for first-time offenders and famous drivers who run into difficulties on the road. Seattle pro basketball fans might remember Derek Fisher, the former coach of the New York Knicks. He is now facing charges of driving under the influence following an early June auto accident. Fisher and his passenger were driving on U.S. Route 101 through the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles when his car hit the concrete curb area of the shoulder and then collided with the guardrail. After the collision, the car overturned and rested on its roof. No one was injured in the accident, although the flipped car blocked two lanes of highway traffic.

At the time, Fisher was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. He has now been formally charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. These are misdemeanor charges under California laws for a first-time offender.

Even for people charged for the first time with drunk driving or related DUI offenses, the penalties can be harsh if a conviction is obtained. They can include fines, potential jail time, and a driver's license suspension.

A DUI defense lawyer can help people charged with driving under the influence to mount a challenge to the allegations, depending on the circumstances of the case. In some instances, the lawyer could move that the breath or blood test evidence be suppressed on the grounds that the traffic stop was not made with the requisite reasonable suspicion.

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