Home · Blog · DUI : Emergency Response Costs

In addition to the penalties imposed by the court and the DMV, the police agency that arrested a defendant can recover Emergency Response Costs associated with the arrest pursuant to Government Code section 53150.  Specifically, Government Code section 53150 states:

“Any person who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug, whose negligent operation of a motor vehicle caused by that influence proximately causes any incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, and any person whose intentionally wrongful conduct proximately causes any incident resulting in an appropriate emergency response, is liable for the expense of an emergency response by a public agency to the incident.”

Intentionally wrongful conduct means conduct that is intended to injure another person or property (Government Code section 53156(c)).

Many police agencies, including the CHP, will send letters to defendants asking them to reimburse them for the cost of arresting and/or cost of booking the defendant.  However, these agencies are NOT entitled to these costs for a mere DUI arrest.  The law states that there must be an “incident” such as an accident and the defendant is responsible for the costs associated with the emergency response to the accident and not simply the costs associated with an arrest.  (California Highway Patrol v. Superior Court (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 488).

If you get these letters for a mere DUI arrest, without an accident, you have the right to fight these extra fees.  The CHP will charge recovery costs between $750 to $900, so it is certainly worth knowing the law and fighting these illegal penalties.

With criminal defense offices in Newport Beach, Long Beach, Diamond Bar, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside and Murrieta, our criminal law attorneys are thoroughly familiar with all aspects of a DUI cases throughout Southern California, including Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and San Diego County.

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