It might seem obvious today to state that Napa Valley has a long tradition of growing grapes and producing internationally renowned wine. However, it is probably less well known that this industry, which arguably began when Charles Krug established the first commercial winery in the 1860’s, did not always flourish. In fact, it nearly ceased to exist because of the two separate, unrelated, and quite unpredictable incidents of biological catastrophe and political machinations. The remarkable part about these setbacks, which nearly resulted in the dissolution of the wineries, is that they are most likely what gave the current vintners the respect for and dedication to their craft that they have today.
Following Krug’s (or John Patchett’s, depending on where you look) winery, people began to take notice of Napa Valley’s idyllic natural environment for growing wine grapes. A lot of people, in fact, as the number of wineries expanded to nearly one hundred and forty by 1890. Now that Napa’s Mediterranean climate and rich soil were a known factor, it would follow that the industry continued to evolve towards the present day. Despite the fact that vintners were thriving, they were incredibly unprepared for the catastrophic events of the 20th century.
In the early to mid 20th century the vintners of Napa Valley suffered two major blows to their livelihood, the first of which was the Prohibition Act in 1920. Some of the vintners were able to make do by shipping grapes to home winemakers and by producing sacramental wine for religious purposes, but Prohibition certainly contributed to the fact that very few of the wineries established in the late 19th century managed to survive, including Charles Krug Winery, Chateau Montelena, and Beringer. Surprisingly, being forced to transform into grape sellers was not the most harmful thing that could have occurred. Many vineyards were still in place, and when Prohibition was repealed in 1933, they could begin manufacturing wine again. Robert Mondavi established the first new large scale commercial winery after Prohibition in 1965, after splitting from his family’s Charles Krug estate. The worst, yet strangely fortuitous, blow would come in the 1980’s.
Phylloxera, already responsible for wreaking havoc among France’s vineyards, was already present in California in the early 1900s. Many vintners believed themselves protected from the pest by grafting resistant roots to their vines. Unfortunately, they were either very wrong or simply not resistant to the type of phylloxera in California. Conservative guesses estimate that nearly two thirds of the wine crops were destroyed and had to be replanted in the mid-1980’s. While potentially billions of dollars worth in losses seems like irrecoverable disaster, the winemakers and planters responded enthusiastically to the challenge of rebuilding. Not only did they capitalize on the available research concerning resistant strains, they were also able to match wines to their most favorable regions. In one stroke they re-cultivated their vineyards to offer distinct aromas, flavors, and textures across a host of unique grape varieties.
The general public was most likely made aware of Napa Valley’s quality a few years earlier, during the 1976 Paris Tasting, in which two California wines beat European equivalents in a blind tasting. However, Napa Valley wines have held continued international prominence because of the adversity that the industry has overcome, instilling in these vintners a spirit of collaborative dedication to their art.
The University of California at Los Angeles hosts tens of thousands of undergraduates and graduate students every year. As one of the largest public universities, population-wise, in the country, its high number of students and student organizations contributes to UCLA’s high number of alcohol-related incidents that are annually reported. Although certainly not every student in college participates in alcohol-related events and organizations, a high number of DUI incidents in the state of California are reported to involve college-aged individuals.
The Department of Motor Vehicles reports that in California, over 200,000 arrests for DUI are recorded every year, and nearly 7,000 of these arrests result in felony DUI charges. This means that most of the arrests resulted in misdemeanor charges, and many college-related incidents are these misdemeanors. However, even misdemeanor charges of DUI, if they result in a conviction, can have a significant effect on a person’s life, particularly if the individual is accused of causing physical damages to property or injuries to another person.
The UCLA campus has organizations that resist irresponsible alcohol use, including the organization entitled GAMMA, or Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol, which encourages students to encounter situations involving alcohol with maturity and the ability to manage the pressure to drink. Despite campus-wide efforts to control drinking and also drinking and driving incidents, UCLA still has its fair share of DUIs.
Signs of a Drunk Driver
Intoxicated driving can usually be spotted from a distance. Some of the following behaviors could be indicators that a person is operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance:
If a driver exhibits these behaviors, he or she could be under the influence of an intoxicating substance and may easily cause harm to himself or herself, or another person that happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The best thing to do is to avoid drivers exhibiting any of these signs and contact law enforcement, but unfortunately, many people are unable to avoid encountering a driver under the influence.
If a person is convicted of DUI in the state of California, he or she could face serious consequences that could affect their lives significantly. For instance, for a first offense of DUI, a person could face up to $2600 in fines, up to 6 months in jail, and the loss of his or her license for up to a year. If subsequent convictions occur, the penalties become harsher, and may include tens of thousands of dollars worth of fines, years in jail, and a permanent loss of driving privileges. Despite UCLA’s efforts to control its student population, there are still many incidents involving DUI every year, resulting in both serious accidents and physical and financial consequences for both the perpetrators and the victims. Fortunately, if you are involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you might be able to sue for compensation.
To be legally intoxicated, a person’s blood alcohol level (BAC) must be over .08%, if they are of legal drinking age. However, if you are a minor, or under the age of 21 and are found to have been driving under the influence of alcohol, you can be found guilty of DUI with a BAC of just .01%. Obviously, the penalties for a minor’s DUI and an adult’s DUI can vary, but many of the penalties depend on more than just a person’s age. The damage that an individual causes, or any injury that he or she inflicts on another, could also factor into a court’s decision to convict a person of DUI and assign a severe penalty.
DUI, is a serious crime in the state of California, and if a person is convicted of DUI, he or she could be facing a number of serious and life-changing penalties. Depending on a variety of factors, like age, prior convictions, and damages caused, a person’s penalties for a DUI conviction can vary significantly from case to case. Sadly, in many cases, penalties for DUI convictions are often severe because multiple people are involved and physical injury often occurs.
Because many DUI laws are statutory, it’s important to understand how California’s DUI penalties may differ from the laws in other states. In California, a person found guilty of DUI, for a first offense, could face penalties like the following:
These penalties can become more or less severe depending on the effects of a person’s DUI. For example, if another person was injured in a DUI accident, the person convicted of DUI may face harsher penalties such as longer time served in jail, higher fines, and a permanent loss of driving privileges. Also, if a DUI charge is a person’s second charge, his or her penalties could increase in the following ways:
Clearly, a third or subsequent conviction for DUI can result in life-changing penalties in California, such as years in jail, tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and permanent loss of driving privileges. The more DUI offenses a person has in the state of California, the more severe the penalties tend to be.
One of the sites of many DUI offenses in California is on and around the UCLA campus. Unfortunately, many college students engage in underage or irresponsible drinking and choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. If and when this happens, the consequences can be damaging for both the convicted person and the university itself, both financially and for each entity’s reputation. This is one of the reasons that penalties for DUI convictions in California tend to be so harsh—to act as a deterrent for dangerous behavior.