DUI Laws in California
For many people, a DUI offense is their first time in trouble with the law. A DUI charge can be very serious and can have long term effects. If you have been arrested for DUI in California, it is important to make sure that you understand what you are up against.
There are two laws that DUI offenders are subject to. According to California Vehicle code, section 23152 and section 23153 apply to intoxicated drivers.
California 23152 VC Explained
California DUI law V C Section 23152 states that:
(a) It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.
(b) It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
(c) It is unlawful for any person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(d) It is unlawful for any person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210.
A DUI arrest can occur if you are stopped by police either for a traffic violation or at a sobriety checkpoint and determine to be under the influence. Many people think that they must have a BAC over the legal limit to be arrested for DUI. This is not true, a police officer can arrest you for DUI if they believe that you are intoxicated even if you pass or decline taking field sobriety and breathalyzer tests. After you are arrested, you will be taken into custody where you will be asked to take a state administered chemical sobriety test. This is the only test you cannot decline without penalty and the most accurate way to measure your BAC. The legal limits for blood alcohol concentration in California are .08% for drivers over 21, .01% for drivers under 21 and .04% for commercial vehicle drivers.
In addition to alcohol, you can also be arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Drug related DUI charges are more difficult to prove because there is no way to measure the levels of the drug in your system or tell exactly when the drug is consumed. Also, unlike alcohol laws, which measure impairment in terms of BAC, there is no system in place to judge the levels of drugs that would equal intoxication. Regardless, drivers can still be charged with DUI for illegal, prescription and over the counter drug intoxication.
California Implied Consent Law
When you are arrested for DUI, you will be asked to take a chemical sobriety test. During the stop you may have been asked to take a field sobriety test such as standing on one foot or to breathe into a preliminary alcohol screening device, but these tests can be declined with no penalty. They are simply tools police officers use to evaluate your impairment. When you are taken into custody, you will be asked to give a blood, breath or urine sample that will be used to measure your BAC. These chemical sobriety tests are the most accurate way to measure blood alcohol concentration but are still prone to human error. If you refuse to take these tests, the police officer must inform you that to do so would be a violation of the California's implied consent law and you will lose your license for one year as a result
When you get arrested for DUI, the police officer will take your driver's license and give you a temporary license that is only good for 30 days. This is because of an administrative law call admin per se which basically means that if you are intoxicated and drive, the DMV will suspend your license after 30 days. You only have 10 days after a DUI arrest to request a hearing in order to stop this process. This is one of the first things that a lawyer can do for you.
California DUI Lawyer
If you or a loved one are facing charges for DUI in California, call our office now. We understand what it takes to win cases and how important beating the charges can be for someone. We take our job very seriously and work hard for all of our DUI clients. Best of all, if you call now, we will give you a free consultation and explain exactly what we can do for you.