California DUI Speeding Enhancement Laws
When a person is accused of DUI, there are a number of factors that can lead to additional penalties. Lawmakers add penalties for offenders who display extremely reckless driving. This is to discourage future reckless behavior as well as to make sure dangerous drivers get the consequences that they deserve.
One of these factors is excessive speeding. Speeding is one of the most common enhancements, but you cannot face this charge unless you are first convicted of a DUI charge. If a driver is convicted in California for any of the following offenses, they can face extra penalties for speeding:
- Vehicle Code section 23152 – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Vehicle Code section 23153 – Driving under the influence and causing injury
There are certain requirements for the speeding to be considered excessive as well. These rules are discussed in the next section.
DUI Speeding Enhancement
An Enhancement is not a crime in itself but a law that requires additional penalties be added to the sentence if certain situations occur.
California Vehicle Code section 23582 VC states several conditions must be met in order for the speeding enhancement to be charged. These conditions are as follows:
1) The driver was speeding 30 miles per hour or more over “the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on a freeway” OR
The driver was speeding 20 miles per hour or more over “the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on any other street or highway”
The term prima facie refers to the implied speed limit on a road in the event that there is no posted speed limit.
2) The driver demonstrated driving that violates California vehicle code section 23103 VC for reckless driving. In order for driving to be considered reckless it must display a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
3) The driver is convicted of a DUI offense of vehicle code sections 23152 (DUI) or 23153 (DUI with injury).
If all three of these factors are covered, you can face an additional speeding enhancement charge.
California Speeding Enhancement Penalties
The penalties for a DUI conviction can include jail time, fines, up to 5 years of informal probation, DUI education classes, license suspension and more. If certain factors are present during your arrest, you can also get additional penalties. The penalty for excessive speeding while DUI is:
- 60 days in county jail
While this may not seem like a harsh sentence, the judge cannot suspend this sentence once a conviction has been made. In order words, even if you do not have to serve any jail time for your DUI conviction or you are able to get probation instead of incarceration, you will still have to serve 60 days in jail if you are also convicted of a speeding enhancement charge. Serving two months in jail is not only unpleasant, but can lead to loss of job or inability to finish school.
Since the two charges go hand in hand, in some cases, a prosecutor can also push for reckless driving charges in addition to the speeding enhancement and the initial driving under the influence charge.
Speeding Enhancement Defenses
There are several defense strategies that attorneys can use to fight a speeding enhancement charge. The first and most obvious is to fight the DUI offense. A DUI offense can be challenged in many ways from questioning the sobriety test results to looking at how the stop was conducted. If you are not convicted of DUI, the speeding enhancement charge will also be dropped
In the event that the DUI offense cannot be successfully challenged, the speeding enhancement charge can be fought using any of the following defenses:
- The driver was not speeding 30 or 20 mph over the speed limit. In some cases, speed limits change in certain areas or police use a visual assessment to decide how fast a driver was going. A lawyer will work to establish doubt to the fact that you were really traveling at such high speeds.
- The driver was not driving recklessly. This is a common speeding enhancement defense because even if the driver was under the influence and speeding, it still needs to be proven that they were driving recklessly. If the driver, for example, was 30 mph over the limit on a freeway but was obeying every other traffic law and was only traveling at that speed to keep up with other vehicles, it may not be considered reckless driving.
California DUI Attorney
If you have been accused of DUI and speeding, call our firm right away. Our lawyers will work hard for you. When you call our office and speak to a DUI attorney, you will feel much more confident about the future of your case. Call us now for a free consultation.