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DUI; CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC MISDEMEANORS; AND TRAFFIC INFRACTIONS (TICKETS)
The California Vehicle Code states as pertinent:
23152(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.
Under Section 23152 (a) “under the influence” basically means that due to your drinking your physical and mental abilities are impaired and you no longer have the ability to drive with the same caution as a prudent ordinary sober person under the same or similar circumstances.
Under Section 23152 (b), you are prohibited from driving, if you have 0.08% of alcohol by weight, in your blood. You break the law simply by having that blood alcohol level or higher.
Once lawfully arrested (the officer had “reasonable suspicion” to pull you over and “probable cause” to arrest you), under Vehicle Code Section 23612, you are required to submit to a chemical test of your blood alcohol level.
The testing should be administered under the direction the officer who arrested you who has “reasonable cause” to believe that you were driving under the influence. The officer has to inform you that your failure to submit to or complete a chemical test will lead to the suspension of your driver’s license for one year (for a first offense).
In order to protect your constitutional rights and begin preparing for your defense, call us immediately.
When you are arrested, the officer will take your driver’s license. The officer will give a temporary license that is good for 30 days, and a notice that your license will be suspended in 30 days.
Once you get the notice, you have 10 days to request a DMV Hearing regarding the suspension of your license. Without the hearing, your license will be suspended for four months, and under certain conditions, even longer.
The maximum penalties for a first offense DUI under either or both of the Vehicle Code sections stated above can include: 6 months in the county jail; penalties and fines over $3,000; a license suspension of 6 months (under certain conditions, longer); impoundment of your car for 30 days; and the attachment of an “interlock ignition” device to your car that won’t allow you to start the engine if it detects alcohol in your breath.
The penalties for a second and third conviction for DUI are far more severe.
If you are arrested for DUI, like any other criminal case, you are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of every element of the alleged offense as stated in the statute. It is important that you contact an attorney immediately to protect and preserve your rights and also make sure that you schedule the DMV Hearing within the 10 day period.
This information is for informational purposes only and does not constitute nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.