Driving Under The Influence – In California
Under VC 23152(a), driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a serious criminal offense. The punishment for a DUI conviction may result in substantial jail time and severe fines. Being arrested for a DUI is just the beginning of a long process. Other than the criminal case you will face, you must also answer to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), who will attempt to suspend or revoke your driving privilege.
Types of DUI's
- DUI involving injury
If you are accused of a DUI that involved an injury, your punishment will be much more severe.
There are different types of DUIs. The most common DUI occurs when your blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) is at 0.08% or higher at the time of driving. However, you may still be charged with a DUI if your BAC is lower than 0.08%.
- DUI - no injuries
VC 23152(a) states that it is unlawful for any person who is “under the influence” of any alcoholic beverage and/or drug to drive a vehicle. It does not require your BAC to be 0.08% or higher. You are considered to be “under the influence” for purposes of VC 23152(a) when your mental or physical abilities are so impaired by drugs and/or alcohol that you are no longer able to drive a vehicle with the same caution as a sober person using ordinary care under similar circumstances.
Another type of DUI offense is a DUI that causes an injury to another person under VC 23153. The DUI penalties are severe, but the punishment for a DUI causing injury will increase dramatically. Speak to one of our experienced DUI attorneys today, so we can provide you with our help based on the specific facts of your case.
DMV Consequences Related To A DUI Offense (VC 13557)
Aside from your DUI case in criminal court, you must also worry about the DMV suspending your driver’s license. Following a DUI arrest, you have only 10 days from the date of arrest to schedule a DMV hearing to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. Given the complexity of this hearing, it is never a good idea to defend yourself at a DMV hearing without the help of an experienced attorney.
A DMV hearing is an administrative process that is distinct from the criminal charges. If you do not schedule a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest, your license will be suspended for 4 months for a first DUI offense, and you will waive your right to have a DMV hearing in the future. If you enroll in a required alcohol program, your license may be suspended for 1 month and restricted for an additional 5 months.
How To Be Found Guilty Of Driving Under The Influence – VC 23152(a)
California is one of the most aggressive states when it comes to prosecuting DUI cases. You are unlikely to win your DUI case or get the best possible result in your case if you do not hire an experienced DUI attorney.
To prove that you were driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:
- You drove a vehicle; AND
- You were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or a drug or the combined influence of both when you drove the vehicle.
- You were “under the influence” if, as a result of drinking an alcoholic beverage, and/or taking a drug, your mental or physical abilities were so impaired that you were no longer able to drive a vehicle with ordinary care.
What Is Ordinary Care For Purposes Of A DUI?
“Ordinary care” is defined as the caution a sober person would use in similar circumstances. The manner in which you drove is not enough by itself to establish whether you were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug. However, it is a factor to be considered, in light of all the surrounding circumstances, in deciding whether you were under the influence.
Driving With A Blood Alcohol Level Of 0.08 Or Greater – VC 23152(b)
- To convict you of a DUI with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:
- You drove a vehicle; AND
- Your blood alcohol level was 0.08 percent or more by weight when you drove the vehicle.
Call Trivino Perez & Associates, we have been successfully defending our client's since 2002. We leave no stone un-turned, and are not intimidated by prosecutor tactics aimed to intimidate the novice attorneys.