California has taken a hard stance against driving under the influence (DUI) and expanded their charges for DUI. A person can be charged for DUI either by their blood alcohol content (BAC) or by their impaired driving. It is important to understand the types of DUI charges that can be brought against you in California if you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
California DUI by BAC
You can be charged with a DUI in California if your blood alcohol content is over a certain level. Under Section 23152(b) of the California code, it is unlawful for a person to have a BAC of 0.08% or more and drive a vehicle. The state actually breaks the legal limit into four different categories, depending on the situation:
- Adults over the age of 21 years old: 0.08% or higher
- Adults holding a commercial driver’s license: 0.04% or higher
- Adults on probation for a previous DUI charge: 0.04% or higher
- Under the age of 21: 0.01% or higher
California DUI by Impairment
California Section 23152(a) also allows for a person to be charged with a DUI even if his or her BAC is not over the legal limit. The law provides that a person can be charged with DUI if his or her physical or mental abilities are so impaired that the person is no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances. This applies to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Penalties for California DUI
The penalties for DUI in California increase for every subsequent charge. A person can be convicted of a first, second, and third DUI as well as felony DUI. The punishment ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony, with additional penalties as appropriate.
- First DUI: Misdemeanor, up to six months in county jail, up to $1,000 fine, driver’s license restricted for six to10 months, three or nine months in alcohol re-education program
- Second DUI: Misdemeanor, 96 hours to one year in county jail, up to $1,000 fine, driver’s license suspended for two years, 18 or 30 months in alcohol re-education program
- Third DUI: Misdemeanor, 120 days to one year in county jail, up to $1,000 fine, driver’s license suspended for three years, 30 months in alcohol re-education program
A person can be charged with felony DUI for a fourth or subsequent DUI charge, a DUI accident that results in death or serious injury, or a prior felony DUI on his or her record. A felony DUI comes with a prison sentence, fine up to $3,000, 18 months in an alcohol re-education program, installation of an ignition interlock device, and revocation of driver’s license for four years. If the felony DUI caused injury or death to another person, the driver will also be responsible for restitution to the victim.
Contact a Los Angeles DUI Attorney Today
Our DUI attorneys are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to protect your freedom, and to keep your driving record clean while reducing the impact of a DUI charge on your life and finances. We provide legal assistance in English, Spanish, Farsi, Korean, and Arabic. Contact our offices today to schedule a consultation with a DUI attorney to see what we can do for you.