“Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) generally refers to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit ― 0.08% if operating a regular passenger vehicle, 0.01% if under 21 years old or on a DUI probation. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Californians are arrested for DUI violations.
A DUI arrest will automatically trigger two separate and distinct actions against you. State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) (Driver’s License), and one by the County District Attorney’s office (Criminal Charges).The DMV
If you are pulled over by law enforcement and arrested for a DUI, the arresting officer is required by California law to send a sworn report to the DMV, triggering what is known as a Per Se Administrative Review of your Driver’s License.
In California, when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you are considered legally impaired. If the blood or breath test the arresting officer conducted indicates that your BAC is above the legal limit, it may result in a 4-month license suspension for a first offender. A second or subsequent offense within 10 years will result in a 1-year suspension.
The DMV will also require you to take part in a Drinking and Driving program. For first time offenders, the program can be up to 16 weeks long (once a week for 16 weeks). This program is known as AB541. For second or subsequent offenders, the program is normally 18 months (once a week for 18 months) and is known as SB38.
A DUI can also cause your car insurance to be dropped and/or the rates you pay to skyrocket. A Temecula or Hemet DUI lawyer from Davis & Wojcik can protect your rights with the DMV.Criminal Charges
After a DUI arrest, the arresting officer also prepares a police report that is automatically sent to the County District Attorney’s office for determination of whether to file criminal charges against you. DUI penalties and charges vary depending on the circumstances, including your age, license type, and previous convictions and your BAC. An offender could face any of the following:
- Jail time
- License suspension
- Community service.
- DUI Program
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
- SR-22 filing
If the DUI involved an injury or property damage, the penalty could include anything from time in the County Jail to a term in State Prison. In addition, there are increased penalties the defendant had prior misdemeanor DUI’s or prior felony DUI’s in the last 10 years.
California’s DUI laws also apply to medications. It does not matter if illegal drugs are involved. Prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or drugs with excessive alcohol in them (such as cough syrup) can all lead to a DUI arrest.
For drivers under 21 years of age, California has a “Zero Tolerance Law,” which prohibits blood alcohol content of 0.01% or higher. DUI offenders under 21 years old face strict penalties including, a one-year license suspension, criminal charges, DUI school and hundreds of dollars in fines.
DUI convictions stay on your driving record for 10 years. Fortunately, the Temecula and Hemet DUI lawyers of Davis & Wojcik can provide expungement services so that you can once again have a clean record with a sealed conviction.
Are your charges based on the alleged use of drugs rather than alcohol? Was your arrest part of an injury or fatal auto accident, leaving you vulnerable to a charge of vehicular homicide? Are you accused of refusing a breath or blood test? We can handle any aspect of the broad spectrum of charges that a DUI case can bring. The Temecula and Hemet DUI attorneys of Davis & Wojcik will fight for your rights.
We need to hear your side of the story. Your initial consultation with Davis & Wojcik, a Professional Law Corporation, will answer a lot of questions. To schedule an appointment, contact us today by phone at (951) 587-2222 or by email message.