While it's common knowledge in California that being caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher leads to serious repercussions, there are other factors to keep in mind. For instance, individuals under the age of 21 can be charged with an underage DUI if their BAC is merely 0.01. Essentially, a single drink is considered over the limit for those below the legal drinking age. Similarly, a person on probation for a prior alcohol-related offense is not permitted to drive with a BAC of 0.01 or higher.
It's also crucial to be aware that a BAC of 0.16 or higher poses additional concerns. Being apprehended with a BAC exceeding this limit can lead to significantly increased fines and penalties. Keep reading to learn some more lesser known facts about DUI charges and contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 if you require a free legal consultation with a DUI defense attorney.
Implied Consent to BAC Testing in California
According to California's implied consent law, anyone driving in the state is deemed to have already agreed to undergo a BAC test if the police suspect intoxication. While you can decline, doing so results in penalties, including a mandatory license suspension with no option for a restricted license. However, the law permits refusal of a field sobriety test.
The Imperfection of Breathalyzers
While police officers frequently utilize breathalyzers, the results, although admissible in court, are not as precise as a blood test. Proper calibration of a breathalyzer is vital for accurate results, and various factors can cause incorrect readings. Although the police cannot draw blood without consent, most California police stations employ a certified medical professional capable of performing the procedure.
Immediate License Suspension Post DUI Arrest
Upon being arrested for a DUI, your license is immediately confiscated, and an administrative suspension initiated, overseen by the DMV. This process is distinct from any judge-ordered license suspension. To lift the DMV suspension, a hearing must be requested at the DMV within ten days.
Mandatory DUI Education Classes Post Conviction
A DUI conviction typically results in jail time, fines, and probation. In four California counties, including Los Angeles, an ignition interlock device is mandated. Statewide, those convicted are required to finance and participate in a DUI education program to raise awareness about the perils of DUI. In some situations, your attorney may be able to negotiate for these DUI classes to replace jail time.
For further legal consultation on DUI cases, feel free to reach out to Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055.