California DWI & DUI Laws
In 2007 there were nearly 1,500 DUI-related fatalities. During the same year there were more than 200,000 DUI arrests.
Due to these high numbers California changed the law. The Department of Motor Vehicles may immediately suspend the driver's license of anyone suspected of driving under the influence.
This law is know as Admin Per Se. It enables police to confiscate a suspected offenders driver's license. The license is then sent to the DMV. The DMV will hold the license pending a hearing.
If the charges are dismissed your license will be returned.
California DUI Defined
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any of the following blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages:
- 0.08% or higher― 21 years old or older operating a regular passenger vehicle.
- 0.04% or higher―operating a commercial vehicle.
- 0.01% or higher―younger than 21 years old.
Understand Your DUI Penalties
Penalties depend on your age, license type, and previous convictions.
- Admin Per Se license suspension.
- Criminal license suspension.
- Jail time or community service.
- Drug or alcohol school.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).
- SR-22 filing.
What happens if I refuse sobriety tests?
The officer will chose to let you go or arrest you for DUI.
What happens if I refuse a breath test?
There could be serious consequences including:
- 1 year suspended license.
- Jail time if convicted of DUI charges.
When to Hire a DUI Attorney
Most defendants must appear in court. A criminal defense attorney can:
- Appear at most hearings on your behalf.
- Help navigate your penalties.
- Review and analyze the evidence against you.
- Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case
- Attempt to exclude evidence.
- Negotiate with the D.A.