On average, 28 people per day die from drunk driving accidents. Drunk driving is a serious plague in our society. For this reason, California DUI laws are some of the harshest in the nation.
The Golden State doesn’t cut any slack for drunk drivers. Its DUI penalties can net you some jail time and huge fines.
If you got caught driving under the influence in California, you should check out our guide so you can find out what to expect in the coming legal proceedings.
Basics About California DUI Laws
If you are over 21, the legal limit for blood alcohol content when operating a vehicle is .08%. If you are under 21 this drops down to .01%, which is enough to account for use of alcohol mouthwash or misreadings from a breathalyzer.
You also are subject to the .01% limit if you are on probation for prior DUI crimes. If you have a CDL or if you have a paying passenger in the vehicle with you (Uber, Lift, Taxi, et cetera) your BAC limit is .04%.
DUI is not limited to alcohol in the state of California. Cannabis, prescription drugs, and all illicit substances can get you charged with DUI if they impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle.
DUI is also not limited to just motor vehicles. Operating a boat, plane or things such as water skis under the influence can result in a DUI.
All drivers in California must consent to a blood, urine, or breath test from a police officer if stopped.
If your BAC is over the legal limit, or if you are under the influence of other drugs, you may be arrested.
DUI Punishments for First Offenses
If this is your first time getting a DUI, you can still expect some very harsh penalties. On your first offense, you can expect to spend up to 6 months in jail and/or pay a fine between 390-1000 dollars.
Your vehicle will also most likely get impounded, and you will be responsible for any associated fees. Your license will also get suspended for up to 6 months. To get it back, you will need to complete a state DUI program.
If, at the time of arrest, your BAC was in excess of 0.20%, you may face harsher penalties. You will lose your license for 10 months and may need a special breathalyzer-ignition device on your vehicle.
You will be required to furnish the costs of installation for this device. If any party was injured as a result of your actions, you would face a minimum 1-year license suspension.
Any offense beyond your first will get you thrown in jail for longer periods, sometimes years. You will also face some of the harshest fines in the nation and may lose your license forever.
Your best bet, whether this is your first DUI or not, is to hire a professional DUI attorney. Only a DUI lawyer can help navigate you through the legal process and hopefully get you a lesser sentence.
A DUI Can Ruin Your Life
California DUI laws are tough enough to net you jail time even on your first offense. DUI’s ruin lives every day and leads to death and imprisonment. Your best defense against DUI’s? Never drink and drive.
If you already did the crime and want a chance at avoiding doing the time, you need to contact a DUI attorney right away. If you liked this content and want to read more like it, check out the rest of our blog.