All You Need to Know About DUI and Its Implications in California
Drinking and driving is a serious problem in California and across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired driving accounted for 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2020. The lives of the 11,654 individuals who died that year because of crashes resulting from alcohol-impaired driving could have been saved if people were not driving while drunk.
In California, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent. Drivers with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). The consequences of a DUI can be severe, including hefty fines and even jail time. California has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. A first offense (misdemeanor) carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a six-month license suspension. If the driver’s BAC is particularly high, the sentence may be more severe. If a driver causes an accident that results in someone’s injury, they can face a felony charge and be sentenced to up to 16 years in prison.
The consequences of a DUI conviction can be long-lasting. It can be difficult to find a job, get a loan, or rent an apartment with a DUI on your record. A DUI can also increase your insurance rates substantially.
The best way to avoid a DUI is to simply not drink and drive. If you plan on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or take a cab or ride-share service. It’s also important to be aware of your drinking limits. California has strict open container laws, so it’s illegal to have an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, even if you haven’t been drinking. Always plan and make sure you have a safe ride home if you plan to drink. Remember, it’s not worth the risk.
What to Do When Pulled Over for Suspicion of DUI in California
- Understand Your Rights. The first thing to do if you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI in California is to understand your rights. You have the right to remain silent. Remember that anything you say can be used against you in court, so it is best to remain quiet and not answer any questions until you have spoken to an attorney.
- Interacting with the Officer. When you are pulled over, the officer will likely ask you questions such as where you are coming from and how much you have had to drink. It is important to remain polite and respectful, but it is also important to remember that you do not have to answer any questions. If the officer asks you to step out of the car, you should do so calmly and politely.
- Field Sobriety Tests. The officer may ask you to take a field sobriety test, which is a series of physical and mental tests that can help the officer determine if you are impaired. You have the right to refuse these tests, but if you do, the officer may arrest you. If you decide to take the tests, you should be aware that any mistakes you make can be used as evidence against you in court.
- Breath and Blood Tests. If the officer suspects that you are driving under the influence, he or she may ask you to take a chemical test to measure your blood-alcohol content (BAC). You may be asked to take a breath test or a blood or urine test, and you have the right to refuse either one. However, if you refuse to take a breath or chemical test, the officer can still arrest you and make you undergo these tests under the doctrine of “implied consent.”
- What Happens if You are Arrested. If the officer arrests you for suspicion of DUI, you will be taken to a police station and may be held for several hours. You will also be asked to take a breath or blood test to measure your BAC. If your BAC is above the legal limit, you will be charged with DUI and may face a variety of penalties, including jail time, fines, and the suspension of your license.
Why You Must Hire a DUI Lawyer
A DUI lawyer can be a key player in helping you to avoid the harsh consequences that come with a DUI conviction in California. A DUI lawyer is an experienced professional who is knowledgeable in the laws and procedures related to DUI cases. This can be invaluable to someone who is facing serious penalties associated with a DUI conviction. The following are some of the most important ways that a DUI lawyer can help you in California.
- A DUI lawyer can help you understand the charges that you are facing. In California, DUI penalties can be very severe and the law can be complicated. A DUI lawyer can explain the charges to you in plain language and help you understand the potential consequences. This can be especially important if you are facing multiple charges or a long sentence.
- A DUI lawyer can help you identify any legal defenses that may be available to you. This can be particularly important if any factual or procedural issues could be used to your advantage. A DUI lawyer can review the facts of your case, identify any potential defenses, and advise you on the best course of action.
- A DUI lawyer can help you negotiate with the prosecutor. This can be a critical step in helping you get a better outcome in your case. A DUI lawyer can help you understand the prosecutor’s position and recommend the best way to negotiate a favorable plea bargain or other resolution.
- A DUI lawyer can help you prepare for trial. If you decide to go to trial, your lawyer can help you understand the rules of evidence, prepare your witnesses and make other preparations. This can be very important in ensuring that you put forth your best defense.
- A DUI lawyer can also provide emotional support and guidance throughout the process. A DUI conviction can be an extremely stressful and difficult experience. A DUI lawyer can help you manage the stress and provide you with the emotional support that you need to get through it.
The Legal Help You Need
If you are facing a DUI charge in California, you need an experienced and knowledgeable DUI lawyer. The Law Office of David Leicht is here to help, proudly serving the communities of Barstow, Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Adelanto, Baker, Needles, Lucerne Valley, Big Bear, San Bernardino, Mojave, Phelan, and Wrightwood. Attorney David Leicht has a wealth of experience in DUI defense and understands the complexities of the law and the penalties associated with a conviction. He will ensure your rights are respected and zealously fight for the best possible outcome. Don’t wait any longer—contact the Law Office of David Leicht at (760)-256-3104 or use the online form to set up a free consultation and put the power of an experienced DUI attorney on your side.
534 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311