DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
What is a (DUI)?
There are two code sections that are important when talking about DUIs. VC 23152(a) [A count] and VC 23152(b) [B count]. These two code sections are commonly referred to as the A count and the B count. Most people who are charged with a DUI, are charged with both. The penalties for the A count and the B count are the same and if a person is convicted of both, that person will only be penalized once.
Can I get a DUI for having a BAC less that 0.08?
Most people are familiar with what a DUI is: driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher (VC 23152(b)).; however most people do not realize that you can still get a DUI with a BAC lower than a 0.08, under VC 23152(a), which simply states that a person can be convicted of a DUI if he or she drives while under the influence of alcohol. Notice there is no requirement of a specific BAC. Under this section, a person can be convicted of a DUI with a BAC less than 0.08 if the DA can prove that the driver was so intoxicated that if affected his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. In this situation, the manner of driving is relevant: was there an accident? Was the driver swerving? The field sobriety tests are also relevant in these cases.
Will I go to jail?
Once arrested for a DUI, you will have to spend a couple of hours in jail. Generally, if it is your first DUI, you will be released on your own recognizance, meaning you do not have to post bail. However, in some cases, even if it is your first DUI, you will be required to post bail to get out of jail.
If you have been convicted for the first time for a DUI, jail is unlikely, and not mandatory. If it is your second or third conviction for a DUI within a 10 year period, jail is mandatory, with a minimum of 96 hours for a 2nd DUI and 120 days for a 3rd DUI within 10 years. If it is a 4th DUI within 10 years, it can be a felony.
When you are pulled over for a DUI, and you do not have a prior DUI, you have the right to refuse the preliminary alcohol screening test. However, if you do, you will be handcuffed and taken into custody to give a blood test at a hospital or a breath test at the station. If you refuse either of these tests, you will be facing what is called a “refusal” and you are looking at higher penalties if convicted and a longer driver’s license suspension.
What is a DMV Hearing?
From the moment you are arrested, the officer will take your driver’s licence away and you will be given a temporary licence. You are allowed to drive for 30 days with that temporary license, unless you, or your attorney, schedule a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. Then your temporary license can be extended by a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
The following link takes you to the Department of Motor Vehicles website regarding DUI’s,
If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is important that you contact the Law Office of Heena Patel right away. Attorney Patel can protect your rights and aggressively defend your case.