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California DUI Laws and Information

  Uncategorized  -   POSTED: 2008/09/14 15:53

California DWI & DUI Laws

According to the most recent California DUI statistics, there were nearly 1,500 alcohol-involved fatalities in 2007.

That may not seem like many, considering there were more than 200,000 DUI arrests, but once you realize that 1,500 people left behind their parents, siblings, children, spouses, friends, and other loved ones, the number becomes staggering.

Due to these high numbers, in 2011, California join many other states by allowing the Department of Motor Vehicles to immediately suspend the driver's license of anyone suspected of driving under the influence. This law, know as Admin Per Se, enables law enforcement to confiscate a suspected offenders driver's license. The license is then sent to the DMV, where it is held until the predetermined suspension time is over or the charge is found to have no merit at a hearing.

California DUI Defined

Per California's driving under the influence (DUI) laws, it's 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.

The state's DUI laws include medications, too. You can't legally drive if you've consumed illegal drugs or:

  • Excessive amounts of drugs with alcohol in them (such as cough syrup).
  • Prescription medication.
  • Over-the-counter medication.

DUI convictions stay on your driving record for 10 years.

Understand Your DUI Penalties

Not all DUI penalties or charges are the same. Depending on your age, license type, and any previous convictions, you could face:

  • Admin Per Se license suspension.
  • Criminal license suspension
  • Fines.
  • Jail time or community service.
  • DUI school.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).
  • SR-22 filing.
Admin Per Se Penalties

An Admin Per Se suspension occurs when the officer takes your license after you fail or refuse a chemical test. This action is taken by the CA Department of Motor Vehicles, under Admin Per Se laws and is in addition to any criminal charges given when refusing or failing a BAC test.

The officer will issue an Order of Suspension and possibly a temporary license. The officer's report, your license and any other information is then sent to the DMV. The DMV then will conduct a review. This review can set aside the suspension. You also have the right to request a hearing if you believe the suspension is unjustified.

You face harsher Admin Per Se license suspension penalties if you refuse to submit to a chemical test upon being pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving.

Younger than 21 years old

  • First Offense: Suspended for 1 year.
  • Second Offense: Revoked for 2 years.
  • Third Offense: Revoked for 3 years.

21 years old or Older

  • First Offense: Suspended for 1 year.
  • Second Offense: Revoked for 2 years.
  • Third Offense: Revoked for 3 years.

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