California DUI Information
California leads the nation in DUI arrests. According to the FBI, there were 177,405 California DUI arrests in 2004. Of these almost 1,500 of the DUI arrests were under the age of 18.
If you have recently been arrested for driving under the influence in California, we recommend you seek the counsel of a qualified DUI attorney in your local area. Information on the Internet is no substitute for professional legal representation.
People arrested for a California DUI face two separate processes - a California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) procedure that determines whether or not the California Drivers License is suspended or restricted, and a court case that can lead to a variety of DUI penalties.
In California, a DUI arrest usually results in the officer confiscating the person's California Drivers License and issuing a temporary one. As a matter of course, the California temporary license will expire after 30 days if no action is taken. To prevent loss of driving privileges, the person arrested for DUI can request a CA DMV administrative hearing. The request for a CA DMV administrative hearing must be made within 10 days of DUI arrest.
DUI in California Courts
Chapter 12, Article 2 of the California Vehicle Code covers driving offenses involving alcohol or drugs. Specifically, people arrested for driving under the influence are generally charged under section 23152 - Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs. The two most common subpoints of 23152 are a and b:
(a) It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.
(b) It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
After being arrested for DUI, defendants are often charged under both the (a) and (b) provisions, may be convicted of both, but can only be punished for one (same DUI penalites anyways). Penalties for a first DUI conviction (unenhanced) in California typically include:
If there was a prior DUI conviction within 10 years, these penalties go up significantly - California DUI Penalty Chart.
DUI penalties may also be enhanced if there are aggravating factors such as a child in the car (under 14), speeding, driving on a suspended or restricted license, accidents, high blood alcohol content (over .20), etc.
California DUI Resources
California DUI information. Information about Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. California DWI