DUI Laws In California Under Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC
Driving Under The Influence – VC 23152(a)
Under VC 23152(a), driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a serious criminal offense. The punishment for a DUI conviction may result in substantial jail time and severe fines. Being arrested for a DUI is just the beginning of a long process. Other than the criminal case you will face, you must also answer to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), who will attempt to suspend or revoke your driving privilege.
It is important to speak to an aggressive DUI lawyer if you are facing a DUI charge. For over 30 years, our team of attorneys at Wallin & Klarich has successfully defended thousands of clients facing DUI charges in Southern California, and we can help you now.
Types of DUIs
There are different types of DUIs. The most common DUI occurs when your blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) is at 0.08% or higher at the time of driving. However, you may still be charged with a DUI if your BAC is lower than 0.08%.
VC 23152(a) states that it is unlawful for any person who is “under the influence” of any alcoholic beverage and/or drug to drive a vehicle. It does not require your BAC to be 0.08% or higher. You are considered to be “under the influence” for purposes of VC 23152(a) when your mental or physical abilities are so impaired by drugs and/or alcohol that you are no longer able to drive a vehicle with the same caution as a sober person using ordinary care under similar circumstances.
Another type of DUI offense is a DUI that causes an injury to another person under VC 23153. The DUI penalties are severe, but the punishment for a DUI causing injury will increase dramatically. Speak to one of our experienced DUI attorneys today, so we can provide you with our help based on the specific facts of your case.
DMV Consequences Related To A DUI Offense (VC 13557)
Aside from your DUI case in criminal court, you must also worry about the DMV suspending your driver’s license. Following a DUI arrest, you have only 10 days from the date of arrest to schedule a DMV hearing to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. Given the complexity of this hearing, it is never a good idea to defend yourself at a DMV hearing without the help of an experienced DUI attorney.
A DMV hearing is an administrative process that is distinct from the criminal charges. If you do not schedule a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest, your license will be suspended for 4 months for a first DUI offense, and you will waive your right to have a DMV hearing in the future. If you enroll in a required alcohol program, your license may be suspended for 1 month and restricted for an additional 5 months.
How To Be Found Guilty Of Driving Under The Influence – VC 23152(a)
California is one of the most aggressive states when it comes to prosecuting DUI cases. You are unlikely to win your DUI case or get the best possible result in your case if you do not hire an experienced DUI attorney.
To prove that you were driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:
- You drove a vehicle; AND
- You were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or a drug or the combined influence of both when you drove the vehicle.
You were “under the influence” if, as a result of drinking an alcoholic beverage, and/or taking a drug, your mental or physical abilities were so impaired that you were no longer able to drive a vehicle with ordinary care.
What Is Ordinary Care For Purposes Of A DUI?
“Ordinary care” is defined as the caution a sober person would use in similar circumstances. The manner in which you drove is not enough by itself to establish whether you were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug. However, it is a factor to be considered, in light of all the surrounding circumstances, in deciding whether you were under the influence.
Driving With A Blood Alcohol Level Of 0.08 Or Greater – VC 23152(b)
To convict you of a DUI with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:
- You drove a vehicle; AND
- Your blood alcohol level was 0.08 percent or more by weight when you drove the vehicle.
Basic DUI Science You Must Be Aware Of
When you consume an alcoholic beverage, approximately 20% of the alcohol is absorbed into your stomach lining and the remaining 80% is absorbed by the small intestine. Your blood alcohol content (BAC) reflects the amount of alcohol in your body and measures the difference between rate of absorption and elimination.
A few of the factors affecting absorption and BAC include the following:
- Your sex;
- Your weight;
- Your height;
- Your drinking pattern;
- If you have eaten food prior to consuming alcohol; OR
- The alcohol by volume (ABV) of the beverage.
The intoxication of an individual depends on the absorption, distribution, and elimination of alcohol through the body. The rate of absorption, distribution and elimination varies greatly between individuals, and can have a substantial effect on an individual’s level of impairment and chemical test results.
Rebuttable Presumption Of Impairment
If your BAC is 0.08% or greater at the time a chemical test is performed within three hours of your driving, a rebuttable presumption exists that you had a BAC of 0.08% or greater at the time of driving. An aggressive DUI lawyer can argue that you might have been over the legal limit at the time of the chemical test, but not at the time of driving. If the prosecutor cannot show that you were over the legal limit at the time of driving, you may not be convicted of a DUI.
Speak To An Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer at Wallin & Klarich Today
At Wallin and Klarich, we begin every case with the assumption that our client is innocent of the pending DUI charge. We are familiar with all of the elements that the district attorney must prove in order to convict you of a DUI. We do not let our clients plead guilty to a DUI charge without first making the prosecutor prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich also work tirelessly to negotiate reduced charges in order to allow our clients to avoid jail time, retain their driving privilege, and maintain their employment.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at(877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for your free phone consultation.