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California Drunk Driving Laws

So, you've been charged with a DUI in California, and you don't know what to do. Getting arrested for a DUI is confusing and emotionally trying. However, it's important to not let your DUI turn your life upside-down. You need to act, and you need to act now. California DUI laws dictate that you have just 10 short days to file a request to fight for your license.

The single most important thing is who you choose to represent you in court. Not every lawyer specializes in California DUI cases. That's why you need to find a drunk driving lawyer whose expertise is California DUI laws. By finding an attorney who regularly defends those charged with DUI, you give yourself the best chance of receiving a favorable verdict.

A California DUI lawyer will be able to explain the local laws in an easy to understand manner. These laws include:

California DUI Legal Limit

The legal limit is the foundation for DUI laws. In California, any driver with a blood-alcohol-concentration of .08% or greater is in violation of the law and is subject to being arrested for a DUI. However, if you are under the age of 21, the legal limit is just .01%.

California DUI Penalties

Like all states, the penalties get tougher each subsequent DUI. In other words, your punishment will be greater on your third DUI than on your first. However, one important difference in California law is that the look-back period is 10 years rather than 5 like in most states. This means any arrest for DUI within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction is considered at least a second offense.

So, what are the penalties for a DUI in California?

For your first offense, you can expect several hours jail time, license suspension of 4 months, community service, 15 weeks of DUI class, 3 years probation, and fines around $5,000.

If this is your second DUI offense, the penalties include up to one year in jail, 30 months alcohol treatment, 18 month license suspension, and 18 months with interlocking device installed on car.

And if this is your third strike, the penalties are even more severe. They include up to one year in jail (a minimum of 4 months,) 3 years without your license, and an 18 month alcohol treatment program.

Don't Forget the Penalty Enhancements

But wait - there's more. Your penalty could be enhanced for several reasons. They include:

  • Having a child in the car
  • Driving at least 20 mph over the speed limit
  • Having a BAC over .15%
  • Refusal to submit to chemical tests
  • Causing a crash with severe injury or death

You Have Rights

When you get pulled over for a DUI, it can be easy to forget you have rights. You aren't automatically guilty. Don't forget these important rights.

  • You don't have to do the field sobriety tests
  • You must be advised that you can have a blood sample drawn for evidence not just breath
  • There must be probable cause
  • You must be advised of your constitutional rights

If an officer fails to do any of these things, it radically changes the face of your case.

Talk to a California DUI Lawyer Today

All of this adds up to one thing you need help now! Don't spend another second thinking about how the DUI is going to change your life. Instead, get on the phone now with a qualified DUI attorney who can fight to uphold your rights. Remember, you're innocent until proven guilty.

And finding an experienced attorney is easy. Below, simply click on the city nearest you below, and you'll have access to the finest lawyers in California. These are all DUI experts, and they understand all the intricacies of California DUI law. Get on the path to justice today!