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Consequences of Drunk Driving in California

Annually, there are a number of Californians who are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. While some are more fortunate to be arrested after making a simple traffic violation or being caught at a DUI checkpoint, there are others who are arrested under much more devastating circumstances. Every day people are injured and killed as a result of drunk driving accidents, and because of the severity of the results, the court system is determined to punish offenders to the fullest extent of the law. Here in California, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent, anything higher than this is considered to be a DUI even if the driver appears to be cognizant. Any minor under the legal drinking age of 21 who is found to have any trace of alcohol in their system is automatically considered to be driving under the influence due to the states “zero tolerance” policy. California has a third DUI law that applies specifically to commercial drivers, and that is if they are found with 0.04% of higher they will be considered as DUI, regardless of their ability to drive.

If you are convicted for driving under the influence in court, there are going to be a number of penalties that you will face over the years. First, depending on the severity of the situation, you may be looking at time behind bars, hefty fines, and a suspended driver’s license among others. In the event this DUI was your first offense, then there is a chance that you will have to deal with the fine alone and a suspended license. However, if the judge decides that your case was serious enough, you may also be required to spend time in jail, though no longer than four months. Once you are done with your jail time, you will likely have to take classes for DUI School, participate in hours of community service as well as have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. This device requires that you take a breath test every time you get in your vehicle to make sure you are not drunk.

A second DUI offense holds a much weightier penalty, namely you will have to pay at least a $1,000 fine, and you could spend one year in jail as well as another year without your license. Following these penalties, there is a possibility that you will have to be under probation with the court for at last three to five years. These types of penalties may also be enforced on a first time offender if your BAC levels were higher than 0.15%, you were speeding or you were driving with a minor under the age of 14 years old. As you can see the higher your BAC level and the more offenses you have had in the past make for a recipe of more serious consequences for your DUI.

Due to the possibility of so many consequences, if you have been arrested for a DUI it is essential that you contact a Pasadena criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Matthew Cargal, today! Our firm is dedicated to helping people in our community fight for their rights and protect their futures. There are a number of ways that we can challenge the charges that have been placed against you, and our team will find the specific method that is best for your case. Whether it is challenging the arresting officer and probable cause for the arrest or arguing against the chemical tests themselves, we will stop at nothing to help our clients. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!