Orange County DUI Laws
The Laws that Make DUI Illegal
The California Vehicle Code, specifically, VC section 23152(a) and 23152(b), sets the law on DUI cases, and states as follows:
(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. For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
The two sections above are typically charged together. The first has to do with your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, irregardless of your blood alcohol level. The second, or (b) count, requires that you have a .08% blood alcohol content, or “BAC”, by weight, California’s “legal limit”. The term “alcoholic beverage and drug” or “alcoholic beverage or drug” in the (a), or first count, does not mean that you were driving with drugs in your system, but that either alcohol or drugs, or both, were found at the time of driving, not that you in fact did have both in your system.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
You can also be charged with being under the influence of drugs – either prescription narcotics or illegal drugs. That count is Vehicle Code section 23152(e).
Felony DUI Laws
There is also a felony DUI law, which is Vehicle Code section 23153 (a) or (b). That code section charges driving under the influence as a felony, and does so only when there is a DUI with an accident, or three or more priors plus a current DUI being charged (a fourth or more DUI).
Driver’s License Laws Related to DUI
California has an administrative license suspension (ALS) on the first offense. An ALS allows law enforcement to confiscate a driver’s license for a period of time if the driver fails a chemical test. In California, you have a right to a hearing within 10 days, or you lose your driving privileges after 30 days. California allows limited driving privileges (to/from work) after a 30 day suspension as long as an alcohol school is started, proof of insurance is filed, and a fee paid to the DMV.
Ignition Interlock Devices in Orange County
While other states have some type of ignition interlock law, in which judges require all or some convicted drunk drivers to install interlocks in their cars to analyze their breath and disable the engine if alcohol is detected, that is only required for first time offenders in four California counties as a test project as of this writing (2016). For second time or higher, an ignition interlock is available to shorten a driver’s license suspension.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you have questions about the law related to DUI, please contact our firm. We are specialists in DUI cases, as that is all we do, and we are happy to answer questions or help you with a DUI matter.