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California roadways are some of the busiest in the nation, filled with drivers traveling to and from work at all hours of the day. The state of California also offers innumerable entertainment opportunities for visitors and residents, which also causes the roads and highways to become clogged. Adding driving under the influence to this mix can make an already dangerous situation even more hazardous, causing law enforcement personnel to address California DUI aggressively, but often, the person accused of drunk driving may not actually be guilty of the crime. This is where the importance of understanding the state's DUI laws is critical and can save the innocent from an unnecessary drunk driving conviction.
No one blames the law for looking after California motorists - that is their job, after all. But it is up to the public to make sure zealous police officers do not inadvertently violate their rights. The best way to achieve this goal is by knowing what the law allows drivers to do and what it does not allow on California roadways.
Current California drunk driving laws identify drivers who measure greater than 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration as driving under the influence. Further, those who measure 0.16 percent or greater can be charged with aggravated DUI, which typically results in harsher penalties. Other California DUI laws include:
Like other states, California courts impose a variety of penalties for violating DUI laws if convicted. The penalty received is based on factors such as blood alcohol concentration, prior offenses and whether an accident occurred. Here are some of the most common penalties associated with drunk driving convictions in California.
Misdemeanor First Conviction:
Misdemeanor Second Conviction Within 10 Years:
Misdemeanor Third Conviction Within 10 Years:
Felony Fourth Conviction Within 10 Years:
By understanding how California courts handle DUI cases, many defendants can have a better chance of avoiding conviction altogether or receiving the least severe sentence possible. A DUI attorney who has a good track record of success defending those accused of drunk driving is the best way to ensure the best outcome possible after a drunk driving arrest.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified drunk driving lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local drunk driving attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.