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21 Things that People do not know about DUI Laws in California

21 Things that People do not know about DUI Laws in California
  • 1. Zero Tolerance Law: California has a strict zero-tolerance law for drivers under 21 years of age. If they are caught with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system, they can be charged with a DUI.
  • 2. Implied Consent: By obtaining a driver’s license in California, you automatically consent to chemical testing (breath, blood, or urine) if you are lawfully arrested for a DUI.
  • 3. Refusal Penalties: If you refuse a chemical test in California, you can face additional penalties, including license suspension and fines.
  • 4. BAC Legal Limit: The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers over 21 is 0.08%. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%.
  • 5. Marijuana DUI: California also has laws against driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs, which are treated similarly to alcohol-related DUI offenses.
  • 6. DUI Arrests Without BAC: You can be arrested for a DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit if the officer determines that your driving was impaired.
  • 7. DUI Checkpoints: California law allows law enforcement to set up DUI checkpoints to screen drivers for intoxication.
  • 8. Wet Reckless: In some cases, a DUI charge can be reduced to “wet reckless” driving, which is a less severe charge with lower penalties.
  • 9. Prior Convictions: DUI penalties increase with each prior conviction within a 10-year period.
  • 10. Ignition Interlock Devices (IID): An IID may be required for repeat DUI offenders or first-time offenders with a BAC of 0.15% or higher.
  • 11. DUI School: DUI offenders are usually required to attend a court-approved DUI education program.
  • 12. License Suspension: Your driver’s license can be administratively suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after a DUI arrest, separate from criminal proceedings.
  • 13. Administrative Hearing: You have the right to request an administrative hearing with the DMV to contest your license suspension within 10 days of your arrest.
  • 14. SR-22 Insurance: After a DUI conviction, you may be required to obtain an SR-22 insurance policy, which is a high-risk insurance coverage.
  • 15. Vehicle Impoundment: Your vehicle can be impounded for up to 30 days if you are arrested for a DUI.
  • 16. Community Service: DUI offenders may be required to complete community service as part of their sentence.
  • 17. Victim Impact Panels: Some DUI offenders may be required to attend a Victim Impact Panel, where they hear from victims of drunk driving accidents.
  • 18. Expungement: Under certain circumstances, a DUI conviction can be expunged from your criminal record.
  • 19. Jail Alternatives: Some courts may allow DUI offenders to participate in alternative sentencing programs, such as electronic monitoring, instead of serving time in jail.
  • 20. Boating Under the Influence (BUI): California also has laws against operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • 21. DUI with Injury: A DUI causing injury to another person can result in more severe penalties, including felony charges.

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