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California Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI) : Personal Service Law Firm, Bankruptcy, Family Law, Criminal Law, Personal Injury

California Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI)

An arrest for DUI can turn an accused drunk driver’s life upside down and push his or her sanity to the limit.  The accused motorist is required to suddenly learn the California criminal court system while acting quickly to protect his or her driver’s license.

Upon an arrest for a DUI in California, two separate legal cases are immediately set in to motion.  Most people are aware of the brutal legal battle ahead of them in the criminal court system, but what is not always anticipated it the endless red tape and jumping through hoops required by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  While both cases are very serious, the DMV case is far more time intensive. 

In California, a criminal case filed against a DUI defendant includes two separate statutes: California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), and Vehicle Code Section 23152 (b). 

The first statute concentrates on whether the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that they are “unable to drive their car with the same caution characteristic of a sober person, of ordinary prudence, under the same or similar circumstances.” This is the legal standard used for under the influence of alcohol or “DUI” in California courts.

The second statute, or the “per se” count focuses on whether the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 percent or greater.

Motorists arrested for drunk driving DUI/DWI must act quickly. Your license will be confiscated at the scene and you will be given a temporary 30-day license.  You have only 10 days from the date of their DUI/DWI arrest to request a hearing with the DMV to regain your driving privileges.  Additionally, drivers licensed in other states who are arrested in California for DUI / DWI must request a California DMV hearing to protect their driving privileges.

If you are from out-of-state you cannot hide the California DUI from you resident state.  California participates in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact.  The compact is an agreement between 45 states requiring each state to share information about DUI or DWI convictions and driver’s license actions with the other member states.

California has a DUI/DWI “washout” period of 10 years, calculated from arrest date to arrest date. This means that anyone arrested for drunk or drug driving within 10 years of the last arrest date will be charged with a second offense, with increased penalties and punishment.

The punishment in court for additional drunk driving convictions within the same 10 year period is considerably harsher than for the first offense.  Multiple-offense drunk driving convictions have mandatory jail time, an 18-month alcohol/drug education program, a required ignition interlock device and often more.

As you may be aware, the consequences you face from a California DUI are overwhelming.  It is imperative to retain an affordable and experienced DUI lawyer when convicted with DUI or DWI in California.  If you have questions regarding a DUI arrest contact the Spear Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your particular case.  Call (877) 327-5291 / 8-SPEARLAW-1.