What Is A DUI In California?
DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, means driving with alcohol or substances in your system. As a result, you’re found to violate the law. In California, it’s illegal for someone to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more.
For commercial drivers, there are stricter requirements. Commercial drivers can be arrested for a DUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04% or more.
What Are The Penalties For A DUI?
The basic penalties when you’re found guilty of a DUI include the following:
- License suspension;
- Fines and court fees;
- 96 hours of custody for second offenses;
- And others depending on the specifics of the incident.
How Do DUIs Normally Occur?
The police must have probable cause to pull you over for any reason though it could be any unrelated traffic violation or vehicle maintenance issue. After you’re stopped, if the officer smells alcohol, sees your eyes are bloodshot, or something else that leads them to believe that you’re under drugs or alcohol, they will ask you straightforwardly.
If you admit to it, that opens up the door to further inquiry, and the officer would proceed to conduct field sobriety tests, a series of tests to determine whether you are under the influence. The officer will also inquire whether you can perform a Breathalyzer. You are allowed to refuse a Breathalyzer, but while this may help your case, it will lead to other repercussions for your license.
What Happens If You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests Or A Breathalyzer?
If you refuse, the officer may seek a warrant to draw your blood to determine your blood alcohol concentration. Afterward, they’ll arrest you and take you to jail. Typically, it’s $2,500 bail to bond out for a first-time DUI with no injury, incident, or aggravating factors.
Then, your first hearing, called an arraignment, is scheduled, which you must attend. You can hire an attorney to represent you in court proceedings and DMV hearings. Your attorney will analyze the reason for the stop, whether there was a refusal of the Breathalyzer, the calibration of the Breathalyzer, and when the blood was drawn. Your attorney will also need to know what was said and whether there was an admission.
In any case, taking affirmative steps after an arrest is vital to show the district attorney’s office that you are taking this matter seriously by attending self-help meetings and addressing the situation in some proactive and positive ways.
What Are The Repercussions For A Second DUI?
After the first DUI, the consequences increase. For example, alongside the 96 hours in custody, you may also face the following:
- Three to five years of summary probation;
- Up to 30 months of DUI school;
- Fines and penalties between $390 to $2,000;
- And more if the incident resulted in injuries or other damages.
A third DUI results in the following:
- Three to five years on probation,
- 120 days to one year in jail,
- $2,500 to $3,000 in fines,
- 30 months of DUI school,
- And a 3-year license suspension.
How Can DUIs Affect Immigration And Visa Applicants?
In general, a first-time DUI is not a crime involving moral turpitude. However, there have been cases in the Immigration Board of Appeals in which specific factors were acknowledged causing the conviction to rise to the level of a moral turpitude crime, such as children being in the car and causing child endangerment or causing an accident leading to extreme injury.
A second DUI can also affect someone’s consideration for the immigrant’s visa application or visa application in general when they might not satisfy the moral character requirements needed for most if not all, visa applications or immigration benefit applications.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for DUI Law Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on DUI Law in California, an initial consultation is your next best step.