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San Jose DUI defense attorneyDriving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol has been proven to impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Studies show that many car accidents are caused by drunk driving, often resulting in serious to fatal injuries. That is why any motorist who does so can face stiff criminal penalties if caught and convicted. In California, a DUI may result in loss of driving privileges, steep fines, or even prison time. Depending on the circumstances of their arrest, some offenders may be mandated to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle.  

How Does an IID Work? 

When an ignition interlock device is installed on a vehicle, it measures a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and disables the vehicle’s ignition if a certain amount of alcohol is detected on his or her breath. They are similar to breathalyzer tests, but they control whether or not a car can be started. The majority of IIDs will alert a driver when it is time to give another breath sample. If it detects alcohol, an alarm will go off or the horn will honk to prompt a motorist to stop and turn off the car. It is important to note that the device cannot automatically turn off a vehicle’s engine. 

California DUI Laws

If you are arrested for DUI in California, the penalties can vary depending on the circumstances. First offenders can face between four days to six months in jail; a fine up to $1,000, and a license suspension for up to six months.

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California DUI defense attorneysAlthough there have been national efforts in the past few decades to prevent drunk driving, it still occurs on our country’s roadways. Alcoholic beverages and controlled substances significantly impair a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Studies have shown that driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can be deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, there were 3,602 fatalities on the state’s roads and 37 percent of those deaths were alcohol-related. 

Thousands of motorists are arrested for DUI every year in the state of California. However, some of these arrests are made erroneously due to faulty testing equipment or mistakes made by police. If you are a California driver, it is important to know the laws and your options regarding DUI in case you are ever charged with this crime.    

California Drunk Driving Laws 

In California, the legal limit is .08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). The penalties for DUI in California vary depending on if it is a driver’s first offense or if he or she has had multiple convictions. For some, the punishments can involve fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, or mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle.

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San Jose DUI defense attorneyThere is no question that drunk driving can be disastrous. Statistics show that alcohol-related crashes can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. That is why it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) in the United States. In 49 out of 50 states, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08. (Utah uses a 0.05 percent standard.) Anyone who is over that amount can be arrested for DUI. Many motorists believe that being charged with a DUI is not really that big of a deal. However, a DUI charge is very serious and the penalties can range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the circumstances. In California, offenders may face fines, probation, or imprisonment. But, does a DUI automatically mean your driver’s license will be taken away?   

Driving Privileges Under California Law

If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI and the police officer has probable cause to arrest you, it is important to understand your rights in regard to your driving privileges. The arresting officer must fill out an official police report and send a copy of the suspension or revocation form along with your confiscated driver’s license to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will then review the documents, in addition to any blood test results that may have been taken at the time of your arrest.

Referred to as Administrative Per Se (APS), this is an immediate administrative action taken against your driving privileges only. This is separate from any court-ordered prison sentence, fine, or other penalty enforced if you are convicted for DUI.

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San Jose DUI attorney FAQsNo matter the offense, when you are in trouble with the law, it can be a scary and intimidating experience. When it comes to DUI, the state of California takes these charges very seriously and will usually prosecute offenders to the greatest extent of the law. The consequences for DUI vary greatly depending on the circumstances surrounding a specific case, and those who are facing charges should be sure to understand how the laws affect them. Here are some answers to four of the most frequently asked questions about California DUIs:

How Long Will I Lose My License For?

It depends. There are many factors that can affect how long your driver’s license suspension is in effect. If you are arrested for drunk driving, you may face an administrative per se suspension of your driver's license. If you are convicted of a DUI, you may also have to serve a criminal license suspension. However, if this was your first DUI offense, you will be able to keep your full driving privileges if an ignition interlock device (IID) is immediately installed and used for at least six months. If you do not use an IID, you will be able to drive with a restricted driver's license for 12 months.

Will a DUI Affect My Insurance?

More than likely, yes. If you are arrested or convicted for a DUI, it is not unusual to see your car insurance rates go up to double or even triple what they previously were. In California, you are required to obtain SR-22 or high risk insurance after a DUI. Your insurance provider must send proof of insurance to the California DMV.

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San Francisco DUI defense lawyerThough the United States is one country, there are 50 states that make up the country - and each can make their own laws. Because of this, many DUI laws differ from state to state, and that can cause confusion over what kinds of penalties will be given for a DUI conviction. Whether you are a new resident to California, a new driver on the road, or just are not clear on what the laws are surrounding DUI license suspensions in California, everyone can use a refresher on current laws and punishments for driving under the influence.

Can I Still Drive While DUI Charges Are Pending?

Yes, but only if you request a DMV hearing within 10 days after your arrest. If you do so, you will be able to retain your driving privileges until your case has been resolved.

In California, the state has put into place what is called an “admin per se” license suspension, which is carried out by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is an action that is independent of any criminal DUI charges you may be facing in court. If you were pulled over for a DUI and the officer asked you to complete a chemical test, you face an admin per se license suspension if:

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