Home » Our Blog Drunk driver driving on an empty road Driving Under the Influence: A Guide to California’s DUI Laws

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs could lead to an accident. As such, penalties are in place in California. Individuals may face charges for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), which can mean costly fines and driver’s license suspension, among others.

We recommend that you get in touch with The Law Office of Troy P. Owens, Jr as soon as possible so that you get proper representation in all aspects of your case.

What Should You Do After a DUI Arrest?

When an officer has accused you of DUI, the officer has to submit a report to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California for review. The DMV will perform an administrative analysis of the report together with the suspension or revocation order and the test results if available.

When the DMV supports the suspension or revocation, you have the right to request for a hearing to contest it. California allows you to petition for a hearing from the DMV within 10 days after you receive the suspension or revocation order. But in case the review didn’t show a basis for suspension or revocation, the DMV will set aside your case. If this happens, you will receive a notification about it.

Upon your arrest, the officer will confiscate your driver’s license. You may only get it back after the suspension or revocation period, and you have to pay the $125 reissue fee to the DMV and file a proof of financial responsibility. But if you’re under 21 years old, the reissue fee stays at $100.

DUI and DUI Laws in California

According to California Laws, it’s illegal to drive if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches the following percentages:

  • 0.08 or higher for drivers age 21 and older who are driving a regular passenger vehicle
  • 0.04 or higher for drivers operating a commercial vehicle
  • 0.01 or higher for drivers younger than the age of 21

Officers look not only for alcohol traces; they may also check for medications. The laws further state that it’s illegal to drive if you’ve taken:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Excessive amounts of drugs with alcohol
  • Prescription medication
  • Over-the-counter medication

Consequences can vary depending on your age, type of license, and previous convictions. Following an arrest for DUI, you may face the following:

  • License suspension
  • Criminal license suspension
  • Fines
  • DUI School
  • Community service or jail time
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

The suspension and revocation period of your license can vary based on the number of your DUI offenses. For a first offense, you may get a 30-day or 10-month suspension. A second offense may result in up to two years suspension while a third offense may mean up to three years suspension.

A DUI or DWI arrest incident can also leave a negative impact on your driving record for 10 years.

Choose Your Defense Attorney Well

Facing DUI or DWI charges can be exhausting. You need to choose a defense lawyer who will represent you aggressively and passionately. Your attorney will also give you an in-depth explanation regarding your case to help you understand your options.

With Troy P. Owens Jr.’s experience in handling thousands of criminal cases, from misdemeanors to felonies, your case is in capable hands.

Contact us today for an initial free consultation to learn more.