In Orange County and throughout California, drivers can be arrested for
driving under the influence (DUI) of
drugs or alcohol if the police officer that conducts the stop has “probable
cause” to believe the driver is impaired, or when the driver’s
blood alcohol concentration (BAC) registers .08% or higher.
DUI law, a driver can be driving unsafely and be arrested for DUI, even though
their BAC is under the .08% legal limit. Conversely, if someone is driving
perfectly, they can be arrested for DUI if their BAC is
over the legal limit.
For example, an officer can pull someone over because their taillights
are out (not because of any traffic violation), the officer smells alcohol
on the driver’s breath and asks the driver to submit to a breath
test. When the BAC comes back too high, the driver can be arrested for
DUI on the spot.
What are the different DUI penalties?
Any person that is arrested for a DUI has
two different proceedings they must deal with as a result of their actions. There will be a
criminal case that determines whether they are guilty of a crime and whether they must
face criminal penalties, and an
administrative case by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) concerning their driving privileges.
Criminal penalties for a DUI conviction in California may include:
- Fines and court fees
- 3 to 5 years of probation
- Driver's license suspension
- Attendance at alcohol programs
- Ignition interlock device installation
On top of these criminal charges, a driver has
10 days to contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles and arrange a
DMV hearing concerning the loss of driving privileges. A first time offense can result
in a 4 to 6 month loss of a driver's license while subsequent convictions
can lead to a longer loss of privileges. Should a driver choose not to
request a DMV hearing, they will automatically lose their license 30 days
after their arrest.
With so many DUI consequences, it’s important for DUI defendants
to have an attorney they can trust. Since hearings begin quickly following
a DUI arrest, having a fast-acting and reliable
DUI defense attorney can make the difference in a case.
Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry to speak with Orange County’s
DUI Queen for free!