In order to charge an individual with DUI, their actions must fall under the illegal activity outlined in the California Vehicle Code. A majority of DUI cases are charged under two key elements: §23152(a) and §23152(b).
The first section states that it is unlawful for any individual to drive a vehicle if they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. The second section makes it illegal for any individual with a BAC of .08 or more, as determined by the weight of alcohol in their blood, to operate a vehicle. The differences between these two sections are extremely significant and create a large blanket for California drivers to be charged and prosecuted under.
How do these sections affect actual cases?
As an example, if a driver gets behind the wheel with a BAC below .08 and gets pulled over for a traffic violation, an officer could still charge them with DUI. How? If the police officer determines that they are under the influence of alcohol, even with a BAC under the legal limit, they can charge them under §23152(a). The lack of specification gives law enforcement enough flexibility to arrest individuals if they refuse to take a chemical test or if they appear too impaired to drive.
In most cases, drivers are arrested and charged under both sections, which gives the charges more convincing power in court. If an individual is charged under just one section, it may leave some more room for challenging the accusations, though it will depend on the specifics of the case.
Have you been arrested for DUI under the California Vehicle Code? Don’t wait to retain defense! Call on the Law Offices of Virginia Landry, Inc. today.