If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County or anywhere else in California, you may soon discover some surprising facts about DUI that you were not aware of. Can you get a DUI with a low BAC? Can you get a DUI if you weren’t actually driving your vehicle?
Fact #1: You can get a DUI even if you’re below the legal limit.
Under California law, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .08%. This means, if your BAC is .08% or above, you will be charged with DUI. However, what many drivers do not realize is they can get a DUI, even if their BAC is below .08%. If the state can prove that your ability to drive was impaired by alcohol, you can still be convicted of DUI with a low BAC.
Fact #2: A DUI can affect travel to Canada.
Canada frowns heavily upon DUI convictions. If you’re an American citizen and you’re convicted of DUI, even a misdemeanor DUI, you will be barred from entering Canada. Usually, this ban lasts about 10 years. If you’re convicted of DUI and planning to travel to Canada, don’t purchase a plane ticket until you learn more about Canada’s travel ban on individuals with criminal records.
Fact #3: You can get a DUI even if you weren’t driving.
Like other states, California drivers can be arrested for DUI even if they weren’t driving. If you are under the influence and “under actual physical control of your vehicle,” you can be charged with DUI. For example, if you’re “sleeping it off” in the driver seat and the keys are in your pocket or in the ignition, you can be charged with DUI.
Fact #4: A drug-related DUI can lead to deportation.
Most misdemeanor DUIs are not deportable offenses; however, if it’s a drug-related DUI or a felony DUI, an immigration judge may decide to initiate removal proceedings. If you’re a Green Card holder, please realize that DUI of drugs can lead to deportation.
Fact #5: A DUI is reported on your DMV record for 10 years.
Currently, DUI convictions are reported on people’s driving records for 10 years in California. To learn more, visit the State of California Department of Motor Vehicle’s website. You’ll find the answer under the first question. This means that the record of the DUI will be available to insurance companies for a full 10 years – ouch!
Fact #6: You can get a DUI for driving on prescription medication.
In California and the rest of the states, you can be convicted of DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, illegal drugs, and lawfully prescribed medications. Whether you’re convicted of an alcohol or drug-related DUI, the penalties are the same.