It is against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs in all 50 states; however, each state has enacted its own driving under the influence laws. In California, DUI is criminalized under Section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code.
Under California’s DUI law, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above, but a driver can still be arrested and charged with DUI if they have a BAC that is lower than .08%. All the state has to prove is that the driver’s ability to drive was impaired by the introduction of alcohol or drugs.
California’s Implied Consent Law
Like other states, California has enacted an “implied consent law.” Under this law, when someone accepts their California driver license, they are deemed to have consented to a chemical test (blood, breath or urine) for the purpose of determining if they have been driving while impaired. This presumption is commonly referred to as “implied consent.”
Under the implied consent law, when a law enforcement officer suspects a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and the officer asks the driver to take a chemical test, the driver is expected to provide a sample of their breath, blood or in rare cases, urine. If the driver refuses to consent to a chemical test during a DUI stop, the driver automatically loses his or her driver license for one year under California law.
When You Took the Chemical Test
Let’s say you took a breath or blood test after a DUI stop and now you’re wondering, “How long will my driver license be suspended?” If you are at least 21-years-of-age and you took a chemical test per the officer’s request and the results came back with .08% BAC or higher, you face the following suspension period:
- A first DUI offense will result in a four-month driver license suspension.
- A second or subsequent DUI within a 10-year period will result in a one-year driver license suspension.
Note: If you are under the age of 21 and you blew 0.01% or more, your driver license will be suspended for one year.
Related: DUI Truths People Don’t Know
If you have been arrested for DUI, you have 10 days from the date of the arrest to schedule a DMV hearing and contest the license suspension. Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to schedule a free case evaluation with an Orange County DUI attorney who can represent you at the DMV hearing!