Top DUI Lawyers in Bakersfield, CA in 2024 – Forbes Advisor

California takes drunk driving (DUI) very seriously. Individuals convicted of DUI can face potential jail time even for their first offense, and subsequent convictions are punished severely. Bakersfield DUI attorneys face a major challenge when defending their clients against any type of DUI charge.

Legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in California

California’s drunk driving laws impose the same blood alcohol concentration limit on drivers as most other states in the country. Passenger vehicle drivers have a blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08%, while commercial vehicle drivers have a limit of 0.04%. If a vehicle driver is under 21, California’s zero tolerance rules go into effect, limiting blood alcohol concentration to 0.01%.

California also sets the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for DUI at 0.20%. This limit does not change the charges a person is charged with, but it does change the penalties they will face.

Implied Consent Laws in California

Like most states, California has an implied consent law. This law requires drivers to consent to a blood or breath test when a police officer suspects they have been driving under the influence of alcohol. While a driver can refuse to submit to this test, there are penalties.

When a driver refuses to submit to a blood or breath test, his or her driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year. This is called an administrative per se penalty (APS). This revocation is automatic and independent of any DUI conviction. The suspension will remain in place even if the driver is acquitted of a DUI offense at trial.

Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol in California

Penalties for drunk driving in California vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the driver’s record. These penalties may include:

  • Prison time. Between four days and one year for non-serious crimes.
  • Fines. Up to $1,000 for standard violations and up to $5,000 with enhanced penalties.
  • Conditional freedom. While an offender is on probation, he or she must obey a strict blood alcohol limit of 0.01% while driving.
  • DUI School. Anyone placed on probation must complete at least 30 hours of DUI school or at least 60 hours if they have a high blood alcohol level.
  • Suspension of license. All offenders have their license suspended for at least four months.
  • Ignition interlock device (IID). The court may require the offender to install an IID for up to four years after his or her license is reinstated.

For non-serious crimes, penalties depend on how many times the offender has previously committed an offence in the last 10 years.

If an offender causes injuries during a DUI, he or she will face more serious charges. Anyone convicted of more serious charges will be required to serve at least five days in jail for a first offense or at least 120 days in jail for a second offense.

When an offender is charged with a fourth offense within 10 years or their DUI results in serious bodily injury, the DUI is considered a felony. This typically results in at least 180 days in jail, with a possible prison sentence. Offenders will likely also be required to complete at least 18 months of DUI school.

What to Expect After a DUI Arrest in California

When you are arrested for driving under the influence, the police officer will ask you to take a blood or breath test. The police officer must send a copy of the results or your refusal to take the test to the DMV. If you are arrested, you will be issued a notice of suspension and likely given a 30-day temporary license.

You have the right to challenge the suspension. To challenge it, you must request a hearing with the DMV within 10 days of receiving the suspension order. Bakersfield DUI attorneys may be present at this hearing, but the state will not pay for the costs of having an attorney.

Leave a Comment