California law specifies that the crime of driving under the influence occurs when an individuals drives a motor vehicle while intoxicated. To be a criminal act, the intoxication is such a level that proper motor functions are unable to be performed making the individual a hazard on the road. The intoxication can occur through the ingestion of alcohol, drugs or both.
The whole process of a DUI arrest commences during a police traffic stop or at a checkpoint. The police officer would observe the demeanor of the driver and upon reasonable observation may ask an individual to perform field sobriety tests. One of the factors used to determine intoxication is the blood alcohol level. On the road, the driver’s breath is analyzes to determine the level of alcohol in one’s system. If the BAC level is above the legal limit, an arrest would be made and then a formal blood alcohol level test through chemical means would be undertaken.
Many would advise against the taking of the field sobriety tests but this would only complicate matters. Refusal would mean a whole lot of penalties imposable upon you and this may even mean the case against you would either be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. As a misdemeanor charge, the individual would receive a citation to appear in court while your license would be confiscated and sent to the DMV.
Once your license has been received, the individual charged with a misdemeanor DUI would have ten (10) days to request for a hearing on the matter. Failure to do so within the appointed time would mean forfeiture of this privilege and then an automatic suspension of driving privileges for thirty (30) days. If the hearing is scheduled, then the DMV officer would review all the facts and evidence and then issue a decision. If there is a violation, then the suspension is imposed over and above the DUI court case. If there was no violation found, then no penalties are imposed.
The basic question is the determination of the arrested driver’s blood alcohol level at the time of arrest. If the blood alcohol level found is 0.08 or more, then this is the cause for DUI.
The crime of driving under the influence is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone undergoing this process, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.