Having a good time with friends and family can often involve a drink or two. But when you have too much to drink and decide to get behind the wheel of a car, you may find yourself charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
In the state of California, anyone who is under the influence of alcohol and has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.08 percent is considered to be driving under the influence. First time offenders may believe that because it is their first time being charged with a DUI that they will get off easy, but that is most certainly not the case.
Once arrested for a DUI, the arresting officer will immediately forward a copy of the notice of revocation or suspension form and your driver’s license to the DMV. If the revocation or suspension is upheld during the DMV’s administrative review, you have the right to request a hearing so that you can contest the revocation or suspension. This request must be made within ten days of receiving the revocation or suspension order.
If the DMV finds that the DUI charge is justified, drivers in California can potentially face both criminal and administrative penalties.
First time offenders face anywhere from three days to six months in a county jail here in California. Fines can range from being anywhere from $390 to $1000 and you will be on probation for between three to five years. This means that you cannot violate any law that results in an arrest with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood (zero tolerance).
Anyone who is charged with a DUI will have that conviction remain on his or her record for ten years, and it will affect any subsequent DUI arrests you may receive in that time. Lastly, charged drivers are required to complete a DUI program for three, six, or nine months.
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Those who are successfully charged with a DUI will have their license administratively suspended by the DMV for a minimum of four months. Prior to being able to regain your license, you will need to complete a mandatory alcohol assessment or treatment evaluation, and an Ignition Interlock Device must be installed in your vehicle in most Californian counties. Once your license is reinstated, you will need to obtain SR-22 insurance coverage.
Understandably, a lot of individuals who are accused of driving under the influence have many questions when they contact one of our DUI attorneys. Here are some of those most often asked:
An Ignition Interlock Device is a handheld mouthpiece used to measure the level of alcohol in your blood. It must be blown into in order for charged DUI drivers to operate their vehicle.
These devices also require on-going maintenance for which you will be responsible, and which must be performed at your expense.
After you have been convicted of a DUI, SR-22 insurance allows you to have your license reinstated after the suspension period ends or if you manage to obtain a restricted license. The insurance must be carried with you until your probation period ends.