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Driving in California, arrest for DUI on federal land


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11/17/2008
Anders Johnson
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You're driving down the road, you get lost, and then you get stopped.  Not by a local police officer or California Highway patrol.  Instead, it's a federal law enforcement official.  You have entered federal land.  What's the difference between a California DUI and a federal DUI? 

The answer is, not much.  If you are stopped in land controlled by the National Park Service, you can be charged with a DUI if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs which render you incapable of safe operation, or have an alcohol content of 0.10 (or less if state law is more restrictive).  It is a Class B Misdemeanor and is punishable by six months in jail, fines up to $5,000, and probation up to five years.

On any other federal owned land, the laws of the individual state apply, and one is subject to state and federal punishment.

If you are stopped on federal land, you need to consult with a DUI attorney familiar with the federal laws and procedures to help you through the process.



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