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California DUI Law

In California, drunk driving (DUI) is regarded by law enforcement and the courts as a serious offense. In 2009, California reported 1,263 fatalities caused by impaired driving. In an attempt to prevent these deaths, that year California arrested 208,531 drivers for suspected DUI, and convicted 154,648 of them. Don't you want an attorney who will fight just as hard for you as law enforcement is fighting against you?

California DUI Offense

DUI laws are found in the Vehicle Code. The most common ones are:

  • 23152(a) - "It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of a·ny alcoholic or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle."
  • 23152(b) - "It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood do drive a vehicle."
  • 23153(a) - "It is unlawful for any person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to another person other than the driver."
  • 23153(b) - "It is unlawful for any person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver. "
  • 23140(a) - "It is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 years who has 0.05 percent, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle."

Usually, the District Attorney charges you with both the (a) count and the (b) count. That way, they can stick you with a DUI conviction regardless of which offense you plead to or are found guilty of. 


Most people mistakenly believe that if the alcohol test comes out below 0.08 they absolutely cannot be prosecuted for DUI. This is false. A person can theoretically be found guilty of DUI under the (a) count if they were "under the influence", even if lower than 0.08. 


Conversely, some people mistakenly believe that if the alcohol test came out above 0.08 there is no hope for fighting their case. This is also false. Due to the very nature of breath and blood testing, they are inherently unreliable in determining what a person's blood alcohol was at time of driving. Blood tests are conducted hours after the driving, and breath machine accuracy can be seriously compromised by countless factors. 


This is why it is so important that you choose an attorney with experience handling DUI trials, and who knows how to find the defenses in your case.