Understanding Felony Drunk Driving In California

California DUI Attorney Discusses Felony DUI

Understanding California DUI

California drunk driving law involves two primary allegations. The first alleges
that you were driving under the influence of alcohol and or/drugs, such
that you were so impaired you could not safely drive your vehicle. The
second is that while driving, irrespective of the degree of your
impairment, your blood-alcohol level was at least .08% or more.

The second allegation is presumptive and is called the drunk driving per se
rule. Under V.C. 23152(b) the law assumes that you were illegally
impaired by virtue of your blood alcohol level. A conviction on either
one of the two allegations is sufficient to be convicted of drunk
driving.

All about Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

Blood Alcohol Concentration is a measure of the
amount of alcohol in the blood stream expressed
as a percentage. The illegal BAC level in
California is set at .08 percent. A person
weighing 150 pounds, drinking at the rate of 1.5
ounces of alcohol (the approximate amount found
in one 12-ounce can of beer or one glass of wine)
per half hour, would need:

Two drinks………………..to reach a BAC of 0.05%
Three drinks……to reach a BAC of nearly 0.08%
Four drinks……………….to reach a BAC of 0.10%
Six drinks………………….to reach a BAC of 0.15%

What if I refuse to take a chemical test?

There are serious consequences for refusing to submit to a chemical
test. Among them is that your drivers license will be suspended for one
year rather than the standard four months. If this was your second
offence, your refusal will result in a two-year driving suspension.

What if my blood alcohol level is at or very near .08?

If
you are at, or near, the legal limit, you might have a very strong
case. Arguably, there is always a chance of an error or mistake in all
three chemical tests – including blood. If your test result was .08,
then there is good chance your case will be reduced to a wet-reckless
(still counts as a prior DUI should you have a subsequent drunk driving
arrest) or even a dry-reckless (which will not count as a prior – so is
usually a very good disposition for such a case).

Factors in determining how alcohol effects you

• Your Weight. It takes less alcohol to become
intoxicated if you weigh 120 pounds than if
you weigh 180 pounds.

• Whether you are drinking on a full or empty
stomach. It takes less time to get intoxicated
if you drink on an empty stomach.

• How many drinks you have and their alcohol
content.

• How long you have been drinking.

• Whether you are taking any medicines or
drugs, which may combine with alcohol to
increase the effect of alcohol on your driving
ability.

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