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What DUI Offenses Can Someone Be Charged With?

  • May 25, 2017

    In every state in America, driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime. California is not exempted and you will be charged under DUI laws if found operating a vehicle in Los Angeles while under the influence at a level above the established standards, including BAC (blood-alcohol concentration). When you get pulled over by a law enforcement officer, and they suspect that you could be intoxicated, they are obliged to conduct a sobriety test on you right away.

    The sobriety test involves being asked to perform a series of tasks in assessing any impairment on both your physical and cognitive capabilities. For instance, you could be required to recite the alphabet backward, walk in a straight line, or the officer could employ the eye and penlight test. They will also conduct chemical tests using a breathalyzer to determine your BAC, or otherwise, take you to a hospital for urine and blood tests. You will be allowed to choose your preferred test to be administered.

    Some of the offenses you can be charged with under DUI laws are:

    Declining a Chemical Test

    Just like any other state in the US, California has “implied consent” laws requiring drivers to acquiesce to some kind of chemical test, including urine, blood or breath test upon being suspected of DUI. Ideally, the law reasons that by the act of driving a car on the state highways and roads, every driver has, without being pushed, given their consent to be tested if a traffic officer has reasons to believe that they are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    Refusing to such testing, therefore, carries harsh penalties, including mandatory suspension of your driver’s license, usually for between six months and a year. In fact, you will face harsher license sanctions for refusing to take a test than you would for failing the DUI test. It gets even worse if you ultimately get convicted for DUI—your refusal to surrender to a chemical test will be used to enhance your penalties.

    If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will want to submit to all the required tests and subsequently engage the services of an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney for the necessary guidance through the complex DUI process.

    Violating Zero Tolerance DUI Laws

    California DUI laws will deem you “per se intoxicated” if your BAC is above .08, without requiring any additional proof of impairment. The state also carries “zero tolerance” laws targeting drivers who have not attained the legal drinking age. If you are under the age of 21 and you are found driving a vehicle with the tiniest trace of alcohol in your system, you will be penalized under DUI laws.

    Even in the absence of proof of “per se” intoxication, you can still get arrested and sentenced for DUI if there is other evidence indicating that you were driving when impaired. For instance, a law enforcement officer could testify against you demonstrating that he saw you swerving dangerously, or your speech was slurred while being questioned after being stopped. However, slurred speech as well as severe inattention could be caused by such other things like sleep deprivation; thus, you could be convicted unfairly. This is where Los Angeles DUI lawyers come in handy to help you prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were not driving under the influence.

    A DUI conviction will often carry harsh penalties like jail time, community service, and probation. The severity of criminal punishments will vary depending on the peculiar circumstances of the offense. A DUI arrest and subsequent conviction will have an immediate impact on your driving privileges. It is, therefore, imperative that you secure the legal assistance of Los Angeles DUI attorneys lest you lose your driver’s license, incur significant administrative costs or have your vehicle impounded.

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