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Driving Under the Influence, also known as a DUI or drunk driving, is the criminal offence in which a driver operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. A driver would have to be legally intoxicated, which means he or she has consumed more alcohol than the legal limit before getting behind a wheel to drive. In California, the legal limit is 0.08% and this level is usually tested by a breath, urine or blood test.
Having a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is a criminal charge and can result in a misdemeanor or felony. If a driver is under 21 years of age, the legal limit is lowered to 0.01%, as there is a "no tolerance" policy for underage drinkers.
A driving under the influence charge can result in severe penalties in any state. In California, if a driver is pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence and refuses to submit to a BAC test, his or her license will be automatically suspended. If a test is administered and the driver's BAC level is 0.08% or higher (or 0.01% if under 21), the penalties are as follows:
Other possible penalties might include probation or community service sentences. These penalties will also be greatly increased if anyone is harmed in a drunk driving accident. Driving under the influence charges are kept on a driver's record for a period of 10 years. This will affect insurance rates with the first offense, in addition to affecting future penalties if the offense is repeated.
Driving under the influence is an extremely severe offense and a DUI defense attorney should be sought out immediately if you have been charged. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through this process, which can be complicated, lengthy, and result in life-altering consequences. A criminal attorney will fight to defend your rights and may be able to significantly reduce your charges and protect your license.
It is important to choose a defense lawyer who is dedicated to defending your Driving Under the Influence offense. DUI criminal defense lawyers know the consequences of drunk driving and can help you save your drivers' license and even dismiss your Driving Under the Influence charge. Call Attorney Search Network for a criminal defense lawyer referral and get the help you need today.
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