California Driving Under Influence

California DUI Laws

DUI stands for driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol or a combination of both. The state of California has strict DUI laws for its drivers of all ages. For those above 21 years of age, it is illegal to drink in excess and drive. Excessive amount of alcohol, irrespective of the fact whether the driver has been drinking alcohol heavily or consumed large amounts of cough syrup, is prohibited. If prescription drugs have shot up the driver’s blood alcohol level then he/she could still be charged under the state’s DUI laws.

Effective January 1, 2013, the state has stopped using the urine test to determine a driver’s drug content when arrested for DUI. However, there are exceptions to the new rule; a driver may still be allowed to give urine sample if he or she is:

  • Unable to provide a breath sample and/or blood sample
  • A hemophiliac
  • Taking prescribed anti-coagulate narcotics or has a heart condition

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits
Anyone with the following levels of blood alcohol concentration must not drive:

  • A driver with a commercial driver license (CDL) with BAC of 0.04% or higher
  • If the driver is on a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) probation then his/her BAC must be less than 0.01%
  • If the driver is under the age of 21 then his/her BAC must not be 0.08% or higher

Those who are stopped and arrested while driving under the influence can be punished by the DMV, in addition to the court’s sentencing in the form of revocation or suspension of the driver’s license. The driver may further be subjected by the court to undergo a DUI program, fined and even jailed.

The state of California has no tolerance for those drivers who are under 21 years of age and driving under the influence. They may be subjected to a hand-held breath test, Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) or other forms of tests to determine the BAC. If the BAC is 0.01% or higher, then the police officer may take his/her driver’s license and issue him/her a temporary driver’s license for only 30 days, suspend his/her driving privileges for one year or more.

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