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California DUI Law 101: All the Basics You Need To Know

If you are facing DUI charges in California, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused. What does this mean for your future? How will a DUI conviction affect your life? In this article, we will provide all the basics that you need to know about California DUI law. By understanding the basics of DUI law, you can make informed decisions about your case and begin planning your defense. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is A California DUI Law?

A DUI is when a person operates a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. This can include prescription, illegal, and over-the-counter medications. Californian law enforcement officers use several methods to identify drunk drivers on the state's roads. These include pulling over vehicles for traffic violations, observing erratic driving behavior, and administering field sobriety tests. If an officer suspects that a driver may be intoxicated, they will usually ask the driver to step out of the vehicle to perform some sobriety tests. These tests are designed to help the officer determine if the driver is too impaired to operate a vehicle safely. If the officer believes that the driver is indeed intoxicated, they will arrest them and take them into custody.

Two Basic Elements In Any DUI Case

For a person to be convicted of DUI in California, the prosecution must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You were driving a vehicle.

For you to be convicted of DUI, the prosecution must prove that you were driving the vehicle. This can be proven through eyewitness testimony, video footage, or other evidence.

  • You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and your blood alcohol concentration was greater than 0.08%.

The prosecution must also prove that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that your blood alcohol concentration was greater than 0.08%. Blood alcohol concentrations can be measured through a breathalyzer test, a blood test, or a urine test. If the prosecution can prove both of these things beyond a reasonable doubt, then you will be convicted of DUI.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Tests?

There are two main types of tests that are used to determine if someone is driving under the influence:

  • Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)

Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are one of the most important pieces of evidence in a DUI case. FSTs are used by police officers to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are three standard FSTs that are used nationwide, and they are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand test.

  • Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Test

In California, if you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, the officer will likely ask you to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test. This is a handheld breathalyzer test that is used to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your BAC is .08% or higher, you will be arrested for DUI. The PAS test is voluntary in California. However, if you refuse to take the test, you will automatically lose your driver's license for one year.


Common Mistakes To Avoid With DUI Charges

There are a few common mistakes that people make when they are facing DUI charges. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to avoid making these same mistakes. Here are the most common mistakes:

  • Being rude or combative toward the officer.

It is important to be polite and respectful toward the officer, even if you think that you have been wrongly accused. Arguing with the officer or being rude will only make your situation worse.

  • Speaking ambiguously.

When you are talking to the officer, it is important to be clear and concise. Do not try to downplay what happened or make excuses for your behavior. The officer is looking for any information that can be used against you in court.

  • Admitting guilt.

Even if you think that you are guilty, it is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. You have the right to remain silent, and anything that you say can and will be used against you in court. It is best to wait until you have spoken with an attorney before making any statements about your case.

  • Speaking too much.

When you are talking to the officer, it is important to be brief and to the point. Do not try to explain your side of the story or offer information that is not requested. The less you say, the better.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being arrested for a DUI, it's important to remember that you have rights. The California DUI law can be confusing, but our experienced attorneys are here to help. We hope that this article has helped you understand the basics of California DUI law. We know what to look for in a case and we'll work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome. Call us today, we're here to help.

Do You Need a DUI Lawyer You Can Trust?

With Lynn Gorelick you don't have to face criminal charges alone. You will receive personal attention to your case. Ms. Gorelick will be the one to appear in court with you from beginning to end. Ms. Gorelick, herself, will be doing your DMV hearings. You will not be handed off to another attorney or associate. You deserve this kind of attention to your needs at this stressful time. Ms. Gorelick has represented people charged with DUI for over 38 years.  She has NEVER been a prosecutor who pursues convictions. She has only DEFENDED people accused of crimes. Contact us today for your consultation!


The materials available on this website are for informational and entertainment purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.  You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments.  No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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