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Frequently asked questions about DUI charges

You likely have many questions if you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Understanding the charge against you will help you make informed decisions about your case and, ultimately, your defense. At Strategic Law Commmand in Roseville, CA, we aim to answer your questions surrounding DUI charges, such as:

  • How does the BAC level affect the degree of a DUI charge?
  • What happens if I refuse to take a breathalyzer test?
  • What are some common defenses to a DUI charge?
  • Will I lose my license after a DUI conviction?

  • How does the BAC level affect the degree of a DUI charge?

An individual’s blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) refers to the percent of alcohol in their bloodstream. In California, the BAC that establishes driving under the influence can change based on the person’s age, occupation or criminal background. For drivers age 21 or older, a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is the threshold for DUI. For drivers age 21 and under and those on probation for a previous DUI, the BAC legal limit is 0.01 percent. For drivers who operate commercial vehicles with a CDL, the BAC legal limit is 0.04 percent. The higher your BAC level is, the harsher your punishment will be if you’re convicted.

  • What happens if I refuse to take a breathalyzer test?

California’s “implied consent” law means that all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI are required to submit to chemical testing to determine their BAC or the level of drugs in their system. Although you have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, there are consequences if you refuse. Refusing a breathalyzer test can result in a one-year license suspension for a first-time offender, and suspension times are longer for repeat offenders.

  • What are some common defenses to a DUI charge?

Some common defenses to a DUI charge include:

  • The traffic stop was not based on an articulable suspicion of a violation
  • There was lack of probable cause for the arrest
  • The field sobriety test was improperly administered
  • The defendant had medical conditions that would make field sobriety tests inaccurate, such as neurological issues or brain injuries
  • The arresting officer failed to strictly follow breathalyzer machine testing and maintenance procedures
  • The evidence was mishandled or misread

Our firm can help you if you've been arrested for DUI.

  • Will I lose my license after a DUI conviction?

First offense DUI convictions could trigger an automatic license suspension of six months under California law. Upon conviction, the court notifies the DMV, and the DMV imposes the suspension. You have ten days in which to request a DMV hearing from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to contest the suspension. If no hearing is requested, the DMV can move forward with the suspension. However, this consequence can be avoided if an ignition interlock device (IID) is installed in your vehicle with the court’s consent.