What Happens When You’re Arrested for DUI in California?

What Happens When You’re Arrested for DUI in California?


A DUI is a serious charge and could have a major impact on your life. You may have your license revoked, and you could also be forced to pay much higher car insurance rates. There are many other consequences for operating a vehicle when you’re past the legal driving limit for alcohol and it’s important to talk with a criminal lawyer.

The max sentence for DUI often involves lengthy jail terms. With proper legal representation, it’s frequently possible to get out of jail sentences, at least if it’s your first DUI. If a driver gets multiple DUIs, the penalties and fines can increase dramatically. Jail may become unavoidable and often there’s even a minimum jail time for DUI repeat offenses.

A DUI may prevent you from traveling to certain countries, even for a vacation. Many employers will also look at DUIs negatively and may decline to employ someone with one on their record. This is especially true for any jobs that involve driving, but even roles that don’t require you to operate a motor vehicle may be closed to you. Ultimately, the personal and legal consequences of drinking and driving are severe. Anyone facing a DUI should contact a DUI or criminal lawyer for assistance.

Driving under the influence is never a good idea. If you’re under the age of 21, you could be charged with a DUI even with as little a blood alcohol level as .01. That’s because the legal limit is .08, but the immovable drinking age is 21. There’s absolutely no leeway when it comes to getting charged with DUI, especially in the state of California, where more than 200,000 drunk drivers are arrested every year. The key phrase in all this? Zero tolerance.

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Certain states have even passed measures that result in under-21 motorists losing their licenses completely after the first offense of driving under the influence. Luckily, there’s still hope if you’re facing a criminal charge of DUI, even if you’re in California. The first step is to find the right criminal defense attorney who specializes in DUI cases and has experience in the field defending young drivers like yourself.

Even a good DUI defense often won’t save you from enduring ramifications from the court, but in all likelihood you won’t be shipped off to prison for a first-time DUI offense. You will, however, almost certainly be faced with thousands of dollars in fines (as well as legal fees) and you’ll likely have to enroll yourself in either DUI schooling courses or some kind of alcohol rehabilitation group. When all is said and done, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t just call for a cab ride home from the bar — or if you’re under 21, why you didn’t just call your parents.

In addition to curb the number of alcohol-related offenses involving cars and other motor vehicles, California has also passed legislation condemning persons under 21 from even transporting bottles or cans of alcohol. In order to transport booze, it must be in sealed containers that have never been opened, and you must be traveling with a parent or legal guardian or with someone who holds an off-site liquor license. If this law is broken, it is well within the law for officers to impound for vehicle for up to 30 days. In addition, you may face a $1,000 fine and a suspended license. Again, it’s just not worth the gamble.

Sure, DUI lawyer costs aren’t cheap, but neither are the legal fines you’re bound to pay without one. Keep in mind that we’ve mostly talked about first-time offenses here, but repeat offenders face all the same punishments and then some that are even worse. Mandatory license revocations, longer jail sentences, fees for getting your license back and higher insurance rates are just some of the worries you’ll likely be faced with.

At the end of the day — or more appropriately, at the end of the night — ask yourself if it’s worth it to drive drunk. You may think you’re a pro because you’ve done it dozens of times by now, but all it takes to get busted is one more. Remember, driving under the influence is never worth it. Not even once. To see more, read this.


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