Criminal Defense | San Diego Law Blog
Driving under the influence, or DUI is considered an offense in the state of California. It is extremely dangerous to drive while experiencing the effects of alcohol, as it can alter your brain and your ability to function normally.
As DUIs often involve reckless driving, there is a possibility that you may damage property while driving under the influence. While DUIs alone can have a myriad of consequences, causing damage to someone’s property while driving intoxicated can worsen the penalties you may face.
Many people use FDA-approved drugs to help them manage a myriad of health problems. These medications are usually given to you in conjunction with your doctor, who will issue a prescription. However, what happens if you possess these drugs without a prescription?
You should know that in the state of California, it is a crime to possess drugs without a prescription under the Business & Professions Code 4060 BP. This is because prescription drugs are controlled substances, meaning that possession and use of them without a valid prescription is illegal.
Many adults enjoy a drink or two, whether it be for celebration or relaxation. As enjoyable as alcohol is, users should be wary of the negative effects that overconsumption can have on them, especially on their brains.
Excessive alcohol inhibits proper communication within the brain’s pathways, negatively affecting brain function. While alcohol can create feelings of happiness, bravery, and relaxation, it can also cause slurred speech, poor judgment, memory issues, and balance issues.
Recent Congressional legislation will require future cars to include technology that monitors the driver to determine if they are too intoxicated to drive. As stipulated by the $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed by President Biden in 2021, all new automobiles sold in America will be equipped with these drunk driving prevention devices as soon as the technology is available.
Automakers and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) are working together to design and implement Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) that will “passively monitor the performance of the driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether the driver may be impaired.”
People are living longer an seniors continue to enjoy active lives. And this includes driving. There are over 40 million drivers over the age of 65, which is 50 percent more than there were just 20 years ago.
With more seniors driving, there’s a greater risk for problems that result from automobile collisions. In fact, over 6800 seniors die in traffic accidents annually.
Most DUI cases in California are misdemeanors. But some DUIs may be prosecuted as a felony based on the circumstances of the case or the driver’s record. These cases are called wobblers.
Prosecutors have a considerable amount of discretion when it comes to deciding how to proceed in a wobbler DUI case, but it’s ultimately the judge who decides how the defendant will be charged.
What is driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in California, and what are the penalties?
Driving under the influence offenses in California include both alcohol and drugs. You’re committing an offense if you drive in a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance under Section 23152 (f) of the California Vehicle Code. You’re also committing an offense if you’re driving while affected by both drugs and alcohol, under Section 23152(g).
How DUIs could hurt your job chances—in a nutshell
Employers in California can only conduct a criminal background check after making a conditional offer of employment. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, this check looks at your criminal record for up to seven years before the check (although there are some jobs where employers are still required by other legislation to obtain a full criminal record).
What is considered a DUI in California?
A DUI (driving under the influence) conviction in California arises from:
- Driving with excess blood alcohol content (0.08% for people over 21, 0.04% for commercial drivers over 21, and 0.01% for all people younger than 21).
- Driving under the influence of alcohol. This charge can be laid against people who have a blood alcohol level of less than 0.08%, but who are still displaying clear signs of intoxication.
- Driving under the influence of drugs. These can range from illegal drugs like methamphetamines to prescription painkillers, and even over-the-counter sleeping pills.
- Driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.
- Driving while suffering from drug addiction.
What things make police pull a driver over?
To pull a driver over for suspected DUI in California, police need “probable cause,” which can include erratic driving and minor traffic violations.
Signs that your driving might be impaired include delayed reaction time as you take a corner (leading you to drift across the road as you round a bend), hitting the brakes slightly too late at a stop sign, or failing to signal before you turn.
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