To make the roads safer, authorities are cracking down on intoxicated drivers. Drivers charged with driving under the influence (DUI) face stiff penalties such as fines, jail time, and revoked driver’s licenses. Calling a Van Nuys DUI lawyer should be your first step if you have been caught driving under the influence.
Proper representation can help you fight the charges. Every situation is unique. Call today to begin planning your most robust defense.
Gaining Unwanted Attention from the Police
A driver might be stopped for driving under the influence if they are driving suspiciously. Running off the road or swerving may raise red flags for law enforcement. Driving recklessly, speeding, or driving too fast for the conditions can also arouse the suspicion of law enforcement and cause them to turn on their blue flashing light.
One might go through a license check smelling like alcohol or slurring words. This would cause the officers to investigate the driver more thoroughly. Sobriety tests might be in order. And these can lead to testing blood alcohol levels.
In a worst-case scenario, an intoxicated driver is found out because of a car accident. In this situation, the driver will be treated particularly harshly. Chances are, they will be charged with a DUI, which is a criminal act in the state of California.
For a free legal consultation with a dui lawyer serving Van Nuys, call (310) 928-9347
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much Alcohol?
If a driver is pulled over in Van Nuys and charged with driving under the influence, their blood alcohol levels will be tested. If blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the legal limit, the driver will be charged with DUI.
- A driver 21 or older would be considered drunk if their BAC showed an alcohol content of 0.08% or more.
- A driver under 21 cannot legally consume alcohol, so 0.01% could earn them a DUI.
- Because larger vehicles have more potential to harm, commercial drivers are considered to be driving illegally if they have a BAC of 0.04% or more.
- 0.04% is the limit for driving with a passenger for hire too. This could mean anything from a limo driver to an Uber driver.
- If the driver has already had a DUI and is on probation, 0.01% is the amount that earns them another DUI.
Van Nuys DUI Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Can Vary from Person to Person
While 0.08% is considered the common BAC that leads to a DUI, there are different ways to arrive at that number. Many factors contribute to a person’s blood alcohol content. Here are a few contributing factors, according to University Health Services at The University of Texas at Austin.
- A person with a larger body mass will typically be able to drink more alcohol without raising their blood alcohol content because there is more room for the alcohol to be distributed.
- More muscle means the ability to drink more without raising the body’s blood alcohol content. Muscles are more vascular, and alcohol has more places within the body to diffuse itself. So, the body’s muscle ratio to fat affects how a person metabolizes alcohol.
- Oddly enough, testosterone and estrogen affect how a body metabolizes alcohol. People with higher testosterone levels are made up of more water, as much as 65%. This gives them the advantage over people with higher estrogen levels, who are made up of only 45 to 50% water because their bodies dilute the alcohol more.
- Drinking on a full stomach is a factor as well. It is not that the food absorbs the alcohol but that it causes a bit of a bottleneck in the small intestines and causes the drinks to metabolize more slowly than if they were entering an empty stomach.
All this information shows how BAC can vary wildly from person to person. There is no magic number of drinks that leads to a 0.08% blood alcohol content for everyone. So, while having drinks, it is better not to drive.
Though, if you are reading this page, you may have miscalculated the number of drinks you had before driving. So, calling a Van Nuys DUI Attorney is in your best interest.
Van Nuys DMV After DUI Charges
After a DUI charge, you need to contact the DMV about a hearing. This is in addition to the DUI criminal charge that you face. You have ten days to schedule a DMV hearing to avoid imminent suspension.
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Penalties Accompanying DUI Convictions in Van Nuys
Often, drunk drivers are repeat offenders. To discourage this practice, the penalties become more severe with each conviction. The first DUI charge can sometimes be settled as a simple misdemeanor conviction. If you are charged repeatedly, felony charges are sure to follow.
Factors that can lead to a more severe charge are:
- Minor passengers
- Car accidents
- Passengers are injured
- Driving without a license
- Multiple convictions
Hefty fines, jail time, and a suspended license are all possibilities if you are convicted of a DUI.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Costa Mesa
You can face severe legal penalties if you are convicted of a DUI. The penalties for a DUI also grow harsher each time you are convicted, with the first offense often warranting a misdemeanor charge and subsequent incidents warranting more severe felony charges.
Here are some penalties you could face for first, second, and third DUIs.
Fines increase with each conviction:
- Up to $2000 for a first-offense conviction
- Fines increase to $2500 for a second offense
- A charge of $3000 for a third DUI
The length of the prison sentence increases with each DUI as well:
- If convicted, you could spend as much as six months in jail.
- For a second conviction, the driver could face up to a one-year sentence.
- A third-offense DUI conviction carries a year’s sentence as well.
Having your license suspended can negatively impact your life, even if you avoid jail time:
- You could be without a license for a year after a first offense.
- Two years for a second conviction.
- For a third conviction, you could lose your driving privileges for up to three years.
Everyone Makes Mistakes; Let’s Move Forward
Call a Van Nuys DUI attorney with Simmrin Law Group, who specializes in these problems. They can ensure that your sobriety tests are appropriately conducted. We can review dashcam video recordings of your interactions with law enforcement officers to determine that the arrest was handled appropriately.
To have the charges dismissed or plead down to a lesser offense, you need Simmrin Law Group on your side. We will fight tirelessly to keep you from having your life turned upside down by a Van Nuys DUI conviction. We are here and ready to defend you. Call us today.