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DUIs are taken seriously in California because they have such a serious impact. Alcohol-impaired fatalities rose by 16.3% between 2015 and 2016. In 2016, 15% of those killed in crashes tested positive for drugs (legal or not) in their system. That’s a decrease from previous years, but it still shows that there are people putting others at risk on the roads.
If you’re one of those people but haven’t been caught, consider yourself fortunate. A DUI has a serious impact on your record and your finances. If someone is hurt because of your actions, you could face heavy penalties, prison time and more.
California doesn’t take DUIs lightly
California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, and even a single offense can lead to close to $2,000 in assessments and fines as well as two days in jail and the suspension of your license. It’s also common to be assigned to a three-month alcohol education program.
California’s per-se limit is 0.08%, similar to most other states in the country. Enhanced penalties begin at 0.16%, and you must agree to implied consent to get your license. That means that you grant permission for the authorities to take a breath test when they have stopped you legally.
If you’re under 21, you cannot legally drink, but the underage limit is 0.02%, which may account for minor amounts of alcohol in the blood, like from food or a church service.
What should you do if you’re accused of breaking DUI laws?
Any time you’re accused of breaking the law, the best thing you can do for yourself is to begin building a defense. The penalties for a DUI are severe, and they can impact you for many months or years to come. The financial impact alone could cause serious problems, since you may face thousands in penalties as well as increases in insurance premiums and other difficulties.
If you are stopped by the police and accused of a DUI, your best bet is to reach out to your attorney right away. Your attorney will begin reviewing your case to look at ways to have the charges reduced or dropped. The goal will be to help you reduce the penalties you face as much as possible, potentially eliminating them all together.
A DUI can hurt your finances and future. Don’t delay in protecting your own interests moving forward.