Driving with 0.08 Percent Blood Alcohol – What To Know if You're Charged
In California, 0.08% blood-alcohol content is the legal limit for driving, at and after which you may be automatically convicted of DUI regardless of your behavior or apparent driving faculties. Learn everything you need to know about these charges and how we can help on this page.
Being Charged with Driving with 0.08 Percent Blood Alcohol
California's Vehicle Code 23152(b) is straightforward on this point: anyone with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08% or greater is technically driving under the influence. It doesn't matter if they hit anyone, perform any legal actions (like crossing road lanes or ignoring the right-of-way), or if any harm comes about all.
To prove that you're guilty of this crime, the prosecution has to show that:
- You were the one driving the vehicle
- Your blood-alcohol content was 0.08% or more by bodyweight
However, proving that blood-alcohol content level is harder than you may think, and police officers try to fudge it all the time. The test has to be taken within three hours of your alleged driving, and the chemical analysis must be airtight.
Penalties for These Charges
Penalties for DUI convictions tend to be severe, particularly if you're charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor. In general, you'll only be charged with a felony if this is your second or third DUI conviction over the last few years. Additionally, you may be charged with a felony if your driving caused harm to another person.
Misdemeanor penalties can include:
- Between five days and one year in county jail
- Probation for between three and five years
- Between $390 and $5000 in fines
- A three, nine, 18, or 30-month court-approved alcohol education program
- A suspension of your California driver's license for between one and three years
- Possible restitution or damages
Felony penalties can include:
- Up to two, three, or four years in California state prison
- Another 3 to 6-year prison sentence if a victim severs a severe or great bodily injury
- A “strike” on your record, which relates to California's Three Strikes Law
- Between $1000 and $5000 in fines
- DUI school for between 18 or 30 months
- Revocation of your driver's license for five years
In California, penalties usually go up the more driving offenses you have. Skilled California criminal defense attorneys can help minimize your penalties.
Defenses for These Charges
There are multiple defenses you can use to avoid a conviction for DUI with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08% or greater.
You Weren't Driving the Car
Sometimes, police officers make a mistake and think that you were driving when someone else was instead. Pointing this out is a quick way to get a DUI charge thrown out.
The Test Results Aren't Airtight
Sometimes, breath or other chemical tests have results that can be contested in court, particularly with the testimony of an expert in the subject. If the test results can't be relied upon, you may not be convicted for the crime, especially in borderline cases (i.e. where you had some drinks, but you're large and have a fast metabolism).
Contact a California Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Ultimately, it's crucial to get your defense strategy in place as soon as possible with any DUI charge. Contact the law offices of Peter James Chambers today to get started with your defense and acquire the services of one of California's best criminal defense attorneys working for you with a free consultation.