San Diego DUI Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers and Attorneys

Facing or arrested for a San Diego (DUI) Drunk Driving charge?

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Driving Under the Influence, Driving While Intoxicated, and Operating Under the Influence are closely related crimes, but they can all mean the same thing: loss of license, stiff fines, embarrassment, and possible jail time. Although DUI, DWI, and OUI are relatively common crimes, few people are familiar with their rights and how to protect themselves in such a situation.

Driving under the influence, referred to as, “drunk driving,” describes operating a motor vehicle while one’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit set by California statutes, which supposedly is the level at which a person cannot drive safely. State statutes vary as to what that level is, but it ranges from .08 to .10 for adults, which means a 8/100ths to one-tenth of one percent by weight of alcohol to the weight of blood. This is translated into grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood in tests of blood or urine sample, or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of air in a “breathalyzer” test. A combination of the use of alcohol and narcotics can also be considered “under the influence” based on erratic driving. Driving on private property such as a parking lot is no drunk driving defense, but sitting in a non-moving vehicle without the ignition on probably is (sometimes resulting in a charge of “drunk in and about a vehicle”). This is a misdemeanor and is variously referred to as DUI, driving while intoxicated (DWI), drunk driving, or a “deuce”.

There are thousands of factors that must be considered if you are charged with a DUI. The legality of your arrest, field sobriety tests, proper functioning test equipment, correct handling of your evidence, and the conduct of the arresting officers are frequently contentious issues during legal proceedings. Many people who believed themselves guilty discovered they could avoid serious penalties when any number of these variables failed to withstand legal scrutiny.

California DUI laws for 2010:

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Zero Tolerance (AB 1165, Maze) This new law prohibits a convicted DUI offender from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .01 percent or greater while on probation for DUI. The law requires the driver to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test, a portable breath test to determine the presence of alcohol. If the driver refuses, or if the driver submits and has a BAC of .01 or greater, a citation will be issued, the driver’s license will be taken and driving privileges will be suspended. In addition, the vehicle will be impounded.

Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) (SB 1190, Oropeza) This new law reduces the BAC from .20 percent to .15 percent or more at the time of arrest to trigger a requirement for the court to give heightened consideration for the installation of an IID for a first-time offender convicted of DUI of an alcoholic beverage.

Ignition Interlock Devices (SB 1388, Torlakson) Effective July 2009, this new law transfers authority for the administration of mandatory IID programs from the state courts to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This law also authorizes the DMV to require any driver convicted of driving with a suspended license due to a prior conviction for DUI to install an IID in any vehicle that the offender owns or operates.

Alcohol-Related Reckless Driving (AB 2802, Houston) This new law requires the court to order a person convicted of alcohol-related reckless driving to participate in a licensed DUI program for at least nine months, if that person has a prior conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving or DUI within ten years. Additionally, the court is required to revoke the person’s probation for the failure to enroll in, participate in, or complete a licensed DUI program.

The San Diego drunk driving defense lawyers at Kerry L. Steigerwalt Law Firm are experienced attorneys handling Drunk Driving, DUI, DWI and OUI charges regularly. Time is critical; contact a San Diego DUI Lawyer today. If you have been charged with drunk driving in San Diego contact the San Diego DUI attorneys at Steigerwalt Law Firm today.