Your life typically undergoes considerable change once you have a California driving under the influence charge on your record, and you may find that you struggle to maintain employment and support yourself or your family after a conviction. While you may, depending on circumstances, face jail time, substantial fines and related repercussions in response to your crime, you will also experience ripple effects that come from somewhere other than the California court system.
In California, and in many other states across the nation, DUI checkpoints are used as a way to monitor the streets and keep drunk drivers off the roads. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, California holds at least 2,500 checkpoints annually in accordance with state and federal laws. While law enforcement officers require grounds for suspicion to pull you over on most occasions, DUI checkpoints allow officers to check drivers without any probable cause.
Drunk driving takes numerous lives every year in California. This is why the law takes the offense so seriously. If you are caught drinking and driving, you can expect to face stiff penalties. The law is even harsher when it comes to underage drivers who are under the influence and on the roadways. The state has a zero tolerance law, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
In the event you have been convicted of a DUI and have met certain requirements under California law, you could be eligible to receive your driving privileges back, but in limited form. While you will have some ways to go before you can retrieve your full driving privileges, with a restricted license, you do have some ability to get around the Los Angeles area.
You are aware of the consequences that may arise from drinking and driving, which can include motor vehicle accidents and DUI charges. You might not know, however, that you could face similar consequences for driving after taking a legal prescription or over-the-counter medication. You and other California residents should understand the potential ramifications and how to avoid them.
If you are charged and convicted of driving under the influence in California, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Interlock devices allow you to drive to work, school and run important errands safely, even when you have had your traditional driver’s license revoked because of a DUI conviction. Tulare, Los Angeles, Alameda and Sacramento counties all require ignition interlock devices with DUI charges. In other counties in California, however, it is up to the discretion of the judge presiding over the case.
If you are pulled over in California on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be asked to undergo a roadside breath test. Although law enforcement officers use this test to determine whether a person is driving drunk, studies show the results of the test are often inaccurate. In fact, they can differ by at least 15 percent from the results of a blood alcohol test. This could lead to a wrongful DUI charge.
When individuals are arrested for DUI here in California, one of the things they may be asked by officers is to take a chemical test to gauge BAC level. This could include things like a breath test or a blood test. Can a person refuse this test?