What Counts as Excessive Blood Alcohol?
These are some of the most serious California DUI's that are handled in Los Angeles county because the higher your blood alcohol level, the more dangerous you are perceived and probably are on the road.
Once you get over a .15, you're now better than double the legal limit and you really put yourself in a category of DUI drivers that the prosecutors and judges are the most afraid of, because the higher your blood alcohol level, the less safe you are on the road and the more likely you are to get in an accident and injure or kill somebody.
Prosecutors and judges are looking to punish those people severely who have a high blood alcohol level. So, you really want to get Los Angeles DUI attorney who has dealt with these type of cases before and who can end up getting the best result for your DUI case.
Another thing that I've noticed when your blood alcohol level is a .15, in addition to being charged with an extra allegation because of that high blood alcohol level — which kind of messes up your DMV record and can cause things to be more difficult for you in court — the prosecutors and judges are a lot less likely to reduce a case from a regular DUI down to something less than a DUI when your blood alcohol level is a .15 or greater.
Also, in my opinion, to be able to attack the breath machine or the blood result with that high of a blood alcohol level is a lot more difficult to be successful because of all of the alcohol that's perceived is involved. In other words, if you're close to the .08, you certainly can attack the breath machine because it has an error rate of a .02.
So, there's the argument, and the prosecutors realize it, that you might have been a .06. Their own expert will probably testify to that fact and you could certainly get an expert on your side.
But, once you start to get into that high blood alcohol range, now you start to get yourself in a position where you lose a lot of the potential defenses that you could have and you're also facing much more severe penalties related to your DUI case.
Penalties for Excessive Blood Alcohol
So, obviously if you have a DUI and your blood alcohol level is a .15 or greater you want to get an attorney right away. Just from the beginning at an arraignment in a case, in most of the courts in Los Angeles county, judges are going to make you do AA meetings while you remain on your own recognizance if they don't put a bail on you.
In certain severe cases if you have a real high blood alcohol level or if it's a second, third or fourth-time DUI, they will also make you wear a scram device on your ankle which detects alcohol and they will order you not to drink while your case is pending.
So, you can see and get a feel for if your blood alcohol level is high, you're going to be treated as one of the worst DUI offenders versus if your blood alcohol level is low — you're in a much stronger position to differentiate yourself from those individuals who are perceived as a real true danger and threat out on the road.
Sometimes though you have a real high blood alcohol level and there really are no other bad mitigating factors. In other words, you might just get pulled over because you didn't signal when you turned, you were weaving or maybe you committed some sort of a traffic violation, but beyond that you were fine.
How Our Lawyers Can Help You
You weren't going 100 miles an hour. You didn't get in any accident. You were cooperative with the police. In those DUI cases, a lot of times we can get good results even though you had a high blood alcohol level because all of the other factors don't point to the fact that you were an extreme danger out on the road.
So, this is where it's a big advantage to have a seasoned defense attorney who has all of the information about you — the good, the bad and the neutral — who can really argue and fight for you with the prosecutor and the judge and point out all of the good things related to the case and related to you, so that they can end up getting you the best result even though you had a high blood alcohol level.