DUI stands for driving under the influence. Many people think that to get a DUI; you have to be drunk behind the wheel. The reality is the standard for a DUI is simply driving while impaired to the degree that you cannot safely operate a motor vehicle.
California Vehicle Codes for DUI
California DUI laws include several misdemeanor DUI offenses you may be charged within California Vehicle Code 23152:
Vehicle Code 23152(a): Driving under the influence of alcohol such that your mental or physical abilities are impaired, and you cannot drive as well as a sober person.
Vehicle Code 23152(b): Driving with a BAC of .08% or higher.
Vehicle Code 23152(c): Driving a vehicle if you are addicted to any drug.
Vehicle Code 23152(d): Driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC at or above .04%.
Vehicle Code 23152(e): Driving with a passenger in a passenger for hire vehicle such as a taxi or Uber with a BAC at or above .04%.
Vehicle Code 23152(f): driving under the influence of any drugs.
Vehicle Code 23152(g): Driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs.
What Happens After I'm Arrested for DUI?
After you are arrested, you will be taken into custody. Usually, the police will have you do the blood or breath test once they get you back to the station. Many stations do not have blood testing, so if you choose the blood test, they will take you to the hospital.
If you did not do field sobriety tests out in the field, then they will ask you to do them in the station. Once you bond out, you will receive a court date. You will have the opportunity to meet with an attorney to figure out exactly how you will handle your case.
If you refuse a Breathalyzer test, you will be charged with a refusal and lose your driver's license for a year. If you are not intoxicated, take the test and move on with your night. Even if you think you may be over the legal limit, at some point, you are going to have to take the test. Unless you are being offered a handheld breath testing device out in the field, you should comply.
You are entitled to have a DMV hearing before your license is suspended. You will receive a pink piece of paper stating that you have ten days to contact the DMV, or your license will automatically be suspended. That pink piece of writing is your driver's license for the next 30 days.
If you want to challenge the suspension, you will need to ask for a hearing and a stay on any break. It is wise to have an attorney handle this process.