April 26, 2022
Thousands of Californians are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol each year. Many people are convicted of DUI because of the misinformation and myths surrounding drunk driving laws in California.
If you have been charged with DUI, one of the first things you should do to protect yourself is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney will clear up any misconceptions about DUI charges and advocate for your rights to help you get the charges reduced or dismissed.
Attorney Ryan Roth assists clients facing DUI charges in Modesto, California, and surrounding areas. Set up a one-on-one consultation today to learn more about your charges.
DUI Charges in California
Many people facing DUI charges in California do not fully understand the state’s drunk driving laws. However, it is critical to know what charges you are facing in order to determine what defense options you might have in your case.
California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the United States. Like most other states, California sets a “per se” blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of .08%. Under California’s zero-tolerance policy, the BAC limit for underage drivers is .01%. If an adult driver is caught driving with a BAC level of .16%, .20, or greater, they may face enhanced penalties.
Common Myths & Facts About DUI Charges
There are dozens of myths that surround DUI charges in California. Below is a roundup of some of the most common myths debunked:
Myth #1: You cannot get a DUI if you are not violating traffic laws. Typically, police officers must have reasonable cause to pull you over. Thus, law enforcement officers have no grounds to stop your vehicle if you are not violating traffic laws. However, law enforcement across California conducts many DUI arrests through so-called “DUI checkpoints,” which have been upheld as legal in the state.
Myth #2: You must submit to field sobriety tests. When you are stopped by the police and an officer suspects that you are impaired by alcohol or drugs, you may be asked to submit to field sobriety tests. Many drivers in California wrongfully believe that they cannot legally refuse to participate in these tests during a DUI stop. Currently, there is no law in California that would require drivers to submit to field sobriety tests.
Myth #3: DUI charges are not worth fighting. Just because drunk driving is one of the most common criminal charges across the country does not mean that the consequences of a DUI conviction are minor. On the contrary, a DUI conviction in California can result in severe penalties, including hefty fines, the suspension of a driver’s license, the loss of a professional license, probation, and even jail time. With so much at stake, it is worth fighting DUI charges to avoid or mitigate the criminal penalties.
Myth #4: You cannot be arrested for DUI if you are not seen driving. Contrary to popular belief, you can be arrested for DUI even when you are not behind the wheel of your vehicle. As long as a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you were driving (e.g., you are getting out of your vehicle while impaired by alcohol), you can face DUI charges even if you are not driving.
Those are some of the most common DUI myths—but it is certainly not a complete list of myths and misconceptions surrounding DUIs in California.
Fight Your DUI Charges with
a Skilled Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with DUI, do not try to handle your case on your own. Fighting DUI charges may feel complex and overwhelming when you do not have a skilled defense attorney on your side. Attorney Ryan Roth represents people facing DUI charges in Modesto, California, and throughout the state to protect their rights and help them avoid mistakes that can have lifelong implications. You can schedule a consultation with Roth Legal, A Professional Law Corporation to discuss the specifics of your case and your best chance at moving forward.