HOW IS DUI DEFINED UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW?
Nowadays, there is a two-part statute 23152(a) or the “A” count as it is called. That is general drunk driving law. For years, the law stated that if you were so impaired by alcohol and/or drugs that you could no longer drive a car with caution characteristic of a sober person that was considered DUI. So, if you did not have a breath or blood test, this was the test that the jury had to find or the DA had to prove that you could no longer handle a vehicle with that kind of caution.
Then there is the “B” count or 23152(b), which is the per se statute that is more recent. That statute says if you are driving with a 0.08% blood alcohol level or more, you are automatically considered a DUI. That is how it is defined.
A conviction of one or both of the counts results in the same penalty.
DO PEOPLE JUST ASSUME WHEN SOMEONE IS CHARGED WITH DUI THAT THEY WERE INCREDIBLY INTOXICATED?
They run the gamut. The first thing most people think when they get stopped for a DUI and they take a breath test which gives an immediate result, and it comes back over a 0.08% or well over a 0.08%, they automatically think they are guilty and do not think they can fight it, which is not true at all. You should always talk to an experienced lawyer in the field before you decide what to do because there are a lot of ways to attack these tests.
A lot of people think, “I felt fine. I don't know why my blood alcohol level is so high.” That could be because the test is wrong, which is more common than people realize
DO MOST PEOPLE HAVE A HIGH BLOOD ALCOHOL CONTENT LEVEL OR ARE THEY CLOSER TO THE LEGAL LIMIT?
The blood alcohol level could range anywhere from 0.08 to a higher level. The highest one ever taken to an actual jury trial by Attorney Blackie Burak was a 0.34% blood alcohol level. However, he has seen higher levels. (The jury returned not guilty verdicts on both counts).
When he first started practicing, the experts would all say if you are a 0.40% or above, you are comatose or dead but there have been cases where people have actually been higher than that and functioning. Everyone is different. Blood alcohol levels run the gamut and it is easy to get to a 0.08% reading nowadays using the state's outmoded testing protocols.
IS THERE A TYPICAL TYPE OF DUI CLIENT SEEN? A CERTAIN DEMOGRAPHIC, AGE RANGE ETC.?
It is anybody. Anyone who drives and drinks, even socially, is fair game to get stopped by a cop and wind up with a DUI or at least get charged with one. Most people are the typical middle class person, a working stiff or people from all walks of life. Attorney Blackie Burak has represented doctors, lawyers, police officers, firefighters, bankers, teachers, principals, college professors, and scientists, people who work in construction, plumbers and all kinds of people. Anybody can get a DUI. If you drink and drive, you are open to get one, you have to be very careful. Always make sure that there are no equipment violations on your vehicle. This is a common excuse for cops to pull you over and start a DUI investigation.
If you need answers to Common Questions About DUI In California, call The Law Office Of Blackie Burak for a FREE Case Evaluation at (925) 933-4500 and get the information and legal answers you're seeking.