IS THERE ANY BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION LEVEL OF BEING DOUBLE THE LIMIT IN CALIFORNIA? IS THERE AN ADDITIONAL PENALTY FOR DOUBLE OR TRIPLE THE LIMIT?
Blood alcohol concentration does not automatically mean an increased jail sentence. Sometimes, judges will take that into consideration and add additional jail time or work time, but it is not mandatory. However, as far as the DUI School or program, DMV will require longer programs depending on the BAC in order to get your license restored. If you have a 0.15% or above, the DMV can make you do the six month school versus the first offender, three month school, which is generally what happens. There is also a nine month school for BAC's .20 or above. It is possible to negotiate the length of the school.
IS THERE ANY WAY TO HAVE THESE ENHANCED OR AGGRAVATED DUI CHARGES REDUCED TO LESS SERIOUS OFFENSES? WHAT FACTORS MIGHT COME INTO PLAY? HOW OFTEN CAN THE CHARGES BE REDUCED TO A SIMPLE DUI OR A RECKLESS DRIVING?
That happens often but it depends on the circumstances of each case. A person could be charged with a felony DUI causing injury and many times you can negotiate it down to a misdemeanor DUI causing injury. A misdemeanor DUI causing injury could be negotiated down to a straight DUI. You might have to make some concessions, like add a time or something like that to reduce the charge but it all depends on the circumstances on the case. If the injuries are severe, there is not a whole lot of room to negotiate. Generally, the extent of the injury is the most significant factor.
IS THERE A CERTAIN LOOK BACK PERIOD FOR PRIOR DUI CONVICTIONS IN CALIFORNIA?
In California, it is ten years is the washout period. If you get multiple DUIs within ten years of the violation date, they can be counted as priors and enhancements come in. However, they wash out after ten years. Since I have been in practice, the law has changed from five to seven and now ten years for the wash out period. It would not surprise me that someday there is no washout period in California. This is why DMV keeps a record of the convictions beyond the current washout period.
The DUIs stay on the in-house DMV record forever. They are not in the public record. Generally, they come off the public record in about five or six years but they stay in the in-house record forever because who knows, maybe they will change it to fifteen year washout period or lifetime. Therefore, they keep them forever, but they are not public records. The public record washout is about five years.
HOW OFTEN ARE THESE AGGRAVATED OR ENHANCED DUI CASES SEEN?
These enhanced or aggravated DUI cases are not frequently seen as compared to a simple DUI charge. It is about seventy-five percent simple DUIs and twenty-five percent people with prior DUIs or cases causing injury. That is what is generally seen. A first DUI can happen to anybody who drinks alcohol and drives a car. Being aware of how much alcohol you are consuming is critical. Women, in particular, have to be extra careful. Because of the nature of the alcohol molecule, women can get higher BACs than a man drinking the same amount and weighing the same. It is generally believed this is due to the higher fat content and less water content in female bodies than in male bodies. It may also have to do with the ability of the male liver to produce more alcohol killing enzymes than the female.
If you Need Information about Laws Related to Enhanced DUI Charges 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.