Driving while impaired is illegal even if you are being impaired by a legal substance. Those who are 21 years of age and older are legally able to consume alcohol, but if a drunk person gets behind the wheel and an officer suspects that driver to be intoxicated, the officer will pull the driver over. If it is determined that the individual is driving with a blood alcohol concentration that is over the legal limit, which is .08% or higher, the driver will be arrested.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of any impairing substance, legal or not, you will face charges. California DUI charges are serious, and it is important to protect your legal rights and freedoms by working with an experienced California criminal defense attorney. When you work with a California DUI attorney, you have the best chances of putting forth a strong and persuasive defense.
The Impact of a California DUI Charge
If you have consumed marijuana, which is now legal in the state of California, you can face a drugged driving charge for operating your vehicle while impaired. Even prescription medications and over-the-counter medications that cause side effects not compatible with safe driving can lead to criminal charges in California if their use leads to impaired driving. For example, if you are taking a prescription painkiller or an allergy medication that makes you feel sleepy, and you are driving erratically as a result, you may find yourself in a lot of legal trouble. You could be charged just as if you were driving with an illegal substance in your system.
There are several negative life implications that can result from a California DUI charge. If you are convicted of this crime, there are expensive fines you will be required to pay, in addition to paying for your court costs.
If you caused an accident as a result of driving in an unsafe physical condition, any damages that you caused to another party will be your responsibility. If you need to use your car insurance to pay for those damages, your premiums may increase sharply. Additionally, you could also be responsible for medical costs from injuries that you caused another party. A victim may bring a civil suit against you for additional financial compensation and depending on the nature of your accident you may even have punitive costs put on top of those extra losses that victim suffered.
Paying money to victims and to the court is not the only penalty you may face. Your record will reflect a DUI conviction which could limit your opportunities at gainful employment or acceptance to learning institutions. You also may have difficulty securing loans or renting a space to live. Continue reading