Driving under the influence (DUI), or driving while intoxicated (DWI), is the crime of operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs (including recreational drugs and those prescribed by physicians), to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely. People who receive multiple DUI offenses are often people struggling with alcoholism or alcohol dependence.
Attorneys defending those charged with DUI or DWI offenses are essentially criminal defense attorneys, with a specialized expertise and knowledge of the law in this area.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alcohol-related crashes cause approximately $37 billion in damages annually. DUI and alcohol-related crashes produce an estimated $45 billion in damages every year. Between fines, court fees, ignition interlock devices, and DMV fees a DUI charge could cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
Per California’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any of the following blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages:
0.08% or higher― 21 years old or older operating a regular passenger vehicle.
0.04% or higher―operating a commercial vehicle.
0.01% or higher―younger than 21 years old.
The state’s DUI laws include medications, too. You can’t legally drive if you’ve consumed illegal drugs or:
Excessive amounts of drugs with alcohol in them (such as cough syrup).
Cannabis and other substances that impair one’s ability to safely operate a vehicle also fall into this category of offense.
DUI convictions stay on your driving record for 10 years.