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Oakland, CA DUI Laws

Oakland California DUI Laws

Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Oakland

DUI penalties in Oakland, California are imposed by the county, and they can be very severe, even for first-time offenders. These penalties may include large fines, the automatic suspension of a person's driver's license, a prison sentence that may be able to be converted to a work program, and multiple other penalties. Multiple convictions may result in stiffer penalties, such as higher fines and longer jail sentences. If you have been arrested for DUI in California, it is critical to employ the help of an experienced DUI lawyer who has a strong understanding of California DUI laws and how they may be applied in Alameda County, as well as the ideal defense tactics to that will allow a person to minimize or avoid penalties.

California Laws Related to Drunk Driving

California Vehicle Code Section 23152 contains most state statutes that address DUI. If a driver is caught driving under the influence, they will usually face two separate charges:

  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol under Section 23152(a); and
  • Operating a vehicle while having a BAC of more than .08 percent under Section 23152(b).

Section 23152 addresses additional circumstances under which a person may be charged with driving under the influence. Section 23512(d) prohibits drivers of commercial vehicles from having a BAC level of .04 percent or more. Under Section 23152(e), it is unlawful for someone who is intoxicated by drugs to operate a vehicle, and under Section 23152(f), it is illegal for someone to drive if they are under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol.

Underage DUI and the "Zero Tolerance" Law

The "zero tolerance" law in California applies to motorists who are under 21. Underage drivers who have consumed any amount of alcohol can be arrested for DUI. For a BAC of .01 percent or more, an underage driver may face a license suspension of one year under CA Vehicle Code Section 23136, and they may also face other fines and penalties. Under Section 23140, underage drivers with a BAC greater than .05 are subject to a one-year driver's license suspension, as well as educational classes and other fines and penalties.

The "Implied Consent" Law in California

Section 23612 of the Vehicle Code states that drivers who apply for a California driver's license agree to submit to chemical testing of their blood alcohol content level if they are arrested on suspicion of DUI. "Implied consent" is the term used to describe this situation. For a first offense, a driver who refuses to take the required chemical examination will have their driver's license suspended for a minimum of one year. If you are stopped on the suspicion of DUI and asked to submit to have your blood drawn, know that repeated offenses will lead to longer periods of suspension and even jail time. It is important to understand that if you are threatened with imprisonment, your submission may be considered to be coerced and therefore unconstitutional according to the Fourth Amendment.

California Laws Addressing DUI Resulting in Injury

Vehicle Code Section 23153 outlines DUI offenses that result in bodily injury. These offenses may result in either misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the severity of damage done and other circumstances. For misdemeanor DUI charges, offenders can be sentenced to up to one year in Alameda County jail and fined up to $5,000. However, a conviction for a felony DUI offense may result in a maximum punishment of six years in a state prison (and possibly a longer sentence in cases involving multiple victims) plus fines of up to $10,000.

Contact an Oakland DUI Law Attorney

Although California has rigorous drunk driving laws, drivers also have rights that may not always be recognized by Alameda County law enforcement. Before making a DUI arrest, police must have evidence of probable cause, and they must follow appropriate procedures. Attorney Paul Burglin is well-versed in these regulations, and he understands the defenses that can be raised to avoid the negative outcomes of a DUI conviction.

Attorney Burglin is the co-author of California Drunk Driving Law, a two-volume legal handbook with extensive information about DUI cases and legal defenses. He is one of just five attorneys in California who have been Board-Certified by the National College of DUI Defense.

Attorney Paul Burglin understands how overwhelming and stressful the legal process can be, and he offers discreet, confidential consultations. If you need assistance with your case, do not hesitate to contact us by calling 510-250-5629. We proudly represent clients in Oakland, Fremont, Alameda County, and other Bay Area communities.

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