Los Angeles DUI Attorneys California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) VC Driving with a BAC of .08% or Higher

DUI Is A Serious Crime In Los Angeles

A DUI charge an affect every area of your life. Having a criminal record can impede opportunities related to both employment and education and take a toll on you and your loved ones. In essence, it can and will affect your quality of life. This is why it is so important to get ahead of your defense by speaking to an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney as early on in the process as possible.

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Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony DUI charge and this can mean endless court appearances and adjournments that extend the period of your criminal proceedings well into the future.  In all likelihood, your license will be suspended and you will be dealing with charges two-fold; on the one hand, you’ll be dealing with the criminal court and on the other hand, you will be dealing with administrative hearings with the DMV. 

What You Need To Know About California DUI Laws


In the state of California, if you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will likely be asked to take part in a field sobriety test, in addition, at some point, once you have been brought back to the police station, you may be required to have your blood tested. If you are found to have 0.08 blood alcohol or above, you may be facing misdemeanor charges. Where injuries are involved, or there are children in the car, you may likely face felony charges.  The charges are incremental depending on your individual set of circumstances and any additional elements involved in your specific case. 

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California DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

  • “Per Se” BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
  • Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent
  • Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.16 Percent
  • Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes


California Vehicle Codes You Need To Be Aware Of

First things first, why are the California Vehicle codes so important? It is important that you understand that DUI charges fall within two vehicle codes and as such, the law, to a degree is just not amenable to drivers.  So, whether you had too much cough medicine or actually had a high level of alcohol in your blood, in both situations you may be facing similar penalties due to the language in the vehicle codes. 


The primary reason that these codes were written was, in effect, to ensure that most citizens arrested for a DUI can actually be prosecuted successfully and so the “charges would stick” so to speak. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney knows how to work within his or her bounds in order to provide effective and aggressive defense to DUI charges.

Let’s look at these two codes:

  • Vehicle Code Section 23152 VC, either the “subjective” definition under 23152(a) VC: It is a crime for any person who is “under the influence” of any alcoholic beverage, regardless of that person’s blood alcohol content (BAC), to drive a vehicle.
  • “Per Se” definition under 23152(b) VC: It crime for any person to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher

As you can see, the “subjective” language appears to leave very little room to fight the charges against you, in fact, it allows for the possibility of a double charge. Do not be dismayed, an experienced attorney can fight to have one or both of these charges reduced or dropped.

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Establishing Guilt For Conviction

  • Proof that you were behind the wheel and are the person who was operating the vehicle
  • You had a BAC of 0.08% or more 

California DUI Laws: Select Penalties

  • Minimum License Suspension or Revocation – (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) 
  • 6 months, 2 years, up to 10 years
  • Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment – Both (education if under 21)
  • Vehicle Confiscation Possible? – Yes
  • Ignition Interlock Device Possible? – Yes (mandatory for 3rd offense)


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The Impact Of Losing Your License

Akin to losing your livelihood, as mentioned above, your driving privileges can have an affect on your day-to-day life. Moving from one part of town to another for work or even outside of your county can be cumbersome, difficult, and frustrating when relying on public transportation in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

With the inability to move about freely, you become restricted from transporting yourself to and from your place of employment or to meet you or your family’s educational needs. This is not even including the fact that you still have to travel for your basic needs like groceries and home supplies.

The last thing you want to face is the loss of your driving privileges. Our Team works with families like yours and cases like yours every day, you can count on our team to help you get your life back.


Under special circumstances, Los Angeles citizens may have their license suspended or even revoked if they have been charged with a DUI and their BAC is at 0.01% and are already on probation or if they outright refuse to cooperate and have their BAC tested. An experienced attorney can assist you with getting a hearing to fight this suspension or revocation, that is why it is absolutely vital to get legal help as soon as possible. 

Important California Resource Tools And Links