Fisher Law Office

What are per se DUI laws, and what do they mean for you?

You know that California DUI laws are tough, and driving drunk or under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in severe penalties. You probably also know that the legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08%, but there are other DUI laws you may not fully understand. Many drivers don't know about per se DUI laws and don't understand what they could mean for them.

Per se laws essentially mean that a driver could face arrest and charges for intoxicated driving even if he or she does not feel impaired or is unaware that his or her BAC level is at or over the legal limit. These laws apply to both alcohol and drug-related DUI arrests. Regardless of the circumstances of your case, it is in your interests to know how to develop a strong defense strategy.

What does per se mean?

Essentially, DUI laws state that if a driver has a BAC of .08% or higher, the law considers that individual legally intoxicated. This means that it is not necessary to collect additional evidence before making an arrest. Police can place you under arrest on suspicion of intoxicated driving with a BAC of .08% or higher even if you pass sobriety tests or do not feel drunk.

This does not mean, however, that it is impossible to challenge the circumstances of a DUI arrest or the case against you. In fact, it is your right to confront any aspect of the prosecution's case, starting with the reason for the initial DUI traffic stop to the results of any BAC testing.

What if you're underage? 

Different DUI laws apply to drivers under the age of 21. Zero tolerance laws mean there is no tolerance for underage drivers with alcohol in his or her system. Underage individuals could face arrest and criminal charges if BAC testing registers any discernible amount. This could result in loss of driving privileges and other consequences. 

Defending your future

It is in your interests to take any DUI charges against you seriously. This means taking quick action to develop an effective defense strategy, whether it is your first offense or you have previous convictions on your record.

If you are unsure of how to challenge the case against you and protect your future, it may be helpful to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can explain your rights and legal options.

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Fisher Law Office

1322 Morro Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-4028

Phone: 805-706-0205
Fax: 805-542-0464
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