DUI as Defined by California Law

Alcohol Presumptions

Vehicle Code Section 23152-23229.1

  • 0.08% BAC or higher for drivers 21 years old or older operating a regular passenger vehicle.
  • 0.04% BAC or higher for anyone operating a commercial vehicle.
  • 0.01% BAC or higher for drivers under 21 years old.  For the layman, you shouldn't drink and drive regardless of how little you drink.
  • Various medications can also be cause for a DUI arrest.

DUI Penalties

21 Years or Older

  • A first offense will mean an immediate license suspension for 4 months.
  • A second or subsequent offense within 10 years will mean a license suspension for 1 year.

Noncommercial Restricted License

For a first offense, you may be eligible to get a restricted license during the suspension for a DUI.  You must do the following:

  • Enroll in a licensed DUI First Offender program.
  • Ask the program provider to file a Proof of Enrollment Certificate in a licensed DUI First Offender Program.
  • File proof of financial responsibility.  This is usually referred to as an SR-22.
  • Pay a reissue fee of $125.
  • Wait until the end of the mandatory 30-day suspension.
  • Request a restricted driving privilige to commute from and to the course if required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to your driver's license if you refuse to take a chemical test (breath or blood)?

A first offense will cause your license to be suspended for 1 year.  A second offense will mean a revocation for 2 years and a third offense will be 3 years.

If I'm physically fit, will my Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) be lower?

No, your BAC can be affected by your weight, how much your drink and how much time passes between drinks.

Will drinking coffee, exercising or taking a cold shower reduce my BAC?

No, you must wait for your body to metabolize the alcohol. That takes time.