Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Each year, countless people are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California. The consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe with punishments ranging from fines to jail time. Even worse is the possibility that your personal and professional reputation could be ruined with a permanent record of your DUI. The most important thing you can do if you have been charged with a DUI in the Humboldt, Del Norte, or Trinity County areas is to contact Russell J. Clanton and Associates and get an expert DUI attorney on your case.

California DUI Laws

California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. The California Vehicle Code has two sections of law that are typically used when a person is charged with a DUI.

  • Section 23152(a) makes it illegal for a person to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and
  • Section 23152(b) makes it illegal for a person to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher.

In California, it is also a crime to refuse to submit to chemical testing such as a blood or breath test after you have been arrested for DUI. Refusal will result in an automatic suspension of driving privileges.

California is considered a zero tolerance state when it comes to underage drinking and driving. That means an individual who is under 21 and is found to have a BAC level of .01% or higher will be charged with DUI.

DUI Charge and DMV Hearing

If you are charged with a DUI, two independent actions are taken against you. The first is the formal DUI charge. This takes place in criminal court, and the purpose of this action is to determine whether you violated the law by driving under the influence at the time of the arrest. If you are found guilty, the criminal court will also determine the consequences. This can include fines, alcohol school, community service, probation, and even jail time.

The second action is the DMV hearing. You must contact the DMV within ten days of your arrest in order to request a hearing. This is different from the formal DUI charge because the DMV action is an administrative hearing. The DMV determines whether to suspend or revoke your driver’s license based on the evidence given by police. In California, if you do not schedule a hearing with the DMV your license is automatically suspended after 30 days.

California DUI Defense Attorneys Can Help

Getting arrested and charged with DUI can be a confusing and scary experience, especially if it is the first time that you have been arrested. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with DUI in the Humboldt, Del Norte, or Trinity County areas, the attorneys at Russell J. Clanton and Associates can help. With over 30 years of combined experience, our lawyers are experts at defending DUI cases and can give you the personalized and vigorous representation that you need. Contact our office at 707.825.6587 to schedule a free and confidential consultation on your case.