In most cases, you will be charged with a misdemeanor if you are arrested for a DUI in Orange County, California. Misdemeanor charges include violation of Vehicle Code section 23152 (a)/(b)/(d) and Vehicle Code 23140 (a).
CVC 23152 (a) it is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.
A person can be charged with violating California Vehicle Code section 23152 (a) even if their blood alcohol level is under .08%. The prosecution will put an expert toxicologist on the stand to state that the majority of people are under the influence and therefore impaired to drive at .05%. A person may also be charged with violating this Vehicle Code if they are found to be driving under the influence of a controlled substance. DUI with Drugs is a common charge. It is important to remember that even prescription drugs can result in a DUI arrest.
CVC 23152 (b) it is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
A person is generally arrested and charged for violating California Vehicle Code section 23152 (b) if their chemical test is a .08% or higher. This means that to charge this section a blood or breath test done after arrest must be .08% or higher.
While both sections of the 23152 Vehicle Code are a DUI, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will only pursue action if a person’s chemical blood or breath test is over .08%. If you are under 21 and your post arrest blood alcohol results are under .08%, the California DMV will most likely issue a set aside of the automatic suspension of your license. Do not leave it up to the DMV though. Be sure to still request your hearing even if your blood alcohol results are under .08%.
CVC 23152 (d) It is unlawful for any person who 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
If you are operating a commercial motor vehicle, you are held to a higher standard. The penalties are also greater for those who hold commercial licenses. If you hold a commercial license and are convicted of a DUI under 23152 (a)/(b) or (d) then you face a one year suspension of your commercial license. On a 2nd or subsequent DUI, you will face a lifetime loss of your commercial license.
CVC 23140 (a) it is unlawful for a person under the age of 21 years who has 0.05 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
If you are under the age of 21, you are not allowed to drive with a measurable amount of alcohol. The DMV can suspend your license if you are found to have any amount of alcohol in your system while driving.
Remember, no matter what the circumstances of your Orange County DUI case, it is always in your best interest to hire a tough, smart OC DUI lawyer.