Drunk Driving in Sacramento California
Sacramento, California Vehicle Codes 23152 and 23153 both make it clear that driving under the influence (or with a BAC over .08) is a crime. In all states, crimes come with swift legal action. Since lawmakers aren’t changing to the existing policies any time soon, the community should be aware of the expectations and consequences imposed upon them as licensed drivers.
Drunk driving is not only dangerous but it’s also a legal offense that can come with harsh penalties, fines, and even jail time. California courts consider DUIs very serious and thus, their laws are hard-hitting and complex. Offenders in that state must comply with numerous provisions defining illegal roadway actions and the penalties thereof, even if those penalties seem unjust.
For instance, Code 23700 states that people convicted of drunk driving must install IIDs (Ignition Interlock Devices) in their cars in order to drive on the roads. The time a driver must properly install and use the device depends on the number of prior DUIs he or she has. A good lawyer will be able to explain your rights and responsibilities in a clear and understandable way.
Put simply, those convicted of drunk driving in Sacramento are required to use IIDs on every vehicle they drive for the following amounts of time:
- Offense 1 – 5 months
- Offense 2 – One year
- Offense 3 – Two years
- Offense 4 – Three years
Regardless of the number of offenses a person has, driving privileges may also be revoked as a result of drunk driving. If a person was injured during a DUI, the driver loses his/her driver’s license and must use IIDs for longer:
- Offense 1 – One year
- Offense 2 – Two years
- Offense 3 – Three years
- Offense 4 – Four years
Drunk driving cases are reviewed in two separate hearings – one through the state’s DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and another through the court system. Judges have the authority to suspend driving privileges for up to a decade, especially when the driver gets convicted of 3 or more DUIs within 10 years. However, what happens in one hearing doesn’t influence what happens in the other. Therefore, a person may not get their license suspended by the judge but may still get them suspended by the DMV.
In some cases, drivers convicted of a DUI may be granted a restricted license (often called a hardship license) which is typically to get back and forth to school or work. An educational class must be taken in a timely manner through an approved agency and all costs for that class are the responsibility of the driver. Fortunately, a restricted license allows drivers to transport themselves to and from the mandatory DUI education classes.
Those accused are never advised to represent themselves, as the laws that pertain to drunk driving in Sacramento are extremely complicated. Hiring a good local DUI attorney is extremely important. Experienced lawyers understand the complex laws, know the loopholes, and can help clients reduce or eliminate some of the fines and penalties that result from their arrest.