California DUI Forms
This form addresses important considerations that may effect the legal rights and obligations of the parties in a DUI/DWI matter. This questionnaire enables those seeking legal help to effectively identify and prepare their issues and problems. Thorough advance preparation enhances the attorney's case evaluation and can significantly reduce costs associated with case preparation.
California DUI Form Categories
Driving Under the Influence FAQ
What is DUI law?
Drunk driving, driving while intoxicated (DWI), or driving under the influence (DUI), is typically determined by the alcohol content found in the driver's blood. Blood alcohol content (BAC) may be determined in two ways: through breath analysis or urinalysis. All but three states have lowered the legal limit of blood alcohol content from 0.10 to 0.08 percent. Also, thirty-four states have passed laws lowering the BAC to 0.02 percent or no amount for drivers under 21. Twelve states have also set a separate limit at 0.04 percent for commercial vehicle drivers.
Penalties for drunk driving are severe in most states. Virtually every state suspends the driver's license on a first offense, and the length of suspension increases sharply with each successive offense. There is, however, a great deal of variation in the lengths of suspension of driving privileges among the states. The newest development in the laws of drunk driving concern court-ordered attendance at an alcohol abuse rehabilitation program upon conviction for driving while intoxicated. Most have some sort of rehabilitation requirement for problem drinkers and drivers. Although sentences and penalties vary among different states and different courts, a person convicted of driving drunk may face any of the following:
- A fine of $1000 or more
- Revocation or suspension of the offender's driver's license
- Impoundment of the offender's car or the installation of special locks on the offender's car
- Special classes regarding drunk driving or alcoholism
- Mandatory jail sentence
What are the defenses to DUI?
A person charged with drunk driving usually attacks the arresting officer's observations or opinions. A defendant may also attack witnesses that tested the defendant's BAC, or the defendant may call on someone who can testify that the defendant was sober.
In addition to these strategies, a defendant could rely on one of several defenses. These defenses include the following: (1) necessity, which applies when a person must drive to prevent a greater evil; (2) duress, which applies when the defendant drives in order to avoid serious injury or death; (3) entrapment, which applies when an officer requests that a person drive drunk; (4) mistake of fact, which applies when a person has an honest belief that his or her BAC is below the legal limit; and (5) involuntary intoxication, which applies when the person has ingested alcohol without his or her knowledge.
Individual states take different positions with respect to the availability of these defenses. In general, however, these defenses rely on specific sets of facts and are each very difficult to prove successfully.