In California, it is a crime to drive while impaired by alcohol, legal drugs, or illegal drugs.
If a driver is suspected of being impaired, a police officer may perform a field sobriety test in order to determine the level of impairment. A field sobriety test may include walking heel to toe in a straight line or other standard tests. The police officer may also perform a Breathalyzer test or transport the driver to a hospital, where blood tests can be performed.
California law requires drivers to submit to chemical testing if they are suspected of impaired driving. Refusing to submit will result in legal consequences, including the suspension of your driverís license. California law dictates that drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more are considered intoxicated, even if there is no obvious impairment. A much lower blood alcohol content can also result in an arrest if impairment is present.
DWI - Driving While Intoxicated
DWI refers to driving while intoxicated. It is the act of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more. Drivers who are driving erratically, involved in an accident, or otherwise suspected of DWI may be required to submit to tests to determine their sobriety.
In California, drivers are required to take either blood or breath tests unless health issues or suspected drug use indicates the need for a urine test. Refusing these tests will result in penalties that can include a one year suspension for first-time offenders.
As soon as you have been arrested for DWI, a process is set in motion whereby your license will be automatically suspended if you do not contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Requesting an Administrative Hearing and presenting your case may result in your continued ability to drive.
If you miss the 10-day deadline for requesting your Administrative Hearing or you lose the hearing, your license will be suspended for at least four months. If it is not your first offense, your license may be suspended for a longer period. Drivers with two DWI offenses may receive a one-year suspension, while drivers with three offenses may receive a two-year suspension.
Protect your rights by contacting us immediately if you are arrested for either DUI or DWI.