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Will I lose my driver's license if I'm under .08 BAC?

San Diego, CA |

Will I lose my driver's license if I'm under .08 BAC? If I've been charged with a DUI, will I receive notice. This is my first offense.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    Depends. If you are under 21, or a commercial licensee driving a commercial vehicle, yes. If they took a breath test, they would immediately know the result. If you are over 21, and the result was under 0.08%, they should not issue you a notice. If they took blood, they general issue a notice based upon the belief your level will be 0.08 or higher. The fact that you did not get a notice (pink sheet labelled Admistrative per Se Suspension/Revocation Order) usually means the officer did not believe you were 0.08 or higher. If no test was taken, I do expect a case to be filed. You say you've been charged, but I suspect you have just been arrested. The prosecuting agency (District Attorney or City Attorney) makes the decision to file or not file the charges. You wont know until your court date. If the test result was 0.08% or higher, the DMV will most likely send you a four page notice telling you your license is suspended. You have 14 days from the date on the letter (NOT date received) to call and schedule a hearting. If you get that notice, or if the court case is filed, get a lawyer, preferably a local attorney familiar with the Calexico court and prosecutors.


  2. Assuming your BAC was under the .08%, DMV will not initially or automatically suspend your license based on the arrest. If the officer gave you the pink temporary license, you MUST contact DMV, irregardless of what you know the BAC to be. As you proceed through the court process, a conviction for DUI even below .08% will result in a suspension which you will be noticed of during sentencing. Most likely, you will not lose driver's license if you're under .08 BAC.


  3. Assuming your BAC was under the .08%, DMV will not initially or automatically suspend your license based on the arrest. If the officer gave you the pink temporary license, you MUST contact DMV, irregardless of what you know the BAC to be. As you proceed through the court process, a conviction for DUI even below .08% will result in a suspension which you will be noticed of during sentencing.


  4. Less Than .08% BAC & Still Arrested for a California DUI?!

    If the legal limit for a California DUI is .08, can I still get arrested for a California DUI - driving under the influence of alcohol - when I blew only .05, .06 or .07?

    Yes.

    A California drunk driving charge depends on the facts & circumstances.

    Can you remember going to a party, someone got drunk and started hitting on your spouse?
    And when teased the next day that person swore it was only two drinks?

    Alcohol affects different Californians in different ways. Some people may experience mild effects after two or three drinks; some people may be impaired after one.

    California's .08 law exists because of federal funding pressure and because that law states that a .08 blood-alcohol level will impair anyone. But you may have a lower concentration of alcohol in your blood and still be allegedly impaired according to California DUI law.

    At a recent party, a friend brought my portable breath test machine and began testing people. Few at that party reached a .08. One person claimed she felt too buzzed to drive by the time she reached .07. It doesn’t necessarily take a lot of alcohol to get impaired. Each person is different and so is her or his physiology.

    A California DUI is one the most defended criminal cases by California criminal defense lawyers in California courts. The accused has a lot to lose if convicted. DUIs are extremely costly in terms of fines, court-imposed fees, insurance rates, ignition interlock devices, vehicle impounds, public work service, alcohol programs, and jail.

    One of the biggest reasons people hire California DUI criminal defense attorneys to fight their California Drunk Driving charges is fear of losing their driver’s license. Our culture makes daily living difficult without personal transportation, particularly in rural areas.

    California DUI police officers don’t always just depend just on numbers from a breath sample to decide if someone is impaired. A skilled and honest California DUI officer often knows, before doing a breath test, if the driver is likely to be arrested for a California DUI.

    Unsteady gait, distinctly slurred speech, misunderstanding comprehensible directions, unexplained difficulty with basic motor skills and the manner of driving are possible characteristics that may say more about someone’s possible impairment than numbers on a machine.

    California DUI laws and issues are extremely complex.

    California Drunk Driving Criminal Defense Lawyers often have to deal with prosecution experts who try to claim that people can be impaired at .05.

    If you are under .05, there is a jury instruction (below) that you are presumed not to be under the influence of alcohol.

    If you are a commercial driver, it is unlawful to drive a commercial vehicle with a .04 BAC.

    If you are an non-commercial adult driver who was charged with a California DUI at less than .08, you’ve learned the hard way that a small amount of alcohol can cause possible impairment, at least in the opinion of some California DUI police officer.

    It gets very complicated for a California DUI criminal defense lawyer who must deal with many different jury instructions in California DUI cases.

    e.g. California Criminal Jury Instruction Number
    2110. Driving Under the Influence (Veh. Code, § 23152(a))

    A person is under the influence if, as a result of (drinking [or
    consuming] an alcoholic beverage/ [and/or] taking a drug), his or
    her mental or physical abilities are so impaired that he or she is
    no longer able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober
    person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances.

    The manner in which a person drives is not enough by itself to
    establish whether the person is or is not under the influence of (an
    alcoholic beverage/ [or] a drug) [or under the combined influence
    of an alcoholic beverage and a drug]. However, it is a factor to be
    considered, in light of all the surrounding circumstances...


  5. You may lose your license if you have a commercial drivers license; you should not if you have a regular, Class C license, unless you are convicted of a DUI in court. If you are convicted of a DUI in court, your license will be suspended, but you would immediately be eligible to apply for a restricted license if you met certain requirements (SR22 is posted with the DMV, you enroll in the alcohol classes, and you pay a reinstatement fee to the DMV). If you are convicted of a lesser offense (wet reckless or speed exhibition) your license would not be suspended based on the court conviction. This is a very complicated area, and you would be well-served consulting with a DUI defense attorney.

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