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Does a high BAC and an accident (no injury, crashed into a tree) affect the fine/sentence of my DUI?

Riverside, CA |

I was arrested for DUI around, 11:30 pm. I lost control of my car and crashed into a tree, I wasnt injured nor was the tree (or anyone else), my front axle broke so I called my girlfriend to come help me. the CHP arrived before she did, they asked me if I was the driver i said yes, he asked me to take a FST and I did, failed it and was placed under arrest. I was taken to the hospital, where they drew blood (and now charging me $800 for doing nothing other than asking me if I was ok and if they could draw my blood) the results came back at 0.19% I was in jail for approximately 12 hrs where I was placed in ICE until someone was kind enough to recheck my papers and let me go. Im trying to get an idea of what is coming, will the accident/BAC affect the sentence/fine? I also had a dui 11yrs ago

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Attorney answers 4


The court can impose any sentence for DUI from the minimum 2 days, to six months. Most judges will consider high blood alcohol and non-injury accidents during a DUI to be aggravating factors that justify higher than the minimum sentence.


My colleagues are correct. You will face a 6 to 9 month alcohol program instead of the minimum 3 month program for a first time offender. You also face higher fines and they may ask for jail. A good attorney would be able to negotiate for a non-jail sentence despite the high BAC and the accident. Reasonable alternatives are the longer alcohol program and CalTrans or community service. Keep in mind, however, that you will usually spend less time in a Los Angeles County jail than you might spend doing CalTrans because of the Sheriff's early release program. The fact that you had a DUI 11 years ago will definitely result in a harsher sentence despite the fact that it occurred more than 10 years ago.

Debra S. White. Esq.

This answer is based on California law and procedure and does not create and attorney-client relationship.


Nearly all jurisdictions have stiffer penalties for higher BACs. I know off hand that California does so and also will slot you into a treatment program, not necessarily based on clinical needs, but instead through a cookie-cutter format that takes your BAC into account. I highly recommend you contact a local attorney immediately.


Absolutely. You exposure can go way up based on an accident and a high BAC. Thats a high BAC and often times that will draw an early jail offer. There are ways to get around this and in my practice we advocate early intervention with the client and have great results. Give me a call and I can explain

Brian Michaels

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