DUI at below a .08%
Most people are aware that it is unlawful in California to drive with a .08% or more breath or blood alcohol level. Fewer people are aware that it is possible to be arrested and prosecuted for a DUI with a breath or blood alcohol below the legal limit. The California Vehicle Code says that a person with a .08% or more breath or blood alcohol level is presumed to be impaired to drive and therefore guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. It is also a separate charge to drive with an excessive blood or alcohol level at or above a .08%. If a person submits to a test and the result is below a .05% it is legally presumed that the suspect is not impaired to drive and not guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol. There is a legal grey area between a .05% BAC and a .08% BAC where there is no legal presumption either way. Whether a person is impaired between a .05% and a .08% depends on the evidence and circumstances of the case.
It is becoming increasingly common for people to be charged with DUI following a breath or blood test under the legal limit. The DUI "net" is now being cast over a larger group of people. Where this is going to end, I do not know, but most people facing a DUI prosecution with a .05% or .06% breath alcohol level are confused and angry. People who call me in these circumstances tend to be reluctant to hire an attorney because they feel that they shouldn't have to. While this is understandable, it is even more important to retain a good DUI lawyer in these circumstances to insure that the charge is dismissed and the defendants record is protected. Achieving a dismissal in these circumstances is often not as easy as one would imagine. Defending a DUI in Los Angeles is never an easy matter. Often Prosecutors want to push the envelope and make a name for themselves by achieving a conviction for a DUI with a low breath or blood test reading. The fact that a case should be dismissed does not always translate into reality if you are dealing with an unreasonable prosecutor, judge and system. Sometimes cases with these facts are not filed upon review by a deputy district attorney and the case is rejected, but this cannot be expected and all necessary steps should be taken to defend the case. Going into the case expecting a dismissal without having to work for it is a recipe for failure.
Los Angeles DUI Lawyers Gold & Witham have many years of experience defending DUI cases in Southern California. Please call for a free consultation.