One of the biggest elements of a DUI case is the blood alcohol level. Under California Penal Code §23152, and §23153, it is not necessary for a person’s blood alcohol level to be over .08% for them to be charged and convicted of driving under the influence.
The law is clear on the subject, and if a prosecutor or Judge had all the facts, they could readily convict a person who has been charged. Fortunately, that is not how the law actually plays out in Court. If a person has a low blood alcohol level, under .08%, there is a good chance their case will be reduced or dismissed.
The charges will likely be reduced from a driving under the influence of alcohol to a wet and reckless driving charge, dry and reckless driving charge, or an exhibition of speed. This is the best case scenario when it comes to facts. The courts are more flexible if the blood alcohol level is low.
Unfortunately, as the blood alcohol level gets higher, the court takes the charges more seriously. A very high blood alcohol level can also trigger enhancement charges. Enhancement charges bring the potential consequences of a standard DUI, towards the higher end of the spectrum due to the high blood alcohol level.
Let’s consider an example. Let’s say that Dan has been charged with driving under the influence. He has been charged and faces the potential of a conviction and the consequences that go alone with it. The California Penal Code states that a person who has been convicted of a DUI in California may be charged with a fine between $390.00 to $1,300.00, alcohol education and rehabilitation classes, probation for 3 to 5 years, and potential jail time between 48 hours to 6 months.
The law only gives a range. It is not black and white. The actual sentence will depend on the person’s prior criminal history and the facts of the case. If , like in Dan’s case, there is a high blood alcohol level, the Judge will take the facts of the case into serious consideration and lean towards a sentence that is higher in the range. In comparison, if a blood alcohol level is lower, the Judge will consider a sentence towards the lower end of the spectrum.
The blood alcohol level in a case can make a significant difference to the overall outcome of your case. In either situation it is wise to get an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer. If your BAC is lower, it will assure that your case gets reduced or dismissed, and if your BAC is higher, it will assure that if you are to be convicted, the Judge will lean towards a lower sentence.