Under normal circumstances, getting a California DUI is a pretty cut and dry matter from the perspective of law enforcement officials. If you are caught drinking and driving, there are hefty fines and stiff penalties. However, it seems that the courts have made an exception in the case of 25-year-old Butte County woman (name withheld to protect the anonymity of the accused)
In September of last year, she was arrested on charges of DUI, with a .08 blood alcohol level or above, and taken into custody in the South of Market neighborhood in San Francisco. She’d only driven a total of 4 blocks under the influence before being stopped for going the wrong way on nearby Bryant Street. When she showed up in court, an interesting story unfolded. It seems that she was being pursued by her now ex-boyfriend when she was arrested. In town for his birthday, she had already put up with him being kicked out of at least one club and him throwing her into a piece of furniture in the hotel room (she received a black eye and a cut on her head for her trouble) when she got into the vehicle and drove off, but only after he attempted to enter the vehicle, screamed, and banged on the windows. Because she had no choice, she was cleared of both charges.
In the state of California, charges like that originally levied against her (CA Vehicle Code 23152(a)) driving under the influence; (CA Vehicle Code 23152(b)) driving with a BAC at or above 0.08 are both considered misdemeanors. For each of the charges, if a first offense you may face a maximum of 6 months in county jail and up to $1,000 in fine.