When a 23-year-old woman was pulled over on suspicion of a DUI (driving under the influence), her 28-year-old boyfriend was a passenger in the vehicle. One hour later, on his way to bail her out of jail, the boyfriend was also arrested on the same charge, but in a different vehicle. Neither was bailed out that evening, but the boyfriend will have to deal with violating parole and driving with a suspended license.
California law concerning DUIs is complicated and difficult to understand. First, if you have been arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you may actually find yourself being charged with 2 separate crimes – driving under the influence (CA Vehicle Code 23152(a)) and operating a motor vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of over 0.08% (CA Vehicle Code 23152(b)). Law enforcement agents must, in turn, be able to prove that a) you were actually operating a motor vehicle and b) that you were driving under the influence of drugs are alcohol at the time. When an individual gets pulled over by an officer, the first component, or element, of the case is usually satisfied – because you were seen driving the car or other vehicle. However, the second part is more difficult to prove.
Penalties for California DUIs depend upon prior convictions. If the DUI is a first offense, then it is likely that the person convicted will be charged with a misdemeanor, may spend 1 year in county jail, be forced to attend DUI classes, and pay a small fine (less than $400). You may also have your driver’s license suspended and suffer the consequences with your car insurance provider.