California's DUI Statutes: A Brief Overview

Posted By Law Office of Peacock & Le Beau || 22-Jul-2016

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, it may be in your best interests and to your advantage to learn more about California’s DUI statutes in more detail. Review the provided list below for pertinent information. If you have more questions or concerns regarding the law, your case, and your potential DUI conviction, you can contact our Long Beach DUI attorneys from Law Office of Peacock & Le Beau. As 2 of the 351 criminal law specialists in the state, you can have confidence in our abilities to form you a comprehensive and solid defense case. Call 562.888.9148 for more information.

California DUI Statute Overview

  • California Vehicle Code 23152: Establishes that it is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drug; includes definitions of illegal blood alcohol levels (BAC), such as 0.08 for typical vehicles and 0.04 for commercial vehicles; establishes that anyone who is addicted to a drug cannot drive a vehicle legally.
  • California Vehicle Code 23153: Establishes that it is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug and do any sort of act, lawful or unlawful, that causes the harm of someone other than the driver; creates a separate law regarding DUI with injury crimes.
  • California Vehicle Code 23154: Establishes that operating a motor vehicle is illegal if the person has both a BAC over 0.01 and a current probation created as a result of a prior DUI conviction; includes that anyone on probation due to a DUI conviction has automatically given consent to subsequent BAC testing methods if they are arrested on suspicion of DUI; further establishes that refusing to take a chemical test while on probation will trigger automatic suspension of their driver’s license for 1 to 3 years.
  • California Vehicle Code 23158: Establishes that only certified specialists or licensed medical practitioners can draw blood for BAC testing at the request of a law enforcement officer; states that people arrested for a DUI can also request additional testing by medical professionals and certified specialists at their own expense; information collect during BAC testing will be made available to the suspect and their attorney; provides protection from prosecutor to certified specialists who draw blood at the request of the police; “certified paramedics” do not include firefighters; subjects who decide to take urine tests for BAC testing must be given full privacy.
  • California Vehicle Code 23213: Establishes that people residing in social rehabilitation facilities, or “rehab centers”, can have a vehicle newly registered under their name unless they have an operator’s license.
  • California Vehicle Code 23215: Establishes that highway patrol officers may conduct traffic stops and make DUI arrests at any location, whether it be a highway or otherwise.
  • California Vehicle Code 23217: Establishes the 10-year lookback period for escalated DUI penalties and states that escalated penalties can be issued before prior offenses are officially turned into convictions.
  • California Vehicle Code 23220: Establishes that it is illegal to drive any sort of motor vehicle, even those primarily for off-roading and while on non-highway roads, while intoxicated by alcohol or impaired by drugs.
  • California Vehicle Code 23221: Establishes that neither drivers nor passengers can legally drink an alcoholic beverage while driving upon a highway or street.
  • California Vehicle Code 23222: Establishes that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while there is an alcoholic container that has been opened, partially emptied, or damaged in any way within the vehicle; also states that it is an infraction to drive a vehicle with one ounce or less of marijuana within the vehicle, unless it is concentrated cannabis used in conjunction with a valid medical marijuana prescription.
  • California Vehicle Code 23223: Establishes that no driver or passenger shall have an open, partially emptied, or damaged alcoholic beverage container while within a vehicle, on or off highways.
  • California Vehicle Code 23224: Establishes that drivers under the age of 21 cannot drive a vehicle that carries alcoholic beverages unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, or an adult deemed responsible by a parent or guardian; states that criminal charges will not apply if the young driver was instructed by their parent or guardian to transport the alcohol for them; the same regulations and protections apply to passengers under the age of 21; the driver’s vehicle may be impounded for 30 days if said vehicle is registered to a criminal offender; a conviction of this violation will be considered a misdemeanor.
  • California Vehicle Code 23225: Establishes that open, partially emptied, or damaged alcoholic containers can be kept within the trunk of a vehicle without breaking the law; states that alcoholic containers can also be kept in areas of vehicles not normally occupied by any drivers or passengers, such as a truck’s flatbed, but does not exclude glove compartments or any other storage space within reach of the driver or a passenger; off-highway vehicles with no trunk space can carry open containers so long as they are within a locked container equipped with a padlock, combination lock, or any other similar lock; open alcohol stores in the living quarters of housecars, RVs, and campers are not included in this vehicle code; citations for the violation of this vehicle code can be issued even when vehicles are empty.
  • California Vehicle Code 23226: Establishes that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while an open, partially emptied, or damaged alcoholic containers is kept within passenger compartments and seats within the vehicle.
  • California Vehicle Code 23229: Establishes that California Vehicle Code 23221 and 23223 (see above) do not apply to passengers in a limousine, taxicab, bus, or any other entertainment vehicle that is licensed to transport passengers and alcohol; drivers of the aforementioned vehicles are still held strictly to the statutes established in CVC 23221 and 23223.
  • California Vehicle Code 23229.1: Establishes that it is illegal to imbibe or carry open alcoholic beverages in a bus, taxicab, or limousine if there is a passenger under 21 years old within the vehicle as well; states that alcohol may be stored on said vehicles in locked containers.

Remember: if you have additional questions or concerns, or need help after being arrested for a DUI, contact our Long Beach criminal defense attorneys.

Categories: Criminal Defense

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