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Low Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

The legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol in California is 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC). The process for calculating the amount of alcohol content in a person’s blood is outlined in California Vehicle Code section 23152(b). To determine if a person was over the legal limit when driving a vehicle, CVC 23152(b) concludes that if a chemical test is performed within three hours of the suspect driving the vehicle and that chemical test shows a BAC of 0.08% or greater, then there is a presumption that the person was impaired when driving the vehicle. However, not all DUI cases involve a person with a BAC of 0.08% or greater. A person can be arrested even if they have a low blood alcohol content. If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DUI in Orange County, it is important that you contact an Orange County criminal defense lawyer immediately so that they can assess your case and provide next steps.

It is important to note however that there are other legal distinctions to be made based on low blood alcohol content levels in a person’s body. California Vehicle Code Section 23610 outlines these distinctions and notes that if a person’s BAC is between 0.05% and 0.08% the law makes no presumption on whether the person was impaired for purposes of driving a vehicle. However, if a person’s BAC is measured below 0.05%, there is a legal presumption that the person was not impaired for purposes of driving a vehicle. A person can be arrested for having a BAC under the legal limit, therefore if you have been accused of driving with a BAC level less than 0.08%, it is still essential that you contact an experienced attorney in Orange County to assist you with your case as you can still be found to have been impaired for the purposes of driving a vehicle.

All of the legal presumptions based on BAC level are rebuttable and can be defeated by a solid defense strategy. However, these defenses can be complex and it is extremely important to contact an attorney who is experienced in DUI cases so that they can ensure that you have the best defense possible.

California BAC Limit for Commercial Drivers

California Vehicle Code section 23151(d) outlines the regulations for drivers of commercial vehicles who are under the influence of alcohol. For drivers who operate commercial vehicles, there is a low blood alcohol content limit of 0.04% and the same type presumption applies as does to non-commercial drivers. If a person is subject to a chemical test within three hours of operating a commercial vehicle and has a BAC greater than 0.04%, that person is presumed to be impaired for purposes of operating a commercial vehicle.

Drivers for hire (such as Uber, Lyft, and Taxi drivers) are also considered to be drivers of commercial vehicles under California Vehicle Code 21352(e) and can be arrested for a DUI if they have a BAC greater than 0.04% while they are working in such capacity.

Orange County defense attorney William Weinberg is an experienced lawyer in Orange County who has many years of experience defending clients charged in DUI cases. He will consider your case free of charge and advise you of your options. To reach him please contact his Irvine office at 949-474-8008 or by emailing him at bill@williamweinberg.com.

Orange County DUI Lawyer Blog - DUI

Anyone who is arrested should contact an experienced Orange County DUI Criminal Defense Attorney to determine whether or not their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, were violated.

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