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DUI – Statutes
The principle statute for drunk driving in California is Vehicle Code §23152— (a),(b). These two subdivisions are applicable to cases where the drinking and driving incident does not result in injuries. Vehicle Code §23153—(a), (b)—covers the situations where injuries result. A statutory presumption is also set forth dealing with these types of cases. Statutory presumption means a rebuttable or decisive presumption created by a statute.
Vehicle Code §23152(a) makes it unlawful for any person under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both to drive a vehicle. While, Vehicle Code §23152(b) establishes it is unlawful for any person with 0.08% or more(by weight) of alcohol in his/her blood stream to operate a vehicle.
Note: Subdivision (b) does not apply to individuals driving under the influence of drugs alone, as it clearly specifies an alcohol presence in the bloodstream. Such cases are charged under subdivision (a).
The statutes are obviously all-encompassing. A person might be unsafe to drive under the influence under (a), even if that person has a BAC under that set forth in (b).
Further, Vehicle Code §23153 (a)& (b) mirror Vehicle Code §23152, but apply to cases where the DUI has caused injury. Of note is the nature of the injury required to trigger these subdivisions. In contrast with the enhancement provision for personal infliction of great bodily injury, there is no requirement that the injury rise to the level of great or severe injury—any injury, even a minor one, will suffice to violate these provisions. ON the other hand, the injury must be more than a mere “shaking up,” “fright,” or “minor headache.”
Now let’s go back to the statutory presumption, which provides: in any prosecution under this law, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person ahs 0.08% or more by weight in his/her blood at the time of driving the vehicle. A test must be performed within three hours of driving under the influence to get the most accurate BAC.
This presumption is meant to assist the prosecutor in the case. And it has long been established that it is both fair and constitutional to create this uphill battle for the defense. Therefore, knowledge and skill are critical for defense attorneys.
Stay tuned for more information on DUI charges.