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California Penal Code 23152(a) | VC Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

What are the factors or elements for 23152(a) VC DUI?

California Penal Code 23152(a) VC Driving Under the Influence (DUI):

  • 23152(a) It is a misdemeanor to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • 23152(b) It is a misdemeanor to drive with .08% or more of alcohol in your blood.

California Penal Code 23152(a)

Note: In most cases, both the 23152(a) and (b) offenses will be charged. Even though there is only one act, the law says that a defendant charged with drinking and driving can be convicted of BOTH offenses — but can only be punished for one (the punishments are identical). Vehicle Code section 23153 sets forth the “felony DUI” provisions where an injury results from the drunk driving, while Penal Code sections 191.5 and 192 describe the crime of “vehicular manslaughter” where there is a death.

California Penal Code 23152(a) VC Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Legal Consequences:

Misdemeanor Penalties

  • $1400- $3000 fine
  • 1-3 years summary probation
  • 3-9 month court-approved alcohol program
  • AA Classes, an amount as determined by the court
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in vehicle
  • Participation in a class conducted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and/or Victim Impact Program
  • Community Service/Labor, an amount as determined by the court
  • 0-6 months jail time, for the misdemeanor charge as determined by the court
  • Restitution to any victims involved, an amount as determined by the level of damage caused to the third party

Felony Penalties-California Penal Code 23152(a) VC Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Assuming you are not a repeat offender, three requirements must be met for your DUI to be treated as a felony: while under the influence, the driver must commit a traffic violation, such as running a red light or speeding; secondly, the driver must have caused injury or death to a third-party; and finally, that injury must have been caused by the violation in question.  Your DUI can also be increased to a felony if you have multiple prior DUI convictions and/or a prior felony DUI conviction.

In addition to a possible up to four (4) year license suspension, any combination of the following are possible consequences for a standard 1st time DUI felony Offense:

  • 6 months -3 years jail time
  • $3,000+  fine
  • 18-month alcohol education program
  • 3-5 years formal probation
  • AA Classes, an amount as determined by the court
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in vehicle
  • Participation in a class conducted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and/or Victim Impact Program
  • Community Service/Labor, an amount as determined by the court
  • Restitution to any victims involved, an amount as determined by the level of damage caused to the third party
  • Charge enhancements if passenger in vehicle at the time
  • If serious injury and/or death:   May be a “strikeable” offense, may be eligible for state prison sentence. If you kill someone while driving under the influence, you can also be charged with vehicular manslaughter or murder.
  • Consequences of felony conviction:  Lose right to possess firearm, lose right to vote, lose right to sit on a jury, lose right to hold public office, must provide law enforcement with DNA sample, may lead to immigration consequences, as a drug abuser, if you are a non-citizen.

How can we defend you against charges of California Penal Code 23152(a) VC Driving Under the Influence (DUI)?

The most common include (but are not limited to):

Alcohol may not be the reason for your driving issues

If your driving was called into question, your California DUI lawyer will be sure to address the fact that sober people are responsible for the majority of traffic violations and accidents. Also, there may be non-alcohol related explanations for your driving miscues, such as being lost or momentarily distracted.

Objective signs and symptoms of intoxication can be caused by a number of factors- California Penal Code 23152(a) VC Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

In a Vehicle Code 23152(a) case, if the officer testifies that you displayed physical signs and symptoms that were consistent with someone who had been drinking, your DUI defense attorney will elicit testimony that

  • Fatigue,
  • Allergies,
  • The sun,
  • illness, and even
  • Non-alcoholic beverages

Can account for all of the “objective” signs of alcohol impairment that the officer observed.

However, if it is determined that you were intoxicated…and the above symptoms (such as fatigue or an illness like diabetes or epilepsy) simply contributed to your impairment…they will not serve as a defense to DUI.

California Penal Code 23152(a) VC Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Field sobriety tests don’t accurately measure impairment- California Penal Code 23152(a) VC Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

If your performance on the FSTs is described as “poor”…which will almost always be the case…your DUI defense lawyer will ask the officer to testify about all of the ways that you correctly performed the field sobriety tests.

This line of questions is designed to show the jury that the number of things you did right far exceeded the number of things you did wrong. Your attorney will also challenge

  1. The validity of the specific tests that were administered (such as the theHorizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) FST, the finger to nose FST, and/or the one-leg stand FST), and
  2. The manner in which the tests were administered.

The police didn’t follow proper procedures

Every aspect of your California DUI investigation will be challenged. Your DUI attorney will call into question

  • Whether the officer had the necessary probable cause to arrest you (or even the required reasonable suspicion to stop you in the first place),
  • The procedures used to collect and store any blood or breath samples under Title 17 of the California Code of Regulation (California Title 17 violations could affect the outcome of your DUI case), and
  • Whether the officer engaged in any acts of police misconduct which could override any alleged wrongdoing on your part.

Contact us:

We have been successfully defending clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992.

The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country!

Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.

Don’t bargain with your freedom! The right attorney makes all the difference between your freedom and incarceration!

Please CLICK HERE to visit our dedicated page on DUI charges for more info.

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Case Results

  • DUI- REDUCED
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE- REDUCED
  • POSSESSION OF METH- DISMISSED
  • FELONY ARSON- RESOLVED
  • RESISTING ARREST- RESOLVED
  • POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA- REDUCED
  • PROBATION VIOLATION- RESOLVED
  • POSSESSION OF COCAINE- REDUCED
  • CONCEALED WEAPON- DISMISSED
  • DRUNK IN PUBLIC- RESOLVED
  • JUVENILE DRUG/WEAPON- RESOLVED
  • FELONY RAPE- REDUCED
  • DUI- Hung Jury
  • SOLICITATION OF PROSTITUTE- DIVERSION
  • POLICE EVADING- REDUCED
  • DUI- REDUCED
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE- REDUCED
  • FURNISHING ALCOHOL/MINOR- RESOLVED
  • RESISTING ARREST- DISMISSED
  • ACCIDENT DUI- DISMISSED
  • CANNABIS CHARGES- REDUCED
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE- DISMISSED
  • DRUNK IN PUBLIC- DISMISSED
  • PUBLIC INTOXICATION- DISMISSED
  • JUVENILE CASE- DISMISSED
  • PROSTITUTION SOLICITATION- DISMISSED
  • ASSAULT & BATTERY- DISMISSED
  • ARSON- RESOLVED
  • PETTY THEFT- COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • POSSESSION OF NARCOTICS- DISMISSED
  • FELONY MARIJUANA- MISDEMEANOR
  • FELONY WEAPONS POSS.- REDUCED
  • Felony Assault - JURY ACQUITTAL
  • Domestic Violence - JURY ACQUITTAL
  • Felonies - REDUCED to 1 MISD.
  • Felonies - REDUCED to 1 MISD. NO JAIL
  • Sex Felonies - REDUCED/NO JAIL
  • Prostitution - DIVERSION/NO JAIL
  • 2nd Theft - DISMISSED
  • Drug Felonies - NO JAIL
  • Driving Misd - REDUCED TO INFRACTION
  • Resisting Arrest - DISMISSED
  • Juvenile Sex Felonies - DIVERSION
  • Multi-ED CODE Charges - REMAIN IN SCHOOL
  • 3 VOP'S - ALL DISMISSED
  • 1st Degree Burglary - REDUCED

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