Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is the offense of operating a motor vehicle
in a mentally or physically impaired condition caused by taking drugs
or consuming an amount of alcohol sufficient to raise one's blood
alcohol content above an amount set by statutory limit. DUI laws set an
upper limit for a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) (.08% in California).
If the driver's blood alcohol content is above the legal limit, he/she
can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
DUI and DWI (Driving while Intoxicated or Driving while Impaired) refer
to the same offense.
In California, two different cases are brought against a person who has
been arrested for a DUI. First is the DMV case (Department of Motor Vehicles
case) whereby an administrative hearing is conducted which includes an
examination of the officer's report and the results of the breath,
blood, or urine tests. If the review shows that the blood alcohol content
(BAC) level was
less than .08% (in California) the suspension/ revocation of the defendant's license is
Second is the criminal case – the state's case against the defendant
for breaking the law. The criminal case can result in a misdemeanor conviction,
driver's license suspension, jail time, fines, classes for alcohol
education, community service, vehicle impoundment, ignition interlock
device installation or a combination of these things.