DUI in Fresno, Madera, Kings, Merced, Tulare County
In California, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This includes prescription as well as illegal drugs. State law says that you will be arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) if you are found to be driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08 percent or greater. Keep in mind that if you are a minor, you can be arrested for having a 0.01 percent BAC or greater. A commercial driver can be arrested for having a BAC of 0.04 percent or greater.
1st offense DUI penalties in Fresno
There are a variety of penalties a driver faces after being arrested and charged with DUI in Fresno or the surrounding areas. In California, a first offense for DUI will result in the following:
- Immediate license suspension;
- Up to 6 months in jail;
- Approximately $2,500 in fines and fees;
- Installation of an ignition interlock device; and
- Required enrollment and attendance in an alcohol awareness or DUI specific program.
If you are a commercial or minor (under the age of 21) driver, the penalties will vary. For example, if you are a commercial driver, in addition to your personal license being suspended, your commercial license endorsement will be automatically suspended for one year. This is in addition to other penalties and fees.
Administrative per se penalties in California
Fresno and the surrounding areas also have something known as Administrative Per Se penalties. An example of this type of penalty is that a Fresno police officer has the right to immediately take your license if you fail, or refuse to submit to, a breathalyzer or blood test. When either a minor or an adult refuses to submit to a breath or chemical test, their license will be suspended for one year.
After a Fresno DUI arrest, you will have 10 days to request an administrative hearing in order to contest you administrative license suspension. It is helpful to have copies of the DMV's evidence as it relates to your specific charge in preparation for your hearing. It is permitted to have an attorney present at your administrative hearing. If the license suspension is upheld at the close of the hearing, you can still submit a written request to have the suspension reviewed within 15 days of the hearing.
Alcohol education after a Fresno DUI
A DUI conviction will require attendance and successful completion of an alcohol/DUI education program. The length of the program will depend on your BAC at the time of your arrest and whether you have had any previous convictions.
There are more than 400 licensed alcohol education programs throughout the state of California. These programs will address different issues and concerns related to alcohol and will work to cater their curriculum depending on the participants. For example, if the program is for minors who have been convicted of DUI, the program may focus on how alcohol affects the body and issues related to peer pressure.
In most cases, if this is your first offense, the program will be a three-month, 30-hour program. However, if your BAC was 0.20 percent at the time of your arrest, you will be required to complete a nine-month, 60-hour program. These programs are expensive and will cost you $500 or more.
Contact an attorney
If you are facing charges related to a first offense DUI, do not think that your only choice is to plead guilty! Take a moment to call Terry Wapner and schedule a consultation in order to discuss the facts of your case and be advised of your options.