Out-of-Towners Beware: California State DUI Laws Have No State Boundaries

By: Timothy McFarlin | Published: May 5th, 2010 | Category: Driving Under The Influence (DUI)

Millions of people come to visit California every year. They visit friends, family or landmarks and beaches. It’s a large and beautiful state and has a great deal to offer its visitors. However, since so much of California involves driving, out-of-towners ought to become more familiar with the state’s DUI laws—especially since it is very easy to relax and drink, while on vacation. Most folks who get a California DUI arrest return home and pretend it never happened, or, the chances of it following them to their state are nil. However, this is not the case. For starters, if anyone ever visits California and receives a DUI arrest, you should contact an attorney.

As with most other states, in California, one cannot operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more. And under the state’s zero tolerance for underage drivers law, anyone under 21 driving with a BAC of 0.01%, may be charged and lose their license for one year—in their home state.

California also has an “implied consent law,” whereby simply by driving, one has consented to providing a breath or blood sample to obtain a BAC %, when pulled over. Should one choose to deny BAC tests when pulled over, he/she will be hit with greater penalties including a license suspension of a year or more—and if you’re an out-of-towner, your state will most likely honor California’s charges and also suspend your license.

In many states throughout this country, a DUI conviction in another state counts as a previous conviction under their own state laws. Not too many drivers are aware of this. In effect, if a driver already has a previous DUI conviction, in their home state, and then receives a another conviction for a DUI-related offense in California, the driver may be subject to stricter penalties in their home state, for having multiple DUI convictions.

For more information on defending against a DUI charge, contact an experienced attorney.

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