California DUI Laws You Might Not Know About

California DUI Laws You Might Not Know About

Over the past decade, The Golden State passed a series of DUI related laws which will expand into 2019 and beyond. Drivers in California should fully understand these regulations passed to eliminate and/or reduce the tragedies associated with driving under the influence. According to statistics published by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), alcohol-impaired driving fatalities with a BAC of 0.08% or more increased 4.3% from 2014 to 2015 and, of total fatalities, fatal accidents involving alcohol remains at about 28%.

Required Interlock Devices on Vehicles

Drivers who have been convicted of DUI have to prove themselves sober to drive every time they start their vehicles. Passed by Senate Bill 1046, this pilot program expanded during 2017 into several California counties (Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento and Tulare counties) and will roll out to the rest of the state by 2019. How it works is convicted DUI drivers must install “ignition interlock devices” (also called IIDs) to their cars. Designed to test for sobriety, if alcohol is found present, the device prevents the car from starting. If you are convicted of DUI, be aware you will have to comply with this law. A Ladera Ranch DUI lawyer can investigate to see if you are eligible to get your license reinstated or obtain a restricted driver’s license, along with helping you to understand how the IID works.

Hired Ride Safety

Another new law placed on the California books this past year relates to rideshare agencies. Drivers of services, such as Uber and Lyft, now face stricter regulatory measures.

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  • Drivers convicted of certain crimes, one of which is a DUI conviction within the last seven years, cannot be hired
  • No BAC (blood alcohol content) over 0.04% is permitted by rideshare drivers; this aligns with current regulations applying to CDL drivers (as opposed to 0.08% by “regular” drivers)
  • Drivers face fines up to $5,000 if they violate the new laws

If you are a driver, know there will be stiff penalties if you are caught with alcohol in your system. These laws are designed to increase passenger and public safety.

Carrying Alcohol in a Vehicle

California has strict laws about carrying alcohol in a vehicle. Aside from clearly not being allowed to drink and drive, did you know you cannot carry any container holding alcohol in the car that has been opened? If you have beer, wine, or other liquor in your car, it must be sealed in its original packaging. If the container has been opened, it must be placed in the trunk or in a place where passengers aren’t sitting.

In general, the penalties for drinking and driving in California are stringent. If you live in Orange County and have been arrested for an alcohol-related offense, a Ladera Ranch DUI lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and lead you to the best possible outcome.


New 2017 California Traffic-Related Laws to Go Into Effect on Jan 1.

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