The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that on a daily average about 29 individuals die in the United States due to alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. Drunk driving makes up about 28% of all highway-related accidents making it the number one cause of death on our interstates. According to the CDC, two out of three individuals will be a victim in a car accident caused by someone else’s drug or alcohol intoxication. In addition, the CDC reported that in 2016 more than a million individuals were arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The statistics reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paints a vivid picture of the reality that exists on our highways. While you may take every precaution to drive safely, it is impossible to control every aspect of the driving experience. Individuals who are intoxicated while driving, cause harm not only to themselves but to individuals who are driving with precaution. Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol will ultimately impact the lives of the intoxicated drivers and of those around them. The dangers that exist in the highway has prompted the government to produce laws that attempt to dissuade individuals from operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
For a first time DUI offense, the judge will consider all the harm you caused to others while driving under the influence before offering a conviction. For example, individuals who are charged with a DUI who have a clean criminal background will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor. If the DUI incident resulted in no deaths or injuries, the misdemeanor will usually entail a fee and a mandatory treatment program.
If you are charged with a first time DUI offense, you may have the charges dropped if you have the help of a qualified DUI attorney. To speak with a local DUI attorney, you may contact the Long Beach DUI Attorney at 562-206-2012. We are ready to assess your case and provide you with an outlet to contest any DUI case. In addition, our attorneys are capable of reducing the punishments through a wet-reckless. A wet-reckless is treated as a DUI if and when there are future offenses. A wet-reckless will usually hold lesser punishments and will allow the individual to keep their driving rights. To apply for certain reliefs or to learn the best way to approach a DUI, please contact us today.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
In the state of California, if you are driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you may be charged with a misdemeanor for driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.08 or greater is a violation of California vehicle code section 23152 (b) and can be punished with a six-month jail sentence. In addition to jail time, individual found guilty of driving while under the influence with a BAC of 0.08, may be subject to license suspension and probation. The consequences of driving under the influence with a high BAC are numerous and depend greatly on the factors of the case. In a courtroom, the judge will take into account the levels of alcohol found in your body, the number of individuals that have been affected by the DUI, and other factors that may affect a court order. In many cases driving with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will be treated as a misdemeanor and could result in jail time and fines.
The best way to beat a breathalyzer test is to understand your body weight and how alcohol consumption may affect or impair your driving capabilities. The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is based on the person's body weight and the number of drinks the person had in a given amount of time. Individuals with a low body weight should expect to have a higher BAC after the consumption of their first drink. On the contrary, individuals with a high body weight are capable of drinking more alcohol while maintaining a low BAC percentage. To have a better understanding of the BAC percent in your body, it is imperative to understand how your weight ultimately affects the number of drinks you can have in a given time before you motor skills are impaired.
When determining the BAC percentage the amount of food an individual had before consuming alcohol will also affect how the body responds to the alcohol that has been consumed. In general, individuals will begin to experience the effects of alcohol after a first drink or upon reaching a BAC percent of 0.02%. At BAC 0.06% the individual's spacial awareness becomes considerably debilitated and at 0.08% the individual will experience impaired muscle functions. Once the BAC percent reaches 0.10% the individual is considered too drunk to operate a motor vehicle in most states. At 0.20% BAC individuals will begin to experience a blackout and after the BAC percent reaches 0.40% most individuals will lose their awareness and may experience death.
In most states, a BAC percent of 0.08% for an individual that is 21 years or older is considered too drunk to be operating a motor vehicle and can be fined and punished under the California Vehicle Codes. Individuals who are operating a commercial vehicle cannot have a BAC percent of 0.04%. In addition, for individuals who are under the age of 21, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any degree of BAC.
Learning about your specific body weight and how a drink per hour affects your awareness and motor skills can save you lots of future trouble. In many cases, drunk drivers are individuals who have had too much to drink in a short amount of time. Sometimes individuals who are driving while under the influence of alcohol are doing so without knowing that they are operating a vehicle. Individuals who have had too much to drink will be prone to a blackout which means they will be unable to make sound decisions. In addition, during a blackout, an individual will usually begin to see double and will not be capable of properly operating a vehicle. When individuals fail to take into account their body weight and the number of drinks they have had per hour, can lead to serious consequences.
We believe that the more you know about your body weight the more sound decisions you will be able to make next time you are having a drink and planning to operate a motor vehicle.
BAC Calculator: Body Weight and Drinks Per Hour
As mentioned earlier, your body weight and the number of drinks you have had per hour will have an impact on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The following will highlight how alcohol drinks per hour affect male and female individuals that share the same weight.
Example Male, 160 pounds: A male that weighs 160 pounds can drink up to three 12 oz. beers (the average size of a beer can or beer bottle) in one hour and maintain a BAC lower than 0.08% (0.06% to be exact). Males with a body weight of 160 pounds can consume up to four beers in one hour and maintain a BAC of 0.08%. Males with this bodyweight who drink eight 12 oz. beers will achieve a BAC of 0.18%.
Example Female, 160 pounds: A female that weighs 160 pounds can drink up to three 12 oz. beers (the average beer can or beer bottle) in one hour and maintain a BAC lower than 0.08% (0.073% to be exact). After their fourth beer in an hour, the female will have a BAC of 0.10%. Females that weigh 160 pounds that drink eight 12 oz. beers in an hour will have a BAC of 0.21 and may begin to experience blackouts.
In addition to the body weight and the number of drinks consumed per hour, alcohol will affect individuals more if they drink on an empty stomach.
To determine the amount of alcohol a certain individual can consume in an hour before they are legally too drunk to drive, you are advised to interact with a BAC calculator. If you want to access a BAC calculator and you wish to learn about how the different BAC levels affect your motor functions and judgment, you are encouraged to visit Aware Awake Alive at awareawakealive.org/educate/blood-alcohol-content.
California First Time DUI Offence Punishments
In the state of California, before you are charged with a DUI the judge will take into account any past history of a DUI conviction, the type of driver's license the individual possesses, the age of the individual, and of the accidents that the individual has caused while driving under the influence. Depending on the circumstances and of the region where the DUI occurred, individuals may be charged with the following punishments.
If you driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the state of California, you may be charged with:
- Jail time: First time DUI offenders may face a jail sentence of up to six months in jail. Individuals that cause harm to another person while driving under the influence may face other charges which may add additional jail time. In addition, jail time will increase for subsequent DUI offenses.
- Fines: First time DUI offenders are looking at fines that can range anywhere between $300 to $1000. Additional fines can be applied if any damage is caused to public or private property as a result of driving under the influence.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) program: The DUI program aims to reduce the number of repeated DUI offenses. The DUI program allows individuals to address any drug or alcohol related problem so that they can assist with finding the right type of help. Individuals who are convicted of a first time DUI offense will be required to complete a DUI program that lasts up to 3 months. The program consists of 30 hours of counseling which aims to educate the individual on the hazards of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Administrative Per Se: An ‘admin per se’ allows local law enforcement agencies to arrest individuals who have refused to undergo blood/breath/or urine analysis to determine the BAC or who have registered a BAC over the legal percentage. Local law enforcement agencies have the ability to confiscate a driver's license and provide a notice of suspension before entering a courtroom for a conviction.
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID): The IID is a device that is installed in a motor vehicle to prevent drunk individuals from driving. The IID device measures the amount of alcohol that is in the person's breath before allowing the individual to ignite a vehicle. In addition, the device may require regular breath examinations while the individual is operating the vehicle. First time DUI offenders will almost always be required to follow an ignition interlock device pilot program. However, an IID pilot program is required for anyone who is caught driving while under the influence in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Tulare County, and Alameda. Furthermore, if not a resident of the countries mentioned above but the DUI offense was charged in these four counties, the individual will be subject to the laws that guide the region. To find a qualified IID provider, you are encouraged to visit the following list of California IID providers: dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/vehindustry/ol/forms/ignitioninterlockdevicelist
- Filing an SR-22: Individuals who are convicted of a DUI may be required to file an SR-22 in order to re-establish their driving privileges. The SR-22 is a certificate that is granted by the individual's car insurance provider. The SR-22 is basically a voucher that says your insurance company has your back.
- License reissue fee: $125
There are different penalties that apply to first-time offenders that are under the age of 21. Under the zero-tolerance law, individuals who are under the age of 21 can be charged with a DUI if there is any percentage of alcohol concentration found in their blood.
If you are in caught in a DUI, it is crucial to speak with an attorney to learn about the different ways that a DUI can be contested. As mentioned above, attorneys can help drop or reduce the penalties that arise after a DUI is charged. If you wish to speak with a DUI attorney, contact the Long Beach DUI Attorney at 562-206-2021. We are ready to review your case and provide representation in a courtroom.