Frequently Asked DUI Questions

Answers to from a Los Angeles DUI Attorney

If I only had one drink, can I be convicted of drunk driving?
You can be convicted of drunk driving if you meet one of two criteria: Your blood alcohol content was higher than .08, or your driving was so impaired that the prosecution can prove you were driving under the influence. Depending on your weight and the time between your drink and when you began driving, it is possible to be considered “under the influence” after one drink.

I took a nap in my car and I was arrested for DUI. How is this possible?
Even though you weren’t driving, your presence in the driver’s seat, especially if the motor was still running, can be considered circumstantial evidence proving that you had been driving under the influence of alcohol. If you failed a field sobriety test or chemical test shortly after you were found asleep at the wheel, then the prosecution can attempt to convict you of drunk driving.

Are all DUI charges the same, or is one less serious than another?
A DUI charge that does not involve an accident or at least two prior DUI’s is a misdemeanor, which is far less serious than a felony DUI charge. Felony DUI charges typically occur when there is an accident with injuries or a person already has been convicted of three or more DUI’s in the last 10 years. Your attorney may also be able to reduce your charge to reckless driving instead of DUI.

If I was the only person injured in my DUI accident, will that still count against me?
No. You can be charged with DUI regardless, but if you were the only person injured, you cannot be charged with a DUI causing injury, which is a more serious offense. A true DUI causing injury case occurs when the driver causes and accident and injuries another driver, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, etc. For learn more, visit our page about injury-related drunk driving charges.

If the person injured in my accident was a passenger, does that help my case?
No. It doesn’t matter whether the injured person was riding in your car or someone else’s car. As long as someone other than you got hurt, you can be charged with a DUI causing injury.

I took the blood test and registered a BAC of above .08. Does this mean I lose my case?
No. A blood alcohol content of .08 does meet the legal definition of drunk driving. However, just because the police chemical test shows a BAC above a .08, it does not mean you will be convicted. There can be numerous circumstances which render the test result inaccurate. An experienced DUI attorney will consider all of these factors and more to determine if there is a potential defense.

If I plan to plead guilty to drunk driving, why do I need an attorney?
Even if you plan to plead guilty, you still need the help of an experienced DUI attorney. An attorney can examine the facts of your case to determine whether you could plea bargain to a lesser DUI charge – for instance, a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony or a reckless driving instead of a DUI. An attorney is also much more likely to obtain a lesser sentence on your behalf than you will.

If I was the driver in an accident involving multiple victims, what charges am I facing?
You may be charged with DUI causing injury (assuming none of the injuries were fatal). California law does not allow for you to be charged with multiple counts of felony drunk driving.

Can I be charged with a DUI after using marijuana?
Yes. DUI charges can be applied for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What is an IID?
IID stands for “Ignition Interlock Device.” An IID requires an individual to breathe through a machine attached to their vehicle before the engine will start. As of July 2010, an IID can be ordered as a consequence of any DUI conviction in Los Angeles County. Ignition interlock devices are one of many DUI consequences.