California makes it illegal to drive while impaired by a drug or alcohol or both. The law also makes it a crime to drive above a certain per se limit of .08. Either way the punishment is the same but the type of evidence used to prove these two distinct offenses can be different.
Here is an example, say a person is driving with .07 and is pulled over for weaving. The officer says he failed FST exercises because he swayed substantially and almost fell down. What is the crime? He is below the legal limit so the police should just let him go correct?
Not necessarily, you see the cop will claim he was DUI or “driving under the influence” because he was impaired by the alcohol and unsafe to drive. The law only requires that the person be impaired as to not be able to drive with the same caution characteristic of a sober person in order to convict for DUI in Kern County or any other CA jurisdiction. The per Se level will not be charged but a jury may convict him or her of driving under the influence nonetheless.
Bruce Blythe is a DUI attorney in Bakersfield with 20 years experience fighting alcohol related crimes. He can be reached at 661-327-7833 if you have any questions about this article or general questions about your options or information about how to hire a lawyer.