The legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for drivers 21 years and older is 0.08% in California. For those under 21, any detectable amount of alcohol is grounds for a DUI charge. Commercial drivers have a limit of 0.04%.
First-time DUI offenders may face penalties including jail time, large fines, and a license suspension. Subsequent offenses come with increasingly severe penalties, potentially leading to long-term imprisonment and permanent license revocation.
In California, you technically can refuse a breathalyzer test, but doing so will result in automatic license suspension due to “implied consent” laws. This means that by driving on California roads, you have implicitly agreed to submit to chemical tests if suspected of DUI.
Generally, a DUI is treated as a misdemeanor in California. However, it can be charged as a felony if you have multiple prior DUI convictions, or if your DUI resulted in injury or death to another person.
If you are under 21 and are caught driving under the influence, you will face immediate license suspension, possible jail time, and mandatory alcohol education programs. The consequences are intended to be severe to discourage underage drinking and driving.
Note: This FAQ is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Always consult with a qualified attorney for your specific legal needs.