Consider the first step to a DUI in getting pulled over for suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any other impairment defining materials. Jurisdiction plays a big role in this and can even determine the legal limit. In California, the legal limit for an adult 21 or older is 0.08% or higher.
This is an important number for you to remember, but not nearly as important as the minimum and maximum fines.
For your troubles, the minimum amount of trouble you can get in with your first DUI in California are small fines and probation from three to five years. The terms of the probation is what causes the most problems, since during that time you will be under a microscope and have to submit to random tests at the requests of police officers.
Any further violations while under probation will only make matter worse.
What a lot of people miss with DUI’s is that the law extends to excessive use of prescription medications or medicine with alcohol in it. There is a big fuss over the last one, in which case you can thank the many people that turned Nyquil into a party drug.
And then there was this, the famed aggravated DUI. So what is the difference? Once again this is a jurisdictional question, so let’s stick to California. Anything above 0.15% is considered aggravated based on BAC.
If your blood alcohol content is almost double the limit, then consider it like winning the free trip to jail lottery. But even if you are only at 0.08% it can still turn into an aggravated DUI.
The last one is important to mention with all of the strict laws surrounding kids.
There is no ‘good’ DUI, but if one were to choose, staying away from aggravated DUI’s would be wise. By default they carry bigger penalties, even more than second time DUI offenders. Your license can be instantly revoked on the first aggravated DUI, and even if it isn’t, expect to install an ignition interlock device just to have the privilege of driving again.
Another thing to look out for which causes instant aggravated DUI is driving without insurance or a valid driver’s license. Suddenly you went from a slap on the wrist to a full force aggravated DUI at only 0.08% BAC. A DUI can go away with time, while an aggravated DUI is a charge that can change your life forever.