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Debunking myths about DUI charges in California

Apr 20, 2024 | DUI

Driving under the influence laws in California are strict and aim to reduce road accidents caused by impaired driving.

However, many myths and misconceptions about DUI charges in California persist, which can lead to confusion about the consequences of and defenses against these serious charges. It’s important to understand the realities of DUI laws to better navigate the potential outcomes and how they might affect one’s life.

Myth 1: You have to be driving to be charged with a DUI

A common myth is that a person must be actively driving a vehicle to be charged with a DUI. In reality, California law allows for DUI charges if a person is in control of a vehicle while impaired, even if the vehicle isn’t moving. This could include sitting in a parked car with the keys in the ignition while under the influence.

Myth 2: A DUI is just a minor offense

Another widespread misconception is that a DUI is a minor offense. On the contrary, a DUI in California is a serious criminal charge that can have long-lasting consequences. Penalties can include substantial fines, license suspension, and even jail time, especially if it is not the individual’s first offense or if the incident involved an accident or injuries.

Myth 3: Breath tests are always accurate

Many people believe that breath tests are infallible. However, several factors can affect the accuracy of these tests, such as the device’s calibration or the person’s medical conditions. While not perfect, breath test results are a critical piece of evidence in DUI cases.

Understanding the truths about DUI charges in California helps dispel fears and misconceptions that often surround these serious allegations. By addressing these myths, individuals can better prepare to handle the situation with clear, accurate knowledge.