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California DUI Resource Center

Dealing With a DUI? We’re Here to Help

Getting a DUI in California

Getting a DUI charge, or conviction, in California can be a scary, stressful and expensive experience. California doesn’t mess around when it comes to drivers who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. You’ve made a mistake and now you will have to face the consequences. The good news is that if you take this opportunity to make some positive changes, there is an end in sight. Remember that finding an affordable car insurance company is vital as your case moves through the system.

You may feel like your life is ruined. But take heart. Everybody deserves a second chance. Now, you need to get ready to do whatever it takes to get through this and come out the other side a better person.

At Cost-U-Less, we have compassionate and professional agents who can help you navigate through the auto insurance part of a DUI arrest and conviction. Make no mistake, it isn’t going to be easy, but we’ll be here to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.

Cost-U-Less has put together the following pages to help answer your DUI related questions.

Los Angeles police officers question drivers at field sobriety check point on Sunset Blvd. at sunset.

What is a DUI?

In California, a DUI is operating any type of vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) greater than .08%. It is also driving under the influence of drugs, illegal and prescription, if it negatively affects your ability to drive safely. Anytime you appear to be intoxicated you may be subject to being arrested for DUI. Even if your BAC is not greater than .08%, if a law enforcement officer suspects you are intoxicated, you can be arrested. These rules also apply to riding a bicycle and driving a boat.

Glossary of Insurance Definitions

Get explanations for terms relating to insurance

Underage Drivers and Commercial Vehicle Operators

The laws are stricter for these groups. Commercial vehicle operators are considered DUI if their BAC is greater than .04%. Those under 21, the legal age to drink alcohol in California, will be charged with DUI if their BAC is greater than .01%.

Is a DUI a Felony in California?

For most cases, a first-time DUI will appear on your record as a misdemeanor. However, if you are charged with your fourth DUI in a 10-year period it escalates to a felony. After that, any time you receive a DUI conviction, it will be a felony.

Certain aggravating factors may also cause a DUI to be upgraded to a felony. These include driving drunk with a minor in the vehicle, causing an accident where someone is hurt or killed and being belligerent and combative towards law enforcement.

You may lose your license in California if you are convicted of DUI combined with reckless driving that led to an accident.

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What Happens if Someone is Killed by a Drunk Driver?

In California, there are serious charges that result from a death caused by a DUI driver. This includes:

  • DUI vehicular misdemeanor manslaughter
  • DUI vehicular felony manslaughter
  • Gross DUI vehicular manslaughter
  • Murder

All of these carry the possibility of time in jail or prison. They also include restitution to the victim’s family (ordered by the court), as well as the possibility of being sued by the family. Except for misdemeanor DUI vehicular manslaughter, all of the above lead to a status as a convicted felon for life.

Can’t I Just Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer?

You can, but you will most likely be immediately taken to jail and you could lose your license for one year.

Can I Turn Around if I See a DUI Checkpoint Ahead?

Yes, you can. In California, you have the right to avoid a DUI checkpoint as long as you do so legally and it doesn’t put others at risk. You can take an alternative route or you can turn around, if you can do so legally.

Find Affordable DUI Insurance in California Today

Being arrested and convicted of DUI is a life-changing event. At Cost-U-Less Insurance, we are here to help you navigate the DUI and SR-22 landscape. Give us a call today at 800-390-4071, check us out or stop by one of our locations to find the help you need.