California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC – Driving Under the Influence

California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) makes it unlawful for a person to drive a vehicle while he is under the influence of alcohol. Under the influence is a term of art that refers to a person being impaired by alcohol to the point where the impairment affects the person’s ability to safely operate an automobile. Most DUIs are charged as misdemeanor DUIs in the State of California.

Also, California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) makes it a crime to drive with a blood alcohol (BAC) level of 0.08% or more. If you have been charged with violating either of these criminal statutes, you face the following penalties: being sent to jail for up to six months, payment of a fine of up to $1,000, loss of your driver’s license for up to six months, as well as being placed on informal summary probation.

Typically, the prosecution will charge an individual of violating VC 23152(a) and VC 23152(b). This allows the prosecutor to prove that the defendant was either under the influence of alcohol or that the defendant was driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or more.

So, if you have been charged with driving under the influence or driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or more, you should immediately contact a Los Angeles DUI Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you. Our attorneys have handled thousands of DUI cases, so they have the knowledge and experienced necessary to defend you and keep you from going to jail and losing your driver’s license for a long period of time. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

Text of California Penal Code Section 23152(a) VC – Driving Under the Influence

According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.”

This code section is subjective, meaning the prosecution must prove not only that you consumed alcohol but that you were driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol at the time you were pulled over by the police officer.

The prosecution typically proved that a person was driving under the influence by introducing the observations of a police officer, as well as toxicology reports and test results for any field sobriety tests that you performed. A police officer’s observations include things, such as the odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and/or swerving while driving.

These are all things that will be used to prove that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol. That said, if the prosecution were to also charge you with violating vehicle code section 23152(b), all the prosecution would have to show is to prove that you were driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or more. It would not have to show that you were driving under the influence.

Suspension of Your Driver’s License After Being Charged with Drunk Driving

If you have been charged with drunk driving, you may have noticed that the police officer who arrested you confiscated your driver’s license and gave you a temporary pink license. This pink piece of paper is only good for 30 days from your arrest. After the 30 period ends, your driver’s license will be suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case against you. To keep your driver’s license beyond the 30-day period, you must schedule your DMV hearing within

Proving That You Were Driving Under the Influence in Violation of CVC 23152(a)

For the prosecution to convict an individual of driving under the influence in violation of penal code section 23152(a), the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant was driving a vehicle
  • The defendant drove while under the influence of alcohol
  • The defendant’s driving was impaired as a result of alcohol consumption-that is the defendant’s ability to drive was impaired to the point where the defendant was not driving with the characteristics of a sober person

If the prosecution proves these three elements, it will be able to convict the defendant of driving under the influence of alcohol. Please remember that VC 23152(a) only applies to driving under the influence of alcohol. If a person was driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs, the prosecution typically brings charges under VC 23152(f). To convict a person of violating Vehicle Code Section 23152(f), the prosecution needs to show that the defendant was driving under the influence of prescription or nonprescription drugs.

What Does Under the Influence of Alcohol Mean?

For the prosecution to convict an individual of driving under the influence of alcohol, it must show that the defendant’s driving was impaired as a result of consuming alcohol. Impairment here means that the defendant was not driving his car with the caution that a sober person would drive.

Penalties for Persons Convicted of Driving Under the Influence

If the prosecution convicts a person of driving under the influence of alcohol, he or she faces the following potential penalties:

  • Imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months
  • Payment of a fine of up to $1,000
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for up to six months
  • Completion of a DUI education program
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Completion of three to five years of informal summary probation

Defenses for Driving Under the Influence – DUI Criminal Statute VC 23152(a)

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, there are a number of defenses that your attorney can make. Here are some of the defenses that your attorney may be able to make:

  • The defendant did not consume alcohol
  • The defendant was not the driver of the vehicle
  • The defendant was not under the influence of alcohol
  • The evidence against the defendant was obtained in violation of his constitutional right to be free from illegal searches and seizures

Offenses Related to a DUI

  • VC Section 23152(b) – Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or more
  • VC Section 23153 – DUI with injury
  • VC Section 23103 / 23103.5 – Wet Reckless Driving
  • VC Section 23103 – Dry Reckless Driving

Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the State of California, you should immediately contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to represent you and keep you from going to jail and losing your driver’s license for a long period of time. We understand that being charged with a DUI is a difficult thing to go through, so hire the Los Angeles DUI Attorneys at The H Law Group and we will handle all of the criminal proceedings, as well as your DMV hearing for you. Our attorneys have handled thousands of DUI cases, so they have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the best possible results for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

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Charged with a Crime?


Act now to protect your legal rights.