Can I Still Be Charged With A Driving Under The Influence Charge If I Am Just “Buzzed”?
September 22, 2011

In many circumstances when a driver is debating in their own mind whether to drive or not, the decision hinges on whether the driver “feels fine enough to drive.”  Often drivers will get behind the wheel if they only slightly feel the effects of the alcohol, or in other words they feel buzzed.

The question that is raised is whether or not a driver may be charged with a driving under the influence offense if they only feel “buzzed.”  The answer to this question is yes.

In California, driving under the influence in codified under Vehicle Code Section 23152.  Vehicle Code Section 23152 has an (a) and a (b) section.  (a) section states in pertinent part that “it is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.”  The ( b) section states that “it is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.”

Under the (a) section of the Vehicle code, a driver may be charged and convicted of a driving under the influence offense, even if their blood alcohol level was below a .08.  A prosecutor will look to the totality of the circumstances surrounding the driving in determining whether to file a criminal case against a driver for driving under influence.

As such, driving while only feeling “buzzed”, may still be enough to warrant the prosecutor to file charges against the driver for driving under the influence.  If the driver’s blood alcohol content is .08 or greater by weight, there is a presumption that the driver is in fact driving under the influence.

Hiring an experienced Southern California DUI defense law firm can greatly increase your chances of keeping your freedom.  The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people keep their freedom for over 30 years.

Please feel free to contact Wallin & Klarich to discuss your case. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 877-466-5245.

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