You may not know Latin, but you might have heard the term “DUI Per Se” before. What does “per se” mean and what does it have to do with DUI?
Lawyers and lawmakers love to use Latin not because it makes them sound smart, but because these terms are shorthand for concepts in law. Among the most common Latin terms in law is the modifier “per se,” which translates to “by itself.” In legal terms, this means that when the term is applied to a crime, there are no other acts or conditions that need to be fulfilled to convict you of the crime.
So, what exactly does “DUI Per Se” mean? Let’s take a closer look at this term.
Per Se DUI Laws in California
There are many different ways to violate California DUI laws.
Under Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), it is unlawful to drive under the influence of alcohol. The law requires more proof than the fact that you had a measurable amount of alcohol in your blood to convict you. The prosecution needs to also show that you demonstrated behavior that indicates you were under the influence of alcohol.
However, there is also a DUI per se law in California. Under Vehicle Code Section 23152(b), you are presumed to be driving under the influence if you are found to have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This means driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is in and of itself a crime and the prosecutor does not need to show any additional evidence of impairment to convict you. This is why it is called “per se DUI.”
Is There Any Legal Defense to a DUI Per Se Charge?
A Per Se DUI may seem like an open and shut case. However, that does not mean that you have no defense if you are charged with exceeding the legal BAC limit while driving.
An experienced DUI defense attorney may be able to fight the charges against you. Some valid legal defenses to Per Se DUI charges include:
- Challenging the validity of the test results
- Showing that the officer did not follow proper procedure when administering the BAC test
- Arguing that the officer did not have probable cause to stop you
Consulting with an experienced and skilled DUI defense attorney should be the first move you make if you have been arrested for DUI.
Contact the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI, you should contact an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled criminal lawyers have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.