Driver Beware - New California DUI Laws on the Horizon

Nov 20, 2019


California's drunk driving laws have already undergone some changes this year, and more are expected. What are these laws, how might they affect your DUI case, and what can be done to mitigate the consequences? Continue reading to learn more.


SB 545 Would Require Interlock Devices for All Convicted Offenders


Legislators started with a pilot program for Alameda, Tulare, Los Angeles, and Sacramento back in 2009 that allowed first-time DUI offenders to regain driving privileges through the installation of an Interlock Ignition Device, or IID. Convicted first-time offenders had to agree to use of the device for at least six months. Otherwise, their driving privileges were revoked for a full year.


The passage of and Amended SB 545 would make this pilot program mandatory for the entire state. This proposal was made in April 2019 by California State Senator Jerry Hill.


Legislators say the devices help reduce recidivism rates among drunk drivers while still allowing them at least some driving privileges. However, the cost of the IID installation and maintenance is the convicted driver's responsibility. These are in addition to the other fees associated with a DUI conviction (attorney fees, court costs, etc.). 


SB 1713 Could Lower State's Legal Level of Intoxication


In the United States, the maximum blood alcohol content level, or BAC, is 0.08. The one exception is in Utah, where the maximum BAC is 0.05. Senator Jerry Hill also introduced SB 1713 earlier this year, which would put California on the same level. According to Hill, over 100 countries have this same limit. The National Transportation Safety Board and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) also support this level and has previously suggested that all states adopt it into law. If passed, SB 1713 would increase the number of California drivers facing DUI charges each year.


Dealing with Your California DUI Charge


With more cities requiring the installation of interlock ignition devices and a potential decrease of BAC limits in the state of California, it is critical that drivers understand their rights and know what to do in the event of a DUI charge. Retain your right to remain silent and contact Mitchell Law Group, Inc. for a free consultation. Our seasoned Fresno DUI lawyers will fight aggressively for a full dismissal of your case. In all other situations, we strive to mitigate your consequences as much as possible. Call 559-222-2424 today.



Category: New DUI Laws

Michael Mitchell


Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.