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Blood Alcohol Content

The final element of your DUI case is whether or not the prosecutor can prove you were "impaired" or; that your alcohol level was at or above .08%, by weight, at the time of driving.

California Vehicle Code section 23152(a), makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle anywhere in the State of California, while impaired. Essentially, this means if you have any intoxicating substance in your bloodstream and if you are impaired by that substance while operating a motor vehicle, you have committed a public offense.

The Vehicle Code does not limit intoxicating substances to alcohol alone. You may be arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for having ANY substance in your body which impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. It is common for drivers to be prosecuted for driving while impaired by legal "prescription" medications; legal "medical" marijuana; as well as illegal or illicit drugs. Did you know, however, that a driver could be prosecuted for driving under the influence of chemicals that are unintentionally ingested while at work?

Suppose a residential painter works in a house all day long spraying or rolling paint. If he does not work in a properly ventilated area, his body may absorb chemicals present in the paint, such as toluene. This could result in a driver being impaired by his work chemicals and being arrested for DUI.

California Vehicle Code section 23152(b), makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle anywhere in the State of California with an alcohol level of .08% or more, by weight, in the blood stream. This is a blind section that paints everyone with the same brush. Whether you are male or female, whether you are tall or short, whether you weigh 300 lbs or 120 lbs; EVERYONE is presumed impaired with an alcohol level of .08% or greater. There are numerous scientific studies which clearly demonstrate that alcohol impairment varies significantly when considering people with vastly different body weight or Body Mass Indexes. The law is blind to these valid scientific studies and determines that everyone is impaired at .08%.

Also see: Blood Alcohol Content