It was recently reported that lawmakers in California and across the nation are considering dropping the legal DUI limit from .08% to .05%. So far, both sides of the issue have gained vocal support, but motorists in California need to know that no change to the law has yet to take effect.
Still Up for Debate
The issue of whether or not to reduce the limit of DUI in California from .08% to .05% is still an issue that is very much up for debate. Until the law is actually changed, the legal limit for a DUI for individuals over the age of 21 is .08%.
While the mass media might be a good thing most of the time, it can create a lot of noise that can confuse members of the general public about the state of the law. It is easy for many people who only glance at news stories and who only catch the tail end of news reports to make assumptions about the state of DUI laws that are factually incorrect. This is why anyone with a question regarding the state of DUI laws in California should speak with a California DUI attorney before believing half truths and rumors.
It is the duty of every citizen to stay up to date on the laws that affect them, which is why California motorists should pay special attention to announcements regarding changes to the California traffic code. Reducing the DUI limit from .08% to .05% is something that affects so many people, it will no doubt be formally announced through various official channels in the days and weeks leading up to the change.
No Matter the Limit
No matter what the legal limit might be, there are simple steps that California motorists can take when they are accused of DUI to preserve their rights and ensure as fair an outcome in their case as possible.
For example, it doesn’t matter whether the limit is .08% or .05%, never should suspects of DUI say anything or answer any questions relating to the events that led to the accusation. They should instead exercise their right to remain silent and wait until they have had the chance to confer with legal counsel before making any statements.
If the suspect is asked to take a chemical test and submit a sample of either blood, breath, or urine, there are few instances where refusal of this request would help an individual’s case. A DUI attorney should be consulted directly for examples of circumstances where a person may want to refuse chemical testing, but generally it is in a person’s best interests to offer a sample of either blood, breath or urine. The reason it is generally better is because of California’s implied consent laws, which make it an offense in and of itself to refuse chemical testing when accused of driving under the influence.
Suspects can, however, refuse to perform field sobriety tests, which are the tests that are performed by police on the sides of the road and include the walk and turn and finger to nose test, among others. Any test on the side of the road can be refused. Chemical tests are conducted in professional environments, like police stations or hospital rooms.