In California, drivers can face criminal charges if caught behind the wheel with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. If convicted of drunk driving, drivers could face penalties that range from loss of driving privileges to time behind bars. Drunk driving is a serious criminal offense, and proposed changes to DUI laws could mean more people may face these charges in the future.
Two state lawmakers have recently proposed changes that could lower the BAC threshold for drunk driving to be .05. These lawmakers suggest that people who are technically not drunk according to legal standards could still be dangerous behind the wheel. By lowering BAC levels, they say the roads will be safer. Other groups plan to fight the proposed bill, saying that it would unnecessarily punish mindful, responsible drinkers.
In another measure, a California lawmaker has also proposed that every person convicted of drunk driving must have an ignition interlock device installed. State laws currently require all DUI offenders to have these, with the exception of first-time offenders that were not involved in a crash. Opponents of this proposal have concerns over the lack of regulation over the companies that sell ignition interlock devices.
No matter how the law changes, drunk driving is still a charge worth fighting. Whether it is a first offense or a person has multiple convictions on his or her record, it is smart to prepare a strong and thoughtful defense strategy. The first step in this process is to seek legal guidance as soon as possible after a DUI arrest.