Are drunk driving standards harsher for drivers on probation?

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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If you have already been involved in a drunk driving case in California, you may wonder what will happen if you are caught operating under the influence again, or what even qualifies as “under the influence” when that definition may change in your specific circumstance. Particularly if you are on probation for a drunk driving incident that led to an accident or catastrophic injury, you may be asking yourself if you can even risk driving after a single sip of alcohol.

According to the California legislature website, it is a risk you would be better off avoiding. While typically it takes a 0.08 percent BAC to qualify as driving under the influence, a driver on probation after an incident can be found in violation of safe driving laws if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or higher. This violation may seem like a minor infraction, but can lead to arrest.

If you try to avoid it by refusing the breathalyzer test or any other test of blood alcohol concentration, you may be arbitrarily subject to a one to three year revocation of your driver’s license for violation of your probation terms. You may think that just one drink would not be enough to affect your blood alcohol level beyond 0.01 percent, but a single drink depending on your body mass and the drink’s contents can often raise your BAC far higher.

This information is provided only as an educational resource and should not be used as a legal defense.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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