California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 23152 is the main statute that governs driving under the influence (DUI) offenses in California. It contains several subsections that describe different aspects of the offense.
CVC Section 23152(a) states that it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle. This means that if a person is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs to the point where they cannot drive as safely as a sober person would, they can be charged with a DUI under this section.
To prove a violation of Section 23152(a), the prosecution must show that the driver was actually impaired by alcohol and/or drugs while they were driving. This can be done through various types of evidence, such as field sobriety tests, chemical tests, and witness testimony.
CVC Section 23152(b), on the other hand, makes it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This section is known as the "per se" DUI law because it sets a legal limit for BAC. This means that if a driver's BAC is 0.08% or higher at the time of driving, they are considered to be driving under the influence and can be charged under this section, even if they do not show any signs of impairment.
To prove a violation of Section 23152(b), the prosecution only needs to show that the driver's BAC was 0.08% or higher at the time of driving. This can be done through chemical tests, such as breath, blood, or urine tests.
It's important to note that a driver can be charged under both Section 23152(a) and 23152(b) for the same offense. In fact, it is common for DUI charges to include both subsections. This is because even if a driver's BAC is below 0.08%, they can still be convicted under Section 23152(a) if the prosecution can prove that they were impaired by alcohol and/or drugs while driving.
In summary, CVC Section 23152(a) prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, while CVC Section 23152(b) prohibits driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. The main difference between the two sections is that Section 23152(a) requires proof of actual impairment, while Section 23152(b) sets a legal limit for BAC.
Keywords: California Vehicle Code Section 23152, DUI offenses, driving under the influence, blood alcohol concentration, per se DUI, DUI causing injury or death, penalties for DUI, California DUI laws.