Driving Under the Influence Defined

California Vehicle Code § 23152(a) states that “It is unlawful for any 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.” Moreover, §23152(b) states that, “It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.” What this means is that you must actually be under the influence at the time of driving, not before or after because the alcohol must metabolize in your system. Therefore, depending on the circumstances of your drunk driving case, it may be appropriate to argue that you were not actually driving under the influence even if a later test shows alcohol in your system. This is referred to as “The Rising Blood Alcohol Defense.”

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