Long Beach DUI Attorney Talks About Presumptions in Drunk Driving Cases

In a prosecution for driving under the influence in California, the amount of alcohol in the defendant’s blood gives rise to the following rebuttable legal presumptions concerning whether the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the alleged DUI offense:

• If the blood-alcohol level was less than 0.05 percent, it is presumed that the defendant was not under the influence of alcohol. For reference, see Vehicle Code §23610(a)(1).  Some recent Court cases reaffirm this such as where the presumption was sufficiently rebutted by evidence  of defendant’s conduct, even though test showed blood-alcohol level of 0.03 percent.

• If the blood-alcohol level was 0.05 or more, but less than 0.08 percent, there is no presumption either way, but this fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the defendant was under the influence. Veh C §23610(a)(2). • A blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more gives rise to a rebuttable presumption of intoxication in a drunk driving case. Veh C §23610(a)(3).

The percent, by weight, of alcohol in the defendant’s blood must be based on grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. Veh C §23610(b). According to one local Long Beach DUI Attorney these rebuttable presumptions do not limit the introduction of any other competent evidence bearing on the question of whether the defendant consumed any alcoholic beverage or was under the influence at the time of the alleged DUI charge.

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