California DUI law is similar in many respects to DUI law in the rest of the country. For one thing, every state DUI law in the country shares the same format with California DUI Law–they are all based on two alternative counts. That means that you are charged with two separate crimes, however because these are alternative counts, you can only be convicted on one of them.
Of the two counts, the first is called the “driving under the influence” or DUI count, and the other is called the “per se” count.
The DUI count makes it against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol. The “per se” count makes it against the law to drive with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
In California courtrooms you will hear these counts referred to by the judge and the attorneys as:
- the “a” count, for Vehicle Code Section 23152(a)–the DUI count;
- and the “b” count, for Vehicle Code section 23152(b)– the “per se” count.
You will find these two counts– 23152(a) and 23152(b) –referred to time and again in the various Vehicle Code sections that deal with California DUIs.
If you are unfortunate enough to be arrested on federal land, you will have to appear in Federal District Court. Check this short blog on Federal DUI Law.