The legal term BAC refers to blood alcohol concentration. BAC is a term used in driving under the influence, or DUI, cases to describe if a driver was above the legal alcohol intoxication limit. Across the country, the standard legal limit for driving under the influence is 0.08 percent. The reason it’s a percentage is because the intoxication level is based on a ratio of alcohol to blood.
Some states have degrees of intoxication. For example, for drivers under 21 years old the BAC level can be 0.00 percent, or zero tolerance.
How 0.15 Percent BAC Affects a DUI Charge
In many jurisdictions, having a BAC of 0.15 percent at the time of an arrest is considered “aggravated.” An aggravated DUI charge is harsher than a typical DUI charge. Some states impose more severe penalties for drivers who test at or above 0.15 percent BAC. Currently, California doesn’t have a specific statute for drivers who have a 0.15 percent BAC.
If you are arrested for DUI with a BAC of 0.15 percent, you face some tough penalties. Your license may be suspended for 10 months. You may only have the option of applying for a restricted license approximately one month after your license has been suspended. The option may be based on enrolling in an alcohol education program.
California courts may also require that an ignition interlock device, or IID, be placed on a driver’s vehicle for a 0.15 percent BAC. Approximately five years ago, the law was different. No one charged with a 0.15 percent BAC could be charged with an aggravated DUI. The severe penalties were only for drivers whose tested BAC was 0.20 percent or higher. The state reduced the percentage to 0.15.
What Does an IID Means for Drivers with an Aggravated DUI?
An ignition interlock device is installed on a driver’s vehicle. It must be a vehicle the driver owns or consistently uses. The device doesn’t allow the engine to start unless the driver blows into breath testing portion of the device. If the IID detects the presence of alcohol on a driver’s breathe, it won’t start. If no alcohol is detected, the engine starts and the individual can drive the vehicle.
There are also severe penalties attached to having an IID on a vehicle. The driver is responsible for having the device installed and continuously maintained. This could cost thousands of dollars over the course of time the device is on the vehicle. The cost will increase if the device fails or is installed on more than one vehicle.
Jonathan Franklin is a Former Prosecutor Ready to Fight for You
How does 0.15 percent BAC change a DUI charge? It can increase a general DUI into an aggravated DUI charge. An aggravated charge has severe penalties you can’t afford to endure. If you’ve been charged with aggravated DUI—or any DUI charge—contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin. Jonathan Franklin is a former prosecutor who now defends those accused of driving under the influence. As a skilled DUI defense attorney, he knows how prosecutors think and how they will try to prove their DUI charge against you. He will work diligently to prove your innocence, get your case dismissed or get you a fair plea bargain. When you want a legal representative who works hard on your DUI case, you want Jonathan Franklin. Schedule your free consultation today and take the first step towards putting this behind you and moving on with your life.