California laws set some strict penalties for people who are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s imperative that all drivers on the state’s roads remember some very pertinent points about this.

In the broadest sense, the law forbids drivers from ingesting or using in any manner any substance, including alcohol, prescriptions, over-the-counter (OTC) medications or illegal drugs that may alter their ability to drive safely. There are many ways that the police officers can determine impairment, including chemical tests and standardized field sobriety tests.

When it comes to alcohol, the legal limit varies from .01% to .08%, depending on the circumstances. Most adult drivers who are at least 21 have a legal limit of .08%. The exception to this is if they are on DUI probation, which drops that limit to .01%. If they are in a vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license or have a passenger for hire in the vehicle.

If you’re caught driving drunk, you can face a license suspension or revocation. On a first offense, this is up to six months. A second offense is two years and a third offense is three years. You can also face the possibility of having your vehicle confiscated or having to use an ignition interlock. You may also have to go through an alcohol education and treatment or assessment program.

Anyone who is facing a drunk driving charge should contact a criminal defense attorney right away. These are very serious matters and they must be handled carefully. Failing to do so could mean that you miss out on viable options for your defense.