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Santa Maria Dui



In Santa Maria, the California statute set in penal code VC 23152(a) makes driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol illegal. For adults age 21 and older driving a personal vehicle, the legal limit is 0.08 percent blood alcohol level (BAC).

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, it does not automatically mean that you are guilty. It’s important to vigorously fight a DUI charge because a criminal conviction will stay on your record and can adversely affect job and educational opportunities down the road.

As a former Prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Offices in both Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties, Sanford Horowitz and his legal team will offer you a free consultation, investigate the evidence against you, and recommend practical steps to achieve the best possible results in your case.

California Penal Code VC 23152(A)

The California Vehicle Code 23152 makes driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated illegal, and deals with alcohol, drugs, and driving with an active substance addiction. VC 23152(a) specifically criminalizes driving while intoxicated with alcohol.

In California, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limits vary by age and circumstance. The California Vehicle Code 23152(b)(d)(e) states the legal limit for:

  • Adults 21 years of age or older is 0.08 percent
  • Commercial drivers is 0.04 percent, and
  • Drivers with passengers for hire is 0.04 percent

Furthermore, California law sets the BAC limits for those below the legal drinking age of 21 and those serving probation at 0.01 percent.

Some examples of driving under the influence include:

  • Driving your personal vehicle as a contractor of a ride-sharing company, such as Uber or Lyft, with a 0.04 percent BAC while transporting paying passengers
  • Driving a semi-trailer truck off the clock with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 percent
  • Driving a moped with a 0.08 percent or greater BAC

The California legal code defines a motor vehicle as any vehicle that is self-propelled and meant for driving on highways or streets, excluding motorized wheelchairs and similar apparatus used by individuals with physical disabilities. This means you can still be charged with a DUI under VC 23152(a) if you are driving vehicles such as mopeds, motorcycles, and off-road or all-terrain vehicles.

Note you can still be charged with a DUI in the state of California if you are on a bicycle (VC 21200.5) or driving a boat (HNC 655(b)).

If you’d like to schedule a consultation about your case, call (805) 749-5670 or fill out this contact form.


To increase the likelihood of conviction, prosecutors will always charge suspects with two separate crimes:

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol (VC 23152(a)), which applies if your mental and physical capabilities seem to be impaired and do not require a chemical test to determine BAC, and
  • Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater (VC 23152(b)), which is a “per se” section that applies even if your mental and physical capabilities appeared normal. “Per se” means prosecutors only need a chemical blood, breath, or urine analysis showing a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher as proof of DUI.

However, if found guilty of both crimes, these separate violations are treated as a single offense, and your punishment will only reflect a single DUI charge.

Penalties for a DUI conviction will vary depending on:

  • Past DUI convictions
  • Associated property damage
  • If there were victims who suffered injury or death, and/or
  • Whether the crime was associated with other aggravating factors, such as speeding (VC 23582) or having a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle (VC 23572)
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