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DUI; repeat offense

AB 1165, c. 749

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AB 1165, c. 749:  DUI; repeat offense.  Provides that a person on probation DUI who violates the probation conditions relating to driving with a 0.01 percent level of alcohol or refusing to take a preliminary alcohol screening shall be subject to an automatic license suspension and a possible vehicle impound.

This is a California Highway Patrol bill, supported by the Peace Officers Research Association of California and the Chief Probation Officers of California.

Currently, many driving under the influence (DUI) offenders are placed on informal court probation pursuant to Section 23600 of the Vehicle Code (VC). The provisions of this court probation are difficult and time consuming for peace officers to enforce. An officer's only option when they come upon a person who is driving in violation of their summary DUI probation is to arrest the person pursuant to 1203.2 of the Penal Code (PC). Officers are unlikely to take several hours away from their calls and patrol responsibilities to arrest, obtain a chemical test, book, and write an arrest report for a DUI probation violation. As a result, persons convicted of DUI and ordered by the court not to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system can, and often do, violate that order without consequence. The court ordered probation is issued for good cause; a violator has demonstrated they lack the ability to use proper judgment after consuming alcohol.

This bill would create a Vehicle Code section that prohibits convicted DUI offenders from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01 percent or higher while a person is on probation for DUI. This bill would provide an easily enforceable provision for peace officers and also ensures reasonable consequences for those who flagrantly ignore a court order. This requirement is not a new sanction against DUI offenders, it is already a mandatory term of DUI probation. This bill would also create a new provision that would authorize peace officers to store a vehicle that was operated by a convicted DUI offender with a BAC of .01 or higher while on DUI probation. Additionally, this bill would create a new provision that would suspend the driving privilege of any convicted DUI offender if they are convicted for operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .01 percent or higher while on DUI probation. A BAC level of .01 percent is used in this bill because people on DUI probation are prohibited from having any measurable amount of alcohol in their blood while driving.

This bill would remove drivers from the road who have statistically demonstrated that they are more likely to cause injury and death due to their poor judgment regarding drinking and driving. This bill seeks to modify the behavior of these drivers early to prevent innocent people from being injured or killed by drivers who are on DUI probation and continue to operate a vehicle with alcohol in their system.

If you would like to order the legislative history of this bill [click here] .