Understanding the Legal Limit of .08

Understanding the legal limit of .08 can help you make better choices about driving after having a few drinks. Nationwide, the .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a standard legal limit for drivers age 21 and over. Driving with a BAC at or above this level means you run the risk of being arrested or causing an accident that injures you or others. 

While there are a number of factors playing into how many drinks you can have before you reach the legal limit, the number of shots, beers, cocktails, or glasses of wine is often much lower than people realize. The best choice is always to find another ride if you plan to drink. Even below the legal limit, alcohol will affect your ability to make safe driving decisions. 

How does alcohol affect a person’s ability to drive?

According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), even one alcoholic drink begins to change the way your mind and body operate. As you drink more and your BAC rises, these effects become more and more evident. The alcohol alters your mood, emotions, decision-making skills, and coordination. 

With just one drink, you begin to lose your ability to follow moving objects with your eyes, lowering your ability to track the movements of other drivers, or even stationary objects you pass while driving. It is harder to focus your eyes, making it even more difficult to see and respond to unexpected hazards while driving. It also becomes more difficult to multitask, so distracted driving becomes even more dangerous.

At the same time, you are less aware of the dangers around you and have less inhibition than you normally would have. Your judgement is not as sharp, and even if you make the right decision, there is no guarantee you will have the coordination to make the car do what you need to do to avoid an accident. 

For example, you see a traffic light turn red, you apply the brakes, and stop. But a drunk driver might see the light but not have the appropriate judgement, reaction time, or coordination to stop the vehicle in time. The driver might run the light and cause an accident. 

Why is .08 the legal limit?

Like the rest of the nation, the legal limit for drivers over the age of 21 in California is .08 percent BAC. There is now a federal standard of .08 because at or beyond this level, drivers have a substantially increased risk of an accident or another incident. At the legal limit, there are both physical and cognitive effects of alcohol that affect your ability to drive: 

Physical Effects 

At .08 percent BAC or above, a driver may experience major problems with: 

  • Balance
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Speech and hearing
  • Vision and tracking
  • Reaction time 

Cognitive Effects 

At .08 percent BAC or above, a driver may experience cognitive challenges including: 

  • Lowered inhibitions and problems with self-control
  • Issues with memory, including short-term memory loss
  • Limited concentration and focus
  • Poor judgement and reasoning
  • Problems reacting properly to hazards
  • Issues with perception 

Beyond this level, driving skills are significantly impaired. Issues with unreliable coordination, lagging reasoning skills and reaction time, and issues with sensory processing make driving safely impossible. 

What are the potential consequences of driving with a BAC of .08 or above? 

Many people think only of a drunk driving arrest when they consider the consequences of driving while over the legal limit. However, a driving under the influence (DUI) charge is far from the worst-case scenario. 

Drunk driving accidents are all too common. In fact, the California Office of Traffic Safety reported 914 deaths in the state from drunk driving during 2015. This is an increase of more than four percent over the 2014 total of 876 deaths. When compared to traffic deaths overall, this number makes up 28.8 percent of all road fatalities in the state. There are also more than 23,000 injuries in alcohol-related accidents in California every year. 

Of course, a DUI is also a possibility. When the police stop you before an accident does, you may face jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, a driver’s license suspension, and other consequences. A DUI conviction can cause issues with keeping your job, continuing your usual activities, and put stress on your relationships with family and friends. 

Discuss your DUI-related concerns with a Southern California attorney today. 

If you have questions or concerns about a DUI arrest in Southern California, Greenberg & Greenberg is here to help. Our team of attorneys have offices in San Bernardino and Riverside. This means we can work with clients and their families in Riverside County, and almost anywhere else in the Greater Los Angeles area. 

Call Greenberg & Greenberg today at 951-274-0003 to schedule a time to talk to one of our Southern California DUI lawyers.

The Supreme Court Says Refusing a Sobriety Test is a Crime

Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that police do not require a warrant to administer a breath alcohol test after an arrest for drunk driving. But they also ruled that police do require a warrant to administer a blood alcohol test.

Three separate defendants, each charged with criminal offenses after failing to submit to blood or breath tests in North Dakota and Minnesota, filed lawsuits against their respective states. The defendants argued that the forced sobriety tests violated their constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure.

Their cases made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, as a consolidated case called Birchfield v. North Dakota.
Their argument was based on the fact that, typically, before a police officer can invade a person’s privacy, they must first obtain a search warrant from a judge. Before the decision, it was unclear whether forced sobriety tests were an invasion of privacy under the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court’s decision in Birchfield gives us the answer. [Read more…]

Riverside, California DUI Arrest Process

Riverside, and San Bernardino California DUI Arrest Process

For the millions of Americans who have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the DUI arrest process can be a very stressful ordeal. On top of the physical and emotional toll an arrest takes on you, you will also have to deal with the legal, professional, and social consequences of this arrest.

Any criminal defense attorney will tell you that you are innocent until proven guilty, but that sometimes won’t stop the media from reporting your DUI arrest and showing your photo on the various media new outlets. Every two minutes someone will be injured in a drunk driving car accident; some people sadly, will even lose their lives. In addition, some drunk driving defendants make a bad situation worse. According to the National Safety Council, anywhere from 50% to 75% of convicted drunk drivers will eventually drive with a suspended license, which can make it more difficult for a Riverside or San Bernardino criminal defense attorney to negotiate your case in court.

While a minority of DUI defendants are chronic, repeat offenders, and alcoholics, most people arrested for a DUI are ordinary people who made a mistake in judgment. Fortunately, with the help of the Riverside and San Bernardino, California, DUI attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg, APLC, first-time offenders can sometimes have their charges reduced or dropped. Few people ever expect to get arrested for drunk driving, so they often have many questions about what will happen next. Right now, it is important to arm yourself with all the information you can find. [Read more…]

What you need to know about Field Sobriety Tests

Did you know that you can elect not to participate in a Field Sobriety Tests? If you do decide to participate in one, the police will run you through a series of actions to decide whether you’re sober or not. Click on the infographic below for more information in Field Sobriety Tests.


Field Sobriety Test



What You Need to Know About Fraud

Did you know that insurance fraud is illegal in 48 states? How about the fact that there are several different types of fraud that can impact your life every day? We’ve created this visual chart to walk you through fraud and what you need to know about fraud in California.

Click the image above to view the infographic.

Click the image above to view the infographic.

Sex Offenders Sue California Justice Department Regarding Megan’s Law Website

According to a report by Fox40, two convicted sex offenders and the non-profit organization California Reform Sex Offender Laws have filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Justice alleging the department has failed to correct information on the state’s Megan’s Law website. The lawsuit alleges that the state has failed to correct information on the website or include complete information regarding the conviction date for the sexual offense and/or the release date.  In some cases, incorrect information may be shown regarding the charges against the sexual offender.  According to the plaintiffs, up to 92% of the sexual offender profiles contain inaccurate or incomplete information.

The state maintains the register under Megan’s Law to provide information on individuals convicted of sexual offenses in California. The lawsuit alleges that missing or inaccurate information results in vigilante attacks against individuals on the list. Both men allege they have been attacked because of the information on the Megan’s Law website.  Matagora, one of the plaintiffs, was shot twice by a man who viewed his profile when Matagora opened his front door.  Even though Matagora was convicted of sexual offenses over 15 years ago, the website did not include the date of his conviction or his release date.

[Read more…]

What exactly was Jared Fogle’s sentence?

Jared Fogle rose to fame as the man who lost 245 pounds claiming he ate Subway sandwiches when he was a student at Indiana University. That was over 15 years ago. Today, Jared Fogle is better known for his criminal sex crimes involving underage minors. According to a story in the Washington Post, Fogle is accused of paying for sex with minors. Fogle solicited commercial sex online and traveled to various locations to have sex with minors beginning in 2007 through June 2015.

In addition to having sex with minors, Fogle allegedly received images and videos of nude children from Russell Taylor, the executor director of Fogle’s childhood obesity charity. As a co-conspirator of Taylor’s, Fogle was charged with possessing and distributing child pornography. According to U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler, Fogle was charged with and admitted to a “five-year criminal scheme to exploit children.”

As part of Fogle’s plea deal, federal prosecutors have requested a judge to sentence Fogle to a total of 12 years and 7 months in prison for all of the sex crime charges. Fogle could have faced up to 50 years for his crimes. In addition to his prison sentence, the prosecutors have requested that Fogle be placed on lifetime supervised probation and register as a sex offender in any state where he works and/or lives. In addition, Fogle must pay $1.4 million to 14 different victims as restitution for his crimes. [Read more…]

Misdemeanor Sexual Offense VS Felony Sexual Offense

There are many differences to a misdemeanor sexual offeGreenberg_Sexual Harassment Infographic-01nse and a felony sexual offense. The following infographic explains the differences between the two!


Riverside County Receives Substantial Assistance in Fighting Drug-Impaired Driving Cases

Riverside County Receives Substantial Assistance in Fighting Drug-Impaired Driving CasesThe Riverside County District Attorney’s office announced that it has received over $490,000 from the California Office of Traffic Safety to assist in prosecuting drugged driving cases. The grant will be used by the Vertical Prosecution Unit to retain additional DDAs to prosecute drug impaired driving cases. According to a statement by the District Attorney’s office. The Vertical Prosecution Unit’s goal is to reduce “drug impaired traffic fatalities and injuries by holding drug-impaired drivers accountable.”

California aggressively prosecutes drug-impaired and alcohol-impaired driving, and Riverside County is no exception. Tough laws designed to decrease the number of fatalities from DUI accidents carry severe penalties for drivers who are convicted for drug-impaired driving or alcohol-impaired driving. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased during 2013 according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. The percentage of drivers killed in accidents who tested positive for legal and/or illegal drugs has been increasing every year since 2006; therefore, law enforcement agencies are cracking down on driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) cases throughout California.

[Read more…]

Knowing the Limit

Greenberg DUI Infographic (1)Everybody likes to indulge at one point or another, but it is important to know your limits. Click the infographic to learn some facts about the legal limits, and find out how the DUI attorneys at Greenberg & Greenberg APLC can help you today.