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Federal Driving Under the Influence Case

If a person is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) on federal property, the driver will be charged with a federal DUI. A federal crime is considered any criminal act that takes place on federal property, or property that is under federal jurisdiction. The two most common places where a federal driving under the influence arrest occurs are national parks and military bases. A federal DUI can also occur at some airports, post offices, government compounds, parking lots on federal land, federal courthouse driveways and parking lots, or national monuments. A person can be charged with federal DUI if the following conditions are true:

  • The person was impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time they were operating a motor vehicle.
  • The person was driving with a BAC above the legal limit.
  • The person was driving with a BAC of either -.10 grams of alcohol or more per 100 milliliters of blood, or .10 grams of alcohol or more per 210 liters of breath.

The location where the DUI took place will determine how the driver will be prosecuted. If the DUI took place on land administered by the National Park Service, the driver will be charged and tried pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations. If the DUI occurred on any other federal property, the driver will be tried under the DUI laws and penalties of that particular state through the federal Assimilative Crimes Act.

If the National Park Service owns the land, the Code of Federal Regulation governs the DUI offense. According to the National Park Service, a person can be charged with DUI if:

  • He or she is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination thereof to render the operator incapable of safe operation; OR
  • If the alcohol concentration in the operator’s blood or breath is - .10 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or .10 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters of breath; OR
  • The limit established under state law if more restrictive.

Under the laws of the National Park Service, DUI is a class B misdemeanor and is punishable by up to six months in jail, monetary fines (maximum of $5,000.00), and probation for up to five years.

If you are asked to submit to a chemical test by the National Park Service, you cannot refuse testing. You also cannot choose which blood alcohol test they administer. Failure or refusal to submit to blood alcohol testing is considered a criminal offense.

If the person is arrested for a DUI on any other type of federally owned land in California, they are subject to the laws of California through the Assimilative Crimes Act. Pursuant to the Assimilative Crimes Act, if a person is convicted of DUI, he or she may be subject to federal law punishments as well as state law punishments. Upon arrest, the person will be asked to submit to a chemical test.

Pursuant to the Implied Consent Law, the person must submit to a blood, breath alcohol or urine test. The individual may refuse to take the chemical test; however, refusal to take the chemical test can lead to loss of driving privileges on federal land for up to one year.

The federal DUI process is almost identical to the regular DUI process. When an individual is pulled over for drunk or drugged driving on federal property, he/she is required to take either a breath, blood, or urine test. Failure to do so will result in a misdemeanor charge, and may carry additional monetary fines, prison sentences, and denial of driving privileges on federal land. Furthermore, he/she will be subject to such legal penalties as steep fines, probation, and time in a federal penitentiary. Factors such as refusing a breath, blood, or urine test, the presence of minors in the car, or reckless driving, can also result in additional penalties.

If you have been charged with a federal DUI, it’s important to contact an experienced California DUI attorney immediately. This is a complex area of DUI law that requires the expertise of an attorney specializing in DUI defense. At the Law Office of Robert Tayac we have been successful in obtaining successful results for our clients and will work relentlessly to challenge your charges, negotiate with prosecutors, and obtain the best possible result. Furthermore, we provide all of our clients with viable options, personalized attention, and compassionate legal care. If you are in need of an experienced California federal DUI attorney, contact the Law Office of Robert Tayac today for your free consultation at 415-552-6000!

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