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San Diego DUI Attorney

DUI Glossary In San Diego

Absorption Rate

The rate at which alcohol enters a person’s bloodstream and causes intoxication. This rate can vary depending on weight, age, gender, metabolism, and other factors.


Blood Alcohol Concentration, or a percentage of the milligrams of alcohol present per 100 milliliters of blood. It is illegal to drive with a BAC over 0.08% in most of the United States, including California.


A portable machine used by law enforcement to estimate the BAC of suspected drunk drivers. It works by measuring alcohol levels present in a person’s lungs.

Breath Test

A form of chemical test that law officers can administer to measure alcohol concentration in your blood stream, using a Breathalyzer or Intoxilyzer machine.


Depending on your community, this could stand for “boating under the influence” or “bicycling under the influence.” Both are criminal offenses with punishments similar to that of a DUI.

Chemical Test

A test to measure alcohol or drug concentration in a person’s blood. Authorities may utilize a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test.


Short for driving under the influence, this is the most common legal abbreviation for driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs.

Felony DUI

If you have accumulated multiple DUI offenses within a short amount of years, or if your DUI led to an accident causing the injury or death another person, you may be charged with a Felony DUI. A felony conviction may result in prison time, license revocation, and other serious penalties.

Field Sobriety Tests

A set of physical tests created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Law officers are taught to administer FSTs at traffic stops to establish probable cause for a DUI arrest.

Ignition Interlock Device

When installed in a car, this device can prevent the vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol on the driver’s breath. If convicted of a DUI-related offense, you could be required to have this device installed in your car indefinitely.

Implied Consent

California and many other states have “implied consent” laws, stating that by obtaining a driver’s license, you also implicitly agree to give consent to chemical tests if you are stopped under suspicion of DUI. Because of this law, refusing a breath or blood test could lead to additional penalties or fines.

License Suspension

A temporary revocation of your driver’s license following a traffic offense such as DUI. Your license can be suspended by the DMV or the legal system. Driving on a suspended license is a criminal offense in its own right.

Per Se Laws

Laws which make it illegal to drive under the influence of a certain level of drugs or alcohol. According to state law in California, a 0.08% BAC is all that is needed to be charged with DUI, regardless of your physical impairment or whether you were driving safely.

Plea Bargain / Plea Agreement

A courtroom negotiation that your attorney may attempt to perform, in which—if you plead guilty to your charges or a reduced charge—the prosecution will agree to dismissal of another charge, a reduced sentence, or another similarly favorable agreement.


A common penalty for a misdemeanor or first DUI offense, in which extensive jail time is exchanged for consistent monitoring by a probation officer and other restrictions.

Reckless Driving

This term refers to driving in an especially dangerous manner, such as weaving through traffic or traveling at speeds of over 30mph over the legal limit. This is a criminal offense regardless of intoxication.