You are currently viewing Beaches, Bods, and Booze: DUIs in Southern California

“They livin’ it up at the Hotel California”

— Eagles

Perhaps you got caught living it up in Southern California and are faced with a DUI arrest. If so, there are a few things you should know.

Potential Criminal Charges

Anyone arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both is charged with violating CVC 23152(a) (alcohol), (e) (drugs), or (f) (both) (“DUI count”), and is prosecuted for a misdemeanor. If you consented to a breath or blood test and the results show a blood alcohol content (“BAC”) of 0.08 % or more, you will be charged with violating CVC 23152(b) (“0.08 per se count”).

Depending on the facts, other charges can be brought. Enhancements could also apply. For example, if you have 3 or more DUI convictions, then this arrest could be prosecuted as a felony.

Overview of the Process

Generally, you are booked and released within 4 to 12 hrs after your arrest. Prior conviction or aggravated facts, however, can delay release.

Here’s the general process:

1) Your consumption of alcohol, drugs, or both.

2) You are pulled over by the police for a traffic violation (e.g. running a red light or erratic driving).

3) The police ask you to undergo a sobriety test.

4) You are arrested for DUI and the police take you to a hospital or police station for a blood or breath test. This is done to measure your BAC.

5) You are booked and either released on bail or told to appear at court on a scheduled date (“O.R.”).

6) The arresting police officer completes his report and gives it to the district attorney, who either declines to file charges or formally charges you with a DUI.

The Prosecution’s Case

The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (1) you drove (2) a vehicle (3) while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.

FYI, bicycles, boats, water skis, airplanes, and horses are considered “vehicles” for the purposes of a DUI.

Horses? That’s right. “Every person riding or driving an animal upon a highway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver…” CVC 21050.

If you were arrested for a horse-related DUI, call me. I’ll represent you for free.

Questions? Contact Me for a free consultation.

Evan Walker

Evan W. Walker is a La Jolla attorney who has practiced law since 2008. He has practiced law throughout California, Connecticut, and Louisiana.

Evan worked for and defended insurance companies during the first 7 years of his practice. Since 2015, he has represented people with personal injury and property damage claims and insurance disputes.

Evan’s practice is devoted to serious personal injury claims and catastrophic property damage claims. Areas of focus include security claims against bars and other businesses, government tort claims, fire and flood claims, and inverse condemnation. On behalf of clients, Evan has fought insurance firms, international companies, cities, bars, and casinos.

Evan regularly shares his expertise with other attorneys by teaching courses on insurance and inverse condemnation. He has taught several continuing legal education courses to Attorney Credits, a nationwide CLE company, and ProLawCLE, another nationwide CLE company. He also contributes to various podcasts and publications.


  • Member, State Bar of California
  • Member, San Diego Bar Association
  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • Member, La Jolla Bar Association
  • Member, La Jolla Village Merchants Association
  • Member, San Diego Chamber of Commerce