Because most of the good people who are arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, or any other county in California for that matter, are first time criminal offenders, they have little to no background on what the actual charge of DUI consists of.
In a nutshell, a DUI is generally charged as two separate counts – affectionately referred to as the “A” count and the “B” count. The “A” count deals with the following: Driving under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs To be found guilty of driving under the influence, the prosecutor must prove that: you drove a vehicle; and when you drove, you were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or drug(s). Under the influence means that your mental and/or physical abilities are so impaired that you are no longer able to drive a vehicle like a sober person under similar circumstances. It’s important to note that this count has nothing to do with the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system, only that the substance has caused either a mental or physical impairment to such an extent that you can’t operate your vehicle appropriately. In direct contrast to this very subjective standard, the “B” count deals with: Driving with a Blood Alcohol Level of .08 or More To be found guilty of driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more, the prosecutor must prove that: you drove a vehicle; and when you drove, your blood alcohol level was .08 percent or more by weight. As you can see, the “B” count is a bright-line standard that is only concerned with your BAC being over .08%. If its not over, you can’t be charged with the “B” count. Think of it this way, you can be charged with the “A” count without being charged with the “B” count, but if your over .08%, it’s likely law enforcement charges you with both.
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