Federal DUI


Summer is coming to an end and many people in the last couple of months may have visited Joshua Tree, Lassen, or my personal favorite, Yosemite. What do these camping vacation destinations have in common? They’re national parks. The key word is national, which means that, although they’re all located in the state of California, all are federal land. Federal lands are subject to federal laws.

Camping and a cooler of beers almost go hand in hand. It would be easy to imagine someone tossing back those beers while fishing and heading back to the camp site to cook up their catch. If you drive and are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence you will be facing federal driving under the influence charges under the Code of Federal Regulations.

Under the Code of Federal Regulations a person can be charged with DUI if 1.) he or she is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination thereof to render the operation incapable of safe operation; or 2.) if the alcohol concentration in the operator’s blood or breath is – .10 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or .01 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters of breath; or 3.) the limit established under state law if more restrictive than the above standards.

A first-time conviction will result in a Class B misdemeanor and face up to six months in a federal prison and a fine of up to $5,000, and federal probation of up to five years.

Similar to California, the Code of Federal Regulations implies that divers on national parks consent to be chemically tested. A refusal to submit to a chemical test can lead to a loss of driving privileges on federal land for up to a year. Additionally, the California DMV will be notified of the chemical test refusal and the DMV will suspend the license as it would have if the refusal took place on California state land.

The Assimilative Crimes Act dictates that DUIs that occur on federal lands located in California, other than national parks and military bases, are subject to the laws of California.

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