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What is a Federal DUI?

If you have been charged with a federal DUI in and around Los Angeles, CA, it is imperative that you hire the services of a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney who understands this type of DUI. Without this sort of case-specific knowledge, you will be put at a serious disadvantage at your DUI hearing.

What is a Federal DUI? Los Angeles DUI defense attorney Jon Artz

What Is a Federal DUI?

When a DUI takes place on federal property or within federal jurisdiction, it is automatically a federal crime, and as such, is handled somewhat differently than are other DUIs.

The two most common locations for a federal DUI arrest to be made are at national parks and on U.S. military bases, but DUIs that occur at post offices, federal courthouses, certain airports, and on parking lots or driving lanes of any and all federal property count as federal DUIs.

The elements that the prosecutor must prove to show you committed a federal DUI are as follows:

  1. Your driving was impaired by alcohol or intoxicating drugs while you were operating a motor vehicle.
  2. Your BAC was at least .10 grams alcohol per 100 ml of blood and/or .10 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath-sample.
  3. Even if #2 above does not apply, your BAC was higher than 0.08%.
  4. You committed the DUI crime while on federal property.

National Park Service DUIs

If your DUI arrest occurred on land under National Park Service jurisdiction, it will be handled in a unique manner, in that you will be tried based on the Code of Federal Regulations.

The DUI will be at least a Class-B misdemeanor and can incur the following punishments:

  • Probation of up to 5 years
  • Up to 6 months in county jail
  • Fines of as much as $5,000

When a DUI occurs at a National Park, you do not have the right to refuse a chemical test nor any right to choose among different BAC testing options. If you do refuse the chemical test anyway, it will be counted as an additional federal crime.

All Other Federal DUIs

If a DUI occurs on any type of federal property besides National Park lands, it falls under the Assimilative Crimes Act, which is a federal law that causes the relevant state-level laws and penalties to apply. However, in this case, it is possible to receive sentencing elements based on both state and federal laws, thus making for a steeper punishment.

In California, those arrested on this class of federal DUI charges are expected to submit to chemical tests, be they blood, breath, or urine, based on the Implied Consent Law. A person can refuse the test, but if he takes this option, he may lose the right to drive on federal land for a full year. Refusal can also lead to heavier fines and time in federal prison if convicted.

When facing any variety of DUI charges in L.A., you should waste no time in contacting a local Los Angeles DUI defense attorney for legal advice and representation. Give me a call at 310-820-1315 to discuss your case in confidence.

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