Difference between VC 23152a and VC 23152b

Question:  I was arrested for my first DUI in Van Nuys, CA.  I was involved in a traffic accident where the cops showed up and did the DUI tests on me.  The property damage was not very much.

This is my first ever arrest in whole life. I am being charged with VC 23152A.

I got arrested for DUI, and at scene the officer said that my blood alcohol content level was a .16 after I took the breath analyzer test.  The paper that he gave me that has the date of my court hearing shows only the charge for  VC 23152 a.

Based on what I read online, it seems that VC 23152 a is only for BAC .08 or less. I then took a blood test.   How do I get exact BAC reported for the blood test?  The officer told me that the result was  .16 but since the section I am charged with is only the VC 23152 a which is for .08 or less, does that mean it is less than a .08? Who should i ask for actual reported BAC?

Answer:  It can be confusing, but there is some clarification that may help you understand your situation. A VC 23152a can be charged with with  a blood alcohol content over or under a .08. Generally an officer will only list the VC 23152a charge on the initial citation if the person being charged with a DUI choses the blood test.  If your blood test comes back with a .08 or higher BAC level, the prosecutor will file with both VC 23152(a) and VC 23152(b) charges.

If you preliminary alcohol screening test results were a .16, it is possible that the prosecutor will allege the .08 VC 23152b charge even if the blood comes back less than a .08.  The preliminary alcohol screening test is generally done for presence of alcohol levels only, but it is possible for the results to become evidential in a DUI trial situation.

You should speak to a DUI attorney who can assist in getting and reviewing the police report which will contain the BAC levels, and then get the internal records of the machines used as the case progresses.

I regularly handle DUI cases in Van Nuys successfully, including DUI blood test cases where an accident is involved.  Feel free to call me at 818-336-1384 to discuss your case in more detail.  In the meantime, click the following link for more info about the difference between the VC 23152a and VC 23152b charges:  DUI charge

Answer by Phil Hache

DUI and Criminal Defense attorney