From the Joshua Tree National Park to the Yosemite, California has a range of national parks that offer an excellent spot for a wide range of activities such as picnics, wildlife observation, recreation, fishing and hiking. All of such parks fall within the ambit of “federal lands” and are governed by federal rules and regulations.
Unlike state laws, federal laws are relatively strict and impose harsh penalties for violations and noncompliance. This not only includes hefty penalties and jail sentences but also impose several post-sentence problems, such as employment and tenancy issues.
What Constitutes DUI?
Of all federal laws, driving under influence (DUI) is one of the most serious felonies. DUI on a federal property constitutes a federal crime and shall come into effect if the following conditions are met:
- The driver was impaired by alcohol during the time he/she operated a motor vehicle on the federal land
- The driver’s blood alcohol content, while operating the motor vehicle, was above the prescribed legal limit – i.e. 10 grams of alcohol per 100ml of blood or 10 grams of alcohol per more than 210 breaths
Conviction under Federal Laws
Location of DUI is important. If the DUI took place on a land under the administration of the National Park Service, the driver will be charged and prosecuted under the Code of Federal Regulations. Under the said laws and regulations, a driver will have to face federal DUI charges if he/she:
- Is under the influence of alcohol to such an extent as would render him/her impaired or incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely.
- Has alcohol concentration in the blood stream exceeding the federal limit (mentioned earlier)
- Has an alcohol concentration that is lower than the federal limit, but higher than the state limit
- Is a drunk minor (below the age of 21)
DUI in a National Park is a serious offense for a reason. It paves way for conviction under a series of laws and regulations, depending upon the jurisdiction within which the national park falls.
Under the laws of the National Park Service, DUI is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. Such an offense is punishable by up to six months in jail time, penalties of up to $5000 and a probation not exceeding 5 years from the date of conviction. A blood alcohol test is mandatory and you cannot choose between any methods of administration. Failure or refusal to submit to such testing constitutes a criminal offense.
If the national park is a federal land, then federal laws apply. Such laws are pursuant of the Assimilative Crimes Act and impose such penalties and punishments on the driver as are prescribed in the laws or as may be altered to time to time.
Implied Consent Law also springs in to action – which requires the driver to take the mandatory blood, breath or urine test to measure the amount of blood alcohol content. Should the driver refuse to take the chemical test, his/her driving license can be suspended for a period of one year.
Consult Your Lawyer
DUI penalties on a federal level are compounded further if the DUI results in a minor or a major accident and/or injury. In any cases, it is important that you contact an experienced professional DUI lawyer, such as Premier Federal Criminal Defenders, to learn more about such charges, how to avoid them and how to reduce your penalties payable.