Vehicle Code 23582 VC - DUI Speed Enhancement
California Vehicle Code 23582 VC is a DUI sentencing enhancement that adds a minimum of 60 days in jail to a DUI sentence if you are convicted of violating specific laws.
In other words, this law imposes additional penalties if you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) while driving at excessive speed or driving recklessly.
This DUI sentencing enhancement law could apply if you are convicted of the following laws:
- Vehicle Code 23152(a) driving under the influence,
- Vehicle Code 23152(b) driving with a BAC of .08% or higher, or
- Vehicle Code 23153 DUI causing injury, and
Then, while violating one of these laws, you were driving recklessly over the posted speed limit by 20 mph on any other street or highway or 30 mph on a freeway and were driving recklessly.
VC 23582 says, “(a) Any person who drives a vehicle 30 or more miles per hour over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on a freeway, or 20 or more miles per hour over the maximum, prima facie, or posted speed limit on any other street or highway, and in a manner prohibited by Section 23103 during the commission of a violation of Section 23152 or 23153 shall be….”
Suppose your sentence is enhanced under VC 23582. In that case, you must participate in a drug or alcohol education program.
Suppose you are convicted of DUI and qualify for the sentencing enhancement. In that case, you face 60 days in jail for your crime in addition to the original sentence, even if the original offense did not end with jail time.
What Factors Must Be Proven for a Conviction?
To be eligible for the California Vehicle Code 23582 VC sentencing enhancement, a prosecutor must be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you did the following elements of the crime,
- Drove under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination;
- Drove at an excessive speed during the DUI; and
- Driving recklessly while under the influence.
What is “Excessive Speed?”
As noted, driving at an "excessive speed" means operating at a speed exceeding the legal limit by at least 20 mph on a street or highway or at least 30 mph on a freeway.
Also, this applies to posted speed limits and "maximum" or "prima facie" limits on roads that have no speed limit posted, which are the following limits:
- 25 mph on a public street;
- 55 mph on a two-lane highway; and
- 65 mph on all other highways.
In addition, driving recklessly means driving in a way that shows a willful disregard for the safety of others—meaning you are aware of the risks of injury to others but choose to ignore them.
California Vehicle Code 22350 VC defines the fundamental speeding law prohibiting someone from driving faster than reasonably safe for conditions like the weather.
Notably, just speeding will not justify the VC 23582 sentencing enhancement; rather, it must simultaneously be a combination of speeding and reckless driving.
Further, you're driving must be in a manner that makes injury to other people probable, which is a high standard. This means it must be proven that driving under the influence would injure somebody, which is often challenging.
What is Driving Recklessly?
“Reckless driving” means driving a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. It means you know your conduct will likely injure someone, but you intentionally ignore that risk.
Simply put, reckless conduct requires an intentional act, but you can't be convicted of reckless driving based on negligence.
What Are the VC 23582 Penalties?
Suppose you are convicted of DUI while driving recklessly and at excessive speeds, and the VC 23582 sentencing enhancement applies. In that case, you are facing the following penalties:
- 60 days in a county jail on top of the original sentence, which is mandatory even if the original sentence carries no jail time. For example, suppose you were sentenced to only probation for a DUI conviction. In that case, you would still be required to serve 60 days in jail.
- Court-ordered drug or alcohol education program, even if this was your first DUI where Vehicle Code 23582 applies.
What Are the VC 23582 Defenses?
Suppose you are accused of violating Vehicle Code 23582 speed enhancement law. In that case, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers could use different strategies to fight the charges, as discussed below.
Maybe we challenge the driving under the influence case. Recall that the enhancement can't be applied if the original DUI case was reduced or dropped.
Maybe we can argue against the excessive speed allegation. Perhaps we can show there is some reasonable doubt that you were driving at an excessive speed as defined under California law. Maybe we can request accuracy testing of the police radar used in the case.
Maybe we can argue against the reckless driving allegation. Perhaps we can show that your driving behavior didn't demonstrate a willful disregard for the safety of others as defined under California law. If successful, the enhancement could be dismissed. Notably, this approach is the most common defense strategy as it's difficult to prove.
Sometimes, the best defense strategy is negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor for a non-qualifying offense. Suppose your guilt is not in doubt, and the speeding enhancement will apply.
In that case, we might be able to negotiate and reduce the charge to a lesser offense that will not qualify for the VC 2358 enhancement, such as the following reduced charges:
- Vehicle Code 23103.5 VC – wet reckless;
- Vehicle Code 23103 VC – dry reckless;
- Vehicle Code 23109(c) – exhibition of speed.
Simply put, negotiating for lesser charges will allow you to avoid the additional penalties of the sentencing enhancement. Contact our law firm for a free case consultation if you are accused of violating California's DUI laws. Cron, Israels & Stark have offices in Los Angeles, CA.