Wrong-Way DUI Crash

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Wrong-Way DUI Crash

Two people were injured in a wrong-way crash and had to be transported to a local hospital Tuesday morning. According to San Diego police, alcohol might be to blame for the crash.

DUI Crash by Wrong-Way Driver

The driver of a Honda SUV was driving southbound on Fairmount Avenue when he noticed a sedan speeding towards him in the wrong direction. The Honda driver, John Chau, attempted to swerve to avoid the oncoming car, but was not able to get out of the way on time. The impact of the wrong way accident smashed both vehicles’ front ends and took off one of the Honda’s wheels.

The wrong-way driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI and was taken to the hospital. Are you acused of a DUI?

What Happens When You Get Pulled Over?

The first step in a DUI investigation is being pulled over by a police officer, which can be scary. If this was you this past weekend, you probably anticipated the typical question an officer asks: “Have you had anything to drink today?”

Since the officer can’t force you to answer any questions that could be considered incriminating, the best answer might be to tell them you prefer to speak with a DUI attorney before answering their questions. Having a blood alcohol (“BAC”) content under 0.08 is not considered driving under the influence. Admitting that you may have had one beer just explains why your breath smells of alcohol.

The second step in a DUI investigation are field sobriety tests. California does not give you the right to consult an attorney prior to these tests, but you can still politely decline to take them since you are not legally required to submit to these tests. The risk of these tests is that if an officer takes a subjective view they could decide you failed even though the test results were borderline. These results could then be used to convict you for a DUI. However, if a police officer genuinely suspects you are intoxicated, chances are good you won’t get away with a warning.

The next step in a DUI investigation is the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test. This test is normally a breathalyzer test, which is a chemical test prior to being arrested. A breathalyzer test is the most common one used by police officers to identify drivers driving under the influence. Breathalyzer tests are also used after an arrest as well. Before actually being arrest, you have the right to refuse to take the breathalyzer test. If you are afraid your blood alcohol level is high, you can take it knowing the possibility exists of later impeaching the test results.

If you have been lawfully arrested for DUI, the law requires you to undergo the administration of a chemical test by a police officer to determine your blood alcohol level (“BAC”).

According to California’s “Implied Consent Law,” you are required to submit to chemical testing to determine your BAC if a police officer arrests you for DUI and the officer has probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence.

After being arrested, often you can chose either the breathalyzer or chemical tests. The breathalyzer is fairly reliable, but the results aren’t for a number of reasons. Breathalyzer tests don’t test for blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”), which requires a blood sample be taken to be analyzed. Because of this, the police will indirectly make an estimate of your BAC.

Blood Test to Confirm DUI

The most accurate tests to determine BAC are blood tests. Because of this, if given the choice you should choose a blood test if you feel your BAC is under the legal limit of 0.8.

Also, your blood sample must be preserved under a specific set of rules that will then be available for your attorney’s use in order for their later independent testing and analysis.

Although you can’t be forced to take a chemical blood test, if you refuse the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your California Driver’s License for one year, no matter what the outcome of the DUI case against you. You can request a hearing to contest the suspension, but it must be requested within 10 days from your DUI arrest date.

Charges for DUI – Drunk Driving

Charges for drunk driving (“DUI”) are not only serious but also can carry serious consequences at any time, but especially on Halloween when children are trick or treating throughout their neighborhoods. Penalties for DUI vary by case and severity, but following are sentencing guidelines of what you may face if you drink and drive and are then convicted of a DUI.

First Conviction for DUI

For a first conviction for a DUI in California, you would receive:

  • Jail-time of at least 96 hours but not over 6 months.
  • A fine of at least $390 but not over $1,000, including penalties.
  • Suspension of your driver’s license of six months. The court may grant your a temporary restricted license, however it can’t be reinstated until you provide proof of the completion of a “driving under the influence” state-approved program, and also showing financial responsibility.
  • Based on the circumstances of your DUI, being a first time offender you may also be required by the court to install an Ignition Interlock Device, which will be installed at your expense.

Second Conviction for DUI

For a second conviction for a California DUI you would receive:

  • Jail-time of at lease 90 days but not more than 1 year.
  • A fine of at least $390 but not over $1,000, including penalties.
  • Suspension of your driver’s license of 1 year. Your license cannot be reinstated until you have provided proof of financial responsibility and proof of completion of a state-approved “driving under the influence” program.
  • Based on the circumstances of your DUI, being a first time offender you may also be required by the court to install an Ignition Interlock Device, which will be installed at your expense.

Third Conviction for DUI

For a third California conviction for DUI you would receive:

  • Jail-time of at least 120 days but not more than 1 year.
  • A fine of at least $390 but not over $1,000, including penalties.
  • The state will consider you an “habitual traffic offender” for 3 years after you’ve been convicted.
  • Suspension for 2 years of your driver’s license. Your license cannot be reinstated until you have provided proof of financial responsibility and proof of completion of a state-approved “driving under the influence” program.
  • You may be able to apply to the court for a restricted driver’s license, but you may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device, which will be installed at your expense.

Fourth Conviction for DUI

For a fourth California conviction for DUI you would receive:

  • Jail-time which may include both jail and prison or at least 180 days but not than 1 year.
  • A fine of at least $390 but not over $1,000, including penalties.
  • The state will consider you an “habitual traffic offender” for 3 years after you’ve been convicted.
  • Suspension for 3 years of your driver’s license. Your license cannot be reinstated until you have provided proof of financial responsibility and proof of completion of a state-approved “driving under the influence” program.
  • You may be able to apply to the court for a restricted driver’s license, but you may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device, which will be installed at your expense.

When you are arrested and then convicted in California of a DUI, typically a judge will apply guidelines that determine the minimum and maximum sentencing. A judge will also take into consideration the specifics of any previous convictions you may have for DUI.

Working with Sevens Legal, APC

The Law Offices of Sevens Legal, APC, understands DUI cases inside and out, and they are committed to uncovering contradictory evidence, procedural errors, or violations of your rights. We determine the correct defense strategy based on the facts pertaining to your case. Sevens Legal, APC, handles all DUI cases such as:

  • First DUI Offense DUI: Almost 80% of our clients who are first offenders have their cases resolved without a DUI conviction.
  • Underage DUI: Underage juvenile DUI offenders have unique challenges relating to these charges, and respond according to these challenges.
  • Felony DUI: Felony charges involving DUI require immediate attention. These DUI charges include injury or a 4th offense in a 10-year period.
  • DUI and Drugs: If the drugs are prescription drugs or banned (“street drugs”) substances, they carry the same penalty as a DUI involving alcohol.
  • Multiple DUI Charges: These types of charges involve higher penalties depending on the number of times you have been convicted previously for DUI. Many times we can successfully reduce the statutory jail time by seeking treatment options.
  • DUI Resulting in an Accident: This also includes injury and/or death, or property damage. These require an experienced criminal defense attorney. These charges may involve possible time in a state prison, so it’s imperative to hire a skilled and diligent criminal defense attorney.
  • Boating and DUI: Operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol carry the same negative consequences as driving a vehicle and being intoxicated.
  • DMV DUI Hearing: It is imperative to act promptly in order to protect driving privileges. The hearing must be requested within 10 days of your arrest, otherwise the DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license.

Beating a DUI charge is never easy, even if you have a strong defense, which is why it’s important to hire an experienced DUI Defense Attorney.

In DUI cases there can be numerous possible police errors, all of which can add up to helping reduce your charges. After reviewing the facts of your DUI case, our attorneys will concentrate on helping seek a dismissal or reduction by preparing a secure case that will cast doubt on any evidence the police may have obtained against you.

The criminal defense lawyers at Sevens Legal, APC, believe every defendant deserves a zealous defense. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.

Sevens Legal, APC
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800

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