Typically over big weekends like Memorial Day weekend the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will team up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to keep impaired drivers off San Diego’s roads. If you received a DUI this past holiday weekend, you’ll want to know what your next steps are - namely how to contact a DUI defense attorney.
If You Were Pulled Over on Memorial Day
If you were pulled over for impaired driving, you’ll want to know what you are facing. Below we outline the steps of a DUI investigation in addition to what you can do if you are facing DUI charges.
Steps to Investigating DUI Charges
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.
Speak to a San Diego DUI Lawyer Today
Call our skilled attorneys at Sevens Legal, APC for a free consultation today to explore your options if you have been arrested for drunk driving in San Diego County. DUI/DWI charges carry stiff penalties that can be financially devastating and may include jail time and the suspension of your license for a year or more. With over 40 years of collective experience dealing with criminal defense and DUI/DWI cases, the attorneys at Sevens Legal will bring to your situation a wealth of expertise and a track record of countless courtroom successes.
Understanding Your Rights
It is important to fully understand your rights in a DUI/DWI case and our attorneys will ensure that you are well educated on the process and procedures of your defense. Through aggressive litigation our attorneys will represent you to the best of their abilities and will not rest until you are back on the road.
We Represent All Types of DUI Cases
Whether you are a first time offender, are facing your second or third offense, a felony or aggravated DUI or a DUI related vehicular manslaughter, the attorneys at Sevens Legal, APC will represent you in a court of law. Laws surrounding drinking and driving and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) may vary depending on state, and California has developed a no-tolerance policy towards DUI offenders. In 1990, the 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit was established in the state of California and still stands 24 years later. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, it is illegal for any person to operate a vehicle with a:
- BACof 0.08% or higher, if the person is age 21 or older.
- BACof 0.01% or higher, if the person is under age 21.
- BACof 0.01% or higher at any age, if the person is on Driving Under the Influence (DUI) probation.
- BACof 0.04% or higher, in any vehicle requiring a commercial driver license (CDL)-with or without a CDL issued to the driver.
Besides the crippling cost of DUI/DWI penalties, the suspension or revoking of one’s license can cause immense challenges, especially when a suspension directly impacts the financial wellbeing of your family and your economic livelihood. The skilled attorneys at Sevens Legal can help maintain your license or adjust permissions to allow the continuation of commuting to an essential workplace.
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.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800