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5 Things You Probably Did Not Know About DUIs

  1. You are not required to take a PAS test (preliminary alcohol screening). In California, the police are required to notify you that you do not have to submit to the portable "breathalizer" at the scene. You can and should decline to provide a breath sample using this device. This device will only hurt you unless you blow less than the legal limit. Even if you believe you will blow less, still decline it.

  2. You are not required to submit to field sobriety tests. Many people are not good at these test when sober, so they are designed to make you look intoxicated and create probable cause to arrest you. While the law in California is not clear on whether declining this test can be mentioned in trial, it is better for you to skip these tests altogether. Better to let them think but not be able to prove you were intoxicated than to hand them the proof they need to convict you.

  3. You are required to select a chemical test but, it does not have to be a breath test. Many people opt for a blood test. The blood test is usually administered in a manner that violates the 4th Amendment and can lead to a case being thrown out after litigation. The breath test can also read falsely higher than your actual blood alcohol content.

  4. You do not have to answer questions known as "pre-field sobriety test" questions. These are questions like: when and what did you last eat; what time is it; do you have any medical issues/are you under the care of a doctor or dentist; where are you coming from, etc. The police and toxicology expert will use the answers to these questions at trial to establish you were under the influence, explain away any alternative reasons for poor performance on field sobriety tests, and estimate your blood alcohol level at the time of driving. Instead, assert your right to remain silent.

  5. DUIs are not just traffic tickets; they are crimes. This means you can serve up to six months in jail for your first offense (unless you hurt someone and are charged with a felony), plus a fine, probation, a DUI school, and even a costly ignition interlock device. A conviction for a DUI can also negatively impact employment like professional licensing and commercial driver's licenses. Find a good litigation attorney to address DUIs the same way you would if you were fighting any other criminal case. There may be more riding on it than you think. There are also more defenses than you think.

Were you or someone you know arrested for a DUI? Give us a call. We can help!

*All opinions expressed here are subject to the facts in your case and jurisdictionally specific. We are not responsible for any negative consequences that may flow from them.


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