Driving under the influence (DUI) is the one offense that everyday, non-criminals get arrested for
all the time. Often, those arrested for DUI have never been in trouble
with the law before so naturally, they have a lot of questions. That said,
here are four questions that people usually have in the days following
their DUI arrest:
1. I only had a few drinks, did I commit DUI?
It’s not necessarily illegal to drink alcohol and drive in California.
If that was the case, why would bars and nightclubs have parking lots?
You commit the offense of driving under the influence (DUI) when you drink
to the point where your ability to drive safely is impaired. It’s
also illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or above. Some people argue that
you’re impaired after the first drink. But, of course weight, gender,
body fat, strength of drink, and whether you’ve eaten recently all
play a role in intoxication.
2. Should I have taken the PAS test?
The roadside breath test is otherwise known as a
preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. Before a DUI arrest, you are under no obligation to take a
breath test, but
after a DUI arrest, you will lose your license for
one year if you refuse to take a breath test. Should you have taken the PAS test?
There is no perfect answer to the question; it depends on the circumstances
of your situation. For example, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
is questionable, you can submit to a breath test instead of a blood test
because breath test results tend to be easier to challenge.
3. Should I have performed the field sobriety tests?
In a word – no. Unlike a post-arrest breath test, there is no penalty
for refusing the
field sobriety tests, otherwise known as the roadside divided attention tests. The purpose
of these tests is to give the officers “probable cause” to make a
DUI arrest. Any evidence of intoxication during the field sobriety tests is usually
recorded on the officer’s body cam, or on the patrol car’s
dash cam. Such evidence can and will be used against the DUI defendant
in court. Our advice: politely refuse to take the field sobriety tests.
4. Why didn’t the police take a sample of my blood?
If you were taken back to the station to breathe into a sophisticated
breathalyzer machine and the cops did not take a sample of your blood,
it’s because it’s a lot cheaper than a blood test. However,
blood samples are superior to breath tests and more difficult to challenge.
If you’re arrested for DUI, you have the right to choose a blood
test over a breath test, especially if you’re confident your BAC
is below the legal .08% legal limit.
Were you recently arrested for DUI? To get your questions answered,
contact an Orange County DUI defense lawyer from our firm today!