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!