LOS ANGELES FIRST DUI LAWYERS – LOS ANGELES DUI ATTORNEY GROUP
If you drink and drive and live in the Los Angeles area, it is not improbable that a police officer will stop you one night and claim you were driving erratically, speeding or have an equipment violation. Many first offenders have had only minimal contact with law enforcement before, but this stop becomes much more serious once questioning begins about whether you have been drinking.
Most people want to be cooperative and will admit to drinking, but only one or two, and will comply with the officer’s request that they perform some coordination or field sobriety tests (FST) and blow into a PAS. Whether from fatigue, sitting too long or an old joint injury, or nervousness, few people are able to do these tests well. The PAS, or preliminary alcohol screening test, does measure some amount of alcohol in your system but its results are inadmissible. Finally, you are asked to submit to a breathalyzer that may indicate a BAC of 0.08%, leading to your arrest.
If you refuse testing, the officer will undoubtedly arrest you anyway and will take away your driver’s license and give you a 30-day temporary one.
At this point, immediately contact a Los Angeles First DUI Lawyer from the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group.
You are prohibited from driving if your BAC, or blood alcohol content, is at least 0.08%. If you are under 21, your BAC must be zero. For commercial operators, it cannot be 0.04%. Even if you refuse testing or one cannot be administered for some reason, you can still be arrested for DUI based on other subjective factors. The relevant California Vehicle Code section governing this is CVC 23152:
“CVC 23152. (a) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.
(b) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle. For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.
(c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(d) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210. In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.
(e) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.
(f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.
(g) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2014.”
What Constitutes Impaired Driving?
A law enforcement officer looks for certain signs of intoxication or impaired driving:
- Erratic driving
- Driving too slowly or too fast for conditions
- Passed out at the side of the road in your car
- Slurred or mumbling speech
- Watery bloodshot eyes
- Fumbling for your license, registration and insurance information
- Poor performance on FST
- Indication of alcohol on PAS
- Admission to drinking
Many of these observations are explainable by reasons other than intoxication that your Los Angeles First DUI Lawyer from the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group can discuss with you. Anxiety, fatigue or a medical condition are common reasons why individuals exhibit these signs.
APS or License Suspension Hearing
When arrested for a DUI, you will be given a 30-day temporary license and a form that advises you that you have only 10 days to request an administrative hearing before the DMV regarding the suspension of your license. If you do not request this hearing, your license will be suspended.
Our defense Los Angeles First DUI Lawyer from the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group routinely represent clients at these hearing and successfully contested license revocations so that our clients retain their driving privileges. The issues at these hearings concern:
- If there was probable cause to stop and detain you
- If your BAC was 0.08%
- If you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Whether you refused testing and for no reasonable cause
Our attorneys cross-examine the arresting officer and may offer scientific testimony to rebut the validity of the breathalyzer or blood test.
First DUI Offense Penalties
As a first DUI offender, you can expect the following sentence:
- 2 to 5 days in jail but up to 6 months in jail or alternative sentence such as community service
- Additional 2 days in jail if you unreasonably refused testing
- Fine of $390 up to $1,000
- Summary probation of 3 years
- 3-months participation in a DUI program
- Suspension of driver’s license for 6-10 months
- Restricted license possible after 30-days
- Suspension for one-year with no restricted license if testing was refused
Enhancements to Sentence
There are certain statutory conditions that if present at the time of your arrest will enhance your sentence:
- You had a passenger under the age of 14
- Your BAC was at least 0.15%
- You refused testing of your breath or blood
- You were speeding at least 20 mph over the speed limit
Any of these aggravating circumstances can add 2 days or more to your jail sentence and increase your fine up to $1,000. In some cases, the DA could charge you with felony child endangerment for exposing a young child to substantial danger. One of our Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group lawyers can assess this situation if this charge is added.
The Los Angeles First DUI Lawyer at the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group have decades of experience in defending those charged with DUIs. Typical defenses include:
- Lack of probable cause to stop and detain your vehicle and you
- No probable cause to arrest you
- Flawed observations of the police officer
- Your conduct was that of a sober individual
- The officer failed to properly advise you of your rights
- The breathalyzer or blood test was flawed and the results inaccurate for any number of reasons
It takes years of trying DUI cases and questioning law enforcement officers and technicians to successfully challenge a DUI charge. Contact the Los Angeles First DUI Lawyers at the Los Angeles DUI Attorney Group if you have been arrested on a DUI.