Your DUI Arrest in San Diego, California
The purpose of this website is to allow those who have or are being charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated to gain valuable information on how to deal with these charges. Fully understanding the laws, potential penalties, and procedures can seem overwhelming for some. We hope our site will give you all the information you will need to confidently go through the administrative and criminal proceedings.
Chances are you were given a field sobriety tests by a police officer after a traffic accident or at a DUI sobriety checkpoint. After a number of coordination and physical tests, the field officer most likely requested a breath test using a breathalyzer. Breathalyzers, which are known for their inaccuracies, are small instruments that attempt to give a preliminary reading or your blood-alcohol level. The breath test is starting to become the most popular chemical test administered in a drunken driving case. It should be known that even if you pass a breathalyzer test with a .08% or lower, there is still a chance the officer will arrest you for being under the suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.
Upon arriving to the police station, the arresting officer has a legal obligation to inform you of your choice to take a chemical test (breath or blood). For the breath test two samples are taken approximately two minutes apart. For the breath test to be valid, the two samples must be within .02% of one another. The blood test can be administered at the police station, at a nearby medical facility under the proper supervision, or by a third party at the station. You have the option of refusing a chemical test, by doing so, you will face heightened penalties.
You should be aware that there are flaws in these tests that make them potentially unreliable and inaccurate. Test results can be inconsistent due to the number of variables found in the human body as well as any deficiencies the equipment may have. Regardless of these flaws, you should be conscious of the penalties you could face if you refuse to take the chemical test (See DWI Driver's License Suspensions)
If any of the following situations occur, you will lose your license:
- A breath test with a result of .08% or greater.
- Choosing to take a blood test, which is done at a crime lab several days later.
- Refusing to take both the blood and breath tests.
If you are licensed to drive in California, you will lose your license and given a Notice of Suspension by the arresting officer. If you hold a license from another state, the officer does not have the proper authority to seize the license. He will, however, suspend your right to drive in California.
DUI suspensions and the California laws governing them are quite complex. It is no surprise that a number of judges and DMV employees themselves do not fully understand these laws. One of the most important steps that your DUI attorney must take is calling the local DMV’s Driver Safety Office (DSO) to arrange an administrative license suspension hearing. This phone call, preferably made by your attorney, must be made within 10 days of the time of arrest or you will forfeit your rights to a hearing and the possibility or having your suspension set aside. The San Diego DSO can be reached at (858) 627-3901.
The initial court arraignment for the DUI charge is usually scheduled a month or more after the arrest. This is done to give the prosecution time to evaluate all DUI evidence and to apply the appropriate charges with regards to the evidence. You are not required to appear in court unless you have been charged with a felony. It is recommended that you obtain a San Diego DUI attorney for representation.
If you are interested in retaining the Law Offices of Lawrence Taylor as your representation, please contact our San Diego office. There is no obligation for the preliminary meeting which normally runs one to two hours long.