A conviction for a DUI offense is one of the worst crimes that a driver can commit. Apart from the penalties, the record of the crime remains for a long time. The history of the offense may affect you in your life endeavors. However, you do not have to worry about all these negative impacts if you hire the San Diego DUI Attorney. Our experience has led many people to walk in freedom from their DUI cases. You can count on our top-notch expertise and dedication if you have been charged with a DUI case while in Riverview Farms.
Definition of a DUI in California
Driving under the influence is the crime of operating a car or driving while intoxicated. However, some level of intoxication is allowed by California State law. Thus you can drink and drive your vehicle as long as your blood alcohol concentration is determined to be below 0.08%. Exceeding this limit is a chargeable DUI crime known as the per se DUI charge.
Sometimes the driver may be drunk within the legal limits. Nevertheless, they are not able to control the vehicle in a way that ensures safety to other traffic users. These drivers are traffic hazards and, therefore, chargeable for an impairment DUI offense. These two crimes carry heavy penalties upon conviction in any or both.
The following factors influence the severity of penalties:
- Whether you exceeded the speed limit stipulated for the traffic section
- Having prior cases of DUI conviction on the record
- The intensity of private or public property damage
- Whether you are involved in drag racing or speed exhibition at the time of the arrest
- The margin with which your BAC exceeds 0.08% level
- Whether a person died as a result of the DUI crime
The legal drinking and driving privilege mentioned above applies for drivers who are aged 21 years and above. The zero-tolerance laws prohibit underage drivers from operating a car while even under slight levels of intoxication. The code is not hesitant to deny the drinking privilege to these minors since their driving inexperience and susceptibility to distractions endanger the public.
The traffic police are not always on the lookout for drunk drivers specifically. It is thus possible for a driver to drive under the influence for averagely 80 times before being arrested for a DUI related offense. The following reasons are the basis of a DUI investigation:
- Violation of a traffic regulation
- Driving a vehicle that is not mechanically suitable to operate on the road
- Being involved in an accident and the police arrive as a form of response
A car is not fit for operating on the traffic, for instance, if the following indications convince the traffic polices they are unworthy:
- Having worn out or treadless tires
- Having problems with the braking system that makes it difficult to stop promptly
- Loose or non-functional seatbelts or their anchors
- Giving out abnormal exhaust fumes as an indication of a problem with its combustion
- General body corrosion and weakness of the car
- Defect with its audible warning
- Cracked or missing headlamps or hazards lights
- Missing side mirrors
Apart from driving a traffic-unworthy vehicle, you can also be stopped and investigated for DUI due to the following indications of traffic infractions:
- Ignoring a stop sign on the road
- Failing to give way to vehicles while turning left
- Unreasonably tail-gating another vehicle
- Having a burnt out rear light.
- Improper change of lanes
- Failing to wear safety belts
The accidents that lead to DUI investigation may involve self-accidents, knocking a passenger, or colliding with another vehicle. The determination of the intoxication status is part of the response team, such as police officers and humanitarian personnel, after an accident.
When caught up in the sequence of stopping vehicles in the sobriety checkpoints, the police do not need any reasonable suspicion or probable cause to investigate you for DUI. Further, the DUI will be their initial investigation. The DUI investigation becomes valid for every legal stop.
BAC Determination After Arrest
The BAC determination occurs at the scene of arrest, hospital, or jail. In any of these three places, the standard samples demanded to examine intoxication are blood, breath, or urine samples. You can refuse the BAC test when stopped at any other point, but at a DUI checkpoint or when facing an arrest due to the reasons mentioned above, severe consequences apply to you.
Facing the consequences is prompted by the violation of the implied consent laws. These laws mandate everyone arrested for DUI to submit to a chemical test upon request by the arresting police. Rejecting the BAC test results in penalties such as forfeiting driving privileges in California.
The situations determine the choice of blood sample over a breath sample. If you feel that you are legally intoxicated, choosing a blood sample is preferable since they are accurate in the analysis. However, the accuracy is only possible when the blood sample is handled carefully. You do not have to worry about mishandling the sample as your Riverview Farms DUI attorney gets an opportunity of defending you through that handling blunder.
The preference for a blood sample over breath sample may be due to the likelihood of alcohol traces in the mouth that may interfere with the test. Substances such as mouth wash or energy drinks may give a false indication of BAC through a breath sample. You may choose a breath sample if you consider well that even though you are intoxicated, you have not passed the legal limits by a substantial margin. Your local Riverview Farms DUI attorney will have the advantage of defending you since the breathalyzers are never absolutely accurate in the assessment.
What You Need To Know
A breath test sample only detects the level of alcohol present in your alcohol while a blood sample detects alcohol and other drugs, whether recreational or prescribed medications. In this case, you may accept a breath test to avoid a conviction for illegal drug consumption. The breath sample reduces the chances of complicating your charge. However, when you are an accident casualty and unable to give a breath sample, you cannot get away with illegal drugs as the blood draw happens as part of treatment.
Each drink consumed raises the BAC at the rates ranging from 0.02% to 0.03 % for an average male. For women, the increase may be slightly high. Using your phone’s applications to gauge the BAC is always a good practice. You can protect yourself from a DUI arrest in the following two ways:
For two hours, after the last drink, the alcohol absorption continues during which BAC continues to rise. After the two hours lapse, it begins falling. You should, therefore, wait for two hours to start driving. In this case, you escape arrest for two reasons:
- The BAC may fall to legal levels as you drive until the officer stops.
- The BAC may also fall when the officer is getting the arrest warrant or driving to the nearest facility for blood draws.
You can schedule your drinking to end some hours before the taverns are closed. You will be able to have a period for sobering up enough to drive. You will always escape since the hawk-eyed traffic surveillance officers are vigilant at the close of bars.
Hiring a Sober Driver
One of the most effective ways to escape a DUI charge is having a backup plan for getting to your destination once you are drunk. You may have someone you are accountable to supervise your drinking to ensure you do not drink past the limits. The person can also be a driver who can drive you home once drunk.
Another option, but a more costly one, is hiring a taxi before drinking to take you home once drunk. You may need extra cash to pay for parking where to leave your vehicle. The costs of hiring a cab or a car driver are less compared to the costs of compensating third parties and oneself once you cause accidents and injure other peoples and their property.
All About the Driver’s License Suspension
The suspension of the driving license occurs in two events:
- When arrested for the DUI case because the BAC is legally intolerable and the driver underperforms in the field sobriety tests
- When the driver is legally stopped and refuses to take a chemical test to determine the BAC level
In both of these cases, you will have a window period of ten days to contact a local Riverview Farms DUI attorney to book a DMV hearing for you. This administration hearing serves to lay grounds for reinstating a suspended license so that the driver stops using admin per se.
The most rigorous California DUI laws apply to you even if you don’t reside in California but have been arrested in California. The legal course applies to you in case you display signs of impairment or the BAC shoots beyond 0.08%. In most cases, the arresting police have no powers to confiscate your license but will issue you with the order of suspension. It implies that for the next 30 days, you have no privilege of driving in California. The standard period for you to challenge the suspension by scheduling a hearing in the DMV session in California is ten days as usual.
If you are arrested in California for DUI while not a resident, the penalties may be influenced by whether your state is a signatory to Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC). Except for Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Georgia, all other 45 states are signatories. IDLC seeks to centralize records of arrest and conviction for traffic infractions for each driver. The aim is to ensure that the drivers are accountable for the offenses they commit while driving in other states. Hence, states share information for drivers’ infractions.
The following are the three tips you need to understand about the IDLC on its relations to out-of-state DUI:
- Due to the information exchange about the drivers, you will have to go to the state you were arrested in to answer the DUI charges and resolve the case, including the DMV hearing.
- States that are signatories to the IDLC impose the same penalties as if the offense occurred in the home state
- The home state will choose penalties according to their law if their statute differs from that of other states within IDLC regarding penalties for an offense of the same intensity.
When caught with an out-of-state DUI, you need a Riverview Farm DUI Attorney to defend you due to the following reasons:
- Without a lawyer, traveling back to the state where you committed the traffic offense to answer charges in each hearing is mandatory. But once you have the attorney, he can represent you in all those sessions except the mandatory ones. Representation reduces costs
- There are variations in the DUI laws between states, and California is known for having serious ones. Hence you need a lawyer experienced in California DUI laws for smooth defense in your case
- The lawyer will help you secure the best outcome in the out-of-state DUI. Obtaining this outcome is the best thing you can do for the sake of your future.
The lawyer will represent you in the DMV hearing through either phone or in person. The only exception where you must travel to California in case you allegedly violated traffic regulations is when you get a felony charge for the offenses.
As a resident of California, here are the penalties against you once the police arrest you for an out-of-state DUI:
- Mandatory obtaining of SR22 insurance and other insurance penalties
- Fixing your car with Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
- Penalties such as fines, jail term, and probation
- Compulsory drugs and alcohol treatment programs
Since the insurance and drug recovery are essential for anyone who passes through a DUI conviction, we are going to look at them more deeply:
SR-22 Insurance in California
This type of insurance authentication form originates from the driver’s car insurance provider to the department of motor vehicles in California. The form is an emblem of compliance with vehicle liability insurance. The form is compulsory for all those drivers committing traffic infractions that lead to license suspension. The following are some of the incidents for license suspension that may require the filing of the SR-22 form:
- DUI conviction that is either in your state or out-of-state
- Defaulting to pay the parking fees
- Unsafe driving such as causing an accident without the proper insurance cover, flouting speed regulations and any form of reckless driving
- A DMV issued suspension for being categorized as a negligent operator
An SR-22 has its cost too, and convicts for out-of-states DUI are not exceptional. When the drivers lose the DMV hearing, they stay without the driving privileges or drive with a restricted license depending on the decision of the court. After the suspension period is over, the driver must fill the SR-22 to get their licenses reinstated.
The California law requires that drivers should fill the SR-22 form for a period ranging from 3 to 10 years, depending on the severity of their DUI case convicted with or other traffic violations. Failure to maintain this form leads to forfeiting the driving privileges regardless of where the crime occurred.
There are three types of SR-22 forms applicable in different circumstances:
- Owners Policy Certificate covers the claims for compensation made on all the vehicles bearing the driver’s name in the registration
- Broad Coverage Policy Certificate which takes care of vehicles both owned by the driver and those not owned by the driver
- Operator’s Policy Certificate takes care of all vehicles driven by a driver but does not own them
These insurance policies seek to maintain the safety and financial welfare of all traffic users before the expiration of the period reasonably meant to instill driving discipline to the driver.
Filing the SR-22 smoothens the steps of getting a hardship license, which enables you to maintain a basic lifestyle. The provision of this limited license is given mostly to first-time offenders after they have served their jail term, and the period of their driving license suspension expires.
Obtaining a means for you to continue using your vehicle is always the priority of your Riverview Farms DUI attorney. The following are the conditions that may assure a successful provision of a restricted license:
- Enrollment in a California DUI school and compliance with all requirements until the end during your probation period
- Filing a copy of California SR-22 form and having it submitted to the DMV as proof of insurance coverage compliance
- Paying the due fees to obtain a restricted license and reinstatement it
Drugs and Alcohol Treatment Programs
The drug treatment programs fit the driver to earn back the driving privilege after the end of the suspension period. The program involves going through the California DUI School, which is often preceded by a counseling session. The counselor unveils whether the person has a drinking problem after which they recommend either of the following:
- A medical detoxification session
- An inpatient or outpatient alcohol recovery procedures depending on the intensity of the problem
- An alcohol support group where the driver is gets tips to overcome alcoholism
In most cases, recovery from addiction comes from within when the DUI convicts feel the weight of their alcoholic behavior. However, the external pressure from the court-ordered conditions of probation produces better results than when individuals enroll themselves. The court orders produce sensitization due to the useful fear, which makes DUI convicts reform. The probationary pressure and external encouragement shorten the period of change.
Find a Riverview Farms DUI Attorney Near Me
All through this article, you have read about the complications resulting from a DUI crime. Without a good defense lawyer that is knowledgeable in California DUI laws, the arrest marks the beginning of all your troubles as a driver. Engaging the San Diego DUI Attorney in the early stages of your DUI case is your winning strategy. Dial 619-535-7150 today to speak to our experienced Riverview Farms lawyer should you get a pending DUI case.