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Encino DUI/DWI Law Blog

What is California’s implied consent law?

While most drivers in California have heard of the implied consent law, many do not fully understand how the law can affect them and what their options are under the law. Since motorists do not have the right to consult with an attorney immediately upon being stopped by authorities, it can result in motorists who are suspected of driving drunk not knowing their rights.

Drivers consent to submit to alcohol content testing in the event they are arrested on alcohol-related charges when they obtain their state driver’s licenses. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, people who drive in the state are deemed to have consented to submitting to either a breath test or a blood test in order to obtain their blood alcohol content level under California Vehicle Code section 23612. This can only be done if there is probable cause for their arrest on charges relating to driving under the influence, under age DUI or DUI causing injury.

How do you get your license back after a California DUI arrest?

At Mark Daniel Melnick, Attorney at Law, we often encounter people who have had their driver’s license suspended after being charged with driving drunk. As we have discussed in a previous post, all drivers who are charged with driving under the influence in the state of California are automatically subject to a driver’s license suspension under the state’s Admin Per Se law. This week we will discuss how you can get your driving privileges restored after a DUI license suspension.

The first opportunity to have your license reinstated after being charged with a DUI is through a hearing with California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. These types of hearings must be scheduled within 10 days of your arrest and allow you to present your case for having the APS license suspension overturned. A DMV hearing officer will hear evidence and make a decision based on a number of factors, including whether your blood alcohol content level was 0.08 percent or higher and whether your stop and arrest was lawful. If the hearing officer finds there were not grounds for the suspension, or some other cause to overturn it, then your driver’s license may be reissued or returned to you.

Public figures can face DWI charges too

Ordinary people can and do get arrested for drunk driving all the time in California, and it’s well-known that celebrities are also frequently charged for the same. It may not make sensationalist headlines quite as much as an actor or singer when a political figure is arrested for drunk driving, but that does not mean it doesn’t happen. Just like anyone else, public figures can make mistakes, and they also face penalties and consequences for drinking and driving.

California Senator Ben Hueso faces DWI charges after being arrested last month for driving the wrong way down a one-way street in Sacramento. According to authorities, Mr. Hueso was arrested after tests determined he was driving intoxicated. His charges include a misdemeanor charge of driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more.

How accurately do breath tests determine blood alcohol content?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2011 alone, the most recent year for which statistics were reported, there were more than 1.2 million people arrested on charges of DUI for alcohol or drugs. It is likely that methods, including the administration of breath tests, were used in many of these cases in order to determine a driver’s blood-alcohol content level and whether or not they should be arrested. Due to inaccuracies in the results from these types of tests, however, innocent motorists may find themselves under arrest for DUI.

Breath tests are performed using a machine that tests for the presence of alcohol in a person’s breath. In order to determine the blood alcohol content, which is what is actually used to indicate whether or not a person is intoxicated, the breath alcohol content is converted to blood alcohol content using a standardized formula. 

NBA's PJ Tucker reaches plea deal for super extreme DUI arrest

There are numerous people arrested each year in California, and all across America, on suspicion of driving under the influence. The possible penalties for a conviction on drunk driving charges can have a range of penalties, which vary by state. In the state of California, the potential consequences for convicted drunk drivers can include fines, driver’s license suspensions, jail time, DUI school, community service and installation of an ignition interlock device into their vehicle.

According to reports, NBA player, PJ Tucker, reached a plea deal recently in the case of his May 2014 DUI arrest. It was reported that the Phoenix Suns star will serve a two-day jail sentence in Montebello City Jail in California, rather than in Maricopa County’s famed Tent City. Tucker will be on house arrest for 11 days following his release from the jail. It is unknown to the public at this time whether his sentence also includes fines or a license suspension.

California DUI penalties: Driver's license suspension

A number of motorists are arrested every day throughout California, and all of the U.S., on suspicion of drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were an estimated 1.4 million arrests made for driving under the influence in 2010 alone, the most recent year for which statistics were available. Once arrested, drivers, who are found to have a blood alcohol content in excess of the legal limit, may be charged, and subsequently convicted of these offenses. For some motorists, these arrests mean a lengthy driver’s license suspension, which can affect their personal and professional lives.

The state of California has established an administrative program to suspend the driver’s licenses of people who have been pulled over on suspicion of DUI. This program is known as the Admin Per Se program. Under the program, the California Department of Motor Vehicles immediately suspends the licenses of drivers, age 21 and older, who have been arrested for DUI and meets any of the following conditions:

Mom faces enhanced DUI charge for arrest with child in San Rafael

Most readers in Los Angeles County, and elsewhere, are aware of the prospective criminal charges that may come if a motorist is suspected of drunk driving. Many people may not know, however, how the severity of these charges, and their potential consequences, may be increased should a driver, who is accused of driving drunk, be pulled over with a child in the vehicle.

One mother could reportedly be facing a litany of charges after she was pulled over with her 6-year-old daughter in the car in San Rafael recently. According to reports, she was arrested on a range of charges, including DUI with enhancements for having a blood alcohol content in excess of 0.15 percent and for having a passenger under the age of 14. She was also booked for suspicion of child endangerment, a felony charge. Any consequences that the woman could face if convicted were not reported.

Man suspected of DUI in fatal Sunnyvale crash, arrested

In California, and elsewhere, drunk driving is among the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. As a result of an increased desire to reduce these numbers, drivers can face additional and upgraded charges when, following an accident, they are accused of drunk driving. This can lead to more serious potential consequences, including a longer prison or jail sentence, increased fines and driver’s license suspensions.

A 34-year-old man was arrested in Sunnyvale recently after being involved in a fatal car accident. He is reportedly accused of having caused the wreck, for which, according to California Highway Patrol, speed and alcohol played a part in causing. Law enforcement officers arrested the man on suspicion of drunk driving. He could face a felony DUI charge, in addition to one for vehicular manslaughter. News sources did not indicate, however, when formal charges might be filed.

State appeals court upholds conviction for breath test refusal

Due to implied consent laws, like the one that exists in the state of California, drivers in some cases may face more serious consequences for refusing to take a blood-alcohol content test than they would if they were convicted of driving drunk. Under these types of laws, there is generally an automatic, or implied, consent that drivers must take a breath test when they are asked by law enforcement who suspect them of being under the influence of alcohol, as well as to submit to a blood or urine test if an officer has enough probable cause to lawfully arrest them for driving drunk.

A woman who was reportedly stopped by law enforcement in New Jersey in 2012 and asked to perform a breath test was convicted not for driving under the influence, but was instead found guilty of refusing a Breathalyzer. She appealed her conviction, but it was reported recently that a state appellate court ruled to uphold the conviction. The woman claimed that she had not refused to take the test, she had just not specifically said yes. The court found that her responses and questioning of officers, while not a refusal per se, was still not the clear yes response sought by officers and required by law.

Deputy mayor sought to suppress test results in DWI case

Law enforcement officers in California, and elsewhere, often use blood alcohol tests, including blood, breath and urine tests to determine a motorist’s BAC level. While there can be repercussions for a breath or blood test refusal, there are also strict regulations governing when, how and under what circumstances these tests can be administered. In cases when authorities fail to follow the appropriate steps, the results of any tests that were performed may be inadmissible.

According to reports, the deputy mayor of one city in New York sought to have the sobriety test results from his recent DWI arrest kept out of his trial. It was not reported on what grounds the man’s attorney requested the suppression. The request also reportedly sought to prevent statements the man made during his arrest from being heard in the case. Authorities allege the deputy mayor admitted to drinking three glasses of wine prior to being stopped and that he failed multiple portions of a field sobriety test. Furthermore, a breath test purportedly showed the man to have a 0.13 BAC level.

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