Wednesday, May 7, 2008

California DUI - Q. and A. / Drunk Driving FAQ

May 7, 2008

California DUI - Q. and A. / Drunk Driving FAQ

If arrested for a California DUI, do I have to take a California DUI blood or breath test if asked to do so by the California DUI police?

You may refuse to take a California DUI chemical test (blood or breath), but almost every state has a so-called "implied consent" law, and, under California DUI law, a refusal can result in suspension of your driver's license for 12 to 24 months. (This is true even if you're eventually found not guilty of the current California DUI - drunk driving charge.) Plus they can do a forced blood draw in a California DUI case. So you are fighting the refusal + blood test results + other California DUI evidence.

Further, if your California DUI - drunk driving case goes to trial, the California DUI attorney prosecutor can tell the jury that you wouldn't take the California DUI test, which may lead the jury members to conclude that you refused because you were, in fact, drunk or stoned.

If I'm stopped for California DUI - driving under the influence, do I have the right to talk to an attorney before I decide which California DUI chemical test to take?

The answer depends on where you live. In California, for example, you don't have the right to speak with a California DUI attorney first. But some states, including Arizona, allow you to talk to your lawyer before you take a chemical test.

If I'm stopped for California DUI - driving under the influence, can a California DUI police officer ask me questions without reading me my rights?

Sometimes. The answer depends on whether or not you are in police custody -- that is, whether you are subject to the restraints common to a formal arrest. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the police do not have to provide Miranda warnings during roadside questioning of a motorist detained pursuant to a traffic stop. Thus, roadside questioning about your drinking, drug-taking, or performance on field sobriety tests does not constitute "custodial interrogation." However, once you are arrested -- or restrained by the police in a manner consistent with arrest -- you must be read your Miranda rights. Failure to do so may lead to suppression of those statements in California DUI court.

I've been charged with California DUI - drunk driving. Should I get a California DUI defense lawyer?

Defending against a charge of California DUI - drunk driving is a very difficult and challenging business. California DUI attorneys need to understand scientific and medical concepts, and must be able to question tough witnesses, including scientists and police officers. If you want to fight your California DUI - drunk driving charge, you're well advised to hire a California DUI - attorney who specializes in California DUI cases.

I was pulled over at a California DUI roadblock and asked to wait and answer a California DUI police officer's questions. Is this legal?

Yes, as long as the California DUI police meet the Ingersoll requirements including having to use a neutral policy when stopping cars (such as stopping all cars or stopping every third car) and they minimize any inconvenience to you and the other drivers, etc. The California DUI police can't single out your car at a California DUI roadblock unless they have good reason to believe that you've broken the law.



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