Driving in California is always a major crap-shoot & substantial risk New Year's Eve weekend if you plan on having an alcoholic beverage or more.
Begin by checking your travel route. You can avoid DUI checkpoints in a number of Southern California and San Diego locations if you first check this San Diego DUI Lawyer's Checkpoint Warning site.
Then find your California driver's license, automobile registration and proof of insurance. Put on the very top of your glove compartment together, or somewhere easily accessible, so the required proof items are ready to be presented to any California peace officer.
If stopped, these 3 items are all you have to give the California cop.
Most importantly, you do not have to talk to a California DUI officer. Politely avoid giving them information as you have the right to remain silent, privilege against self-incrimination and right to an attorney. (Under the Implied Consent Law, remember you only need to give a big breath test or blood test if arrested for DUI. You do not have the right to a lawyer before deciding which drunk driving test - blood or big breath - to submit to.)
If a California DUI officer pulls you over, stop immediately and safely. Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel.
If the California DUI officer asks you if you know why you are being pulled over, remember you do not have to answer. Do not make any admissions. "Officer, I completely respect what you do as your occupation. And I would love to help you do your job. However, on advice of legal counsel, I do not want to answer any of your questions." (If there was a legitimate reason to stop you, you will see it in the police report after any drunk driving arrest.)
A California DUI officer next question usually is: "Have you had anything to drink?" You are not required to answer. The California DUI cop is simply gathering evidence. Please do not give the California DUI copy anything to put in that report that she or he can use against you.
The California DUI cop most likely will order you to get out and then say something like "I'd like you to complete a series of tests for me." You have heard about these acrobatics or gymnastics called Field Sobriety Tests. Please remind the California DUI cop you do not wish to participate in any eye or field coordination tests. You are not required to comply (except you must submit to the Implied Consent big breath machine or blood test if arrested). California DUI cops are trained to write down things to try to show you are impaired. Why help them?
A California DUI will try to get you to blow into a hand-held breath test gadget. This is a small gadget held in the officer's hand, usually kept in the patrol car trunk or inside compartment. Do not take this Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test. It is not the required Implied Consent test.
Regardless, the California DUI cop will arrest you anyway, handcuff you and take you somewhere for a big breath test machine or blood test, with one exception. Many San Diego Police Department California DUI officers have a big breath test machine in their trunk - if so, you must take that Implied Consent test (but not the little, hand-held gadget).
Which DUI test? Breath tests are generally less reliable and less accurate. California DUI police must follow proper protocol including a 15 minute continuous observation before you blow to make sure you do not have a slight burp, belch or regurgitation of gas which could mix in with your deep lung air sample and contaminate your blow, creating a falsely elevated reading. Also,if you are still absorbing beer or wine, the breath test will read high. The breath test is an estimate, an indirect measurement of blood alcohol level.
If you give blood, there is more protocol including the required mixing of your blood vial after your blood is drawn. You will not get a result for at a very long time. Many San Diego California police agencies do not use a proper minimum amount of sodium fluoride in the blood vials. Your California DUI Lawyer can then show the integrity of the sample was not maintained.
Do not give both blood and breath, under any circumstances, as you do not have to.
You should received a pink DMV Order of Suspension. Your California DUI criminal defense attorney must contact DMV within 10 days of the arrest or the Department of Morons & Villains will otherwise suspend your driver's license from California or your privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state which may then reciprocate with your home state.