Field sobriety tests are conducted under difficult and nerve racking conditions right after you have been pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. The driver is asked to submit to physically demanding tests, including:
You cannot be required or forced by authorities to take field sobriety tests. The officer often uses these tests in an effort to gather damaging evidence against you. DUI defense attorneys vehemently advise against taking roadside sobriety tests.
What Happens if You Refuse to Take a Blood, Breath or Urine Test:
It is more and more common for courts to mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device in any car driven by a convicted DUI offender. The IID is wired to the vehicle’s ignition and requires the driver to breath into the mouthpiece before the car will start. The breath must be free of alcohol or the car won’t start. In addition, the driver must provide breath samples periodically during periods of driving. The IID must be calibrated at regular intervals to ensure proper functioning.
In most states there are two distinct proceedings that result from a DUI arrest. One hearing will be the actual court proceeding. The other hearing is an administrative license suspension hearing, usually held at the department of motor vehicles. The issues that are heard at the administrative hearing may include:
The DUI Court Case:
The arraignment is the official court hearing where the defendant is formally charged with DUI. The defendant will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. This is an extremely important hearing because the defendant’s DUI attorney will have the opportunity to address specific issues related to the case. Your attorney:
If a plea is entered and agreed upon by the prosecutor, the defendant will be responsible for adhering to the stipulations, such as the payment of fines, attendance at alcohol classes and community service. If a plea is not reached and you choose to take the case to trial, your lawyer will proceed with selecting a jury. Appropriate witnesses and parties will be called to the stand to testify. Prosecution and defense attorneys will examine the witnesses, including the arresting officer. Ultimately the case will go to the jury and their verdict will be announced. If the defendant is not guilty, the case will be dismissed. If the defendant is guilty the judge will impose a sentence and any relevant sanctions such as community service.
“DUI” refers to a driver whose ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired due to the presence of alcohol and/or drugs in the driver’s system. Each state uses its own wording to describe drunk driving, including:
What is Drunk Driving?A driver will actually be charged with two offenses in a drunk driving case:
You Can be Charged With DUI Even if You are not Driving the Car:
An offender can be charged with DUI in a wide range of circumstances – even when not driving the vehicle.
DUI laws are strictly enforced in all states. One reason for the increased enforcement is due to lobbying efforts of organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, or MADD. DUI checkpoints help to spot impaired drivers. However, it is essential to remember that every driver has constitutionally protected rights to due process and these rights need to be protected – every driver is innocent until and unless proven guilty.
In many jurisdictions, individuals under the age of 21 are subject to zero tolerance laws. For example, in California, harsh penalties apply:
There are no Frequently Asked Questions available.
A: In California it would be the fourth DUI within 10 years.
A: Generally speaking if you are lawfully arrested while driving a car, the passenger compartment of the car may be searched incident to that arrest [so long as the car is still within your lunging distance at time of arrest], and any portion of the car may be searched for which the officer has ...
A: Mr. Kennedy is correct, this analysis is very fact specific. The answer used to be generally yes, but a recent US Supreme Court case restricted this type of search in many cases. If you were arrested for something the police found in such a search, you should consult a criminal attorney.
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