DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
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It may surprise you to know that it is not illegal to drink and drive. It is illegal only to drive under the influence (impaired), or to drive with .08% or greater blood alcohol content (.08% BAC).
California Lawyer Robert J. Hale is an Experienced DUI Attorney
And a Certified Specialistin Criminal Law
You likely have many defenses of which you are unaware. DUI defense is a specialized area of law because of the scientific principles affecting blood testing and accuracy of breath machines, as well as accuracy of an officer’s interpretation of Field Sobriety Tests and other physical and mental factors indicating “impairment.”
Robert J. Hale is an experienced DUI/Drunk Driving Lawyer and a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law who knows the system and can help you obtain the best results possible or defend you in trial.
DUI/Drunk Driving Has Serious Consequences
Also known as Drunk Driving and DWI,* Driving Under the Influence /DUI is a common but serious offense with increasingly severe consequences.
Under the California Vehicle Code a person is “under the influence” or impaired if they are unable to operate a motor vehicle with the caution of an ordinary sober person due to the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs. [VC 23152 (A)]. California law also prohibits driving a motor vehicle with .08% or greater blood alcohol content, regardless of one’s ability to drive. [VC 23152 (B)]. Both are referred to as “DUI” convictions. Poor driving, physical symptoms, and performance on Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) are used to determine whether a person was “impaired” and under the influence. A breath or blood test is used to show .08% or greater blood alcohol content.
A person can be convicted of either or both DUI and Driving with .08% BAC, but can only be punished for one offense. California law imposes strict punishment for DUI convictions, including stiff fines, jail time, and suspension of your driving privilege, as well as probation, DUI education courses, and installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Refusal to take a breath or blood test may result in suspension of your driver’s license for one year for a first offense.
Consequences become increasingly severe for each subsequent offense. A fourth offense for DUI, or DUI with Injury may be filed as a felony with state prison. As of 2005, Los Angeles County Plea Forms include an advisement that driving under the influence is “extremely dangerous to human life,” and even a first-offender subsequently arrested where someone is killed as a result of driving under the influence “can be charged with murder.”
Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Fights Field Sobriety Tests
And Blood-Alcohol Testing
Police sloppiness in giving and interpreting field sobriety tests (FST’s) may raise a doubt as to impairment. Likewise, although breath, blood, and urine testing are scientifically based, they are all prone to human error and require strict procedures to be followed. Police and technicians routinely fail to follow the required procedures, making test results unreliable.
Imprecision of the breath-testing machine itself may raise a doubt. Breath machines do not test specifically for ethyl alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, but rather test for a “family” of alcohol, of which ethyl alcohol is only one type. As a result, breath machines may erroneously indicate as alcohol many common chemical compounds absorbed into our system from our every-day environment.
Radio frequency interference can also result in inaccurate readings. Or the alcohol may have come from a source other than deep lung air. Acid Reflux Disorder (heartburn) allows gasses carrying stomach acids and alcohol back into the esophagus and the mouth by way of a burp, which may then be blown into the breath machine and falsely registered as breath-alcohol. Another common source of false breath-alcohol readings is food particles trapped in dental work or spaces between the teeth.
These and other defects allow an aggressive defense for even the most seemingly slam-dunk DUI case. With such serious consequences riding on the outcome, do not assume that you are guilty of DUI without having a competent DUI Attorney evaluate the particular facts of your case.
Avoid Serious Drunk Driving Consequences
Robert Hale is an experienced DUI attorney who can evaluate your case in depth and advise you in getting the best possible results. He will also explore alternatives to county jail, such as:
Protect Your License at DMV Suspension Hearings
Aside from criminal court proceedings, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may suspend or revoke your driving privilege for driving under the influence of alcohol. In Los Angeles and all over the state of California a person’s livelihood often depends on the ability to drive a car to and from work. Some jobs require driving as a condition of employment. Loss of the privilege to drive is a serious matter that can put your job at risk and endanger your ability to care for yourself and your family.
You Only Have 10 Days to Request a DMV Hearing!
A person arrested for driving with .08% blood alcohol must be advised at the time of arrest that he or she has 10 days to request a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, or the DMV will automatically suspend their privilege to drive in California. Your license may also be facing suspension for excessive traffic tickets or “negligent operator.” Don’t throw away your right to a DMV hearing! The Law Offices of Robert J. Hale can notify the Department of Motor Vehicles for you and represent you at the suspension hearing. Robert Hale can evaluate your case, preserve your right to a DMV hearing, and work to protect your driving privilege.
Call the Law Offices of Robert J. Hale for a Free Consultation!
If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, you need the help of an experienced DUI attorney. Robert J. Hale is a skilled DUI Lawyer and a California Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law. He can expertly evaluate your case and defend you in court against criminal charges and help to protect your driving privilege with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The Law Offices of Robert J. Hale
As a Criminal Law Specialist and DUI Lawyer, Robert J. Hale has the experience that counts—in court!
* The term "drunk driving" is a misnomer, as a person does not have to be what is commonly thought of as "drunk" to be DUI—only "impaired." DWI, Driving While Intoxicated, is the standard in some states other than California.