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  • Former Deputy San Diego City Attorney
  • Former USMC Captain
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Attorneys William R. Christoph & Nicholas W. Christoph

Are DUI Breath Tests Legal without a Warrant in Vista?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2016

DUI breath tests are legal without a warrant in Vista and throught the United States.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a breath test is minimally intrusive and needed in DUI cases, therefore it is not an illegal search and seizure. However, blood tests are much more intrusive and require a warrant if a person refuses to take a blood test.  If there are exigent circumstances a warrant may not be required.  That depends on the individual case, like if there is difficulty in getting a warrant in a timely manner because of other circumstances like medical treatment, combative defendant or some other basis.  

A satisfactory justification why the more intrusive blood test is required and an exigent circumstance as to why a warrant would not be appropriate is required if there is no warrant.   Breath tests do not test drug levels, so in Drug DUIs, whether illegal drugs or prescription medications, a blood test is necessary to identify the drug and levels in the blood.  If a person refuses, an officer can get a telephonic warrant fairly quickly because a “duty Judge” is always available for things like that, even after hours.  Blood tests ususally are administered at the jail or a phlebotimist is sent to a hospital, if required, to get a blood sample. This usually takes an hpour or more after an arrest  to get a blood test, so levels of alcohol and drugs may be lower depending on time of drinking or drug use.

If you are arrested for a DUI, contacting a DUI Defense Attorney, is important for so you understand how the Court and DMV proceedings work, set a DMV hearing to try and avoid a suspension, get your information while it is fresh in your mind and give you a realistic appraisal of what may happen and what the attorney can do.  Call Attorneys Nicholas or William Christoph at Christoph Law Offices at 760-670-3885 for a free consultation and evaluation.  Located across from Vista Courts for over 34 years, we proovide the highest level of DUI and Criminal Defense representation to help you achieve the best resolution of your case.



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I highly recommend Christoph Law Offices to everyone. Nick is a true professional who will go above and beyond for his clients. Thank you!
– Mahir B.


Amazing attorneys! Bill Christoph was very helpful during my case. He was always quick to get back to me about my questions.
– Collin W.


Great experience overall having William Christoph as my attorney. He understands his client, very insightful and is an expert in his field.
– Soheila N.

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