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DUI Archives

DUI Arrests seem to Increase Super Bowl Weekend

DUI arrests seem to increase on Super Bowl weekend, so beware.  Uber, Lyft, Taxi or have a designated driver for the festivities to avoid a DUI that could result in your arrest or an accident that could change your life and the lives of others.  Having done DUI and Criminal Defense for years, Super Bowl Weekend always seems to result in an increase in arrests for DUI.

What Are the DUI Tests and is a Warrant Required in Oceanside?

Field Sobriety Tests: No Warrant

Police officers test for impairment in driving under the influence cases with a number of different tests. These include physical field sobriety tests - testing for horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk a straight line, heel to toe, stand on one leg, touch your nose, finger count, counting backwards, alphabet, 30-second time estimate, and hand pat. Field sobriety tests often involve several of these observational tests. The "suspect" is judged on appearance, following instructions and test performance.

How do you read the DUI Breath Test Strip?

You read the DUI breath test strip from the top down.  That strip along with the precautionary checklist are important to understand the breath test result and whether the machine was working properly.  The DUI breath test strip is not generated from the portable field PAS breath test, but comes from the official testing equipment at the jail, police department, or can be in the field with a DUI Checkpoint.

Are DUI Breath Tests Legal without a Warrant in Vista?

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.  

DUI contacts and arrests are from multiple sources

DUI contacts and arrests come from multiple sources.  The most common reason for the initial contact is the traffic or equipment violations, but there are several other reasons also like accidents, citiizen calls, checkpoints and stops made while investigating other crimes.

Plea Bargaining in DUI Cases in Vista Courts

Plea bargaining in DUI cases in Vista Courts involves discussions with the District Attorney and can also include the Judge.  This is a process where the Defense Attorney negotiates the clients case in order to resolve it in the best possible way based on the evidence and other factors.  Settling a case avoids the risk and expense of a trial where the client could suffer a possible more serious conviction or greater penalties if convicted.  If the Defendant is not getting a sufficient benefit from the settlement and  has a good defense, then the case may proceed to a Jury trial where the risks vary with the facts of the case and the Defendants background or record.

What is a DUI Pretrial or Settlement Hearing?

A DUI Pretrial or DUI Settlement hearing can also be called a Readiness and is after the first appearance or arraignmment.  The purpose of this appearance is for the defense attorney to sit down with the prosecutor and discuss the case and possible settlement.  It is where the plea bargaining occurrs. The facts of a Driving Under the Influence case are very important in negotiating any resolution, but there are other factors considered and include the possible defenses, defendants background and impact the conviction as well as other mitigating factors.
 
The DUI case factors include the dangerousness of the driving, prior record, attitude with the officer, field sobriety test and one of the most important factors is the breath test and/or blood alcohol or drug level.  There are other considerations which which are very important like possible defenses, witness issues, technical problems with testing, detention issues, mitigating factors as well as individual backgrounds and conviction impact.  A DUI defense attorney knows what to look for and what is important in the negotiating process.  Sometimes alcohol or drug treatment, AA/NA meetings, military or combat service can also affect how a case is resolved.  
 
If there are valid defenses, DUI cases may be dismissed, if there are good defense issues then they may be used to get a lesser charge or penalty rather than litigate.  Every jurisdiction is different as are the prosecutors.  Penalties can go up based on whether there is an accident or high blood alcohol as well as other aggravating factors.  These pretrial or readiness conferences can be continued until ultimately the case is settled or goes to trial.  Most cases are settled based on these factors through negotiation and resolved without risking more serious consequences or charges. 

DUI Criminal Arraignment Proceedings in Vista

DUI criminal arraignment proceedings in Vista and throughout San Diego County, usually start with an arrest for DUI where the individual either remains in custody or bails pending arraignment.  However, sometimes there is an accident where the alleged DUI driver is injured and taken to the hospital and given a citation or later notified of the arraignment  after the blood results become available.

What is the DUI Pink Sheet Suspension Notice?

The DUI pink sheet suspension notice you get when you are arrested is also a temporary license for 30 days if your license was valid at the time of the stop.  It is extremely important that you read pink sheet.  It tells you that a suspesnion of your drivers license by DMV will take effect in 30 days from your arrest, regardless whether you have been to Court or convicted.  This suspension is in addition to any suspension arising from a conviction for DUI and the length of the suspension depends on the reason for the suspension and prior DUI history.

Maximum DUI Enforcement for the Holiday Season

Maximum DUI enforcement is in effect during the Holiday Season.  This means much greater law enforcement presence on the highways which results in increased stops and DUI arrests.  Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years holidays are the "Black" Fridays of DUI arrests.  Certainly during the 3 or 4 days over those holidays, there are more officers on the road for traffic enforcement, especially DUIs, than at any other time except maybe Super Bowl, Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day.