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.
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 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.
A first DUI sentence can include jail time, but usually it can be avoided. Technically, the DUI sentence can include zero to 6 months of jail, but realistically actual custody is rare with a first offense. There are alternatives to custody often used in a first DUI sentence like public work (Cal Trans trash pick up) in lieu of custody or possibly volunteer work if you are elderly or have a medical condition that would prohibit public work. Sometimes cases can be resolved with probation just fines and a DUI program, no work or jail. There are many factors to be considered and utuilized to try to avoid public work as well as custody and get lesser charges or penalties.
A DUI refusal hurts a client's case more than it helps in most cases. When an individual is stopped or contacted and there is a reasonable suspicion that they are driving under the influence, they will be asked to take a blood or breath test for alcohol or drugs. Refusal to take the official test can result in loss of license for at least a year or more by DMV depending on whether there are priors. Even if a person refuses, the officers can get a telephonic warrant to draw blood against the defendants will, and there are times when a warrant may not even be necessary. Then you end up with a blood result in addition to all the negatives of a DUI refusal by DMV and the Court.
A DUI with injury is very serious. It is a felony which carries the potential of a state prison sentence depending on the facts of the case. It can be a "strike" under the California 3 strikes law if there is great bodily injury. Great bodily injury can make it a strike, add 3 years in state prison and result in a defendant serving 85% of the sentence. If there is a death of another person as a result of the accident, then the case can be charged as a manslaugther or 2nd degree murder charge.
There are two possible license suspensions with a DUI arrest. One is upon conviction and one is a DMV suspension triggered by being .08 blood alcohol level (BA) or more at the time of driving. This DMV DUI license suspension can be delayed or in some cases avoided if a DMV hearing is set. These suspensions can start 30 days after a DUI arrest if you were a .08 blood alcohol (BA) level or more, 21 or more years old with a valid license at the time of the stop and you failed to set up a DMV hearing. The officer should have given you a pink sheet suspension notice/temporary license. It will also start 30 days later if you are under 21 years old, or on probation for DUI, or you refused the blood test and failed to set up a DMV hearing, then there is a one year suspension. Additionally, even if your license was not taken from you or you were not given a suspension notice and temporary license, a conviction for DUI also will trigger a seperate suspension. These suspensions can be converted in most cases to a restricted license for work, programs etc. after 30 days of suspension.
All Holidays have incresed DUI enforcement, especially the Christmas through New Years time period. Traditionally this period of time is filled with holiday parites, evenrts and gatherings where alcohol is a main componnent. Bars and restaurants are more crowded and frequented and there are more impaired drivers on the road than any other time. Law enforcement is always on high alert during these holidays with extra patrols, checkpoints, and more officers on duty than any other time.
You can be arrested for DUI even after you are parked and out of the car. It still has to be proven that you drove, however, that can be done in several ways. The officers could have seen you drive, there may be a citizen call identifying the car and/or driver, there may be circumstantial evidence that you drove. The other way to prove driving is by you admitting driving or anyone with you saying you drove. Additionally it has to be shown that you did not drink after driving so that any blood alcohol level can be extrapolated back to time of driving.
There is a DUI license suspension action in addition to any suspension resulting from a conviction if there is alcohol involved in most cases if you are .08 Blood Alcohol level or greater or .01 or greater if under 21 or on DUI probation. If you are arrested for DUI and there was no alcohol in your system only drugs and there was no refusal to take the test, then you are facing only the possible suspension if there is a conviction for DUI. Most cases involve alcohol and there is a separate suspension notice and 30 day temporary pink slip given to you at the time of arrest when your California license is taken away by the officer, or you are served this pink sheet notice and you have an out of state license.