Under California law, law enforcement officers may administer a variety of tests to anyone they have lawfully arrested if they have probable cause to believe that the individual has been driving under the influence. These tests may include field sobriety tests, breathalyzer testing, blood testing, or urine testing. Field sobriety tests may be refused, but breathalyzer or chemical testing may NOT be legally refused. An officer may also ask individuals to take a preliminary breathalyzer test without being accompanied by an arrest or probable cause, but the test may be refused in this case. Blood and urine tests may be done in lieu of or in addition to a breathalyzer test. Any of these forms of testing or a combination of them may be used in a charge for driving under the influence (DUI). Drivers under the age of 21 charged with DUI automatically face more severe charges even for first time offenders.
CHARGED WITH A DUI WHILE UNDER 21?
If testing indicates a blood alcohol content above the legal limit (.08% or higher for regular vehicles, .04% or higher for commercial vehicles, .01% or higher for drivers under 21), the driver will likely be charged with DUI. If found guilty, the punishment depends on both the age of the driver and the severity of the DUI charge.
Drivers 21 years or older charged with misdemeanor DUI face a four month suspension of their license for a first offense. Subsequent offenses in the following ten years result in a one year suspension. For drivers under 21, the suspension is always for one year, even for repeat offenses. Drivers who are arrested and refuse to submit to testing face a minimum one year suspension.
DEMAND AN ATTORNEY EXPERIENCED IN DUI LAW AND TESTING TECHNOLOGY
Regardless of the nature of your DUI charge, the attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter believe that everyone deserves a fair trial. Field sobriety tests are known to be inaccurate, and breathalyzer testing devices are notoriously unreliable as they frequently mistake other chemicals for alcohol. It may be advisable to demand a blood or urine test in addition to a breathalyzer even if the police do not require them. Don’t hesitate and lose your license. Not being able to freely drive can severely impact your ability to perform daily activities or even get to work. If you have incriminating BAC test results and are in danger of having your driver’s license suspended or revoked, contact Okabe & Haushalter for a free consultation today. We always fight for the best possible outcome for our clients.