DUI Frequently Asked Questions
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Remember, the best way to avoid a DUI or drunk driving conviction is to not drink and drive. Purchasing a portable breath test machine can also be of benefit. Unfortunately, the way our laws are going even if you've had a small amount of alcohol and you are not impaired, as long as you smell like alcohol your chances of being arrested are very high. However, being arrested for DUI / DWI does not automatically result in a conviction or loss of your driver's license in California.
The following tips are designed to help you minimize your risk of being convicted of DUI / DWI, drunk driving or driving under the influence in California, including Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Ventura area, by DUI defense lawyer, Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney Myles L. Berman.
- When questioned for DUI or drunk driving
- If you are older than 21
- Field Sobriety Tests
- When given a choice of blood or breath test
- If no breath test is available
- Contact a friend
- Be polite to officers
- When the police videotape your DUI arrest
- Make a list of details about your DUI arrest
- Retain an experienced DUI attorney
- After drinking, wait before driving
- Hire a DUI lawyer to contact the DMV
- Avoid drinking and taking prescription medication
- Headlights and DUI
- Check the DUI / Drunk Driving defense attorney's trial experience
- Maintain your vehicle to avoid DUI stops
- Avoid a DUI arrest for sleeping in your car
- Don't use mouthwash to avoid a DUI
When questioned for DUI or drunk driving
When questioned for DUI or drunk driving before arrest, you are not in custody for purposes of Miranda warnings. If you politely refuse to answer any of the cop's questions concerning the DUI / DWI investigation, either before or after arrest, then there won't be any statements that can be used against you in court.
If you are older than 21
If you are older than 21, refuse to take a pre-arrest preliminary alcohol screening test. This on scene breath test is completely voluntary and you have the absolute right to refuse this type of breath test.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field Sobriety Tests are completely voluntary. If you perform them, you may be arrested anyway. It may be better not to give the cop evidence that will be used against you in court. You can politely refuse to do the field sobriety exercises.
When given a choice of blood or breath test
When given a choice of a blood or breath test after arrest, choose the breath test if at all possible. It is more unreliable than blood.
If no breath test is available
If no breath test is available, choose a blood test. While you can refuse a chemical test, the DMV penalties are greater for refusing.
Contact a friend
Contact a friend or relative from jail as soon as possible so the person can hear you speak and note your state of sobriety.
Be polite to officers
Always be polite and respectful to the police officers. How you are perceived by a jury is extremely critical.
When the police videotape your DUI arrest
Some jurisdictions videotape the arrest, breath testing and/or booking process. Always be on your best behavior.
Make a list of details about your DUI arrest
Make a detailed list of all the events before being stopped up to and including being released from custody.
Retain an experienced DUI attorney
Retain an experienced DUI / DWI drunk driving defense attorney to represent you. Only an experienced DUI defense attorney is able to spot your favorable issues and present them to a prosecutor, judge or jury.
After drinking, wait before driving
One can of 12 ounce beer, one 4 ounce glass of wine and one shot of 80 proof hard liquor equals approximately a .02 for the average male/female. It takes approximately one hour for each drink to be eliminated from the average male/female. Wait as long a possible after drinking before driving to give the alcohol enough time to be eliminated from the blood stream.
Hire a DUI Lawyer to contact the DMV
After a DUI / Drunk Driving arrest, the DMV must be contacted within 10 days to stop the suspension from going into effect and to request a hearing. It is imperative that once arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving, an experienced DUI lawyer is hired immediately to contact the DMV to protect the driver's license.
Avoid drinking and taking prescription medication
If you are taking lawfully prescribed drugs, absolutely have no alcohol before driving. Even if you are well under a .08, the combination of lawfully prescribed drugs and low amounts of alcohol can lead to a DUI / Drunk Driving prosecution.
Headlights and DUI
When picking up your car from valet parking, always double check that your headlights are on. The police looking to make DUI / Drunk Driving arrests often times are watching for cars leaving establishments without headlights on knowing that valet parkers manually turn them off.
Check the DUI / Drunk Driving defense attorney's trial experience
When retaining a DUI / Drunk Driving defense attorney or law firm, make sure the attorney and/or law firm concentrates in DUI / Drunk Driving defense that includes successful results AFTER jury trials. Firms who do not go to jury trial in DUI / Drunk Driving cases generally are not familiar with all the dynamics of defending DUI / Drunk Driving cases.
Maintain your vehicle to avoid DUI stops
Always make sure your auto is properly maintained, licensed and registered. Police often use burned out head lights, tail lights, unlicensed autos and/or expired registrations as reasons to stop drivers to investigate for DUI / Drunk Driving. This is especially so during night time when police are on extra alert to make arrests for DUI / Drunk Driving.
Avoid a DUI arrest for sleeping in your car
Many people are arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving while they are parked legally and asleep in the car. If you need to sleep in your car, make sure you are legally parked, the engine is off, the parking brake is activated, the keys are in the glove box, and you are not in the driver's seat. Avoiding injury to yourself and others as well as a DUI / Drunk Driving conviction is the responsible thing to do.
Don't use mouthwash to avoid a DUI
Many people think that by using mouthwash or breath freshener would somehow help avoid a DUI / Drunk Driving arrest. In fact the opposite is often the case. Most mouthwashes and breath fresheners usually contain alcohol which could increase the odor of alcohol as well as the measured amount of alcohol on a breath test machine. Avoiding using mouthwash or breath fresheners before a DUI / Drunk Driving investigation is the prudent thing to do.
Contact a Los Angeles, Orange County, and Ventura DUI Defense Attorney
The above tips, while not exhaustive, can help drivers avoid being pulled over for or convicted of DUI. Drivers in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, and the rest of Southern California can count on Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney Myles L. Berman for experienced, aggressive legal representation. Contact our offices today.