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IS THE ROADSIDE PORTABLE BREATH TEST MANDATORY?
December 10, 2014

Many people are under the mistaken belief that the roadside breath test is 100% optional.  I should state that it is 100% optional for some people.  For others, however, it is mandatory and failure to provide a sample is deemed a chemical test refusal.  For purposed of brevity, I will divide this discussion into two types of roadside breath tests – the preliminary alcohol screening test (“PAS”) and the evidential breath test. The PAS test is primarily used as an investigative tool in order determine whether there is probable cause to arrest an individual for driving under the influence.  The… Read More

HOW DOES THE DMV DEFINE A REFUSAL?
November 24, 2014

The California Vehicle provides the following rule for a violation of the Implied Consent Law. VC section 13353.(a) If a person refuses the officer’s request to submit to, or fails to complete, a chemical test or tests pursuant to Section 23612, upon receipt of the officer’s sworn statement that the officer had reasonable cause to believe the person had been driving a motor vehicle in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153, and that the person had refused to submit to, or did not complete, the test or tests after being requested by the officer[.] The above language was taken… Read More

WHEN IS A DUI REFUSAL REALLY A DUI REFUSAL?
November 15, 2014

Generally, the state of California states that a person arrested for DUI will suffer severe license consequences when the DMV can show that a peace officer had reason to believe that the arrestee was driving under the influence or in excess of the legal limit, whether the officer arrested the arrestee, whether the officer requested the person to submit to a chemical test, and whether the arrestee (if capable of refusing) refused the chemical test after being told that he/she would suffer a license suspension for failing to complete or refusing a chemical test. As you read above, the officer… Read More

HOW A BRAIN PROBLEM CAN BECOME A DRIVING PROBLEM
October 27, 2014

Before I provide the discussion for today’s blog entry I first need to provide a backdrop.  To set the scene, there has been a solo vehicle car accident in Studio City, California.  The police arrive on the scene and observe the driver unconscious behind the wheel.  The officer calls an ambulance to the scene and follows the ambulance to the hospital.  The driver regains consciousness and begins answering questions posed by the officer.  The officer’s questions focused on the driver’s health and whether the driver consumed any intoxicating substances.  The answers to these questions, however, can have a variety of… Read More

THERE’S A RADAR GUN TO CATCH PEOPLE FOR TEXTING AND DRIVING…WHO KNEW???
October 16, 2014

According to top researchers, distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents.  Private industry is addressing this issue by creating a tool to detect individuals who text while driving.  Specifically, they have created a texting detector gun that will detect the small electrical pulses sent from handheld devices when it is used to text. So what does this have to do with DUI? I’m sure this is the exact question that you’re asking yourself.  The answer is it has a lot of DUI implications.  Remember, a police officer needs a legal basis to initially pull over a person for… Read More

FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS FALSEHOODS AND OTHER TIPS
October 2, 2014

As an attorney who for years has primarily focused on DUI defense, I cannot tell you how many times a client has told me “I passed all of my field sobriety tests but the officer still arrested me.”  The interesting thing, which is extremely difficult to appreciate for someone who lacks experience in DUIs is that you truly cannot really pass or fail field sobriety tests (FSTs).  The basic assumption is that the FST is administered correctly by the officer.  This of course is understandable because you would think that a police officer knows how to competently do his/her job. … Read More

LABOR DAY DUI ENFORCEMENT
September 28, 2014

Labor Day is the only holiday dedicated to the American worker. It was created during the 1800’s as a way to show appreciation to these workers. Unfortunately law enforcement agencies have turned this holiday into one of the most aggressive days for DUI enforcement. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has awarded grants to various law enforcement agencies throughout California for DUI enforcement. Below are examples of DUI crackdowns coming this Labor Day weekend. Ventura County:  Avoid the 14 DUI Taskforce will focus on check points, saturation patrols, DUI warrant and probation sweep, and a DUI court probation sting… Read More

CAN A PERSON GET A DUI WHILE RIDING IN A SELF DRIVING VEHICLE?
September 18, 2014

At first glance, the subject of self-driving cars appear to be a topic that is so far ahead of our time and that it should be ignored until it becomes an issue. However, presently in the city of San Francisco a major tech company is working on a so called “driverless project”.  The demo vehicle is said to have no steering, no brake pedal, and a stop button. This driverless project has the goal of placing self-driving cars on the market by the year 2020.  Presently, such self-driving vehicles are being tested on the roads of San Francisco.  So, as… Read More

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON DRIVING PATTERNS THAT RESULT IN A DUI ARREST?
September 11, 2014

Many people who are arrested for a DUI in California are surprised to find out that their DUI arrest occurred as a result of being pulled over for an innocuous vehicle code violation.  Once pulled over for a low level vehicle code violation, the detention quickly changes from a ticket to a full blown DUI investigation, irrespective of whether the person has consumed an intoxicating substance.  This especially occurs during the hours of midnight and 3 a.m., as it has been determined that that is the time with the highest amount of impaired drivers on the road.  (Not so coincidentally,… Read More

Heidi & Frank 2014 Labor Day Holiday Interview
September 4, 2014