Legal Question in DUI Law in California

got pulled over for cutting off a big rig to exit had 2 drinks that night i passed the physical test but failed the breathalizer they did not say if i had a choice to take the test til i got to the jail then they gave me the option for a blood test i took that and im yet to get results what shud i do..?

Asked on 12/07/09, 1:28 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Joshua Hale Hale Law Group

Get an attorney immediately. My offices specializes in this and I would be happy to discuss this at your earliest convenience. DO not wait to find out what happens, be proactive, and prevent this from being a hige part of your life.

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Answered on 12/12/09, 1:26 am
Dave Jake Schwartz

There are many ways to fight a DUI, or to negotiate for a reduction of charges or a dismissal. Three major areas which defense attorneys examine before advising a client on the strengths and weaknesses of a case focus on (1) whether the police had a valid reason to pull over the driver, (2) whether the results of the breath and blood tests show the driver was below .08, and (3) whether required technical procedures were followed by the police during the encounter with the driver. In most cases, we don't know the underlying facts for these issues (the test results or the arresting officer's allegations of wrongdoing, etc) until we get your full version of the events and then see the police report at the first court appearance.

In your case, with respect to the validity of the police stop, if the cop witnessed you executing an unsafe maneuver, then the initial stop might be found to be valid, but it seems like only a matter of opinion whether "cutting off a truck" was actually a violation or simply a last minute decision expertly executed. If the cop didn't witness the alleged unsafe maneuver, then the government might have a hard time convincing a truck driver to give up a day's pay to appear in court or at the DMV to testify against you, especially if the truck driver was just passing through and lives far away.

With respect to the chemical test results, if you only had two drinks, then depending on how long it took for the officer to accomplish your blood draw, your results may very well be below .08, which could allow your lawyer to beat the DMV case (keeping you driving) and beat the criminal case or obtain a terrific resolution for you (like a wet reckless or better), especially if you performed well on field sobriety tests.

With respect to procedural issues, it appears from your initial description that the cop administered a preliminary breath test to you roadside, and then properly advised you after arrest that you had a choice of another breath or blood test, or he/she advised you later that the breath tests roadside don't retain your breath sample, so you have the right to a blood test which can be retested later by you and your lawyer to confirm accuracy, proper procedures, etc. It sounds like the cop followed proper procedure in this area.

Overall, your description suggests you may very well have a good case, but a thorough review of the police report will confirm or deny this. You should discuss all of the details of the incident and your unique situation (age, job, any prior arrests, need to drive, etc) with a local lawyer who regularly handles DUI cases in the county where your arrest occurred.

Also, if the officer took your license and handed you a "pink temporary license," then you should read it and telephone the number at the top (or hire a lawyer and let him/her do it for you) within 10 days of arrest in order to preserve your right to challenge the DMV case against you. If you fail to act with DMV during the first 10 days, then you may jeopardize losing forever your right to fight the separate DMV case and resulting suspension.

If you wish to browse more information like this about DUI's, DMV, etc, or if this incident occurred in Sonoma County and you wish to hire a lawyer, please feel free to visit my website at

Good luck,


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Answered on 12/12/09, 2:57 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

What should you do? Unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a DA trying to put you in jail, you should hire an attorney who does. There may be defenses and issues with the evidence that he can use. If this is in SoCal LA/OC area, feel free to contact me if serious about doing so. I've been doing these for over 30 years. FYI: actually read the paperwork you received - you have only 10 days from release from jail or receipt of ticket to appeal the automatic one year DMV suspension of your license; do so. Other than that, in future exercise your 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP when questioned by authorities, to avoid convicting yourself while trying to be 'cooperative'.

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Answered on 12/14/09, 10:41 am

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