Santa Barbara DUI Attorney

Santa Barbara DUI Attorney
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Legally Drink and Drive

Guidelines to Drinking and Driving Legally

1. Vehicle Safety

Before driving a vehicle, check for any minor defects an officer might use as a reason to stop you, such as headlights, brake lights and license plate light.

2. Drive Safely

If you are driving after 11 p.m., be very careful. When approaching stop signs and stop lights, come to a complete stop. Use your signals at all times.

3. Police Encounter

If you detect an officer following you, turn into the next available unrestricted area without arousing suspicion. If the officer continues to follow and/or stops you, be respectful at all times.

4. Voluntary Field Sobriety Tests

These types of tests are biased. It is almost impossible for the officer to use your performance as a way to determine if you are driving under the influence. Do not allow the officer to administer a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. This test is extremely controversial and highly discredited in some scientific circles. Contrary to belief, under the July 1990 “Stop and Snatch Laws”, your license will not automatically be taken away from you should you fail to do a field sobriety test. On the other hand, if you admit to drinking any amount of alcohol prior to driving, a chemical test (blood or urine) will more than likely be administered on you. If you are found to be driving under the influence, you will be arrested and your license will be taken away from you.

5. Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Breath Test

If you are over 21, you are not required to blow into a hand-held breathalyzer as part of a field test, even if you show signs of illegal or prescription drug use. These types of breathalyzers are highly inaccurate. The Santa Barbara Police Department uses the Draeger Alco-sensor 7410, which can be operated as both a PAS test and an evidentiary test. The Department of Justice has acknowledged that this machine consistently read falsely higher than the model it replaced. If you are pulled over, the officer will probably insist that you provide a breath sample through this device. By law, as your first choice of testing, you may choose a blood or breath test that is administered at a hospital or police station. Do not choose the Draeger Alco-sensor 7410 as a method of testing, or any other hand-held types used at the time you are pulled over. The officer may also fail to lawfully advise you that a re-testable sample cannot be saved through a breath machine. You are allowed a blood or urine test so that a sample can be saved for re-test by your own independent laboratory. Insist that you provide a blood or urine sample only. If you do end up taking a breath test however, request that a blood or urine test be done as a second test.

Remember, you are not required to submit to a breathalyzer test at the side of the road. If the law changes, the DMV will make these changes known. It will be difficult for an officer to prove a DUI case against you, if you do not surrender to the above-mentioned field tests. If, after exercising your rights, you are still charged with a DUI, make sure you retain an experienced DUI attorney within 10 days of your arrest, so that he can request an administrative hearing and appear with you at this hearing.

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