Sobriety checkpoints (or roadblocks) have become common tools used by police forces all around the country, not just in California. At the best of times, they’re an annoyance. They can also be significantly problematic, even if you’ve had nothing to drink. Knowing what to do when approaching these checkpoints, how to act toward the officers and what your rights are will help you make it through.
With the help of an attorney, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll have your DUI charges dismissed, or get out of court with only probation. However, if you’re on probation, you must abide by the court’s rules, or you violate the terms of your probation. This violation opens you up to a wide range of damaging repercussions. What constitutes a violation of probation and what might happen if you do violate those terms? Let’s take a closer look.
What Constitutes a Violation of Probation?
A probation violation is any action that breaks the rules governing your probation. For instance, if the judge requires you to attend alcohol awareness class and you fail to do so, that’s a violation of the terms of your probation. California also has a zero tolerance stance on driving with any measurable alcohol in your system if you’re on probation. That means if you have just one drink and get behind the wheel, and then are pulled over and given a breath test, you’re in violation of the terms of your probation. Let’s reiterate that – any measurable amount is a violation of your probation, even if it’s well under the legal limit. The standard legal blood alcohol limit does not apply to you if you are on probation for DUI.
Police officers have a wide range of tests at their disposal to help determine if a driver has had too much to drink. However, the problem with these tests is that they’re largely inaccurate, with some barely going above 60% accuracy. That’s a lot of room for error, and even drivers who’ve had nothing to drink at all can fail them, leading to an arrest for DUI. Of course, blood and urine testing will eventually exonerate these drivers, but that doesn’t make up for the time lost or the stigma of being arrested. Should you refuse to take field sobriety tests? What happens if you do refuse?
Being pulled over for suspected drunk driving is stressful and frightening. That surge of adrenaline alone can make people do things they shouldn’t. If there actually is any alcohol in your system, that can further degrade the situation by making you more likely to do things that could damage your case. If you’re pulled over, you need to be respectful, calm and compliant. Doing any of the following things could seriously damage your case beyond the help of even the most experienced DUI attorney.
California sees an immense influx of out of state visitors every year. They come for tourism. They come for business. They come for any number of different reasons. And while those visitors are here, they eat and drink. There’s also the chance that having a little too much to drink before getting behind the wheel will result in a DUI.
As an out of state driver, getting a DUI in California can be even more stressful and frightening than getting one in your home state. What should you know? Do you need to hire a California attorney? What will the process look like? Will you lose your license? There are just a handful of the many questions you’ll need to answer.
You go out to dinner with friends, and have a beer with dinner. After enjoying your evening out and catching up, you get in the car and head home. Somewhere along the way, you notice blue lights in the rear-view mirror. The officer charges you with DUI and you’re arrested.
It’s frightening, stressful and all too common. California’s tolerance for driving under the influence is at an all-time low, and rightly so. However, many people who aren’t drunk end up being caught in the crossfire. If this is your first DUI, you might be wondering if there’s any point in hiring an attorney. It’s your first charge, and surely the court will be lenient, right?
One of the police force’s jobs is to enforce the law when it comes to driving under the influence. However, it’s very difficult to tell if someone has had too much to drink. The presence of alcohol on the breath is a sign that they’ve had a drink, but it tells the officer nothing about how many drinks, or how a drink might be affecting a driver’s abilities. To help determine whether someone is impaired or not, a number of field sobriety tests (FSTs) have been developed. If you’re pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you might be asked to perform any number of these tests.
The Three “Standardized” Tests
While there are many different tests that might be given if you’re pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you can pretty much count on undergoing the three “standardized” tests. These are tests that the NHTSA has deemed accurate enough to determine whether you’re too impaired to drive (so long as the tests are administered properly, of course).
The One-Leg Stand
In this test, you’ll be asked to raise one foot off the ground by about six inches. Then, you’ll need to count from 1001 to 1030, and then look down at your foot. The signs an officer watches for during this test include swaying, using your arms for balance, putting your foot back down, and hopping. If you display two or more of these signs, there’s a 68% chance your BAC is over .10.