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Drunk driving refers to the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol. In the state of California, it is considered a DUI offense to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, according to California’s Vehicle Code §23152. It is important to remember, however, that a person can have a lower BAC and still get arrested for alleged DUI, if there is some type of evidence that the person is impaired by alcohol. Commercial drivers and drivers who are under the age of 21 are given lower BAC limits of 0.04% and 0.1%, respectively.
If you have been arrested and charged with alleged drunk driving, you are going to need to start working on your defense plan as soon as possible. A DUI conviction can lead to various negative repercussions, including criminal penalties and a damaged record. By turning to Thomas Tears, Attorney at Law for assistance with your case, you can work with a Santa Ana criminal defense lawyer who has 39 years of experience!
According to a 2012 Orange County Register article, this county has some of the highest rates of drunk driving-related auto accidents within California. There are many signs that officers look for—both before and after the police stop—in order to determine whether a person is driving while drunk. Here are a few of those signs:
If the officer suspects that driver is impaired by alcohol, he or she will usually have the driver step out of the car and perform field sobriety tests. Upon failure of any of these tests (which test for physical balance, coordination and ability to focus), the driver will typically be asked to take a breath test using a handheld breathalyzer device. These devices measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration, or the percentage of alcohol in a person’s system. This is where drug-related and alcohol-related DUI cases differ; breathalyzers cannot detect the presence of other types of drugs in a person’s system—only alcohol. Failing a breath test will usually be the step that seals the deal for a drunk driving arrest, with the evidence later being used against the driver in court.
Just because prosecutors have “evidence” against you, this does not mean you actually have to be convicted for an alleged drunk driving offense. There are many ways to challenge breathalyzer results, as well as other so-called indicators of impairment. Even if you consumed alcohol, it might be possible to prove that you were not actually under the influence of alcohol. Contact us today so we can help you improve your chances of winning your case!