When I'm not posting five times a day, it typically means I'm busy being a criminal defense lawyer. That includes handling dui's. Let's face it: Anyone who wants to go out for a drink in San Diego is at risk for a DUI. The legal limit for driving under the influence is .08. I'm sorry, but you can't go to a bar without getting a .10: that's two drinks at some local watering holes.
That means I talk to a lot of people who are arrested for dui in san diego. Some of them hire me, many of them don't, but I hear all the stories, and here are some tips I have distilled for people interested in the subject:
1. Be Aware of the Time and the Place: People don't give the modern police force enough credit. Using techniques of community policing and tools like maps and junk, the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego Sherif's department focus on places and times when they are likely to encounter people driving under the influence. Then they sent out their youngest officers and tell them to be aggressive in stopping people. In other words, if you are driving in and around Mission Beach, Pacific Beach or North Park at two in the morning, expect to get stopped. Maybe you are completely sober, but any time you get behind the wheel and you are at a time and place where Police are out hunting DUI's, you are liable to be arrested.
2. After a Police Officer Stops You, Chill Out: The time for vigilance is before the Officer pulls you over, not after. Once a traffic stop is initiated, it's the beginning, but not the end of getting arrested for a DUI in San Diego. There is a long way to go between you being pulled over and you going to jail for the night- don't blow it in the first 30 seconds. One of the consequences of tip #1 is that you are dealing with Police who are young and pulling you over for marginal traffic violations, so they don't really know if you are driving under the influence. You should visualize a traffic stop in this situation to gauge how you would react, and then think about handling it better.
3. Understand the Importance of the Breath Test: 99% of people don't get arrested for a dui UNTIL they blow over .08 on the on-scene breathalyzer. After that: You are going downtown and have been arrested. Anything that happens up to the administration of that on scene breath test is window dressing. Thus, as soon as #2 happens, you should be focused on the eventual breathalyzer reading. The on scene breath test isn't your official blood alcohol level, but it's what the Police use to justify arresting you. If you have legitimate asthma you want to get an attack right before the test is administered- asthmatic attacks mean you can't "blow hard enough." The administering officer is also supposed to observe you for 15 minutes before the test to make sure you aren't burping or anything. You aren't supposed to be chewing gum- etc. Always ask the officer what you blew- you are going to want to know that reading.
If you are arrested- relax. Enjoy the night in jail, make sure you can bail out if you don't get released the next day. It's not the end of times.
Dedicated to classics and hits.
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Posted by catdirt at 11:25 AM
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