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Palm Desert DUI Law Blog

Breathalyzer tests commonly used to determine blood alcohol level

A number of drivers in Palm Desert have heard about the blood-alcohol tests they might face if pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence. However, many are unclear as to what these tests actually measure and how they are conducted.

Blood-alcohol tests measure a DUI suspect’s blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, by using a suspect’s breath, blood, hair follicle, saliva or urine. In most circumstances, law enforcement officials will use breath analysis to determine a suspect’s BAC level. However, if there is a serious accident or a suspect has refused a breath test, a blood screening may be conducted at the police station.

There are various machines that can be used to analyze a DUI suspect’s breath and determine BAC. The latest breath analysis machines, or breathalyzers, will use infrared spectroscopic analysis to measure the alcohol content of exhaled vapor. A computer will take the data collected and give a BAC measurement that shows the level of alcohol in the bloodstream. The legal limit in California is .08 percent. Studies have shown that popular methods used to fool a breathalyzer test, such as ingesting mints or onions, do not actually work.

However, blood-alcohol test results are not always accurate. Breathalyzer results in particular have been shown to be less accurate than blood tests. Breathalyzer machines need to be properly maintained and calibrated before use, and failing to do so could result in an inaccurate reading. The test must also be administered according to a particular set of guidelines. If the proper steps were not taken, breath test results might be successfully challenged in court. A successful challenge could mean dropped charges for those suspected of a DUI and avoidance of harsh penalties.

DUI arrest could result in license suspension

Being arrested for a DUI in California can be a terrifying experience, especially when you don’t know what to expect. The steps taken after an arrest are critical to your case, especially if your license was suspended or revoked. First-time offenders who are 21 or older and who took a urine, breath, or blood test to determine their blood alcohol content level will likely have their license suspended for four months if their results showed a .08% BAC or higher. Those who have multiple DUI offenses within 10 years will have their license suspended for one year.

Once you are arrested, police officers are required to forward a sworn report, test results, copies of any licenses taken and a copy of the completed notice of revocation or suspension form to the DMV. There may be an administrative review determining whether the suspension or revocation should be upheld or set aside. If it is upheld, you may contest the decision, but to do so you must seek aa hearing within 10 days from receipt of the suspension or revocation order.

If your license was confiscated at the time of your arrest, you will get your license back at the end of your suspension or revocation, assuming that you pay a fee of $125 the DMV and provide proof of financial responsibility. It is important to note that the DMV suspension or revocation of your license is different from the suspension or revocation that may come after a conviction in criminal court. The DMV may impose sanctions that have nothing to do with criminal penalties that come after being convicted of a DUI in criminal court.

The criminal court may also take action to suspend or revoke your license, fine you or put you in jail as a result of your conviction. This is why it is necessary to know about the consequences you may face and defend against them in the best way possible.

Felony DUI convictions often lead to jail time in California

In Palm Desert, police officers have pulled over many drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some drivers will face felony DUI charges, which may lead to more serious penalties than misdemeanor DUI charges. Drivers who are convicted of a felony DUI will likely face at least one year in state prison. Their voting rights, gun rights and other freedoms may also be impacted.

In California, there are three circumstances in which a DUI may be charged as a felony. If the driver has a prior felony DUI conviction or has three prior DUI convictions in the past 10 years and is facing a fourth DUI, he may be charged with a felony DUI. A driver can also face a felony DUI if the DUI is related to an accident where someone was injured or killed.

While all DUI charges are serious, being charged with a felony DUI can be especially difficult to deal with. Seeking qualified legal representation can be very beneficial to help manage your case. The attorneys at Dale Gribow Attorney at Law will thoroughly look over the details of your arrest and come up with the best defense strategy possible.

Many drivers facing DUI charges have had their constitutional rights violated in some way due to mistakes made by police officers at the scene. When that happens, charges may be reduced or even dropped. It also may be possible to negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges. For more information, please visit our felony DUI web page.

What is the Zero Tolerance Law in California?

In California, there are various laws designed to dissuade drivers from operating their vehicles under the influence. One such law is Zero Tolerance Law. The law was created to apply to drivers under the age of 21 and for the possibility that they will drive after drinking. There are blood alcohol content levels and accompanying penalties if the BAC level is surpassed by certain degrees. Those who are charged under this law need to understand what they’re facing and how to defend themselves to avoid a conviction.

For drivers under age 21, the maximum amount of alcohol they are allowed to have in their system is 0.01 percent. Driving with a BAC level above that will lead to a loss of driving privileges. In addition, the state Department of Motor Vehicles will have the conviction on the driver’s license if there is a BAC above 0.01 percent. For drivers who have a BAC level of 0.05 percent or more, there will be harsher charges and penalties. The driver’s license can be either suspended or delayed until the age of 21.

In the event there is involvement in an alcohol or drug offense before the age of 21, the driver’s license can be suspended even if the individual arrested wasn’t driving. People who have a history of drug abuse or alcohol abuse might be refused a driver’s license. This is also the case if the license was used illegally. A driver who has been convicted of DWI charges will have the record on his or her driver’s license for 13 years. This can influence the amount that must be paid for insurance during that period.

Beginning in January of 2007, drivers under 21 who registered 0.01 percent or above after being administered blood alcohol content tests will be cited and face fines of $70 to $100 for the first infraction; $200 for the second if it is committed within the first year; and $300 for the third violation within the first year. There will also be penalties of approximately $2 for every $10 fined in assessments and penalties.

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Dale Gribow Attorney at Law
73-061 El Paseo
Suite 220
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Phone: 760-837-7500
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73-061 El Paseo, Suite 220