DUI? ST PATTY’S DAY AND NOT A SAINT?
With St. Patty's Day, Stagecoach, Coachella, Memorial Day etc. looming, many of my readers will be stopped and offered a breath or blood test while returning from dinner, a concert or a party. IF you were a "PATSY" and "BLEW IT" by taking a breath test at the scene, you did not follow my suggested Blood test. You may have just tied one of your attorney's hands behind his/her back.
I have discussed DUI's and the need for education in many article and speeches, so that my readers know the number of drinks consumed is not the issue. It is the amount of total alcohol in the drinks that is determinative.
When stopped, if you have consumed a little more than 1 ounce of alcohol, 4 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer, be courteous and say "Upon the advice of my attorney, Dale Gribow, I exercise my right to remain silent until you call him at 760-565-0533 for his ok. My attorney has advised me that the VOLUNTARY FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS AND BREATH TESTS at the scene are OPTIONAL (unless I am on probation). Thus I elect not to do anything that is Not Mandatory. I want to cooperate and am happy to take a BLOOD TEST".
Though I am sometimes referred to as a criminal defense lawyer, I choose to not view my DUI clients as "criminals". I prefer to view them, and more importantly to treat them as good, honest people that have found themselves in a scary and unfortunate situation and not treat them as criminals, but rather someone that screwed up.
I look upon my job as protecting the Constitutional rights of every client who drinks and drives and thereafter gets arrested for a DUI. HOWEVER, I change "hats", when as a lawyer, I SUE Drunk Drivers that injure my client.
Rudyard Kipling must have been thinking of the following when he wrote the famous poem IF. If you drink and drive you are not making an intelligent decision. If you then don't know what you should do when stopped for a possible DUI, you are screwing up again. IF you then hire an attorney from out town you have hit the Trifecta. They do not know the local DMV Hearing Officers, the DA's and the Judges. If charged with a DUI (or you are the victim of an Auto Accident) If you do not take down your social media you have hit the Trifecta with a golden star. The DA's investigators (and insurance adjusters) will use this information to learn about you, your friends and your drinking issues.
The issues presented by a DUI are confusing to the uninitiated. An arrest kicks in two separate proceedings with the court and DMV. One does not affect the other. DMV suspends your license for 4 months. However, after a 30 day suspension, you can get a Restricted License by filing an SR22 showing insurance, paying a reissuance fee and showing proof of enrollment in a DUI class. If a hearing is not requested within 10 days, your license is suspended for 4 months.
I advise my clients to Go to DMV and request a DMV Identification Card because your license was taken during the STOP and SNATCH. While at DMV, get your record printout for $6 that you can show the Riverside County Drinking Driving Program if/when you are ordered to attend a DUI class.
When we request your DMV hearing, we ask for a STAY which freezes the 4 month suspension that occurs 30 days after the citation/arrest. Then we send a letter to DMV memorializing our request and you receive a Temporary License.
The 10 days starts from the date of the stop and includes weekends. The issuance date is on the Pink Order of Suspension/Temporary Driver's License Endorsement which is the Administrative Per Se form. The DMV hearing is an administrative per se hearing where you are technically presumed guilty unless you can prove the contrary.
If you have a few drinks and are stopped, remember that Cops and DA's are not your friends. No matter what they tell you, they are just trying to make a case and doing their job. If you are stopped and arrested, do yourself a favor and do not talk to anyone and immediately call a lawyer.
Ever since my legal radio show I have preached "People Don't Plan to Fail, They Fail to Plan". Hopefully this article will allow you to intelligently plan for the worst and NOT BLOW IT!
If you have questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow, Attorney at Law 760-565-0533.