Disputing California DUI Tests


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Disputing California DUI Tests

Was the breathalyzer in my DUI case operating properly?

Disputing California DUI Tests

Disputing California DUI Tests: DUI convictions in Orange County and throughout California often rest on the results of one or more California DUI tests. While many people charged with drunk driving believe that there is no way to avoid conviction if they have failed these tests, an experienced DUI lawyer can often fight the charges.

Types of California DUI Tests

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Field Sobriety Test

BAC Testing in California

BAC tests measure the concentration of alcohol in the driver’s blood. These tests can be administered in a variety of ways, including breath alcohol tests, blood alcohol tests, and urine tests. While both the prosecution and the DMV tend to take these tests at face value, these tests are far from perfect. Some of the most common grounds for challenging chemical DUI tests include:

• Lack of probable cause, meaning that the officer had no right to administer the test and the results may be excluded from evidence
• Faulty testing equipment, such as a breathalyzer test machine that has not been properly calibrated
• Flawed administration of the test, calling the validity of the results into question
• A delay in administration of the test, raising the possibility that BAC increased between the time of the arrest and the time of the test
• A break in the chain of custody of a blood sample or urine sample
Depending on the specifics of your case, there may be other grounds for challenging the accuracy or admissibility of DUI test results.

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Field Sobriety Testing in California

dui breath test

Field sobriety tests are dependent on human administration and human observation, which means that mistakes can occur and disputing California DUI tests and conclusions can be disputed. Environmental factors can also impact the reliability of a field sobriety test. For example, if the ground where a test is administered is wet, uneven, or rocky, that may impact a driver’s ability to perform the tests successfully.
In addition, there are very specific guidelines to be followed in administering field sobriety tests. Many law enforcement officers do not adhere to these guidelines or make mistakes in the administration of the tests. Often, scrutinizing video of the testing will reveal errors or procedural violations that call the test results into question.

The Power of Challenging California DUI Tests

The Walk and Turn Field Sobriety Test - Instructional Stage.

Orange County prosecutors rely heavily on test results, especially BAC test results. But disputing California DUI tests is possible. A BAC test result of .08% or greater—or even lower under some circumstances—is sufficient to support a DUI conviction. However, if an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer successfully challenges the accuracy of the tests or prevents the test result from being entered into evidence, the prosecution is often unable to prove its case.
When the test results are excluded or their validity is called into question, some possible outcomes include:

• Charges may be dismissed, as the prosecution recognizes that it will be difficult or impossible to prove its case
• A very favorable plea agreement may be offered, such as a significant reduction in the charge
• The “automatic” driver’s license suspension may be avoided
• We may take the case to trial and win an acquittal (finding of “not guilty”)

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Orange County DUI Lawyer Robert Miller Knows How to Fight DUI Tests

Orange County DUI Lawyer Robert MillerAttorney Robert Miller has gone above and beyond the norm to ensure that he has the tools and knowledge necessary to challenge California DUI test results. He has twice successfully completed the DUI Trial Skills College at Harvard Law School, is certified in Field Sobriety Testing, and has completed scientific coursework on breath and blood testing.

He also stays informed about the latest developments in DUI testing technology, legal defenses, and other critical information through membership in the California DUI Lawyers Association, the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, and the National College of DUI Defense.

Talk to an Experienced DUI Lawyer Right Away

About Us Robert Miller Associates Law Firm

If you’ve failed a BAC test or field sobriety test, don’t assume that means a conviction. Disputing California DUI tests is possible. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can help you fight the charges against you. Contact us today.

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The Holidays Are a Time of Heavy Enforcement of California DUI Laws

The Holidays Are a Time of Heavy Enforcement of California DUI Laws

DUIs During the Holidays

More Than an Urban Legend – Police Enforce DUI Laws More During the Holidays

If you’ve ever driven on a major holiday, you’ve probably noticed an increase in California law enforcement vehicles. It’s not just your imagination – police really are more active during holiday seasons. The holidays are a time of heavy enforcement of California DUI laws. Last Thanksgiving, for example, California Highway Patrol made 66 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests from November 22nd to November 26th. The state incorporates a “holiday maximum enforcement period” to detect and arrest more drunk drivers. Here’s what you need to know while hitting the road during the upcoming holidays.

Holidays Hold Historic Highs for DUIs

There is a reason the state created a maximum enforcement rule during the holidays – they are notoriously prone to drunk driving incidents. Around the holidays, there are more vehicles on the road, more hours spent traveling, and more opportunities to attend parties and imbibe. Many drivers who don’t normally drink before driving do so on holidays such as the Fourth of July, HalloweenThanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve – simply because everyone else was drinking and they didn’t plan a ride ahead of time.

Due to infamously high DUI rates, California law enforcement decided to ramp up their efforts during the most wonderful time of the year. The goal is to catch more drunk drivers before they can cause accidents, injuries, and deaths. To target the maximum number of holiday drunk drivers, police set up Orange County DUI checkpoints, roadblocks, and saturation patrols during the holidays. All available California police officers deploy to catch impaired drivers and other traffic violators during holiday periods of maximum enforcement.

What to Know About Holiday DUI Law Enforcement

If you’re planning on attending holiday parties this season, don’t plan on driving home. There are plenty of alternatives to driving in California, from ride-share services like Uber and Lyft to taking the public bus. Plan your ride ahead of time, either with a service or through a friend who has promised not to drink. That way, you can drink or not drink without having to worry about how you’ll get home. Deciding not to drive could not only help you avoid a holiday DUI – it could save your life.

California police are more active on holidays than other days of the year. It’s a fact you should not take lightly when making your holiday plans. New Year’s Eve is especially thick with police officers, as it’s the holiday with the greatest number of DUI arrests across the United States. You may encounter police checkpoints on your way home, which are legal roadblocks officers set up to check for suspected impaired drivers. At a DUI or sobriety checkpoint, police may ask you to stop your vehicle, show your license or insurance information, or perform sobriety tests if they notice any signs of impairment.

In general, police officers can only make sobriety tests mandatory if they have reason to suspect an impaired driver. If you refuse the sobriety tests at a checkpoint, you’re subject to the same penalties that would apply to refusal during a typical DUI stop – a one-year license suspension. No one wants to spend the time of cheer behind bars. If you receive a DUI over the holidays, especially here in Orange County, California, retain an Orange County DUI attorney for a free case review as soon as possible.






California DUI Penalties Can Be Serious

CHP DUI Arrest Rearview

California DUI Penalties Can Be Serious

California prosecutors take drunk driving seriously, and even a first conviction may trigger serious consequences. Most California DUI charges are misdemeanors, but even a misdemeanor carries a possible sentence of up to three years in jail. A first-time DUI offender may also be placed on probation for up to three years, be assessed significant fines, and lose his or her driver’s license for four months.

California DUI Penalties are Only the Beginning

DUI defense lawyers Riverside

The penalties imposed by the criminal court system and the California DMV can be serious, but they’re not the only consequences a person convicted of drunk driving in California may face.

The indirect consequences of a conviction may have a significant impact on the driver’s life.

Some examples include:
• A jump in automobile insurance rates
• A criminal record, which may impact the driver in many ways
• Possible limitations on employment options
If you’ve been charged with DUI in California, you must act quickly to protect your rights and prepare your defense.

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You Only Have 10 Days to Request a California DMV Hearing

DUI California DMV

One of the California DUI penalties of great concern to many clients is the driver’s license suspension. Losing your license can create a significant burden, interfering with your ability to earn a living, care for your family, and attend to many important areas of your life.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the driver’s license suspension that occurs after a BAC test result of .08% or greater as “automatic,” but that’s a bit misleading. While the suspension automatically takes effect 30 days after the arrest, you can fight the suspension—but only if you take action immediately.
You have just 10 days to request a hearing on the Administrative Per Se license suspension. If you do not request this hearing, generally called an “APS hearing,” within 10 days, you will be barred from contesting the license suspension.

Defenses to Administrative Per Se License Suspension

dui breath testMany California drivers mistakenly believe that there’s no way to fight the administrative suspension if they’ve failed a breathalyzer or blood alcohol test. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney knows better. DUI lawyer Robert Miller has educated himself on the science surrounding blood testing and breath testing, and knows how to challenge the validity of the BAC test results.
In some cases, the suspension may also be challenged on legal grounds. For example, if the law enforcement officer did not have reasonable cause to believe that you were operating a vehicle under the influence, he may have overstepped his authority in requiring the blood or breath test and the results may be inadmissible.

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Fighting California DUI Charges

California DUI Penalties Can Be Serious.  But being charged with driving under the influence doesn’t necessarily mean a DUI conviction. An experienced DUI lawyer may be able to fight the charges against you by:

• Successfully arguing that the police officer did not have reasonable cause to stop you, or to administer a blood or breath alcohol test
• Filing a motion to suppress critical evidence, such as the BAC test result
• Demonstrating that the officer improperly administered or interpreted field sobriety test results
• Calling into question the accuracy or reliability of the chemical test results
Give yourself the advantage of a seasoned DUI defense lawyer on your side. When you retain attorney Robert Miller to represent you in a California DUI case, Mr. Miller will thoroughly investigate all aspects of your case to determine the best way to fight the charges against you.

See What Our Past DUI Clients are Saying

best orange county dui attorney yelp

Yelp Best Orange County DUI Attorney Review“Robert is professional, incredibly intelligent and not only a great attorney, but a great person to work with.” – Rebecca N. (Yelp)

Best Orange County DUI Attorney Yelp Reviews Elizabeth



“I found Robert Miller to be both professional and approachable. He returned my calls quickly and answered my questions with confidence. I felt that he explored every option available to me and fought hard on my behalf. I would gladly recommend Robert Miller to anyone who needs to-notch legal counsel and specifically a great DUI defense attorney.” – Elizabeth O. (Yelp)

See What Other Attorneys are Saying about Our DUI Lawyer

Orange County DUI Attorney Top Rating Avvo

Attorney Robert Miller has more than 60 endorsements from other lawyers on Avvo. Other attorneys know that California DUI penalties can be serious, and here’s what a few of them have to say:

“Attorney Miller is an excellent advocate for his clients, and his mastery of the DUI/DWI Law in California is top-notch. I endorse him as a great advocate, and lawyer.” — Anthony Rao, Child Custody Attorney

“I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Miller is an outstanding attorney with an exceptional reputation. He is one of the best lawyers in his state and a credit to the legal profession. If I was arrested for drunk driving I would call him immediately. He is the best of the best.” — Howard Lewis, Divorce and Separation Attorney

“Robert Miller is one of the go to criminal defense lawyers in Southern California. He is knowledgeable, respected by his peers legal community, and is dedicated to her clients. Robert is effective in dealing with judges and opposing counsel. Without reservation I endorse this lawyer.” — Randall Longwith, Criminal Defense Attorney

Avoid or Minimize California DUI Penalties

Orange County DUI Lawyer Robert MillerCalifornia DUI Penalties Can Be Serious. Attorney Robert Miller has handled thousands of cases, and has achieved positive results for many clients in a wide range of circumstances. Our first step is always to thoroughly examine the specifics of your case for flaws or violations of your rights that will allow us to secure a dismissal. If that isn’t an option, we’ll fight for the least severe California DUI penalties.

You owe it to yourself to get help now. Contact us today.

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What to do if Arrested For DUI In Orange County

Help! I’ve Been Arrested For DUI In Orange County.

Arrested for DUI? What to do if Arrested For DUI In Orange County – You need the best Orange County DUI lawyer standing behind you at your court appearance. With over 23 years of experience in Orange County DUI Defense Practice, Miller & Associates is your best choice.

DUI Lawyer Robert Miller has handled thousands of DUI cases just like yours—and while this is certainly a stressful time for you, it’s another day at the office for him. Let Robert Miller’s experience and professional expertise guide you to a successful conclusion of your DUI case.

Contact our law firm today

If you’ve received a DUI, let the best DUI lawyer in Orange County take your case. We have a history of dismissals, trial wins, and negotiated cases in favor of the client, and you can rest assured that your case will be never be simply handed off to another lawyer during trial preparation or during the course of your case. What to do if Arrested For DUI In Orange County is where we can help — We conduct thorough investigations of the evidence against you, in order to determine the best course of action for your success.

Practical, Hard-Working DUI Defense Lawyers In Orange County

Miller & Associates have handled 5000+ Orange County DUI cases, with successes at the DMV and in OC courts. We help clients win back their driving licenses at the DMV and get driving again. Helping you beat your case is our top priority—that’s why we’re considered the best Orange County DUI lawyer you can work with.

What Can I Expect If I Choose Miller & Associates?

About Us Robert Miller Associates Law Firm

When you choose to hire us for your case, we will begin with a free, detailed case review from the Orange County DUI attorney who will be dedicated to your case. We offer honest assessments of your potential outcome, based on our experience in the industry. We will inform you of our responsibilities and expectations. You will have direct phone and email contact with your Orange County DUI lawyer during the entirety of your case.

We provide cutting-edge scientific education on breath testing, blood testing, and field sobriety testing. We will review the maintenance, calibration and accuracy of breath tests and blood tests to ensure trustworthy results. We will challenge an illegal arrest or stop, investigate police video for your defense, and review and challenge every aspect of your case. A win for you is a win for us.

We dig deep into your case to ensure that your arrest and the charges against you are fair, legal, and true. This means that we look closely at every fact in your case, and challenge each one of them. From the reason you were pulled over in the first place, to the tools and nature of your field sobriety test, we leave no stone unturned.

What to do if Arrested For DUI In Orange County – Being arrested for DUI in Orange County is something we do not take lightly—that’s why our clients have called Robert Miller the best Orange County DUI lawyer, and how we have helped so many people with their DUI case.

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Why Is Robert Miller The Top Rated DUI Lawyer In Orange County?

Orange County DUI Lawyer Robert MillerOur clients and peers have given us top ratings and reviews to solidify our place among Orange County DUI lawyers. Our attention to detail and dogged determinedness to tackle every charge against you make us winners in the courtroom.

We have a proved track record of keeping our clients out of jail, helping them avoid losing their driving privileges, and reducing charges and sentences. Our DUI lawyers have practiced in Orange County courts for more than 20 years, and we’re ready to put our experience to work for you.  Find out what to do if arrested for DUI In Orange County.

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SCRAM Violations caused by Alcohol False Positive

Orange County SCRAM ankle bracelet

SCRAM Violations caused by Alcohol False Positive

SCRAM is an alternative to jail time in DUI cases.  It works by measuring the skin for the presence of alcohol through an ankle bracelet.  Because of how it works, it shows a judge, or a probation officer, that the person has been sober, and abstained from alcohol during the time period that it is worn. SCRAM Violations caused by Alcohol False Positive can be defended against, however.
SCRAM bracelets are supposed to be tamper proof.  But it is not uncommon for persons wearing the devices to try to interfere with the device, by placing plastic wrap between the skin and the machine, lunch meats, like bologna, or lotions or oils.
Some persons facing a SCRAM alcohol reading in the past have claimed that cleaning products, or medicines (like cough syrup, which has alcohol), or working around alcohol caused a false positive for the SCRAM device.
In most cases, a term of the sentence or probation that avoids jail time is to have no SCRAM readings, or any indications of tampering with the device.  A tampering is considered a false reading.
Alternative Sentencing for DUI - Scram
Judges, when dealing with false positive claims, are not terribly impressed with tampering claims by the prosecutors or probation when there lacks simultaneous evidence of drinking or an admission that someone consumed alcohol.
The way that a tampering issue comes up is that the IR (Infrared) sensor reports a change in the voltage reading outside of the variance for a period exceeding 8 hours. Readings are taken every half hour. The variance is supposedly unique to each bracelet and each individual. In one recent tampering allegation, the variance was about 15% from the running baseline voltage with a variance expressed in percentages as 12%. The baselines are set when the bracelet is first put on the client of the DUI lawyer.
As an Orange County DUI specialist, we receive a graph that shows transdermal alcohol present when they put the bracelet on a client, typically right after he or she leaves their probation office and gives a clean urine sample.
They give you a “report” about the alleged violation. The report looks impressive, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle. They give you chunks of data but not the whole thing.  The best thing to do to handle SCRAM violations is to hire a consultant and send a subpoena to the manufacturer (the largest manufacturer for SCRAM is AMS), for all of the IR voltage data for the history of the instrument, and any error logs, an d all calibration and maintenance records.
SCRAM ankle bracelet orange county jail
As you might expect, the manufacturer sometimes pushes back on information requests.  They don’t want their reputation to suffer with the court. Many manufacturers have an installer and “middleman” for the court or for probation.
Many installation companies have policies that guide an officer on how they decide what a violation is. Often, that is a criteria that differs from provider to provider.
Orange County Probation Officers usually try to help facilitate getting the data and can even subpoena engineers from AMS or elsewhere to testify b. Engineers will usually acknowledge that the data from one of the reports could have been consistent with a sock blocking the IR from the top of the instrument and slipping off – which might have been exactly what happened.
The IR sensor is located near the top of the SCRAM instrument. If the wearer wears a sock – it could quite likely interfere with the IR voltage readings and trigger a tampering claim.
The witness testifying from AMS delivered the data and showed up with it at court. Of course, they brought it out in the middle of the hearing. The best approach was to have the engineer use the data as the key to tell the difference between instability of the instrument and an actual statistically-significant change in the IR voltage that is evidence of interference.

Winning allegations of SCRAM Violations caused by Alcohol False Positive

The judge in the above case case told the client that there was no violation but the judge thought it would be a good idea to write an essay.  He had to continue to wear the SCRAM as a term of DUI probation. Even with a finding of no violation he still had to write an essay.  Accepting that was the lesser of two evils.

SCRAM Violations caused by Alcohol False Positive often can benefit from the use of an expert witness in a DUI case. We usually  ask our expert witness (a forensic analytic expert) to analyze the data. He plots it in no time flat (50 pages) in most cases.  The IR sensor fluctuates wildly in some cases, which results in probation violation dismissals.

Our approach to allegations of false positives for SCRAM devices

We find our law firm fighting over SCRAM malfunctions for our clients more and more. We’ve put some protocols into place, and they have made the fights on behalf of our clients a little easier.

First, every single one of our clients who needs to get a SCRAM installed is directed to the SCRAM page on our website, and it tells them this:

Unfortunately, SCRAM has the same unreliable factors as all monitoring systems, and one of those unreliable factors is the human element. If you take part in SCRAM monitoring either as a pre-plea condition or as part of sentencing, please take these common-sense precautions to make sure nothing happens that could get you in trouble:

1.  When you have the SCRAM device attached to your ankle, you will also be signing a contract. Make sure that the serial number on the device matches the serial number on the contract. Then, before they attach the device, take a picture of the serial number on the device. Send your attorney (us) a picture of the serial number and a picture of the contract by email so that the matching numbers are effectively time-stamped.

2.  Don’t ever place anything between the device and your skin. No lotion. No socks. No leggings or sweatpants – nothing.

3.  If the device is acting strangely or if you have any reason to believe that it is registering an alcohol or tamper event, contact your attorney at our law firm immediately. He or she may want you to get a urine screen done to show that there was no alcohol intake on your part, but you need to get the screen done quickly. We usually send clients to Quest Diagnostics when we need a quick screen done. It is not cheap, but it is a lot less expensive than a SCRAM violation.

This eliminates anyone saying that nobody told them not to put a sock between the device and their leg. In addition, every time one of my clients has to go on SCRAM, I send the SCRAM rep an email that says something like this:


I represent John Doe, who is required to have a SCRAM CAM for 90 days pursuant to a sentence imposed by Hon. Judge, in Orange County Superior Court. You can reach Mr. Doe at (585) 555-1212 to schedule an appointment.

I am also writing to ask that I be notified immediately of any tamper events or alcohol detection events. If there is any sort of event that would need to be reported to the court, I need to know within 24 hours so that I can ask Mr. Doe to get a urine screen from a certified lab. Because the SCRAM does not tell the client when it is detecting an event, I kindly request that SCRAM notify me as soon as practicable, but in no case more than 24 hours after any such event.

This way, and this is important, when we land back in court because of an alleged violation, I either have a lab test that I can show the judge, or a question about why we weren’t notified so that we could have had a screen done. These precautions have helped me get a couple clients out of jams.

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The court in Newport Beach (the Harbor Justice Center) is very familiar with the use of SCRAM in DUI cases, as an alternative to jail.  We are familiar with not only DUI, but as DUI Lawyers Orange County Newport Beach, CA, we know how SCRAM DUI probation violation cases are handled there.  If you have any questions for us, contact us today.

Orange County DUI Checkpoints December 15-16, 2017

Orange County DUI Checkpoints December 15-16, 2017

Orange County law enforcement have a number of DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols that are planned for this weekend. Remember that you should avoid the long waits and traffic tie-ups from DUI checkpoints, but also can avoid being arrested for DUI in Orange County at a DUI checkpoint by doing any one of the following:

* Having a designated driver; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Designated_driver
* Drinking while keeping your blood alcohol level below the legal limit; https://www.expertlawfirm.com/how-not-to-get-a-dui/
* Avoiding any prescription drugs, narcotics; https://www.expertlawfirm.com/drug-dui/
* Using Lyft; https://www.lyft.com/cities
* Using Uber; https://www.uber.com/
* Using California’s DDVIP App; http://www.ots.ca.gov/pdf/DDVIP-App.pdf; or
* Not drinking, consuming any narcotics or drugs, or not driving.

Unfortunately, the statistics show that DUI checkpoints are a bad idea, and do not work to keep drunk drivers off the road, especially when compared to the much much more effective saturation patrols. Even the police admit as much. Consider the following comment from a police officer from social media:

“Cop here! DUI check points are not about catching drunk drivers. DUI checkpoints are a dog and pony show… their sole purpose is to be public events, that is why they must be announced ahead of time by law. It’s long been known in the law enforcement community that the best way to “fight” drunk driving is by saturation patrols, or, cars that do nothing but hunt/respond to drunk drivers. Feel free to make this as public as possible.”

The following are the DUI Checkpoints in Orange County announced for this weekend:

Anaheim DUI Checkpoint

Our Anaheim DUI Information reveals that that one of the Orange County DUI Checkpoints is the Anaheim DUI Checkpoint, scheduled from 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. at Harbor Boulevard and La Palma Avenue. Call us if you need an Anaheim DUI Attorney.

Tustin DUI Checkpoint

One of the Orange County DUI Checkpoints revealed by the Tustin Police and our Tustin DUI Information is the Tustin DUI Checkpoint, scheduled for Saturday, December 16, 2017, at an unknown start and finish time, and at an unknown location in Tustin.

Stanton DUI Checkpoint

Our Stanton DUI Information reveals that that one of the Orange County DUI Checkpoints is the Stanton DUI Checkpoint, scheduled from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. and conducted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Huntington Beach DUI Checkpoint

Our Huntington Beach DUI Information reveals that that one of the Orange County DUI Checkpoints is the Huntington Beach DUI Checkpoint, scheduled from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. at an unknown location. Call us if you need an Huntington Beach DUI Attorney.

Placentia DUI Checkpoint

Our Placentia DUI Information reveals that that one of the Orange County DUI Checkpoints is the Placentia DUI Checkpoint, scheduled from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. at an undisclosed location.

Irvine DUI Checkpoint

Our Irvine DUI Information reveals that that one of the Orange County DUI Checkpoints is the Irvine DUI Checkpoint, scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. at Jamboree Road and Michelson Avenue on Saturday, December 16th, 2017. Call us if you need an Irvine DUI Attorney.

City of Orange DUI Checkpoint

Our information reveals that that one of the Orange County DUI Checkpoints is the City of Orange DUI Checkpoint, scheduled on Friday, December 15, 2017, from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. on Chapman Avenue, between Main street, and the 57 freeway.

According to California DUI caselaw, DUI checkpoints are legal in California, although they have to meet certain strict criteria, including advance publicity, which is how we find out about DUI checkpoints in Orange County.

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If you need the help of a DUI attorney Orange County who is experienced in handling DUI checkpoints cases, we can help you, or your loved one. Consult with us today.

How much is a DUI fine in California?

Cost of a DUI

How much is a DUI fine in California?

It is no secret that a DUI in California can be expensive.  A common question for people that have just been arrested in Orange County, CA for DUI is “how much will a DUI cost?”

In California, the minimums and maximums for a DUI are set by California law.  The minimum fine set by law for a DUI is $390, and the maximum is $1000.

However, there are other fees, costs, and fines that you have to take into account if you are facing a DUI. If you show up, without an Orange County DUI Lawyer, and plead guilty in Orange County at your OC DUI arraignment, and are sentenced by the judge to just the minimum punishment, you would be facing the following minimum fees:

  • $390 Base Fine;
  • Penalty assessment (a tax) of 280% of the base fine, or
  • $100 Alcohol & Drug Assessment Program fee (pursuant to Vehicle Code 23649);
  • $50.00 Alcohol Abuse Education fee (pursuant to Vehicle Code section 23645);
  • $50.00 DUI Lab/Blood Alcohol Penalty (pursuant to Penal Code 1463.14(b))
  • $150.00 Probation Revocation Restitution Fine (pursuant to Penal Code 1202.44);
  • $40.00 Court Operations Fee per convicted count (pursuant to Penal Code 1465.8);
  • Criminal Conviction Assessment Fee per convicted count of $30.00 per misdemeanor/felony and $35.00 per infraction (pursuant to Government Code 70373(a)(1));
  • DNA fees to the Orange County District Attorney for DNA collection and testing of $150; and
  • Booking Fees to the Police Arresting Agency of between $195 and $362.

Booking Fees for an Orange County DUI

The booking fees are especially noteable in an Orange County DUI case.  You are ordered responsible for booking fees and will be ordered to pay those, although they are technically not part of your sentence, and not paying them would be a civil matter between you and the police department, not a probation violation or something that would cause you problems with the court.

For Orange County DUI cases, the following booking fees are common:

  • In Irvine DUI cases, you would owe the Irvine Police Department booking fees in the amount of $195 dollars;
  • Laguna Beach DUI arrests are $195 also;
    The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is $235;
    Costa Mesa DUI arrests are $280; and
  • Newport Beach DUIs have a booking fee that is a whopping $362.

(Judge London, the arraignment judge in the Orange County Harbor Justice Center Newport Beach Courthouse always jokes that that particular department “must give a balcony with an ocean view, cater your meals from the Ritz Carlton, and have the officer give you daily massages to justify those fees”.

How much are costs other than the  DUI fine in California?

How much does a DUI cost first time

In addition to those fees, there are fees outside of the court system that you are responsible for.  Those include the following:

Insurance increases.  Insurance rates are based upon a number of complex factors, including your car make and model, the number of miles you drive, your gender, age, and zip code.  But a DUI is a two point violation, and so for the three years that your SR-22 proof of insurance is required, your insurance can increase between 10% and 50% per point.

Alcohol school.  The alcohol program or school can be costly, and for first time offenders, a three month, six month, or nine month alcohol school is required.  Those fees are as follows in general:

  • Three month alcohol school: $555
  • Six month alcohol school: $866
  • Nine month alcohol school: $1123

For someone with a Second Time DUI in Orange County, the multiple offender program is $1589.

If you need the help of an Orange County DUI Attorney to reduce fees in your case, feel free to contact our law firm.  Handling DUI cases in Orange County, California, is our specialty.

Orange County DUI Checkpoint December 9, 2017

DUI Checkpoints Orange County

Orange County DUI Checkpoint December 9, 2017

Orange County law enforcement have planned a DUI checkpoint in Santa Ana this weekend.  Remember that you should avoid the long waits and traffic tie-ups from DUI checkpoints, but also can avoid being arrested for DUI in Orange County at a DUI checkpoint by doing any one of the following:
Unfortunately, the statistics show that DUI checkpoints are a bad idea, and do not work to keep drunk drivers off the road, especially when compared to the much much more effective saturation patrols. Even the police admit as much.  Consider the following comment from a police officer from social media:
“Cop here! DUI check points are not about catching drunk drivers.  DUI checkpoints are a dog and pony show… their sole purpose is to be public events, that is why they must be announced ahead of time by law.  It’s long been known in the law enforcement community that the best way to “fight” drunk driving is by saturation patrols, or, cars that do nothing but hunt/respond to drunk drivers.  Feel free to make this as public as possible.”

The following is the one DUI Checkpoint in Orange County announced for this weekend


Santa Ana DUI Checkpoint

One Orange County DUI Checkpoint is the Santa Ana DUI Checkpoint, scheduled from December 9, 2017, at 9:30 p.m., at 5th Street in West Santa Ana, between 17th Street and 1st Street, and Fairview and Harbor Boulevard.  Our Santa Ana DUI Information page has information about DUIs, written by a Santa Ana DUI Attorney.
Contact our law firm today
If you need the help of a DUI attorney Orange County who is experienced in handling DUI checkpoints cases, we can help you, or your loved one.  Consult with us today.