The Rules for DUI in California


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The Rules for DUI in California

The Rules for DUI in California

Case Results

The Rules for DUI in California are not well known by those that are not lawyers that specialize in DUI Defense. But there are rules that apply to DUI cases, like any criminal case.

The most important rules focus on three areas – the DUI stop, the DUI alcohol test, and defenses to a DUI.

The Rules for DUI in California – The DUI Stop

The first rule that applies to a DUI has to do with what rules the police must follow in pulling you over.  The police have to have probable cause – a valid legal reason to stop you.

Police cannot stop you and then decide on a reason after the fact.  There has to be an articulable crime they stopped you for.  Anything else is a “pretext stop”.

One you are pulled over, you are required to provide a license, insurance, and registration. You are not required to answer questions or submit to any voluntary test (like a field breathalyzer or field sobriety tests).

The police can look into the car, and can search anything without a warrant that is in plain view.  They cannot search a trunk or glovebox without a warrant.

The Rules for DUI in California – The DUI Alcohol Test

The alcohol test has to have a warrant, or a separate probable cause.  Under the McNeely decision, if you have not consented to a blood test, police have to have a warrant.

Under California law, the rules for DUI in California require that a blood test or breath test be taken within three hours of driving.  Blood tests require a licensed phlebotomist draw the blood, a chain of custody for the blood vial, and a test with a calibrated and maintained gas chromatograph.

The Rules for DUI in California – Defenses to a DUI

Defenses to a DUI include the rising blood alcohol defense, challenges to the breath machine accuracy, lack of valid probable cause, or failure to prove who the driver was.

The existence or lack of those defenses will greatly affect what leverage you have to get the best possible plea bargain in a DUI case.

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