In California there are many different laws governing speed, traffic patterns and various behavior on the road. One law pertaining to the road is the DUI law; it is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The legal limit for BAC (blood alcohol content) is 0.08%, if you are found to be at or above this legal limit then you will be arrested and charged with DUI. It is also illegal to drive while impaired by controlled substances, whether these are illegal drugs such as marijuana, or prescription medication. In the case of drug DUI, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to show that not only was there a drug in your system, but also that you were impaired by it.
How Do You Challenge a Field Sobriety Test?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are three main field sobriety tests which law enforcement uses to determine whether someone is under the influence of alcohol. These include:
- Walk and Turn
- One Leg Stand
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
The first of these tests requires that the driver walk in a straight line walking heel-to-toe. The police officer will examine whether they are able to maintain their balance and take the correct number of steps. The second field is where the driver is required to stand with one leg six inches from the ground while counting out loud. Again, this is designed to test the balance of the individual while dividing their attention between balancing and counting.
The last main type of field sobriety test is also known as HGN testing, which examines the naturally-occurring involuntary jerking of the eye to see if it is exaggerated. When a person is under the influence of alcohol, the eye is not able to follow a moving object smoothly. An officer can test for this jerking by asking them to follow a flashlight or pen with their eyes. If they fail any of these tests, there could be probable cause to arrest them.
Although these tests are for the most part accurate, they are not 100% foolproof. If you were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol because you failed a field sobriety test, there could be ways to challenge this evidence. For example, in the HGN testing, certain types of medications and conditions which could have the same types of side effects. In regards to the other tests, if the law enforcement officer did not explain the directions clearly or there were other factors leading to a failed test, our Sacramento criminal defense attorneys will do everything in our power to find them.
If you were arrested for DUI in Sacramento or the surrounding areas, you will most likely have questions regarding the possible penalties you could be facing. The specific penalties for DUI will vary based on the aggravating factors in your case as well as whether it was a first offense or you have had multiple offenses. For a first DUI offense, you could be put in jail for up to six months and required to attend DUI school for either three, six, or nine months. For a second offense, the jail time will be a mandatory minimum of ten days, but can increase to up to one year.
The required time attending DUI school could also increase to 18 months. Someone convicted of a third offense could be placed in jail for up to one year but will at least have to serve 120 days in jail as well as 18 months in DUI school. If someone is convicted of DUI for a fourth time, it will become a felony DUI offense and they could be sent to prison for three years.
In the state of California, we have what is called the “zero tolerance” law which simply means if a driver under the legal drinking age is found to have even 0.01% of alcohol in their system, they will be arrested for an underage DUI offense. In order to make sure that your minor is well protected, hiring a skilled Sacramento DUI attorney is the only way to go. Protect your child’s life and future by calling a skilled legal professional as soon as possible. Penalties for an underage DUI include a one year license suspension if they are already a driver, and if they do not have a license yet than a one year delay among other penalties. However, if a minor in CA refuses to participate with a chemical test, they may be facing between one and three years of a license suspension depending on the number of past offenses the minor has had.
Charged with DUI? A Sacramento DUI lawyer can help!
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI then you will greatly benefit from the legal assistance of a representative from our firm at your DMV hearing and trial. We have the skill and the experience that you need on your side and we will be able to aggressively fight to see that you achieve your goals and your desires regarding the outcome of your case. We can answer your questions, discuss your options, advise you of the best legal action for you to take and provide you with skillful and aggressive representation of your case in court if you choose to work with us. Not only that, but we have experts which we can confer with regarding the absorption and elimination of alcohol and how that can affect a case.
Contact a Sacramento criminal defense attorney who understands the law and the pharmacology of DUI cases.
View the firm’s profile at