Bakersfield DUI, What You Need To Know
As Bakersfield DUI Lawyers, we have defended nearly 2000 clients for
drunk driving in Kern County and throughout the state of California. This
Law Firm endorses the policy that one should not drive with any
measurable amount of alcohol in a person's bloodstream. The reason we
believe this to be a safe policy is not because it is illegal to do so, indeed
California law does allow a person to drive after consuming alcohol. Vehicle
code 23152 for example provides a person is only per se illegal if the
concentration of blood alcohol is .08 or higher.
The reason we recommend the zero tolerance approach is due to the fact
that most Bakersfield police and law enforcement agencies will arrest you if
they detect the slightest odor of an alcoholic beverage on your breath.
Hopefully you will follow this advice, however for those who do not we
give the following information for people contacted by a Bakersfield cop
after consuming an alcoholic beverage
1. Do not disclose the number of drinks consumed
This only hurts you no matter what you tell the arresting officer. For
example, if you say you had nothing to drink and the chemical test discloses
a moderate level which can be defensed you may have hurt the case
because now the prosecutor will make you out to be a liar and not credible
if you have to testify at trial. It also eliminates some defenses such as the
"rising blood alcohol" defense which can be very successful in many cases.
2. Do not agree to take any hand held Preliminary Alcohol Screening
Device Breath Test
Unless you are under age 21 the law does not require it. Despite our
constant warnings, many people still agree to submit to the "PAS" test in the
field, much to their peril. The California Vehicle Code makes this test
optional unless you are underage, on DUI probation or have certain
restrictions such as commercial drivers. The PAS can usually only hurt
you, therefore do not agree to take this particular hand held test.
3. Do not agree to submit to any Field Sobriety tests
If you feel you are impaired, in any way, do not submit to the "FST's",
kindly tell the officer you decline. These "coordination exercises" are not
scientifically reliable, they are too subjective and often are administered
incorrectly by improperly trained Bakersfield law enforcement.
4. Do not make admissions about your level of sobriety.
This speaks for itself. Do not incriminate yourself. You are in no position
to try and outsmart a police officer looking to arrest you.
5. Do not tell the officer where and when you were drinking.
This eliminates valid defenses such as the "rising blood alcohol" defense.
An experienced DUI Lawyer can argue this successfully but not if you lock
yourself in to a particular drinking pattern and time frame. A person for
example instinctively believes that saying they have drank much earlier in
the day will help him when it in fact it may not. If you just recently
consumed an alcoholic beverage in relation to the stop, then you may be in
what experts call the "absorptive state". This means that your true BAC at
the time of diving would be lower than what the breath test said you are.
6. Do ask to speak to a Lawyer before any questioning.
This applies to all questions asked by the officer. Simply tell the officer that
you do not wish to answer any questions until you have had time to speak
with a lawyer about your rights. This does not apply to the implied consent
choice of chemical tests, but everything else.
7. Do take the breath test (not the PAS), when given a choice between
breath or blood, upon being lawfully arrested.
The breath test is easier to challenge in Court. However, you should be
aware that if the arresting officer has reason to believe the driver is under
the influence of drugs the cop can request the suspect to submit to a urine
or blood test. The law provides a possible license suspension if the test is
refused. A common scenario is when the person arrested is suspected of
being intoxicated by marijuana, they take a breath test which comes out
zero and a urine test is subsequently given. When drug use is suspected the
police can insist that you complete a blood or urine test.
8. Do consult a DUI Lawyer immediately upon being released from the
Kern County Jail.
If you do not retain competent legal counsel quickly you will prejudice your
case. If your drivers license is important to you contact a DUI attorney
9. Do not go to Court and try to represent yourself.
Legal self help does not work well, hire a professional. Many folks make
the big mistake in believing that the Judge or the D.A. will be there to help
them and do what is best for them. This could not be further from the
truth. The Judges and prosecutors will not give you legal advise, they will
however want you to plead guilty so that the Court dockets can be cleared
more quickly. Neither of these two individuals will ensure that the evidence
is compelling enough to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt or make
certain that the correct procedures were followed by the police in the
investigation of your case.
10. Do not delay in requesting a DMV hearing ASAP in order to save
your drivers license after a DUI arrest.
Be aware of the ten day DMV deadline. In Bakersfield, the DMV hearings
are typically held in person, however, a hearing can be done over the phone
under certain circumstances.
The information provided applies to California Law. This site does not
intend to provide legal information outside the state. Each case requires
detailed analysis and therefore an experienced attorney should be consulted
for specific legal advice regarding any case. We offer a free one on one
legal assessment of your case. This is done with you speaking directly with
a local Bakersfield lawyer, not a "case manager", legal assistant or paralegal.
These people are not attorneys and should not discuss your case with you.
Bakersfield DUI Attorney Bruce Blythe can be researched on Google Plus
and his biography, as well as other useful information can be viewed before
retaining his services.
Call us at (661) 327-7833.