Now that DUI season has arrived in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, it is important for those who have been arrested to understand the DUI process. After the police pull someone over for a Southern California DUI, then the entire process will begin to unfold quickly and people need to know what their right’s are and what is likely to happen.
These events are the same whether you are stopped for a DUI in Pasadena, or stopped for a DUI in Beverly Hills. Many people think that the officers do things differently depending on where they are stopped. This is most likely not true. A DUI in Glendale is treated the same as a Long Beach DUI.
The first thing that will occur is that police officer will pull you over for some reason. However, the reason must be based upon objective criteria and must comply with the law. In many cases that is either speeding or weaving back in forth or out of the lane of travel. That is called the probable cause for the stop. At that time the officer, if the person has been drinking, will smell alcohol on their breath and may ask a few questions. This is called the DUI detention.
The next event is that the officer will ask you to exit the vehicle and will ask a few more questions. These may concern whether you are taking any medicine, what and when you last ate, where were you drinking before you were pulled over.
After you answer those questions the officer most likely will instruct you to perform field sobriety tests. These are legal tests that assist the officer in making a determination whether you are driving under the influence of alcohol and whether the officer wants you to submit to a chemical test.
If the officer still is not sure if you are driving under the influence, then you may be asked to take a Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test (PAS Test). The test is offered by the officer. it is very important to know, that you are not obligated to take the PAS Test. The officer may attempt to trick you into thinking that you must, however, that is not the law and you have no duty to take that test.
If you take the PAS Test, and the read out is anywhere close to or over .08%, then you will automatically be arrested and taken to the station. As most people know, there are two components to the Los Angeles DUI arrest. First, is the person driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in violation of 23152(a) of the California Vehicle Code, and secondly, is the person driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher in violation of 23152(b) of the California Vehicle Code.
Once arrested, then the entire game changes. The next blog post will cover what happens after the arrest at the station and how you should proceed to minimize the harm that can occur to both your criminal record, and your ability to drive a motor vehicle in California
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or if you have been detained for a DUI in Pasadena or a Beverly Hills DUI, then you should do the same as if you are stopped for a West Hollywood DUI or if you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.