Stopped for driving without headlights on and arrested for DUI
Question: I’m 28 years old with a clean record. The only reason I was given by the cop for stopping me was that I forgot to turn my headlights on. The officer had me do field tests which I think went pretty good. He did say that he could smell alcohol and that the way I was talking the officer thought I was impaired. But I was not swerving or anything like that when I was driving.
i refused the breath test and they took my blood test at the station. What are my chances if the result came bet 0.05 to a max of 0.07 considering all the circumstances I mentioned above?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my post.
Answer: It sounds like you are not sure what your BAC level allegedly is at this time, correct? From what you wrote, I am assuming that you did not receive blood test results back, and you are speculating as to what your blood test results will come back as.
If your BAC did come back between a .05-.07, you can still be charged with a DUI under VC 23152(a). If there was no poor driving observed, and the officer noted in his police report that you did very good on the Field sobriety tests, than that certainly can be useful information. Note that the officer will likely state that forgetting to turn your headlights on is an indicator that the driver could be under the influence.
How people feel they did on the FST’s and what the officer puts in his police report are often two different things. Secondly, it is not uncommon that blood test results come back with a higher BAC than what the driver anticipated. Getting a retest of the blood at an independent lab is an option.
Those factors, as well as the County and Court your case would be in, other details in the police report (or lack of details) and other potential factors could effect how this case is handled by the prosecutors office.
Also, did the officer take your drivers license? If you Blood Alcohol Content level was below a .08, then there should not be an issue with the DMV. But if it was a .08 or above, the DMV can suspend your driver’s license.
Further, you stated you refused the breath test, and they took your blood. Was there any conversation about a “refusal” in which they then took what would be considered a forced blood draw? That could also lead to issues with the DMV. There is only a 10 day window to request a DMV hearing on issues associated with the DUI arrest in order to fight a DMV suspension. Something an attorney can handle for you.
It sounds like you have a good case (in the world of DUI charges that is). I would recommend that you speak with a DUI attorney in your area to discuss your case in more detail. Even though the BAC level appears to be uncertain and may be below a .08, I would recommend consulting with a DUI Lawyer sooner as opposed to later (and within that 10 day period from your arrest if possible).
If you were cited or arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles County or a surrounding county, call me at 818-336-1384 to discuss your case further.
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