For many years now, California law enforcement officers have administered specific tests before they arrest a driver and charge them with suspected driving under the influence of alcohol. These tests, commonly called field sobriety tests, are standardized and approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That, however, does not mean that they are completely accurate. In fact, each of the three tests has a defined inaccuracy rate.
Sometimes, people take to the road when they are extremely intoxicated, and some of these reckless drivers may not care about their blood alcohol content (BAC) level at all. Other drivers, however, may be more concerned about whether they are over the legal limit or not, not only to avoid some of the repercussions associated with drunk driving charges but in order to protect their safety while behind the wheel. However, people who take to the road while they are buzzed may also be charged with driving drunk, facing serious consequences as well.
At the law offices of John M. Kucera, Attorney at Law, we know that driving is more than a way of getting around for some people. Some of our clients depend on their driving privileges in California to make a living, support their families and safe for their futures.
California does indeed have what you might call a three-strike policy when it comes to DUIs: Minimum penalties increase with subsequent judgments. You could eventually go to jail for a significant period of time under certain circumstances of repeat offense.
As you might imagine, the California law on driving under the influence of alcohol make separate provisions for commercial and other drivers. However, if you were to operate a vehicle on a freelance basis for a rideshare program, you would not require special licenses. This could let you own and operate your vehicle normally, independently of commercial-vehicle laws and insurance policies.
If you have been convicted of a DUI in California, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. In Tulare, Alameda, Sacramento or Los Angeles counties, this is mandatory; however, those convicted in other counties are at the mercy of the judge presiding of the case. Interlock devices enable you to continue driving to work and school even with a DUI conviction.
If you are currently facing a California drinking and driving charge, but you suspect that a falsely elevated breath test result is behind your arrest, you may have concerns about the possible penalties you may face, if convicted. While breath tests are often the primary source of evidence used against suspected DUI offenders, they are not always completely accurate, and inaccurate results can lead to imprisonment, considerable fines and other potential penalties. At the Law Offices of John M. Kucera, we understand the important of Breathalyzer accuracy, and we have assisted many clients who believed their breath test results were inaccurate get to the bottom of things.
Everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately for some Californians, these mistakes may involve the police. A previous DUI conviction, however, can make a second drunk driving charge seem less like a mistake and more like a concerning pattern to the state government.