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San Diego DUI: Commonly Asked Questions and Misconceptions
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San Diego DUI: Commonly Asked Questions and Misconceptions

San Diego DUI

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can have very serious repercussions, accidental injury or death to another notwithstanding. While some people who have San Diego DUI offenses on their driving records, some are less serious than others, but all have conditions, terms and penalties.

Commonly Asked Questions
People ask a library's worth of questions regarding San Diego DUI charges, but some are asked more often that others; a few of the more important ones include:

What is the difference between Drunk Driving and DUI?

Drunk driving or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in San Diego constitutes a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .08 or higher. Any alcohol or drugs in the blood constitutes Driving Under the Influence. Imbibing in one beer or joint could generate a DUI charge.

Do I have the right to refuse a breath or blood alcohol test?

You have the right to refuse field tests in California but not jailhouse chemical tests, but even if your BAL is 0, your driver's license could be suspended for one year. A conviction from evidence including a refusal often incurs harsher penalties than one noting compliance; every reputable attorney recommends you take the test.

My BAL exceeded the .08 level. What possible chance do I have to win?

Law enforcement must provide evidence to the prosecuting attorney that will withstand legal challenge from the defense against reasonable doubt. They must prove that all procedures, tests and conclusions were within proper requirements. Many San Diego DUI attorneys are very experienced in preserving clients' drivers licenses and even 'beating' or reducing the charges.

Common Misconceptions

Unfortunately, drivers find themselves embroiled more deeply than expected, because they don't know or understand what is and is not required from them and what is expected from and allowed by law enforcement. Commonly misunderstood issues include:

Traffic Stop v DUI Arrest: You can be stopped for a traffic offense and get arrested for DUI. If arrested, you won't get a traffic ticket, but the offense will be noted in the arrest report; the prosecutor takes that information under advisement during the trial.

Search and Seizure: Law enforcement can, if probable cause exists, search the front, driver's compartment of the vehicle without your consent or a search warrant. Possible issues which may constitute probable cause include empty containers visible or open containers in the front area. Another justification includes the driver admitting he or she has an open container in the front area.

Breathalyzer Acceptance is Self-Incriminating: Because California does acknowledge your right to refuse the field tests, there is no self-incrimination. You permit those; if arrested, however, refusing the chemical tests can incur additional penalty.

For the best outlooks, drive clean and sober. When you don't, remember that San Diego DUI charges are very serious matters. Because of the complexity of the law, the delicate nature of the equipment and individual circumstances, retaining the services of a qualified San Diego DUI attorney is paramount. The specialty knowledge far outweighs the free benefit of a public defender who doesn't specialize in that issue.
 


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