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What To Expect After Being Arrested For A DUI In California

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California Vehicle Code section 23152, sections (a) and (b) state in pertinent part: It is a misdemeanor to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and it is a misdemeanor to drive with .08% or more of alcohol in your blood. It is important to keep in mind that the law in California allows for a defendant who is charged with drinking and driving to be convicted of both offenses. Additionally, California has a felony DUI law for situations in which someone suffers injury as a result of a drunk driving incident. Further, the California penal code also contains a vehicular manslaughter provision in the event that the drinking and driving incident results in someone's death.

The United States Constitution provides various protections from unreasonable searches and seizures. Since an arrest has been interpreted to be a seizure under the Constitution, an arrest must be performed reasonably. In other words, the arresting officer must have probable cause to stop or arrest the accused.

With regard to sobriety tests, individuals stopped for drunk driving cannot be forced to submit to field sobriety testing. It is important to note that there may be consequences for refusing to such testing.

There are other rights that arrested or detained individuals have of which they must be advised by law enforcement at the time of arrest. These rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Failure to properly advise an arrested individual of these rights may constitute a basis for having charges dropped.

Testing cannot be forced on an individual. However, deciding not to take the tests may have significant legal consequences. That is why an individual arrested for DUI must be given notice of the potential consequences of refusing to participate in field sobriety or breath testing. They must also be allowed to get an objective test to use against the test results conducted by the police.
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