After a seemingly enjoyable moment with friends to catch up where social drinking is involved, you may find yourself in trouble. If you suffer from an alcohol use disorder (AUD), any other addiction, or use clinical drugs that impairs your driving ability, the severity of DUI charges once caught, can increase. You may be assured of a fine, a jail term, probation, and other penalties if an experienced lawyer who understands the DUI law of your state does not defend you. The San Diego DUI Attorney defends DUI offenders in Hellhole Palms to fight for acquittal or minimum penalties.
Once you take the risk of operating a vehicle while intoxicated you can be charged for the following charges once a probable cause for arresting and arraigning you in court is established:
Per se DUI Charge
You are liable for trial for a per se DUI charge when you are found to exceed the blood alcohol concentration. In most states, 0.08% BAC is the level that you should never exceed and drive a vehicle. The same intoxication level applies to other drugs such as recreational marijuana. In states with zero-tolerance laws, anybody who has not attained the majority age of drinking cannot legally operate a car with any percentage of intoxication.
Medically prescribed drugs can also call for this charge if their level exceeds the level that you can adequately control a vehicle at. The charge is constructed from the conception that the drug’s use indicates one is unwell and not medically fit to drive.
Here the officer does not need to prove that you were impaired to control the car. The test results from breath, urine, blood, or hair-follicle samples are relied on to establish the intoxication level. Your Hellhole Palms DUI attorney will be keen to establish the accuracy of the screening instrument to establish any measurement error. He/she will also consider the expert input on the likelihood of having compromised the test results from the mishandling of the sample. However, it is difficult to dispute the accuracy of the device when the BAC is too high.
The officer will not consider any indication of falling short of controlling your car in this type of DUI charge. The driver will be legally required by the implied consent laws to submit their samples upon request by the officer. The laws that confer drivers driving privileges require them to produce the driving license and emblem of insurance upon request by the officer.
Absconding the implied consent laws comes with consequences such as suspension of the driving license. The department of motor vehicles that issued the license is responsible for this suspension for flouting the laws you accepted to abide by. Hence the suspension is an administrative penalty, and the court is not incumbent. A local Hellhole Palms DUI attorney should book for a hearing within ten days of arrest to avoid the suspension of the driving license.
Impaired DUI Charge
This charge applies to those indicating intoxication on the road to the best of the officer’s judgment. The probable cause can be based on the actual driving, being in control of the vehicle, or any hint of the intention to drive.
Below are the indications that can strengthen the officer’s conviction that you are impaired to drive:
- Poor performance in the Field Sobriety Tests
- Slurred speech during the initial investigation when the driver is pulled over
- Behaving suspiciously
- Having trouble with responding to simple requests such as getting the license, insurance token or parking beside the traffic
- Erratic driving such as stopping and accelerating unusually
- Difficult in walking to the FST spot
- Blood-shot eyes
- Presence of alcohol cans, drug sachet, injecting syringes or rolls
- A testimony from an occupant in the vehicle about you intoxication
- Evidence from a neutral third party who observed you exhibited impairment
An experienced Hellhole Palms DUI attorney will defend you using the observable evidence by stating other reasons responsible for the observations of the officer that hinted at being under the influence.
DUI and Reckless Driving
DUI is the root of most reckless driving incidents. The drugs make the drive's coordinating abilities weak, the judgment distorted, and the multitasking ability debilitated. This impairment increases the chances of causing accidents. Injuries and damages from an intoxicated driver make the DUI offense worse.
The impaired judgment causes a driver to underestimate the suitability of their speed to the road conditions and weather conditions. They drive on steep roads, misty, and rainy days the same way as when the weather is favorable. There is also a tendency of being aggressive due to intoxication, which results in speed exhibition, tail-gating, and failure to give the pedestrians the right of the way when on the crosswalks. They misjudge the time needed to stop or think they are in proper control of the car hence keep an unsafe distance.
The lack of coordination due to intoxication has its consequences. The multitasking ability is destroyed. The casual talk with the vehicle occupants may get full attention as they discuss vanity. The hearing ability is also compromised hence sirens and hooting from other motorists giving heed to observe safety measures are not received in time. The reasonable care when driving, such as being on the lookout for motorists in blind spots, is ignored when the driver is under the influence. Due to the diminished visibility, pedestrians and motorbikes are not easily noticeable.
The driver is also likely to increase their speed within moments. These dangerous speeds make a driver overlook the stop signs and give way to vehicles turning left when they have the right of way.
The intoxication may also make one begin making retouches to hide the evidence of intoxication, such as chewing mouth fresheners. These constitute a diversion of attention, which increases the risk of accidents since the driver is already intoxicated.
Reasons Why Sober Drivers Fail Field Sobriety Tests
The police officer ordering you to pull over for an initial investigation must have a reasonable suspicion that you are drunk. Thus they will try all the attempts to prove that you are drunk. The officer seeks to establish a probable cause for arresting, seizure searches, and arraigning you in court. Below are some of the reasons why one fail in Field Sobriety Tests (FST) even if they are sober:
Subjectivity in Field Sobriety Test (FST)
Your success or failure in the FST depends on the subjective judgment of the officer conducting them. Since it is pure suspicion that made the officer order you pull over, then the bias ripples down to judging any cues to indicate failure. It is not a surprise that there would be difficulty in awarding the success rate if a bench conducted the FST.
The FST may be conducted at night when you have been driving for hours. The officer thus may pull over for having red or watery eyes as reasonable suspicion. When tired, one is less able to balance and concentrate on the instructions given for the FST. The ability of the limbs to balance when exhausted is highly diminished. Fatigue can be used as a reasonable defense for failing FST.
A soar in excitement is usually associated with being pulled over. The agitation may be caused by:
- The fear of the police or being found in the wrong
- The anxiety for failing to reach the destination in time
- A fault in the car that you have not yet noticed
- The fear of failing in the FST
Nervousness can make one overlook the instructions and thus fail.
The physical well-being at the time of being arrested can determine the success rate in FST. Back complications and bad knee affect the ability of a driver to turn and balance with the rapidity required in the FST. Slacking in turning may be wrongly taken as a sign of intoxication. Being overweight and elderly at the age of 65 years increases the odds of failing in FST.
In most states, obesity and this age threshold exempt drivers from FST, hence their test results obtained are not admissible in court for trial. The eyesight ability may affect the strength of the driver to move. Even when the driver is healthy, their hip and shoulder girth affects their ability to turn. Other problems that can contribute to imbalance are:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Being under certain medications such as chemotherapy
- Ear injuries
- Brain and head injury
Improper Conditions for FST
Police do not always provide conducive spots for FST. Sloppy grounds and dim-lit environments may affect the ability to succeed in an FST. On the road of the road, the traffic may generate noise that interferes with the ability to listen and synthesize the instructions. The flashing light of the police car or the passing vehicles also affects visibility. Taking FST that involves walking in uneven spots may wrongfully suggest intoxication for finding it challenging to balance.
Faulty Administration of FST
The officers get used to giving instructions for FST and provide the guidelines with such a succession. The ambiguity of the instructions often confuses the driver. The officers do not make it clear what they are looking for in the test, and a slight mistake indicates intoxication. If the instructions are given at once, for instance, in the walk and turn test, it will be difficult to recall all those instructions.
The FST is Flawed
The FST is based on a flawed way of scrutiny since even a sober person cannot succeed in all of them. The officers will also hint intoxication when demonstrating how to perform them. In some instances, the officers will not use the proper language used to train them when instructing you to perform FST. The officers, however, get away with the cues of intoxication when demonstrating in court using techniques esoteric to the officers only. Even with sober drivers, the FST has a 32% defect in giving the right results. Hence one can fail and get away with the evidence obtained. The Hellhole Palms DUI attorney will help you unveil the cheats used by officers to hook you into failing the FST.
The way you Dress
Some articles of clothing may make the driver fail in FST. For instance, ladies in high-heels find it difficult to balance when undergoing the foot and turn the test in a straight line. Tight-fitting clothes or skimpy dresses blew by the wind may wrongly give cues of being drunk when drivers try adjusting them.
Cues of Intoxication in Field Sobriety Tests
The police are conscientious about looking for any indicators for being drunk. Their primary purpose for conducting you to FST is to confirm their suspicion with undoubted evidence. The following are the indicators of being under the influence in the FST that officers keenly look for:
- Swaying sideways while doing a one-leg stand FST
- Hopping from the spot in a one-stand test
- Putting the raised leg on the ground for a moment
- Using arms to keep steady
- Loses stability while turning
- Takes fewer or exceed the instructed number of steps
- Stops walking to regain stability
- Leaving gaps between the heel and the toe when making steps
- Beginning to take the tests before the officer gives the instructions fully
- Being unable to maintain balance or shaking unreasonably when taking instructions for FST
- The inability of the eyes to follow objects
Although these may hint at the driver being under the influence, your Hellhole Palms DUI attorney will give an explanation of all these observations to validate your FST failure. The defenses may be based on:
- Medical conditions at the time of the test
- Erroneous instructions for the experiments or overlooking the personal rights
- Unfavorable conditions under which the tests were carried out
The court may do trial and conviction, and you succeed in satisfying the legal penalties, but a consequence overlooked by many lies with the insurers of their cars.
DUI and Auto Insurance Coverage
Failing to disclose your DUI offense when looking for an insurance coverage violates the utmost good faith clause. Failing to disclose has consequences when the insurer runs into your criminal driving record. The insurer can then decide to punish you for insincerity by:
- Mandating you to pay the difference in premium, accumulated ever since the policy came into force, for having received a lesser quote the DUI offense record not considered
- Cancelation of the policy in case you are not able to comply with the above requirement or the offense is renders your policy ineligible
When honest from the beginning, the insurer may overlook the record and give a reasonable quotation for the cover. You can also receive guidelines for the best policies that serve the specifics of car needs.
If you have an existing policy with an insurer, the DUI record will not affect it until the date of the policy renewal. When they find out that you have a DUI offense in the record, they may increase the value of premiums. The premiums may remain inflated until the crime is scraped out of the record. The record implies, in some way, compliance with DUI law in your state, and you are no longer vulnerable to commit DUI offenses.
The reasons for these severe penalties such as the increase in your premiums or a possible cancelation of your policy are taken since:
- The failure to disclose the facts needed for deciding the favorable quotations makes one unsafe to cover
- The possibility of the DUI offense makes one susceptible to causing accidents and damage to property, which implies more costs for compensation. These costs could shoot over the policy limit. The offense may increase the frequency of causing injuries, posing a burden to the insurer to cover you.
DUI and Child Endangerment Charge
One is charged for child endangerment for putting a minor in a potentially harmful situation, either physically or psychologically. Driving while under the influence with a minor as an occupant in the vehicle exposes the minor to harm. This child endangerment charge is more severe than the DUI charge itself. The charge is severe since you showed a willful disregard for the child's life. The harm posed to the minor may be from the exposure to drugs or potential injuries should an accident occur while driving. The definition of the minor varies with the applicable state law.
The presence of the minors heightens the penalties. However, when all the defenses have failed, a Hellhole Palms DUI attorney will point out that you had no choice but to evacuate the child from a life-threatening situation. Thus you never intended to drive under intoxication, but the need to save a child could not wait until you were legally sober.
Find a Hellhole Palms DUI Attorney Near Me
A DUI offense is laden with severe consequences once convicted. However, engaging a seasoned lawyer who understands your state laws and has seen many DUI offenders out of court, can turn around your case. The San Diego DUI Attorney defends DUI offenders in Hellhole Palms to overturn a looming sentence, fines, and probation into less severe penalties. Call us today by dialing 619-535-7150 to get the assistance you need in your case.