San Diego DUI Law Center

San Diego DUI Attorney FAQ’s / Tips

Do I have a right to speak to a San Diego California DUI attorney if I am contacted or stopped by a San Diego California DUI police officer?

In San Diego California, you have no right to consult with a San Diego California DUI Lawyer upon being stopped, contacted, arrested or before deciding whether to submit to chemical testing (choice of required San Diego California DUI blood test or implied consent San Diego California DUI breath test at the station or jail).

You do have the right to remain silent (even if the San Diego California DUI officer does not tell you so).

You may polite refuse to speak to the San Diego California DUI officer.

You are only required to provide the San Diego California DUI officer with your license, registration and insurance (upon request).

You should be given the opportunity to contact a San Diego California DUI attorney after completion of the California DUI paperwork.

Do I politely refuse if asked to take San Diego California DUI field sobriety tests?

In San Diego California, there are a number of voluntary San Diego California DUI field sobriety tests (FSTs) aka acrobatics or gymnastics, including heel-to-toe, finger-to-nose, one-leg stand, eye test aka horizontal gaze nystagmus test, alphabet, modified position of attention (Rhomberg), fingers-to-thumb, hand pat, etc. (These are different from San Diego California’s required, implied consent test – blood or breath test.)

Most San Diego California DUI officers will try to use a set battery of these subjective and manipulative tests and begin without fairly telling the suspect these tests are optional or voluntary.

Unlike San Diego California’s implied consent chemical test, where refusal to submit may have serious consequences, you are not legally required to take any of the San Diego California DUI Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) including the hand-held (Preliminary Alcohol Screening or PAS) blow test gadget in the field which is by statute voluntary.

San Diego California DUI officers usually make up their minds to arrest when they give the San Diego California DUI FSTs; the California DUI tests are simply additional San Diego California DUI evidence, which the suspect usually “fails”.

A polite refusal to perform these San Diego California DUI acrobatics is usually wise.

Why did the San Diego California DUI officer try to get me to follow a penlight with my eyes to the left and right?

This is the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” test, a huge development in San Diego California DUI cases.

The San Diego California DUI officer attempts to estimate the angle at which the eye begins to jerk (“nystagmus” is a medical term for a distinctive eye oscillation). If this occurs sooner than 45 degrees, it theoretically indicates a blood-alcohol concentration over .05%. In reality, it only tests for some presence of alcohol.

The smoothness of the eye’s tracking the penlight (or finger or pencil) is a factor, as is the type of jerking when the eye is as far to the side as it can go. There are numerous non-alcohol explanations for same or similar symptoms.

This San Diego California DUI field sobriety test has proven to be subject to a number of different problems, not the least of which is the non-medically trained officer’s ability to recognize nystagmus and estimate the angle of onset. Because of this, and the fact that the medical community does not accept the test, this San Diego DUI test is not admissible as evidence in many states.

San Diego California allows the pseudo/unscientific test as evidence to show presence of alcohol. It is widely used by San Diego California DUI police.

San County County DUI Law Center believes it is one of the least reliable San Diego California DUI tests and may be successful in discrediting this San Diego California DUI test.

What is a San Diego California DUI officer looking for during the initial detention or contact?

Purported signs of intoxication taught at pro-prosecution San Diego California DUI police academies include:

1. Flushed face
2. Red, watery, glassy and/or bloodshot eyes
3. Odor of alcohol on breath
4. Slurred speech
5. Fumbling with wallet trying to get license
6. Failure to comprehend the San Diego DUI officer’s questions
7. Staggering when exiting vehicle
8. Swaying/instability on feet
9. Leaning on car for support
10. Combative, argumentative, jovial or other “inappropriate” attitude
11. Soiled, rumpled, disorderly clothing
12. Stumbling while walking
13. Disorientation as to time and place
14. Inability to follow directions

There are many non-alcohol reasons which can fairly explain the above purported signs.

If I refuse to take a San Diego California DUI blood or breath test, is the consequence a 12 to 24 month driver’s license suspension?

Yes. There are potential, major San Diego California DUI effects:

1. Your driver’s license could be suspended for a period of twelve to twenty-four months. (This may be true even if you are found not guilty of the San Diego California DUI charge.)

2. The fact of refusal to submit to a San Diego California DUI blood or breath test can be introduced as “consciousness of guilt” in your San Diego California DUI court case.”

3. San Diego Drunk Driving Police can still do a forced blood draw and use that against you in court.

4. Your San Diego Drunk Driving Criminal Defense Attorney will be fighting both the refusal/consciousness of guilt issue + the blood test result in San Diego DUI Court.

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