When you are charged with a DUI or DWI, it is important to consider your various legal options. There are times when the traffic stop or even the sobriety tests used may provide false results concerning your level of intoxication. Below are answers to some basic questions about DUI and DWI cases. Our San Diego DUI attorney can go over these, and other DUI questions with your during a free consultation. Call (858) 707-9800 today.
A DUI charge means driving under the influence. (DWI means driving while intoxicated, though DUI and DWI are used synonymously.) A DUI means that a person is alleged to have been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Operating a motor vehicle while using other controlled substances also falls under DUI / DWI law.
There are numerous ways to determine this, but one of the most well known is measuring a person’s blood alcohol content, or BAC. This refers to the concentration of alcohol found in a person’s bloodstream.
In the state of California, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is .08%. Anything in excess of that is grounds for an arrest. It should be noted that a person can be charged with drunk driving even if the blood alcohol content is lower than .08%. (In such cases, the driver would have to be driving erratically or violating other traffic laws.)
During a traffic stop, there are many ways a police officer may assess a person’s sobriety. There are field sobriety tests, which may involve tracing the path of a moving object (e.g., a pen or a raised finger), standing on one leg, reciting the alphabet, counting backwards, and so forth. Another common check for blood alcohol content is a breathalyzer test, which measures the presence of alcohol on a person’s breath. Urine tests, blood tests, and additional tests can be administered as well.
Speaking with a skilled San Diego DUI and DWI defense lawyer means that you will get the consideration that your case deserves. Field sobriety tests and breathalyzers are not always accurate, and a skilled attorney will investigate the facts of each case to find out if there was cause to arrest you in the first place. On top of this, the circumstances under which you were pulled over may be grounds for dismissal of the charges against you.