If the police charge you with driving under the influence (DUI) in California, it is crucial to retain hope. Even if you tested positive on their breath testing machine, it might still be possible to overturn the charge.
The consequences of a DUI can far outweigh what you might expect. Accepting the charge without a fight could mean resigning yourself to financial penalties, insurance increases, license restrictions and even time in jail. On top of that, a DUI could hinder your chance to get work, especially work that involves driving or at a workplace you need your car to reach.
What did the police base their decision on?
Breathalyzers are one form of testing you for alcohol. If you blow above the limit, the police will more than likely arrest you and charge you with a DUI. Yet, you can still challenge it, as these machines have the potential to malfunction and show inaccurate readings. Even if the reading proved correct, you might be able to question whether the police carried out the stop and test correctly.
The police may still charge you without a positive Breathalyzer reading
Some police officers like to use the Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST), which consists of the walk-and-turn test, one-leg stand test and horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. There is controversy over the validity of these tests, as it is possible to fail even if sober. Having to perform them under the intense gaze of an official who thinks you have been drinking could prove too much and increase your likelihood of failing.
The police can also charge you with a DUI based on how they saw you driving. Yet, they might confuse your car with another or not believe that you only took the wheel after the events they witnessed.
Finding out more about DUI defense options and consulting with an experienced California DUI attorney can help you determine the best way to proceed.