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Santa Cruz DUI defense lawyerIf you have never been pulled over for drunk driving and received a breathalyzer test, the technology might seem infallible – it was developed by law enforcement, after all. However, as outlined in the following sections, breathalyzers (and other sobriety testing methods) are anything but foolproof. In fact, there are several everyday items – things that would never lead to actual intoxication – that may cause a false positive on a breathalyzer.

The Complex and Inaccurate Nature of Breathalyzers

Breathalyzers are not perfect devices. They must be calibrated regularly, and the officer using it may not administer the test correctly. Yet, even in perfect conditions (i.e. a well-calibrated device, proper use, etc.), a breathalyzer may be inaccurate.

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California DUI defense attorneyCalifornia’s nightlife is artistic, musical, fashionable, and fun. It also ends at two in the morning, which is a bit early for some. A bill, entitled “Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act” and introduced by Senator Scott Wiener, could change that by extending the last call until 4 a.m. Supporters believe that the bill’s passing could improve safety for the state’s nightlife crowd, but naysayers are concerned it could increase the volume of drunk drivers on the road. Who is right, and how might the extension impact your risk of a DUI charge? The following explains.

Safety, State Revenue, and Local Venues

Legislators and authorities have long considered California’s nightlife as a problem to “manage,” but that is starting to change. Finally, they see its true potential – a way to increase state revenue and the bottom line of local venues. Part of that could be related to the increasing number of people traveling in and out of the state for leisure activities, but it could also have something to do with the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed dozens of music fans. By keeping safe, licensed establishments open longer, similar tragedies are far less likely to occur.

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California marijuana DUI lawyerMedical marijuana has been legal in California for two decades. Last year’s election also brought an approval of recreational cannabis use in California. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion about what it means to drive under the influence of marijuana. Learn more about the laws, and what you can do if you are arrested for driving under the influence of cannabis.

California Still Lacks a Definitive Limit

With alcohol intoxication, the law is straightforward: anyone driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater is subject to criminal charges. With cannabis, there is no such limit. Recently, a bill that would impose a 5ng/ml blood level for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was passed through the Committee on Public Safety. It is now heading to the Committee on Appropriations. Until it passes fully through the system, the law remains confusing and contradictory. There is no limit, and that means one person might be arrested for trace amounts, despite not being intoxicated, but another person might not be.

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California DUI defense lawyerIf you were recently arrested for an alleged DUI, you might be concerned about what happens next. You may also be wondering what this might mean when it comes to your license. Rest assured: it is possible to fight back against the DUI charges and your California license suspension. Learn more with help from the following information.

What Happens to Your License?

When an officer arrests an individual under the suspicion of drunk driving, they are required to immediately forward a copy of the driver’s license to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The license of the driver may be immediately confiscated, and the officer may issue a temporary license and an Order of Suspension. Upon receipt of the Order of Suspension, the driver has up to 10 days to request an administrative hearing with the DMV. However, the driver may continue to drive using their temporary license for up to 30 days. 

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DUI, pulled over, Santa Cruz DUI lawyerYou are out for a night of celebrations. You got a big promotion at work and your friends have taken you out for a night on the town to celebrate. After several locations and innumerable drinks later–who knows how many, you had a designated driver–it comes time for everyone to go home. Yet, when you find your driver, he has been drinking all night too. He appears to be worse off than you are. You decide to be the hero and take everyone home yourself.  After a few miles, you see dreaded police lights in your rearview mirror. You are about to get pulled over with a high probability that it is DUI related. What do you do?

During the Traffic Stop

By the time the officer has brought you to a stop, a phone call has already been made to "call in" the stop. This lets the dispatcher know that the officer is busy, a vehicle description, and the reason for the stop. Typically, a cover officer will be dispatched to the scene for the safety and the security of the officer, but also a witness to all events. Although this is not a requirement, more and more police officers are using dash or body cams in their vehicles or on their person today. This can either help or hurt a case, so be aware that one may be recording your every move.

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I Have a High Alcohol Tolerance. Will I Be Arrested for DUI?

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to DUI is the belief that a person with a high alcohol tolerance will not be arrested for DUI. Your alcohol tolerance has actually nothing to do with your potential for a DUI arrest.

Some people have an enhanced tolerance for alcohol. That tolerance comes through years of drinking. Tolerance for alcohol however doesn’t impact your likelihood of being arrested for DUI. One person who has just had a couple of alcohol beverages could be very pleasantly buzzed. Another person, however, may have had a larger quantity of alcohol, and continues to drink because he doesn't feel the intoxicating effects of alcohol. The second person may be at a high risk of being arrested for DUI, because his blood alcohol concentration could have breached the .08% legally permissible level, because of the higher numbers of alcoholic beverages that he has consumed.

He could be arrested, even though he does not show any external signs of being intoxication. In other words, this person may not even have a “buzzed” feeling, may not have slurred speech, red eyes, or any of the other signs that people typically associate with intoxication.

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The Supreme Court of the United States Of America recently decided not to take up the appeal of a DUI decision, that had been handed by a California court.

The decision was handed down in Vangelder versus California, and the crux of the defense was the breath test performed just before the arrest. Vangelder had been arrested for DUI after a breath test. At the trial, attorneys for the defendant brought in an expert, who said that testing machines were unreliable because they tended to measure the alcohol content in the wrong part of the breath. They didn't measure the alcohol content in the deeper part of the air, which is closer to the bloodstream, and therefore, readings from the testing machines were unreliable.

The defense however didn't work, and the man was convicted. The man appealed, and the California State Court ruled against him again. When the matter went to the Supreme Court of the United States Of America, the Court decided to not take up the appeal at all.

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