Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

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DUI arrest, drunk driving, San Jose DUI defense attorney, DUI defense, Uber and LyftWhen someone drinks alcohol, one of the first things that is affected is their judgment. This impairment to a person’s ability to make responsible decisions is why otherwise-sensible people may get behind the wheel after drinking, and thus endanger people on the road—actions that can potentially lead to a DUI arrest or a car accident.

In the ongoing campaign against drunk driving, safety advocates have encouraged drivers to use alternate methods of transportation after they have been drinking. In recent years, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft have become available, and these companies have claimed to have reduced the rates of drunk driving. But have they actually made an impact on public safety?

Differing Studies

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drunk driving fatalities, California drunk driving laws, San Jose drunk driving defense attorney, DUI prevention training, California barsDriving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or DUI, is a serious offense in California, and the state has a number of laws which aim to improve roadway safety and punish drivers who put others in danger. However, the prevalence of drunk driving continues to be a concern, with more than one-third of all car accident fatalities in the state involving drunk drivers. As a result, California is looking to implement additional laws in hopes of reducing drunk driving deaths.

Drunk Driving Prevention Training

Many advocates believe that drunk driving fatalities can be prevented if people intervene before someone who is impaired gets behind the wheel. Bartenders and servers of alcoholic beverages are particularly in a position to identify when people are too inebriated to drive and help ensure that they do not drive while drunk.

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What Should You Do if You are Pulled Over for Driving Under the Influence?

What to do if you are pulled over for DUIBeing stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence can be a frightening experience, because the penalties for DUI in California are severe. However, if you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the last thing you should do is panic. Instead, you should remember your rights and take certain actions that can later help you in court if you are arrested.

After you are stopped by law enforcement on suspicion of driving under the influence, there are a few steps you should take to ensure that the DUI charges against you have a weak basis in court:

  1. Remember that you are not free to leave. While you are not in custody, you are considered detained when stopped by the police. Therefore, you are not free to leave even if you have not been arrested yet.
  2. Decline to answer questions. You are permitted to refuse to answer any incriminating questions. Keep in mind, however, that you must provide the police with your vehicle registration, driver’s license, and auto insurance.
  3. Refuse participation in field sobriety tests. You can refuse to participate in any field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests are physical tests that may require you to stand on one foot or walk in a straight line. These tests do not accurately determine whether the participant is intoxicated. In addition, if a suspected person is nervous or is confused by the officer’s questions, he or she may perform poorly on the test, which may result in the officer deeming the suspected person intoxicated.
  4. Do not refuse a chemical test. Although you may refuse to take a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, you cannot refuse required chemical tests that determine your blood-alcohol content (BAC). If you do refuse to take a chemical test, you may be fined, imprisoned if convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, and your driving privileges will be suspended for up to one year if it is your first offense. 
  5. You can choose which type of test to take. If you do agree to submit to a chemical test, you will be given the choice of either a breath or blood test. A breath test can be easily challenged in court; however, a breath sample cannot be retested, while a blood test can. You may be required to submit to a blood test if the police officer has reasonable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence of a drug or both a drug and alcohol.

Contact Our San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are being charged with DUI, contact the San Jose DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson. There are many possible defenses to a drunk driving test refusal or DUI charge. An experienced attorney can challenge the chemical tests used to determine whether a driver is under the influence. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 408-246-3004.

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DUI

California has some of the most restrictive DUI laws in the country. If you are an out-of-state driver, it is important that you understand these laws and what will happen if you are arrested on suspicion of DUI.

California DUI laws are applied to both in and out-of-state drivers. If you are from a state that is party to the Interstate Driver's License Compact, you may face consequences back home.

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Tagged in: dui

Posted on in DUI

Many people enjoy ringing in the new year with a celebratory drink, but this can also lead to more arrests for driving under the influence over the holidays.

The LA Times reported that DUI arrests on New Year's Eve more than doubled from 2014 to 2015. Statewide, the California Highway Patrol made 1,072 arrests, up from 457 the previous year. While there were more officers on patrol than previous years, the huge increase was still surprising.

This year, California drivers may see even more officers on the road. The CHP recently announced the launch of a new Statewide Impaired Driving Enforcement program that runs from October 2016 through September 2017. CHP also participates in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement initiative. This year, drivers can expect lots of officers on patrol on New Year's Eve looking for violators.

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