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Posted on in DUI

San Francisco DUi lawyer

In almost every state across the nation, .08 is the legal limit for an individual’s blood alcohol concentration when driving. Assembly Bill 1713, proposed by two California assembly members -- Democrat Autumn Burke and Republican Heath Flora -- would lower the legal BAC to .05. They say the reasoning behind the proposal is that drivers begin to show impairment well before reaching .08. If the bill passes, California will follow in the footsteps of Utah, where the .05 BAC standard was adopted in December 2018. If passed, the new law will result in many more DUI arrests each year.

How Many Drinks to 0.05 BAC?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, women weighing 160 pounds may only need one drink before reaching .05, and a man weighing 180 pounds could get by with two drinks and still legally drive. At the current level of .08, most women can legally drive after two drinks and some men after as many as four.

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Posted on in DUI

San Jose DUI lawyer defense strategiesIn the age of technology and connectivity that we live in, the potential for drunk driving has been reduced. While getting to your destination after consuming alcohol may have previously required planning and a lot of hassle, it can now be completed with a simple order of an Uber on your cell phone. Because of this, many law enforcement officials do not take DUI charges lightly and will punish offenders to the full extent of the law. In California, even a first DUI conviction can carry possible jail time, large fines, and a driver's license suspension. A solid defense strategy can be key to getting a fair outcome in your DUI case. 

Elements of a DUI Case

Before you can begin building a solid defense, you must first understand a few things about your DUI case. When you are charged with DUI, the prosecutor has the burden of proof, meaning he or she must prove that you were in fact driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. Knowing that the prosecutor must prove that you were impaired at the time you were driving, you and your attorney can construct a solid defense.

DUI Defense Strategies

Though there are many ways you can defense against a DUI charge, you and your lawyer should talk about your specific case and come up with a plan that is best suited for you. Here are a few strategies that may be of benefit if you are charged with a DUI:

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California DUI defense lawyerIt is never safe to drive after you have consumed any amount of alcohol, which is why all 50 states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have passed laws making it illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08. While there is a limit to how much alcohol can be in your system before it becomes illegal to drive, many states have also made it possible for you to be charged with a DUI, even if your BAC is less than .08. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that, in 2016 alone, there were 2,017 people killed in alcohol-related crashes involving drivers with BAC’s that were between .01 to .07.

BAC and the Effects on Your Abilities

.02: After your first drink, your BAC will likely be around.02. You will probably begin feeling slightly warm, relaxed, and in a good mood. Your judgment will be slightly impaired, and your ability to track moving targets and multitask will be affected.

.05: The effects of the previous level will still be apparent, but more exaggerated. Your sense of alertness may be lowered, and you may experience difficulty focusing your eyes, and even more lapse in judgment abilities. Your ability to drive will also be affected by reduced coordination, difficulty steering, and a reduced response to emergency situations.

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Posted on in DUI

San Jose DUI defense attorneys, DUI charges, DUI, California drunk driving laws, DUI chargesWhen most people think of going on vacation in the spring they imagine getting away from the grind of work or exams and enjoying time with friends or simply relaxing. However, what starts off as a fun vacation may quickly turn into a nightmare if you are pulled over for driving under the influence.

The Risks of Binge Drinking and Driving

Eighty percent of drunk driving incidents in the United States are related to binge drinking, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. When a person is under the influence of alcohol, and especially if he or she has been binge drinking, the person may experience negative effects such as decreased concentration, blurred vision, and a reduced coordination and reaction time, which can cause accidents.

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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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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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