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California DUI defense attorneyBeing pulled over by a police officer can be scary in any situation, but it can be especially scary if you are being pulled over for suspicion of DUI. When you are pulled over because an officer suspects that you have been driving under the influence, you will more-than-likely be asked to step out of your vehicle to partake in various field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are used to determine whether or not a person’s ability to drive has been compromised because of alcohol, or whether or not there is enough evidence to perform an arrest. If you are arrested for DUI, you will be asked to submit to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration or the amount of a specific drug in your system. If you refuse a chemical test, you could be subject to serious penalties.

Implied Consent Law

In the state of California, any person who drives a vehicle is deemed to have given their consent for chemical testing of their blood, breath or, when applicable, urine to determine the amount of alcohol in their system. This implied consent law can be found in California’s vehicle code, VEH 23612. The law also states that a police officer needs to have reasonable cause to order a chemical test, which is what field sobriety tests are used for. You get to choose if you would like to have your blood or breath tested and must be advised of that right. If either of those tests cannot be performed, or you state that they cannot be performed, you must submit to a urine test.

Consequences for Refusing a Chemical Test

Laws for refusing to submit to a chemical test are much more strict for repeat offenders than they are for first-time offenders. Refusing to submit results in a fine, a mandatory prison sentence if you are convicted of driving under the influence and an administrative suspension of your driver’s license for one year. If this is your second time refusing to submit to chemical testing, you will be subject to a fine, mandatory prison time if you are convicted and a two-year administrative suspension.

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San Jose DUI defense attorney field sobriety testsWhen a police officer pulls someone over on suspicion of drunk driving, they will be looking for evidence of the driver’s impairment. In many cases, they may ask a driver to get out of their car and perform a series of field sobriety tests, and based on their observations during these tests, they may decide whether to arrest the driver for DUI. If you have been pulled over, it is important to understand your rights and possible defenses against field sobriety tests.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has defined three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests that it recommends officers use:

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