Legal Drinking and Driving
What Should You Do Then if You Intend to Legally Drink and Drive?
- Before you go out, check all brake lights, license plate lights, and look for any minor imperfections a policeman will be able to use for an excuse to stop you.
- Be cautious driving after 11 pm. Come to full and complete stops no California stops.
- If you see a policeman following you, pull into the first place possible without arousing suspicion.
- If stopped, be respectful at all times.
- Respectfully decline all the field sobriety test based on this article stating such tests are subjective and often impossible to do. If you write to the address below, we will give you a card to hand to the policeman. If you are afraid they will arrest you immediately and make you take a chemical test, rest assured that since it is impossible for the officer to determine if you are 0.07% or 0.08% based on your performance on those same field tests, you will be taking that chemical test anyway if you have admitted to drinking anything at all.
- Do not allow the officer to pass his finger or pen or other objects by your eyes and ask you to follow it while not moving your head (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus), as this test is very controversial and highly discredited in some scientific circles.
- Another problem is a number of people are confusing the small hand-held alcohol breath testing device (Breathalyzers) about the size of a package of cigarettes with the larger breath-testing machine usually employed at the police station itself. The hand-held unit is part of the field test and if you are 21 and over you always should refuse to blow into it because it may be highly inaccurate, while the blood or breath test at the hospital or police station, on the other hand, is required by law. You must complete one of those two tests: Blood or breath. Santa Barbara Police Department is using the Draeger Alco-sensor 7410, which is both a PAS test and can be operated as an Evidentiary test. My advice is always insisting upon a blood test, and never take a breath test. Again, when I talk about you blowing into the breath machine, I absolutely do not mean the small hand-held device in the field. In my opinion, it may read inaccurately and convict you of DUI when you clearly are not. It may, in my opinion, falsely convict you and give you a criminal record for life. I said for life not just seven or ten years. Note: If you do for some strange reason ignore my advice, or find that the police manipulated you into taking any breath test, always insist upon a blood test as well. The police are required by law to advise you that the breath machines do not save a re-testable sample, and that you can save a sample of your blood or urine for re-testing by your own independent laboratory. Sadly, in Santa Barbara, law enforcement officers feel that they are a mini legislature, and although it is supposed to take a majority vote of both houses, and the signature of the Governor to change a law, these so called lawmen have been taught to never tell you about urine as one of your lawful options for saving a sample. Also note that if you exhibit objective symptoms of drugs, even if you have a prescription, the police can require you to take a second blood or urine test, if you choose breath as your first option.
- You will not lose your license automatically for failing to do the field sobriety test under the “Stop and Snatch Laws,” which came into effect July 1, 1990. There is a lot of misinformation in that regard. You do not have to take a roadside breath test either (but you do have to take and complete either a breath, or blood test, and many police in Santa Barbara carry the Draeger Alco-sensor 7410, which as I said can constitute an Evidentiary test . (The Department of Justice Crime lab opted to purchase this instrument because it is portable, easy to use, and it was not expensive. No consideration was given for the fact that it is not only not the most accurate machine, The DOJ actually has a memo that acknowledges that this machine routinely reads falsely higher than the model it replaces.) A favorite trick played by the officers is to put a scowl on their face when you explain politely to the officer you know your rights and the law does not require you to blow into the small hand-held unit on the side of the road. You still have your choice of a blood or breath test. I recommend that you always should choose blood testing as your first choice.
Rest assured when they reach the point of having you do a field sobriety test you will be arrested, no matter what. I have had reports that some officers become so frustrated they have lied and told clients, many of whom are responsible business people, that the law recently changed and now requires they blow into the small hand-held breath machine. Don't allow yourself to be taken in by this outright lie. If the law changes, the DMV will notify you. Knowledge is power. If you exercise your right to remain silent and refuse to do the roadside acrobatics or any field sobriety test, it will be extremely difficult to almost impossible for the police to make a provable DUI case against you.
Police work, if done professionally, should be a search for the truth. The laws are there for the protection of all. Regarding the “Stop and Snatch Law”: They will take your license if arrested and you take the blood test or if you take a breath test and blow 0.08 percent or higher. The police will issue you a temporary license good for 30 days. Be careful, though. You have only 10 days to call the DMV and ask for a hearing; otherwise, your right to drive is gone for four or more months. You should hire an attorney in time to request this hearing, and he will appear with you at the DMV hearing.
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