It hasn't been too many years since drunk driving was little more than a traffic offense. Then, beginning with the founding of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other groups that focused public attention on the devastating effects of drunk driving, laws and policies regarding those who drive while impaired have becomes harsher. In fact, each year, millions of DUI cases go through the criminal courts.
Like many people in California, you may have, at some point in your life, made a choice that you later regretted. For instance, perhaps you went out with friends once and chose to get behind the wheel of a car to drive after imbibing alcohol. You only had a drink or two, so you really didn't think it was that big of a deal at the time, until you wound up facing DUI charges after a police officer pulled you over on the way home.
Every crime has varying degrees of severity. When it comes to driving under the influence, there is a big difference in a DUI and a felony DUI. According to California law, what raises a standard DUI charge to felony level status?
You put in your applications, which these days often include a list of your accolades up until this point in your life, an essay and anything else that gives you an edge over the competition. You feel good about the packets you put together.
If you were to take a test that could significantly impact the rest of your life, you'd no doubt want the test results to be accurate, right? If someone were to tell you that the results of a particular test could cost you your freedom, your desire to make certain test results were true would likely increase even more. Is it really possible to go to jail based on results from a test that may not have been administered properly or was defective in some way? The answer is yes.
If you plan a nice evening out with friends in California, you likely expect that, barring any major complications or unforeseen circumstances, you'll safely arrive at your destination, enjoy a few hours of good food, drink and conversation, then travel back home, toting memories of good times and good friends. There's obviously no way to predict the future, however, and sometimes things don't always go as planned, especially if the "good drink" portion of your evening involves alcohol.
While it may not seem like a big deal at the time, refusal to take a chemical test when requested to do so during a suspected DUI traffic stop can result in serious penalties. In fact, all charges related to drunk driving can result in serious penalties, no matter what your offense may be, and you would be wise to work to confront these charges effectively.
Getting stopped by police under any circumstances can cause you to experience extreme stress. Even if an officer simply wants to inform you of a broken taillight or other minor issue, you may still feel easily overwhelmed. Unfortunately, this sense of anxiety may increase if the officer suspects that you have consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. If so, an officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests.
After a night out with friends, you take a chance and decide to drive yourself home. A car service would have been more expensive than you prefer, and you have definitely driven home on nights where you’ve drank more. You’re not worried. So when lights and sirens come your way, you’re surprised. When the officer tells you to take a breath test and you fail, you know what happens next.