When you are stopped
When you are stopped by a law enforcement officer for suspicion of a DUI, they will be looking for any sign they can find of your intoxication. Common indicators that they will look for include things like the smell of alcohol and visible signs of intoxication.
An officer will often report that immediately upon stopping a vehicle on suspicion of a DUI (CVC 23152) they smell alcohol on the breath and person of a suspected driver. They will also usually make reference to red, bloodshot, watery eyes as another indicator that the driver is Under the Influence. However, these observations are not really proof of any blood alcohol level or any other type of intoxication.
In order to show a violation of CVC 23152 (b), the District Attorney will have to prove that the Blood Alcohol at the time of driving was 0.08% or greater. This means that the officer who stops you will need to give you a test of your blood or breath, and they are required to give you a choice!
When a law enforcement officer believes that a suspect has been driving under the influence of a controlled substance other than alcohol, they might tell you that you do not have a choice of giving a breath sample because it will not show the substance that they suspect is there. This is not true. Regardless of the officer's suspicions, you are still required to be given a choice of blood or breath.
If you state that you would like a breath test and it comes back with the reading indicating that there is no alcohol, then the officer can require a blood sample, but they must try the breath test first.
Whenever you are stopped by a law-enforcement, you have rights, it is important that you understand them. If you have questions about an arrest for DUI or any other charge, don’t hesitate, call us today.