Even many attorneys don’t know it, but California law requires more for a drunk driving conviction than just sitting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. Among other things, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:
- There must have been "volitional movement" of the vehicle, which means that the car has to move, and you must have voluntarily moved it! Sitting in a parked vehicle is not enough to prove drunk driving absent additional evidence---no matter how drunk you were!
- It must be proven that you were impaired from alcohol or drugs, or at or over the per se legal limit of .08, AT THE TIME OF DRIVING. Chemical breath tests and blood testing are never done at the time of driving, and hence the results do not directly prove your alcohol level at the time of driving. A person who has a final drink just before going home may be only .07 or less at the time of driving, but have their alcohol level rise to a higher level by the time he or she gets tested. A good expert witness can help demonstrate this to a jury, and a good lawyer can bring the point home to them!
- Voluntary consumption of drugs or alcohol must be the cause of impairment. If somebody spiked your drink or drugged you at a party you did not voluntarily get intoxicated! Involuntary intoxication is a complete defense to the charge of drunk driving.
- Was your driving limited to some type of emergency not created by you, and for which there appeared to be no reasonable alternative? If so, you have a defense to the charge of drunk driving even if you bombed the chemical and field sobriety tests!
As you can see, there are a number of different defenses to driving under the influence. You need, however, an experienced DUI defense attorney to spot one or more of them!
Call Paul Burglin now at (415) 729-7300