999 Fifth Avenue, Suite 350, San Rafael, CA 94901

Call Today for Your Free Consultation
Call Us 415-729-7300

Common DUI Defenses in California

Posted on in

california dui defense lawyerMany people who are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in California become immediately fearful that a conviction is imminent. In actuality, many alleged offenders in these cases have a variety of defenses that could allow them to avoid conviction.

Prosecutors in these cases are motivated to try and portray alleged offenders as being particularly reckless, but a criminal defense attorney can make a world of difference in determining your defense options. 

Possible Legal Defenses Against DUI Charges

When you are considering possible DUI defenses, these are some of the most common defenses:

  • Breath Test Errors — Numerous issues during a test can impact its validity, as testing devices may malfunction, environmental factors may contribute to false positives, and other issues can lead to test results being thrown out.

  • Rising Blood Alcohol — Blood alcohol rises over time. Someone who fails a breath test at the police station may be able to successfully argue that his or her BAC was below the legal limit when he or she was driving.

  • Title 17 Violations — Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations establishes rules about how the government must conduct blood tests, breath tests, and urine tests in DUI cases. A Title 17 violation may be an indication of BAC results being inaccurate, possibly leading to a prosecutor agreeing to a plea bargain for a lesser charge such as “wet reckless,” a jury returning a not-guilty verdict for the alleged offender, or a prosecutor dismissing the charges altogether.

  • No Probable Cause — A police officer needs to have some suspicion that an alleged offender violated a traffic law or engaged in criminal activity when they pull them over. When an officer does not have probable cause relating to a DUI arrest, evidence may be suppressed.

  • Field Sobriety Test Issues — Most alleged offenders will be asked to complete a series of field sobriety tests which are designed to confirm the suspicions of police officers. People can fail these tests for various reasons that have nothing to do with intoxication and the results of the tests may be disregarded.

  • DUI Checkpoint Errors — Police departments all over California often set up DUI checkpoints to try and catch drunk drivers, but checkpoints must follow strict state laws to be legal. This means that police departments must follow a predetermined formula for stopping vehicles (such as every fourth or fifth car) and publicly advertise the checkpoint. Failure to abide by these rules can lead to checkpoint arrests being thrown out.

  • Inaccurate Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) — Police officers in California administer a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS), which is a preliminary alcohol screening test. The portable PAS machine can involve false positives because of certain foods, drinks, medicines, or other products. Alleged offenders can refuse to take the PAS, but refusing a chemical breath test or blood test at the station will lead to a one-year driver’s license suspension. 

Contact a San Francisco DUI Lawyer

Were you recently arrested for a DUI offense in California? You will want to make sure you are working with a Napa DUI defense attorney at [[firm]] who will know how to examine your case and determine the strongest possible defenses in your case.

Our firm has been representing individuals since 1985. You can call 415-729-7300 or contact us online to schedule a personalized consultation.




Back to Top