At the beginning of 2022, the law regarding DUI diversion changed. DUIs are no longer eligible for diversion in California. Appeals are currently pending, which will hopefully reverse that decision to exclude DUIs from diversion. If successful, diversion would once again be applicable to DUIs in California. Please contact our office with any questions. Email us at abortellaw@gmail.com OR Call us at: (415) 886-6333

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Law Offices of Aaron Bortel

In this article, you will learn:

  •  The standard procedures after being pulled over in a DUI investigation
  • How a mandatory blood draw can occur
  • What happens if you initially refuse a breath test

Typically, police officers or CHP officers in Marin County are trained to do a DUI investigation when they pull someone over. DUI signs are one of the first things officers look for when there is some erratic driving or someone has called someone in, and they pull them over. You’ll find that most of them are trained to get up to your window or the passenger window and try to get their nose as close as they can so that they can get a whiff and see if they can small alcohol or what is called the odor of an alcoholic beverage. They’ll also ask you if you’ve had anything to drink, and if you tell them you have, no matter what you tell them, they are usually going to ask you at some point to get out of the car and then start conducting some field sobriety tests.

They’ll do the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, where they’ll be going back or forth in front of your eyes and are looking for the involuntary jerking of the eye or whether your eyes are tracking smoothly. Other tests have to do with balance, typically they’ll do a one-leg stand test and a walk and turn, which is the walk the line test. There are some other field tests that they may conduct and once they run you through sobriety tests, they’ll ask if you are willing to blow into this device, often commenting that they want to make sure that you are okay to drive. If you decide you are not going to blow and you’ve told them you’d had something to drink or they don’t think you were completely sober, they may arrest you for a DUI because their thinking is why would someone not blow into this machine when they know that they are sober. They must be hiding something.

So, your problems will start if you don’t blow into that machine because then they’ll cuff you, arrest you for DUI, and then they’ll tell you that you need to take either a breath or a blood test since you’ve been arrested for a DUI in California. Then, suppose you decide or say you don’t want to. In that case, they’ll read you another admonishment stating you could lose your privilege to drive and your license for a year or more if you refuse to take a test and that they’ll get a warrant from a judge which will require you to do a blood draw. Then, if you still refuse to put your arm out and cooperate, which is usually done at the station or a hospital, they can hold you down and forcibly take your blood.

For instance, if you’ve only had one drink, most officers are usually pretty good at seeing that there is nothing there. They might run you through a couple of tests and say, yeah, you look fine and check your eyes and not see anything or see your balance is good. But more often than not, unfortunately, in these situations, they turn into DUI arrests. It’s what happens when you are in Marin County or any other county in the San Francisco Bay Area if a police officer pulls you over and thinks that you’ve been drinking and that you are impaired or over the 0.08 limit.

Refusing A Breathalyzer In Marin County

Typically, when an officer is running you through their balancing tests and questioning if they will arrest you for a DUI, the last test that they usually give you is a preliminary alcohol screening test. This is sometimes a device they call an Alco-Sensor 4. A mouthpiece goes into this, and they’ll have you usually blow twice into that during a Marin County drunk driving investigation. That test is not mandatory. However, if they want you to blow and you tell them you are not going to, or you politely say, “I would prefer not to,” they are probably going to arrest you for DUI for not cooperating with them, and then at that point, they are supposed to give you a choice of a blood or a breath test.

Now, if you refuse both of those tests after arrest, they are supposed to read you an admonition which says that you are going to lose your license for one year or more if you refuse to take a chemical test because you’ve been arrested for a DUI in California. If that happens and you still refuse, they will get a warrant from a judge, giving them the authority to take your blood. It’s called a forced blood draw, and whether you put your arm out and cooperate with them when it’s time for that draw or whether they have to hold you down, they are going to draw your blood in Marin County. That’s just the way it works. So, refusing is not necessarily something that will help you long-term. In some states, people are told to refuse because it will be much more difficult to prove a case against them. But that’s not the case in California because they will take your blood anyway.

For more information on Being Pulled Over For DUI In Marin County, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (415) 886-6333 today.

Aaron Bortel

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Call Us 24/7: (415) 886-6333
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