Ten DUI Hot Tips

By November 28, 2016 August 31st, 2020 DUI Defense

DUI or Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Drug, or Prescription Medication.

  • When contacted, you are required by law as a California driver to provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance.
  • You do not have to participate in any Field Sobriety Tests, commonly called FSTs, (such as walking a straight line, standing on one leg, standing with your eyes closed and counting to 30 seconds in your head) as they are all voluntary. The one test you must submit to or having your license suspended for a year or more is the test you are requested to submit to after you are arrested.
  • You should be aware that if you do not “cooperate”, meaning submit to the voluntary tests even if you do not have to, you will be taken to jail and your car will be towed. If you “cooperate,” then there is a better chance that the officer will not be a jerk and will not have your car towed and may release you with a citation to appear, rather than take you to jail and force you to pay bail to be released.
  • If the officer asks you to submit to a breath test prior to arrest, he or she should inform you that the test is voluntary. That test is called the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test. If you do not submit to the PAS test, you will almost certainly be arrested. The officer may make it seem as if you are being arrested because you did not submit to the PAS test, but the reality is that the officer was going to arrest you as soon as he or she smelled alcohol.
  • The only time you will not be arrested if you have been drinking and driving is if you did very well on the FSTs, blew under a 0.08 on the breath test, or had no alcohol in your system when tested.
  • Once you have been arrested, you should be given a pink piece of paper, called a “DS 367,” that acts as your temporary license. That temporary license will allow you to drive for thirty days from the date of your arrest. However, if you do not request a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest, your license will be automatically suspended for at least four months, even if you had no alcohol or drugs in your system. So request that hearing within ten days!!!
  • To request the DMV hearing, we suggest you call 415-557-1170 instead of calling the 916 provided by the police officer. It will go much more quickly calling the 415 number.
  • When you request the DMV hearing, do not let the DMV agent talk you out of asserting your right to a hearing. We have heard of DMV agents telling drivers that they do not need to request a hearing until after your criminal case is resolved. This is not true. Request the DMV hearing within ten days from the date of your arrest.
  • At some point, if you are convicted of a DUI, you will need to provide the DMV proof that your vehicle is insured, also called an SR-22. Do not ask your current insurer for that document or they will realize you have been convicted of a DUI and your insurance rates will go up immediately. You can request the SR-22 from organizations other than your current insurance company that will provide it without causing your rates to go up.
  • In every case of a DUI prosecution, you have a right to represent yourself as long as you are competent to do so, but we advise against it. DUIs are complicated by the fact that both the DMV and the district attorney will be prosecuting you independently of each other. Additionally, you’ll want to have someone in your corner who is giving you all the best information and advice and who you can trust.
Michael A. Fiumara

About Michael A. Fiumara

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