Drunk Driving FAQs

Q: Should I Talk To The Police?
A: Absolutely not! Make no statement and sign nothing! Remember, it is your absolute right to say nothing.
Q: Do I Have To Take A Blood Or Breath Test?
A: No, however if you do not take a chemical test, the DMV will try to take your license away for refusing to submit.

When given a choice of a blood or breath test after arrest, choose the breath test if at all possible. It is more unreliable than blood, and challenging the breathalyzer results is often a successful defense tactic. You may be audio or videotaped by the police officer who pulls you over.

Many of our clients have been audiotaped and/or videotaped and they never knew it. It’s extremely important that you’re on your best behavior when you’re being investigated for a DUI by a police officer. However, even though our clients are audiotaped and/or videotaped oftentimes, it helps us to successfully represent our clients.

Q: What Does “BAC” Mean?
A: BAC stands for blood alcohol concentration. Law enforcement agencies use various tests to determine the amount of alcohol that is concentrated in your bloodstream. The most commonly used tests are breath tests or blood tests. Field sobriety tests do not measure your BAC. If the test used to measure your blood alcohol concentration is found to be above .08%, you will be charged with DUI. Even if your BAC is below the “legal limit,” if your driving is impaired and you have any amount of alcohol in your blood, you could still be charged with drunk driving.
Q: How Do I Know My BAC?
A: You can estimate your blood alcohol level using a simple formula.

In order to generally estimate what a blood alcohol level is, one 4-ounce glass of wine equals one 12-ounce can of beer, which equals 1¼ ounce or a shot of 80-proof liquor. Each one of those drinks, generally, is about 0.02. So if you have three drinks in your system, that’s equivalent to a 0.06. Generally, a person will eliminate alcohol at a 0.02 per hour. So in order to go from a 0.06 to a 0.04, it will take about an hour after drinking has stopped. Wait as long as possible after drinking before driving to give the alcohol enough time to be eliminated from the bloodstream.

Q: Do I Need To Perform Field Sobriety Tests?
A: NO, if you are pulled over for a DUI in Los Angeles, you do not have to do field sobriety tests (FSTs) and you should not. Politely choose not to take any tests.

Field sobriety tests are completely voluntary. In California, people do not have to do the field sobriety test. That means the walk-the-line, the finger-to-nose, say the alphabet, estimate 30 seconds – those are all voluntary. People, also, don’t have to tell the police officers where they were coming from or where they are going to or how much they had to drink, but always remember to be polite and courteous to the police officer. You may be videotaped. You may be audiotaped. Always be on your best behavior.

Q: Do I Have A Right To An Attorney While Taking A Field Sobriety Test?
A: There is no right to an attorney while taking a field sobriety test, or, prior to taking a breath or blood test.
Q: Do I Have To Answer Any Questions If I Am Read My Miranda Rights?
A: No, and you should not. When questioned for DUI or drunk driving before arrest, you are not in custody for purposes of Miranda warnings. If you politely refuse to answer any of the officers’ questions concerning the DUI / DWI investigation, either before or after arrest, then there won’t be any statements that can be used against you in court.
Q: If I Am Not Advised Of My Miranda Warning By The Officer, Can My Case Be Dismissed?
A: No, however it may help in getting your case dismissed. While police officers are required to advise you of the 5th Amendment, it does not have to take place until after an arrest. This obligation is sometimes overlooked by the arresting officer.
Q: Should I Take Notes After I Am Released?
A: Yes, make a list of details about every step of your DUI arrest. Make a detailed list of all the events before being stopped up to and including being released from custody.
Q: Can I Be Arrested For A DUI For “Sleeping It Off” In My Car?
A: Unfortunately, although you would have a strong defensible case, yes, you could be arrested for a DUI under those circumstances.
Q: What Is A DMV Hearing?
A: After you have been pulled over and the arresting/charging officer has determined that you were driving under the influence, he or she will generally confiscate your license and issue you a temporary license that is also a “Notice of Suspension.” You will have to schedule a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days in order to protect your license.
Q: Do I Need To Hire A DUI Lawyer To Contact The DMV?
A: No, however an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer knows the inside information needed to obtain the most favorable result. After a DUI / Drunk Driving arrest, the DMV must be contacted within 10 days to stop the suspension from going into effect and to request a hearing.
Q: When Should I Contact An Attorney?
A: Immediately! Time is of the essence.

If you are arrested for drunk driving, you should contact a Los Angeles DUI/DWI lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you are innocent of the charges against you or your case is still under investigation, you need competent legal representation to protect your rights.

Q: Why Do I Need An Attorney?
A: When you have been charged with drunk driving, it is very important that you speak with a lawyer immediately. Many people think that pleading guilty to a DUI charge is the easiest way to make it “go away.” This option is not in your best interests. With an experienced and aggressive Los Angeles DUI attorney on your side, you may be able to receive a more favorable outcome in your case.

Before charges are actually filed against you, your attorney, with the help of private investigators, may be able to provide evidence to the prosecutor or police agency that may persuade them not to file charges against you. Early planning gives your attorney more time to conduct a thorough investigation and preserve any evidence in your favor as early as possible.

Q: What Types Of Defense Options Do I Have For My DUI Case?
A: Each case has its own circumstances and defense options. An experienced DUI attorney such as Larry is extremely familiar with countless defense tactics.
Q: Will I Go To Jail If I Am Convicted?
A: Depending upon your charges and your prior criminal record, you could very well be facing jail time. However, in most cases, you will never have to do jail time if this is your first arrest. Visit our DUI Consequences page for more information.
Q: Will I Lose My License?
A: Depending upon the circumstances of your arrest and any previous DUI convictions, you could lose your license for a matter of months or even years. We can protect your right to drive.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Disclaimer: The felony, misdemeanor, traffic, criminal defense, drunk driving, DUI, theft, drugs, three strikes law, juvenile law, or other legal criminal defense information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results portrayed here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ if based on different facts.