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Although a DUI is generally charged as a misdemeanor, it carries severe penalties that can affect you for years. Under California law, you can be charged with two separate DUI offenses—driving with a BAC of 0.08% under CVC Section 23152(b); and driving while under the influence found under CVC Section 23152(a). You are presumed to be under the influence if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% as an adult, or 0.01% if under 21. If you are a commercial driver, the level is 0.04%.

San Diego may be one of the most sought after areas in the US to visit and live, but law enforcement is constantly on the lookout for drunk drivers. Police make about 16,000 DUI arrests each year in San Diego County with the majority being male. Although about 80% of DUI arrests end up with a conviction, a San Diego DUI lawyer from the San Diego DUI Attorney Group will assess the facts and circumstances of your case and advise you of your legal options and defenses. In many cases, our San Diego DUI attorneys are able to get a DUI charge dropped, dismissed or result in your plea to a lesser offense.

1st DUI & DWI

No one ever expects to get stopped for driving nder the infulence and although scary, 1st-time DUI are often misdemeanor.

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2nd DUI & DWI

No one wants a 2nd DUI but getting one will bring forth much harsher penalties than your first. Luckily, you are not alone…

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3rd DUI & DWI

A 3rd DUI means jail time, heavy fines and years of liscense suspensio. This isn’t something you want to face alone!

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Hit and Run DUI & DWI

Dui’s coupled with Hit & Run charges are aggravated circumstances which will enhance your sentence. We can help lessen it!

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DUI & DWI Accidents

No one ever expects to get stopped for driving under the infulence and although scary, 1st-time DUIs are often only a misdemeanor.

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Commercial DUI & DWI

No one ever expects to get stopped for driving under the infulence and although scary. 1sttime DUIs are often only a misdemeanor.

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A Typical DUI Scenario

Driving home one night from a restaurant, you see a police car behind you with lights flashing and you pull over. You forgot that a tail light was out or you may have driving a few miles over the speed limit. The officer asks for your identification and other information and asks if you have been drinking. You say that you had a couple of drinks. The officer asks you to step out of your car, reads you a statement from a card he has (or he does not), and asks you to close your eyes, touch your finger to your nose, or stand on one leg, recite the alphabet or walk on a line. You are very tired and now extremely nervous and your knee or back is acting up and you falter. The officer asks you to blow into a PBT and you comply. Finally, the officer says he is placing you under arrest for DUI and asks you to take a breathalyzer at the police station. You comply again and take the test some time later and the results are 0.08%. You are booked and jailed.

In many more cases than you imagine, you do have a number of defenses available to you. You need to immediately contact one of our San Diego DUI attorneys from the San Diego DUI Attorney Group to represent you.

Evidence in a DUI Case

In the majority of DUI arrests and prosecutions, police and prosecutors look at evidence that is similar in nearly each case. This includes these indicators of evidence of alleged alcohol impaired driving:

  • Speeding, driving too slowly, erratic driving or any violation of a traffic law

  • Slurred speech

  • Odor of alcohol

  • Bloodshot, watery eyes

  • Inability to follow instructions or to answer questions

  • Admission of drinking

  • Poor performance on field sobriety tests (FST)

  • BAC of over 0.08% on the PBT or portable breath test

  • BAC test result of 0.08% or higher

Challenging the DUI Evidence

Despite this lineup of evidence, most of which is the result of subjective observation by an already suspicious police officer, our San Diego DUI lawyers can offer reasonable explanations for each of these indicators including evidence of your damaged knee to explain your FST performance, anxiety over being accused of a DUI, a receipt from a bar or restaurant showing you had 3 drinks in the 2 hours before you were stopped, and that you had been up since 5:00 am.

Our San Diego DUI lawyer can also challenge the BAC results by retaining in some cases a breathalyzer expert. There are numerous conditions, medical and external, that can account for a false high BAC reading. Also, the breathalyzer machine must be calibrated and serviced regularly. If a blood test was taken, our SD DUI lawyers can show that protocol was not followed and the results were contaminated. Other defenses are available as well.

The DMV Hearing

Upon your arrest, you are given a 30-day temporary license and a notice that you have 10 days to request a hearing or your license will be suspended after the 30 days expires. Promptly call a lawyer from our defense group so that we may request a hearing for you. This is an administrative hearing where the standard of proof is less than for a criminal proceeding. Before the hearing we can request evidence from the police and DUI lab and then cross-examine the arresting officer and have you explain your conduct and activities that evening. We can challenge the BAC breath or blood results with an expert testifying on your behalf if needed and use what we discover at this hearing at your criminal trial, where the standard of proof needed to convict you is much higher, or as leverage in getting your charges dismissed or reduced.

DUI Penalties

For a first DUI offense in San Diego, you face the following:

  • Possible jail time of 4 days or longer though the maximum is up to one year

  • A fine and other costs of $1,600 to over $2000

  • Summary probation of 3 years

  • Participation in a DUI education program of 3-9 months

  • 6-month license revocation or one year if testing was refused

  • A restricted driver’s license for work at some point

  • Installation of an ignition interlock system on your car for up to 3 years

  • Severe insurance repercussions that can cost you thousands of dollars in the long run

Your sentence will be enhanced if you refused testing, had an BAC of 0.15% or higher, had prior DUI convictions, was traveling 20 mph over the limit or had a child 14 or under in your car. A third DUI charge within 10 years, or if you caused an accident with serious injuries or fatality, is a felony.

Contact the San Diego DUI Attorney Group and speak to one of our highly experienced San Diego DUI lawyers about your case. We can often find that the evidence against you is not so clear cut and will work diligently to obtain a reasonable disposition of your case.