Frequently Asked Questions: DUI

Common Questions About San Diego DUI Laws

The California criminal justice system can be complicated, especially when it comes to the laws about drunk driving. For this reason, the firm wanted to offer helpful information as an answer to some of the most frequently asked DUI questions.

Are there any circumstances in which I can refuse a breath or blood test?
California is an implied consent state. This means that drivers are required by law to submit to breath or blood tests when officers ask. However, what many people do not know is that you only have to submit to breath or blood tests after you have been lawfully arrested. This is where understanding the preliminary alcohol screening tests (PAS) is important. California equips many of its police officers with PAS devices, which can be administered as a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test refusal will not result in an automatic suspension of your license.

Can I be arrested for a DUI for using legal prescription drugs?
There are many people in San Diego and throughout California who have been arrested for DUI because of prescription drug use. Some of these cases even involved the lawful and intended use of prescription drugs. Because even prescription drugs can alter a person's judgment, you may be arrested for DUI & drugs. Even over the counter drugs can constitute an arrest. The problem is, there is no quantifiable way to measure intoxication, only the presence of the drug via a blood test.

Is vehicular manslaughter ever considered murder?
Most commonly, a drunk driving accident that results in the death of another will result in a vehicular manslaughter charge. There are rare circumstances in which a DUI hit and run may be considered murder rather than manslaughter. The major difference lies with whether or not there was any intent. In a case called People v. Watson, a man was charged with murder in a DUI vehicular manslaughter case. This happened because he had multiple prior DUI convictions.

Is a DUI more serious if a child was in the car?
Yes. Those who are arrested for driving under the influence and who also had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle will face an enhanced penalty. The California Vehicle Code § 23572 details those enhanced penalties, such as time in county jail. Learn more from the California DMV website.

Will I have to get an ignition interlock device installed in my car?
Not everyone convicted of a DUI will have to submit to a mandatory installation of this device, but it is a common penalty. Depending on the circumstances, a first offense may constitute installation, but it is more common for second, third or more drunk driving offenses.

Contact Attorney Mark R. De Yoe, A DUI Defense Lawyer, Directly!

You likely have more questions than those that were addressed above, which is why Mark R. De Yoe, APLC encourages clients and those with inquiries to contact him directly. You can trust his skill and experience in the field of DUI defense to work for your advantage. You don't have to be afraid of your charges with an attorney like Mark R. De Yoe on your side. Pick up the phone and contact him today!