DUI Frequently Asked Questions

Contact a Modesto DUI Lawyer for Assistance

Facing a DUI charge can be a stressful experience. When you are arrested for a DUI, you will have only ten days before you must file for a DMV administrative hearing, which is not a lot of time to assemble your defense. You may find that you have a lot of questions about what you will face in the coming days; here are the answers to a few of the most common ones.

What is a field sobriety test? Do I have to take one?
If you are stopped under suspicion of DUI, police may choose to administer a field sobriety test, which is a test of your dexterity, balance, or other traits that may be impaired if you are intoxicated. However, these tests are unreliable, and in some cases the person who fails the test is unable to complete it while completely sober. For this reason it’s important to know that you do not have to submit to a field sobriety test. If you fail your test, you could be giving the officer more evidence against you.

Do I have to take a PAS test?
The PAS test (handheld breathalyzer) is also not mandatory, but you can still be arrested and taken to the station for a blood or breath test should you refuse. It’s important to note that while you may fail this test, these handheld breathalyzers are also not always accurate. This means the evidence against you could be false; an attorney can help you make that determination.

What is “probable cause?”
In order for the police to stop you and arrest you for DUI, they must have what is called “probable cause,” or a reason for stopping you. This can be everything from a safety violation, expired tags, tail light being out, or even just displaying erratic driving behavior. The only time you can be stopped and arrested without probable cause is at a DUI checkpoint.

Are there penalties for avoiding a DUI checkpoint?
Avoiding a DUI checkpoint itself is not illegal, however, it does raise suspicion with police who will frequently tail you and look for a reason to pull you over. This can include any impaired driving patterns or a traffic violation, and result in your being pulled over and assessed for DUI.

Do I automatically get a DMV hearing regarding my license suspension?
If you do not schedule your hearing with the DMV within 10 days of your arrest, you will automatically lose your right to a hearing and the possibility of having your license reinstated. It is strongly advised that you seek legal counsel from a Modesto DUI attorney as soon as possible if you are arrested so you can begin preparing for your hearing and have them represent you throughout the proceedings.

Have Additional Questions?

If you have additional questions, Attorney Mark W. Girdner of the Law Offices of Mark W. Girdner may be able to assist you. As a former Deputy District Attorney, Attorney Girdner now fights to defend the rights of those who are facing criminal charges, including DUI penalties.

Time is not on your side! Call the Law Offices of Mark W. Girdner today at 209.326.1533 to get started with a free initial consultation!