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Stopped For a DUI? Know Your Legal Rights and Obligations in California

During the summer holidays, you can expect to see more and more DUI checkpoints and “saturation” patrols in the San Diego area. While every case is different, if you are stopped you will likely be asked for a breath sample, and/or to participate in field sobriety tests (FSTs). It is important to know your rights before you are stopped, since you do not have the right to consult with an attorney before responding to these types of requests. Making the wrong choice because you did not understand your legal rights could hurt your case and increase the likelihood of being convicted of DUI. We recently discussed the issue in our article about the DUI charge faced by actor Vince Vaughn. He may have made a poor choice in agreeing to FSTs, and a video of the FSTs could provide the strongest evidence against him. Here are some examples of commonly asked questions, the answers to which every San Diego driver should know:

_____Q. Am I legally required to submit to FSTs?
_____A. No.

_____Q. Do I have to answer questions about how much I drank or where I’ve been?
_____A. No.

_____Q. Do I have to provide a breath sample with a Preliminary Alcohol Screening _______device to the police prior to being arrested?
_____A. No (unless you are under 21, or, in some cases, if you are on probation).

_____Q. Am I required to submit to and complete a chemical test after being arrested for _______DUI?
_____A. Yes. Refusal to submit could have a serious impact on your driver’s license.

Know your rights under California law and if you are facing a DUI or any criminal charge, or to learn more about how to handle a DUI stop, contact the criminal defense team at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro today. We can help!

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