WHEN POLICE ARE CALLED TO THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT, WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR IN CASE OF A POSSIBLE DUI INVESTIGATION?
Usually, the first thing is odor of alcohol. They will also see if someone at the scene, such as the person who was hit or the person involved in an accident, says that they suspect the other person's drunk, then they will start investigating it.
ONCE POLICE ARRIVE AT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT AND SOMEONE IS SUSPECTED OF DUI, ARE THEY TYPICALLY IMMEDIATELY ARRESTED OR DO THEY GO THROUGH THE ROADSIDE TESTS?
They usually go through the roadside test if the driver is not injured. If he is injured, then they will take him to the hospital and do a blood draw and probably will arrest them. If there is no roadside test that the driver can do, they will arrest them if they smell alcohol and somebody suspects that they are under the influence. The police will probably ask the driver to submit to a PAS test if they have the device available at the scene. The PAS test is voluntary and I would advise anyone who has had any amount of alcohol to drink, no matter how little, not to take the PAS test. If arrested, I advise taking the blood test.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS AROUND BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION TESTING IN CALIFORNIA REGARDING ALL PARTIES WHO ARE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT? IS THERE AN AUTOMATIC BLOOD DRAW TAKEN?
No. There is definitely has to be a probable cause to arrest. The test has to be done following as a result of a lawful arrest. The driver is then given a choice of either a blood or a breath test.
WHEN SOMEONE IS CHARGED WITH A DUI AND THERE WERE BODILY INJURIES AS A RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT, WHAT ARE THE CHARGES THAT THEY MIGHT FACE?
It could be pretty serious. If there are injuries, they usually are charged with what is called Drunk Driving causing injury. In the state of California, its Penal Code Sections 23153 A and B. The severity of the injury is usually what determines whether the prosecutor charges a felony or misdemeanor. In California, there is a misdemeanor drunk driving causing injury as well as the felony drunk driving causing injury. Both of them are serious charges and both carry an automatic 1 year license suspension. Of course, a felony is more serious and a conviction could result in a state prison sentence. In a serious case, the prosecutor could charge “great bodily injury” or “brain injury”. Both of these enhancements could result in heavy prison sentences.
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