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DUI Laws in San Diego

Since San Diego is a city and county within the state of California, San Diego DUI policies will be governed by the state DUI laws. And while the laws are consistent throughout a state, there will undoubtedly be certain local quirks and customs that impact those laws.

But most importantly, arrests in San Diego are different than other places as they can happen in several ways:

  • Amber Alert Signs that are used when a child goes missing are now being used on San Diego freeways to tell other drivers to report suspected drunk drivers.
  • Roadblocks are set up to randomly check for sobriety.
  • Aerial surveillance is now being conducted with police helicopters.
  • and obviously when someone is involved in accident.

The San Diego Police force is working quite closely with activist organizations, in particular, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to aggressively pursue and catch drunk drivers. In addition, the police force has a special DUI task force whose sole function is to look for impaired driving behaviors on the roads in San Diego. The city of San Diego has in fact allocated an unlimited use of funds to ensure the detection and apprehension of impaired drivers.

Once arrested, a driver has ten days to request a hearing. Failure to do so will result in an automatic suspension of the license. Because of the many ways in which one can be caught in San Diego and because of the desire by many to punish drunk drivers, the laws are very complex. Thus, one should immediately find a qualified DUI lawyer specializing in San Diego cases to represent oneself both to the Department of Motor Vehicle's hearing and also to the legal court case.

A San Diego lawyer will try to attack the way in which tests were taken, the validity of the tests, the accuracy of the statements and the whole case in general. For example, if a police force uses a fill-in form when arresting a DUI, the officer may be limited in what he can say on the form. Basically he may be required to check off the box that best fits the scenario. So in essence, although he has not lied, the description in the box checked may not be indicative of the true condition of the driver.

Juries' perceptions may be influenced by the fact that San Diego spends so much money on DUI detection that they might think there is no way out for the driver. The driver is guilty because he was charged with DUI. Many myths about DUI abound and the driver is more often than not presumed guilty before pleading his case. This is another reason why a qualified DUI attorney should be hired. When dealing with DUI cases, the proof of competence is a matter of public record so it is easy to check and see if the attorney has successes. Keep in mind, a bad judgement can cost you a chance for cheap car insurance for the rest of your life - so a good investment in a lawyer both in money and time is worth it!

In California, other than answering questions about your identity, you are not required to answer any other questions that might lead you to say too much. You may politely refuse to answer. After you have been arrested, however, it is not your right to refuse a blood test or breath analysis. In doing so will create bigger problems down the road.

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