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Probable Cause in DUI
Drunk driving or formally called driving under the influence is a felony punishable by law. There have been many questions as to the propriety as well as the proper administration of the test. The following explains how a proper test is done to be admissible to court.
- Probable Cause. An officer of the law is allowed to examine an individual for violation of the law on drunk driving if there is some reason that lends to an individual a cause to examine the state of the driver. These include traffic violations committed during the operation of the vehicle or if the individual was seen leaving an establishment where alcohol is served.
- PAS test. If there is a violation or probable violation to be committed, an officer is allowed to pull over the car and conduct a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. The procedure would be to ask the driver for license and registration and then ask the driver to step out of the vehicle. Then a hand held device is provided to the driver to breathe out to examine the concentration of alcohol in an individual’s bloodstream. If the blood concentration level is .08 percent or more, then there is probable cause for arrest for DUI.
- Booking and other tests. The PAS test is only a preliminary test conducted. Once probable cause is established, the individual is then arrested and brought to the police station for booking. There a more formal blood test is conducted where blood is extracted and then examined.
It may seem to be arbitrary because probable cause is determined by the officers in the field. There have been questions on the validity of this procedure but it has been accepted in both courts and case law as to the validity of the procedure to determine probable cause. Furthermore, proper checking of accuracy of the test is conducted as two PAS tests are conducted with a time lag of fifteen minutes of each other. This is further buttressed by the fact that the PAS tests are conducted within minutes of operating a vehicle, the results are persuasive as to the conduct of the individual and the capacity to operate a vehicle in an intoxicated state under the law.
This felony is a serious offense and as such, it is important to be properly advised and guided on the steps towards filing for the relief sought if facing this kind of legal problem. If you have been arrested for a DUI in the Los Angeles or Southern California area, call the DUI Attorneys of the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today to see what your options are in defending your case.