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Alameda County DUI Arrests

California Highway Patrol Officers, Alameda County Sheriff's Deputies or local police officers must have probable cause to make a DUI arrest. What's more, the officer may not stop a car to conduct a DUI investigation without reasonable suspicion to believe a crime has been committed. Reasonable suspicion to stop a car does not mean the officer has probable cause to make an arrest.

Reasonable suspicion to stop a car may include weaving from lane to lane or weaving within a single lane. Reasonable suspicion to stop a car may also exist when the officer believes the person's driving pattern is consistent with what the officer has been trained to conclude are signs of an impaired driver.

Probable cause is a higher legal standard than reasonable suspicion. Violation of a written law such as speeding, running a red light or stop sign, driving without lights at night, or not having a front license plate are examples of probable cause to stop a car.

California Highway Patrol Officers and local police officers are trained to look at a person driving a car and at the passengers for signs a crime may be occurring. Driving under the influence is a crime where the officer may notice certain clues which will justify extending the traffic stop to conduct a DUI investigation. These clues include bloodshot and watery eyes, odor of an alcoholic beverage, slurred speech, problems with dexterity, problems with dexterity, and others. An officer may extend an investigation if they believe some of these clues are present. Extending the investigation in a DUI case means having the driver get out of their car and perform so-called Field Sobriety Testsand blow into a Preliminary Alcohol Screening device.

Field Sobriety Tests are voluntary. However, California Highway Patrol Officers, Alameda County Sheriff's Deputies and local police officers such as members of the Oakland Police Department have been trained not to tell drivers suspected of driving under the influence that they don't have to perform Field Sobriety Tests. If the DUI investigation has progressed to this point, the police officers are probably going to make an arrest.

Preliminary Alcohol Screening tests are also voluntary. The police are required by law to tell a driver that they don't have to blow into a Preliminary Alcohol Screening device. However, many police officers don't inform the driver they have a right to refuse. The right to refuse to blow into a Preliminary Alcohol Screening device is authorized by California Vehicle Code Section 23612.

Field Sobriety Tests are an investigative tool police officers collect evidence which they will write in their reports. The Field Sobriety Tests are also a way to keep the driver suspected of driving under the influence busy while a required fifteen (15) minute observation period passes before the driver may blow into a Preliminary Alcohol Screening device. The fifteen (15) minute observation period is required by a regulation which has the force of law called California Code of Regulations Title 17. Often, this regulation is just referred to as Title 17.

Alcohol Screenings

There are three Preliminary Alcohol Screening Devices used by the California Highway Patrol and Alameda County Sheriff's Deputies and Police Officers. Each provides a numerical read out for each of the two breath tests. If the driver is 0.08 percent or higher, they will be arrested for driving under the influence.

Once arrested for a DUI, the driver is required to submit to a chemical test. The Preliminary Alcohol Screening device is not considered a chemical test. A driver who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol has a choice of submitting to a breath or blood test. The breath or blood test is required by the implied consent law. If the driver tests above the legal limit on a breath test, they will be booked into the Alameda County Jail. If the person takes a blood test, they will always be booked into the County Jail.

In rare cases a person arrested for DUI will be released to a responsible adult. This is usually due to jail overcrowding or short staffing of the particular law enforcement agency.

Alameda County DUI arrest reports are submitted to the Alameda County District Attorney's office for review. They are usually reviewed on the next business day. It is the District Attorney who makes a charging decision in all Alameda County DUI cases. The District Attorney prepares a charging document called a complaint which is filed with the Alameda County Superior Court located in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward or Pleasanton.

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Attorney Robert Tayac Puts a Long, Decorated Career to Work for You
  • Puts Over 20 Years of Experience Toward Your Case

  • Specialized Education in DUI Defense

  • Has Trained Other Attorneys in San Francisco

  • Former San Francisco Police Officer & Police Inspector

  • Certified by the SFPD on the Intoxilyzer 5000 Testing Device

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