When you have been stopped for a Los Angeles DUI, there are certain things you should and should not do. One of the things a Los Angeles DUI lawyer will advise you on is that it is not always beneficial to you to take the first preliminary alcohol screening test administered at the arrest.
This test, the PAS, is optional, and officers should advise you of that. It is not necessary, and failing to take it will not result in additional consequences if you are arrested for a DUI. The test administered at the station after arrest, however, is necessary and required. Of course, officers may not force you to submit to one and if you fail to do so, you may have additional consequences.
Many of our clients wonder how they can be found guilty if there are absolutely not solid numbers indicating their level of intoxication, i.e, a blood alcohol test. The truth is, that you will still be tried in Court. You will have a trial on the evidence against you and the Prosecution will try to build a case against you through evidence and testimony. The Prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were drinking and driving.
The case is certainly more difficult without the findings from a breathalyzer or bold test, but it is not impossible. The officer will likely testify on his observations, and his observations will weigh heavily on the jury’s decision.
The officer will testify to such things as behavior of the driver, the smell coming from the car, the way the driver was driving. All of it put together will paint a picture for the Judge to determine if the driver was, in fact, intoxicated. If the driver is found guilty, then additional consequences and sentencing will be imposed for failing to follow mandatory requirements.
Let’s consider an example. Dana was driving home after having a few beers. She did not submit to the officers request for her to take a drug test. When charged she pled not guilty, and a trial was set. At the trial, the officer took the stand and under penalty of perjury stated that Dana was swerving and when she was pulled over could not follow directions. The officer stated that she was slurring, her eyes were bloodshot and her responses were mumbled and incoherent. He also testified that her car had a strong smell of alcohol.
Based on these observations, the jury found Dana to be guilty and she was imposed harsher penalties and sentences.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may be facing serious consequences. Consult a knowledgeable DUI attorney as soon as possible. Their advice can prove to be crucial to your future!