In the previous blog titled “Is it possible to have a Los Angeles DUI case dismissed (Part One)” we discussed a scenario in which it was likely that Prosecutors would file charges. Let’s now consider an example in which Prosecutors may debate, or be on the fence on whether they should file charges or not.
Example 2: Donny is driving home from work. He has just worked a twelve hour day, and hasn’t slept well the night before. His eyes are red, his contacts are dry causing his eyes to water and he is unfocused and is not himself. As he is driving home late at night, he makes a right turn at a red light without stopping. An officer immediately stops him. Frustrated and tired, Donny is already irritated with having been stopped. The officer asks Donny if he has been drinking, and Donny, who is tired and does not want to deal with this, says “I do not have to answer any questions, it is my right to stay silent”. Officers then make a note of his “watery eyes” and his “lack of focus” and ask him to submit to a blood alcohol test. Donny asks the officers if they have any grounds for it, and if it is mandatory. The officers have to inform Donny that the field sobriety test at the arrest site is not mandatory, so Donny immediately says no he will not be taking it. Officers then arrest Donny and take him into custody. Once at the station, Donny has to submit to an alcohol test, which is mandatory. A refusal can lead to additional consequences if found guilty. Donny takes the test and the reading is .00. Officers let him go.
Donny’s case is not likely to be filed. Even though officers are able to establish that there was probable cause to pull Donny over, that is probably only probable cause there is. They could probably charge Donny with a traffic ticket but there is not sufficient evidence for a DUI. Prosecutors could only probe without issue that fact that Donny was driving, but would not be able to show that he was intoxicated. For a DUI charge, there would have to be both intoxication and driving.