Articles in "California Law"

California's new DUI Law, the Good the Bad and the Ugly

by Matthew Bromund

Principal Attorney
May 1st, 2019

California's new DUI Law, the Good the Bad and the Ugly

Its almost May and that means its time for us to report on how the new DUI law (effective in January) is actually playing out. The new law makes Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) a LOT more common in DUI case resolutions. (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fac…/billNavClient.xhtml… )

The Good: BLG clients have used the new law to insure that whether or not we win at the DMV's Administrative Per Se (APS) suspension hearing, they won't have a period where they can't drive legally. We line up the IID installation with our clients and have it ready to go in the unfortunate event we don't win the hearing. Because our clients maintain their driving privilege between their arrest and the hearing, and then also keep it by installing an IID IF we lose at the hearing, they keep on driving (and working and caring for their families). Because we keep our eye on what's really important (Your ability to take care of your family) we keep you moving.

The Bad: Courts now have the discretion to impose IID requirements on convicted DUI defendants for even a first-time DUI. This means that Public Defender clients, who don't get representation until their first appearance in criminal court, lose out on a HUGE opportunity to beat their case by dismissal after winning in the APS hearing. You see, the APS hearing opportunity disappears a mere 10 days after you are arrested. BLG clients don't miss this opportunity because we call the day you hire us to schedule the hearing. We win APS hearings at a rate 10x better than the state average and then, after winning, point out that win to the criminal prosecutor who, more often than not, elects to dismiss the case. After all, at the APS hearing, a DMV employee is both prosecutor AND Judge so if the BLG can convince that person there was no DUI, why would a prosecutor think an impartial jury would find a DUI?

The Ugly: DUI arrests are up all over the state and especially in Ventura County this year. The new law makes these arrests even more profitable for public safety agencies and the word appears to have gotten out to our sworn peace officers. More arrests with citations of BACs at or even below .08% are showing up as officers are electing to cite for Driving under the influence of Alcohol AND other drugs, hoping that a quick guilty plea will turn into a windfall for the state and their agency. BLG clients know better, however, and have seen an increase in dismissals of charges because we know how to overcome this fallacious thinking. Having a prescription for an anti-depressant and a .05% BAC does NOT make you a DUI offender.

If you, or someone you know needs our advocacy to fight and win against the heavy hand of the government, call us today at 805.650.1100. English or Spanish, the consultation is free and you only have 10 days from your arrest to secure your right to a hearing to keep your license.

Friends don't let friends plead guilty to DUI without a fight.