DMV and Your License
California Vehicle Code section 23152a is Driving Under the Influence. Driving under the influence means that you were impaired at the time of driving. This can be due to alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana, street drugs or over the counter medication like Nyquil. If the cause of the impairment is alcohol, you will also be charge with California Vehicle Code section 23152b, Driving with .08% or more alcohol.
You can be arrested for DUI even if no one sees you driving, if you are asleep in you car at the side of the road, have been in an accident or even after going into you home.
You are driving down the road and the Highway Patrol or local police pull you over. They may not tell you why they stopped you. Typically they will ask you if you have had anything to drink. Whether you say “yes’ or they think you have, they may begin a DUI investigation. After asking some “investigatory” questions, they will have you perform a set of field sobriety tests. Field Sobriety test include saying the alphabet, touching your finger to your nose, walking a straight line, and balancing on one foot. They may or may not include a breath test in the field. When you have failed the tests, they will put you in handcuffs and arrest you. They will then take you to a police station, jail or hospital for a further breath or blood test. If you are lucky, they will allow you to be released to a friend. If not, particularly in Alameda County, they will put you in a jail holding cell for 12 or more hours. The officer may take your driver’s license and give you a temporary license. You are also given a notice or citation with a court date.
You have only 10 days to contact the DMV to request a hearing concerning the status of your license.
The District Attorney’s Office is sent a copy of the arrest report and files charges against you. When you go to court on your first court date the judge will tell you what you are being charged with. This is called the arraignment. If you hire an attorney before the first court date, your attorney will go to court and you may not have to. Usually, you are not able to review your arrest report or find out your blood test result before your arraignment.