DUI FAQs

How Serious is an Arrest for a DUI or DWI?

Being convicted of drunk driving is a serious matter because there are thousands killed each year in alcohol related accidents. While some of those accidents result in the death of the intoxicated person, there are a significant and unfortunate number that involve the death of “innocent” parties who were in the wrong place at the wrong time when someone chose to drive their vehicle while impaired. Clearly, driving under the influence is dangerous for those individuals who choose to operate a car and for those individuals who are on the road at the same time. In addition to the severe physical injuries that may take place, there are serious emotional and mental scars that may never fully heal for both you, your family, the victim and his or her family.

Is beer or wine safer?

Any type of alcohol is dangerous when consumed prior to driving a motor vehicle. Different types of drinks (see discussion above) contain different concentrations of alcohol, or what may be called “proofs.” The proof rating is two times the alcohol concentration. Therefore, 200 proof liquor has a 100 percent alcohol concentration. Most hard liquors have a higher alcohol concentration than most wines, and most wines have a higher alcohol concentration than most beers, meaning that it may take fewer drinks containing hard liquor or fewer glasses of wine than beers to become intoxicated. However, the alcohol concentration of a drink is not everything . You must consider the size of the drink being consumed. Therefore, a “shot” glass of hard liquor that is usually only about 1-1/2 ounces of alcohol may end up having the same effect as one 5 ounce glass of wine or one 12 ounce glass, bottle or can of beer.

Drinking any alcoholic beverage in excess is never advisable before getting into a vehicle to drive as you are probably the worst judge of whether you are impaired to drive safely and you may seriously injure yourself or others. Besides the long term concern of becoming “addicted” to alcohol, excessive consumption of alcohol  can be the cause of permanent physical damage to your kidneys, liver, heart, brain, and even lead to a person’s death.

Am I required to take a Breathalyzer test?

In California if you refuse to submit to a Chemical test of your BAC, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended by the DMV.T he DUI breathalyzer measures the blood alcohol level. Because the amount of ethanol that is in your system is the same as the amount of ethanol that is “on” your breath when you exhale, the officer is able to test your BAC by having you breathe into a breathalyzer.

Can I be charged if I drive after taking drugs?

The answer is yes. If you operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, meth, or any other illegal substance, you can be charged with a crime. Not only can illegal drugs result in an arrest, but prescription medications and some over-the-counter medications may impair your ability to drive and, therefore, you should attempt to do so after consuming any of the above products. Do not drive if you are taking any medications that may affect your ability to drive safely.Check the labels on all medications as there are warnings to which you should adhere.

Why should I retain an attorney?

Although you are not required to have a private attorney, you may not be happy with a free Public Defender provided to you as they have a huge case load, a limited budget and, therefore, cannot devote the necessary time and resources to represent you in the manner you desire. This is no different than the assembly-line-type law firms who have the same large case load to justify their low attorney’s fees. It is advisable to retain Spital & Associates with our experienced criminal defense lawyers as the DUI laws are strictly enforced and our experienced attorneys can help protect and advance your rights. The chances of successfully making defense arguments or finding mistakes that may have been made in your arrest are much greater since we have over 39 years of experience handling DUI offenses.

If you are faced with a driving under the influence charge, you should not select an attorney based upon the “price” you pay, as everyone knows “you get what you pay for.” It is fair to say if you pay less, the attorney is likely to perform less work. Call now to speak with one of our personal DUI Lawyers, at 619.583.0350.

Main Offices
8880 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92108-1642
Telephone: 619.583.0350
Fax: 619-583-1850

Downtown Associate Office
Of Counsel – Bill O’Connell, Esq. 
110 West C Street, Suite 1300
San Diego, CA 92101-3978

Associates available 7am-9pm daily.
Call 619.583.0350 or send us an e-mail.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.