You were arrested and the DUI arrest report indicates you admitting drinking to the officer. “Shouldn’t I just plead guilty, the best DUI lawyer can’t change what I said,” is a question so often posed by the Santa Barbara drunk driver. Though the statements to the officer may appear to be an admission of guilt, it is only underage DUI penalties that stem from such a zero tolerance standard. Rather the admission of drinking is generally the operative truth, as evidenced by either the blood or breath test results.
Where these statements either help or hurt in a DUI trial is based on the collateral questions and corresponding answers, specifically how much you had to drink, what time you started drinking, and what time you finished. You will find a DUI lawyer will utilize these collateral responses in developing a defense to drunk driving, specifically related to the science of alcohol absorption and elimination of the body as it relates to the rebuttable presumption of alcohol level at the time of driving.
California Vehicle Code §23152(b) In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.
The Judicial Council of California Jury Instruction §2110 provides; “if the People have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s blood alcohol level was 0.08 percent or more at the time of the chemical analysis, you may, but are not required to, conclude that the defendant was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage at the time of the alleged offense.”
The admission of drinking to the officer is by itself not as damaging as one may think, rather it is the related questions and answers that can prove invaluable. Just because you admit to drinking will not result in a DUI conviction or DUI suspension.
If you have been arrested for DUI Santa Barbara Attorney Kenneth M. Hallum offers a free case consultation. Call today 805-564-3101. Know your rights, options and defenses against drunk driving.