An arrest for a DUI is California will be strongly prosecuted. Each case will usually have 2 components, the DMV and the Court.
Winning a DMV hearing is not easy and usually an expert forensic toxicologist must be engaged to testify as to mistakes made by the police or at the hospital if blood is taken. Losing can have serious consequences including loss of driving privileges, an interlock ignition device before your car will start and DUI classes prior to reinstatement of your license.
The Court will also be a hurdle to overcome since they can put you in jail, fine you and order you to attend various classes including a Hospital and Morgue program and/or Mothers Against Drunk Drivers class.
DUI really means driving while impaired, not intoxicated. The law defines an impaired driver as a driver that does not drive as well as a sober driver.
The police actually go to DUI school and they are given a list of about 50 ways to tell if you are impaired, (which is really just a pretext to pull you over to see if you have been drinking). They will then give you field sobriety tests, (which they almost always say you failed). You do not have to take these tests or agree to their preliminary alcohol screening device (portable Breathalyzer) but if you don't agree and they smell alcohol on your breath, they will take you to the police station where you must take a blood or breath test or you will be classified as a "refusal" and lose your license for 1 year.
Even if your test comes back less than .08 (the "legal" limit) you can still be arrested, particularly if you are under 21. The reason for this is that even if you are under .08 or you took some drugs, (illegal or not) you may have been impaired which is enough to get a conviction under Health and Safety Code section 23152(a). Getting into an accident is even worst since you can be charged with DUI with accident/injury. Call us for more details and we will tell you what you can expect. You must take action within 10 days or you will lose your license to drive!