Understanding DUI Evidence
Santa Barbara DUI Defense Attorney
Our team of Santa Barbara DUI defense lawyers has handled over 200 jury trails. With more than 50 years of combined experience, we have an in-depth understanding of common DUI evidence and prosecution strategies. If you or a loved one was arrested for driving under the influence in Santa Barbara, you need an attorney with the skill and knowledge to make a difference in the outcome of your case. It doesn't matter what type of DUI allegation you were arrested for, our team can use our knowledge of DUI evidence to help you escape a conviction:
BAC testing is used to determine the amount of alcohol in a driver's system and includes breath tests (such as a breathalyzer) and chemical testing, such as blood or urine samples. According to California Vehicle Code § 23152 (b), it is unlawful for motorists to drive with a BAC of .08% or more. Additionally, it is unlawful for a person to drive "under the influence" of drugs or alcohol, regardless of the driver's BAC. If you were arrested for DUI, a prosecutor may use BAC testing to prove that you drove under the influence of alcohol.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
The term "blood alcohol content" refers to the amount of alcohol, by weight, in your bloodstream. Generally speaking, BAC is related to your level of intoxication. According to California DUI laws, a person is legally "drunk" when his / her BAC reaches .08%. However, you can't always judge an individual's level of impairment by his / her blood alcohol content. Additionally, everyone reacts differently to alcohol, making it impossible to determine how much alcohol will intoxicate a specific person. BAC is an integral part of any DUI case and prosecutors often use it to prove DUI cases in court.
Breathalyzers are a form of testing that measure the amount of alcohol in an individual's breath to determine his / her BAC. Breathalyzers are an indirect method of BAC testing and are not always accurate. In fact, everyday products like cough syrup and mouthwash may cause a breathalyzer test to malfunction. Other factors, such as dietary restrictions, can lead to incorrect test results as well. If you were arrested for drunk driving because of a breathalyzer test, the Santa Barbara DUI defense attorneys from Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you create and effective defense to obtain the favorable case outcome that you need.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety testing is used by law enforcement to determine whether or not a person is under the influence of a controls substance (alcohol or drugs). Although field sobriety tests are one of the most common evidences that prosecutors use against DUI defendants, they are not always accurate and can lead to unfair arrests and convictions. For instance, the "walk and turn," test involves simple balance and coordination. Although this test could be difficult for an impaired person to execute, a clumsy person could fail as well, leading to an arrest.
The term "probable cause" refers to a burden of evidence held by law enforcement officers to justify traffic stops, DUI investigations, and arrests. Simply put, police cannot arrest you for drunk driving without reason to believe that you are under the influence of alcohol. Although police officers to not need DUIs-specific evidence to conduct a traffic stop, they cannot begin a DUI investigation without probable cause. Similarly, if law enforcement does not find additional evidence of DUI, they cannot make a legal DUI arrest. If you were investigated or arrested without probable cause, some of the evidence held against you may not be admissible in court.