If you get pulled over for a DUI in San Diego, know that you’re technically eligible for one of two charges. You may get charged with 23152(b), if your blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher. However, even if that’s not the case, you could get charged with 23152(a), which would simply be for the crime of driving under the influence. Technically, you could have a blood alcohol level of 0.01% and still get this charge, if you were all over the road or otherwise driving poorly.
Once you’re pulled over, you’re considered “detained” by law enforcement. However, you aren’t legally required to answer any of their questions—not that they’ll tell you this. That being said, you do have to hand over your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.
You’re also allowed to decline field sobriety tests. Just be sure to do so courteously and on the grounds that you believe they are two subjective to risk taking. Point out, too, that you are not required to take them under California law.
Regarding the two types of chemical tests, you absolutely must take one if you are under 21 or on probation for a DUI. Otherwise, the same rules as field sobriety tests apply.
If they can’t develop probable cause to arrest you for drinking and driving, they can’t do it. If they arrest you without probable cause, you’ll most likely get the charges thrown out.
Should the police arrest you, though, you have to submit to their chemical tests. Again, without probable cause, the results won’t mean much. Plus, if you refuse, your license will be suspended and the police can now forcefully draw blood. You’ll be looking at increased fines too.
Unless you’re free to go after getting pulled over, contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Too many people make the mistake of thinking their DUI charge is an open and shut case.