Justia Lawyer Rating
Best Attorneys of America
Super Lawyers
Superior DUI Attorney 2017
10 Best Law Firms
Top One Percent 2017
The National Trial Lawyers
Best of Thervo 2017
10 Best Law Firms
Criminal Defense Attorneys

Hermosa Beach DUI, Client Driving on Two Flat Tires

Our client, age 28, was driving her 2012 Audi A4 home from a dinner with friends in Manhattan Beach.  It was just past midnight.  She had consumed some wine with dinner and was feeling fine.  She had no criminal history.

As she drove her car south on Pacific Coast Highway, she could feel her car was not driving normally, but she could not figure it out.  As she came to a stop for a red light at Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach, Hermosa Beach Police noticed her driving with two deflated tires, the driver-side front tire and the driver-side rear time, causing the vehicle to lean to the left.  

Officers pulled her over once the light turned green and she could move forward.  The client told police she believed her tires may have deflated after hitting a curb.  As officers spoke with her, they detected the odor of alcohol and asked her if she has consumed any alcohol that evening and other DUI investigation questions.  Our client was cooperative throughout.

Officers had her perform some field sobriety tests (like the one-legged stand, the Romberg test and the walk-the-line test), which she failed, according to the police report.

She was then arrested and taken to the Hermosa Beach Police Station, where she submitted to a breath test that measured her blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.18% and 0.16%.  She was then held for about eight hours before being released in the morning after signing a promise to appear in the Torrance Superior Court in about two months.

When the client got home, she discussed the case with a few friends, who recommended she call Greg Hill & Associates, so she did.  She then discussed the case facts with Greg Hill and asked many questions, which Greg answered.

Greg asked questions that addressed the reliability of her breath sample for alcohol content.  Greg asked about whether the client was diabetic, anemic or had any respiratory abnormalities.  Greg asked if the client was an endurance athlete. The client explained that she was an avid endurance cyclist and does follow a “Keto diet,” so Greg explained it would be possible that the alcohol content in her breath may not be an accurate proxy for the alcohol content in her blood.  The Keto diet, for example, may elevate one’s BAC measurement from one’s breath by up to 0.05% and having large lungs due to adaptation to endurance cycling can also greatly increase the quantity of ethanol one exhales.  See People v. Vangelder (2011) 127 Cal. Rptr. 3d 821, reversed in part by People v. Vangelder (2013) 164 Cal. Rptr. 3d 522, 58 Cal.4th 1; 312 P.3d 1045.

The client retained Greg Hill & Associates and Greg later appeared at the client’s arraignment in the Torrance courthouse.  The client was charged with violations of California Vehicle Code §§ 23152(a) (“Driving While Impaired by Alcohol or Drugs”) and 23152(b) (“Driving With a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08% or Higher by Weight”).

Greg also read the police report, wherein the Hermosa Beach police officer stated he made the traffic stop of client vehicle on suspicion that she was in violation of Vehicle Code § 31610(c).  This vehicle code states that a vehicle used for the transportation of explosives must be operating with all tires properly inflated.  

Greg pointed this out to the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor and explained this was an improper basis for a traffic stop, as our client was driving a standard Audi A4, not a truck used for transporting explosives.

The prosecutor then offered to resolve the case for a “standard first,” which this case certainly was not because of the client’s 0.18% and 0.16% BAC, which really meant she would normally be offered the nine-month alcohol awareness program.

Instead, because of the error in the police report, the client resolved the case for three years of informal (summary) probation with an obligation to enroll in and complete the three-month alcohol awareness program (the AB 541 program), payment of a $390 court fine plus penalties and assessments (total of about $2,000), and attendance at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel.  The client was happy to avoid the longer alcohol awareness class.

For more information about DUI in general, please click on the following articles:
Client Reviews
"Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well." S.A., Torrance
"Greg Hill did an outstanding job on every level. He was efficient, thorough, knowledgeable, courteous, responsive & brilliant. He welcomed my input and my concerns. . . from the first conversation to the last - I always felt 'it mattered' to him." S.C., Rolling Hills Estates
"Thanks again for your hard work. We want you to know that we are very appreciative of all that you have done [on our son's] behalf. With warmest regards." L.H., Torrance
"Dear Greg, Thank you again for all your help. Your professionalism and thoroughness is greatly admired. I will definitely recommend you to my friends if they ever need legal help." V.L., Carson
"Thanks for investing in my case. I talked to other attorneys out there and they had an arms-length of attitude, but not you. Your intensity and interest helped a lot." C.R., Pomona