Metropolitan Court, 0.12% BAC, Plea Bargain to Speeding

Our client, age 23 and with no prior DUI convictions, was returning home from a night of partying with his friends.  He had been to two different bars and consumed at least five mixed drinks over four hours.  He did not eat any dinner.

As he was driving along the 10 Freeway, his passenger became ill and told our client to pull over.  Our client did so and the passenger proceeded to vomit along the side of the freeway.
Synopsis:  Los Angeles (Metropolitan Court), Client Charged with DUI with BAC of 0.12%, Negotiated to Speeding.
While our client was parked along the side of the freeway, a CHP vehicle pulled up behind and parked as well.  The officers first attended to our client’s sick passenger and then turned their attention to our client.  

The CHP report says that upon speaking with our client, who was standing right next to vomit on the ground, the CHP officer “detected the strong odor of alcohol.”  The CHP officer then had our client perform certain roadside gymnastic tests (also known as field sobriety tests) that our client did quite well on despite traffic zooming by just feet away and the glare of headlights from other traffic on the 10 Freeway.

The CHP officer then asked our client to submit to a Portable Alcohol Screening (PAS) test at the scene, wherein our client registered a 0.12% and 0.11% blood alcohol content (BAC).  However, the CHP officer, in filling out the report, failed to complete or sign the Officer’s Certification on the DS-367 form, attesting to such PAS results.

Our client was then taken to the police station, where he was booked and released.  In the CHP report, the officer stated he formed the opinion our client was DUI based upon the above and because our client’s father was the registered owner of the vehicle being used.

Greg Hill & Associates was then retained and appeared at the arraignment at the Metropolitan Court on Hill Street.  The initial offer from the City Attorney handling the case was a “Standard First Time DUI,” meaning a three month DUI class, a $390 fine, plus penalties and assessments, an ignition interlock device, a Mothers Against Drunk Driving course (6 hours) and 36 months of summary probation.

Greg Hill, however, was able to point out to the City Attorney how faulty the CHP report was, beginning with the officer’s determination that our client must be DUI based on the odor of alcohol he detected at the scene.  Greg went through each of the problems with the report and the City Attorney relented, agreeing that the report really was screwed up.  

The City Prosecutor then offered our client a plea bargain wherein he would plead no contest to “Exhibition of Speed,” a violation of Vehicle Code section 23109(c), with two years of summary probation and a $240 fine.  This was a great offer, as the case would not count as a “prior DUI” if our client were to be arrested for DUI in the future and the 23109(c) charge would not carry with it a requirement for an ignition interlock device.  Our client accepted the offer.

For more information about breath tests in DUI cases, click on the following articles:
  1. Are Breathalyzer Tests Meaningless? California State Supreme Court Says No
  2. What Is GERD and How Does It Affect DUI?
  3. What Is the “Mouth Alcohol” Defense to DUI?
Watch our video about DUI by clicking here.

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