Redondo Beach, Second Time DUI, 0.19% BAC, Plea to First
Our client was arrested just south of the South Bay Galleria on Hawthorne Boulevard. He had been at a friend’s house until about midnight. He and his friend, as well as a few others, had been drinking Roman Cokes and beer while watching a football game. Our client had a prior DUI from out of state three years ago and a second prior DUI, also from out of state, but more than ten years ago.
As our client, age 41, turned left onto Hawthorne, a Redondo Beach Police Officer quickly pulled him over. The police officer quickly put our client through a series of roadside gymnastic tests, also known as Field Sobriety Tests, and immediately concluded our client was under the influence of alcohol. He then asked our client to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test (PAS test) at the roadside, which our client complied with, blowing a 0.170% and 0.166% BAC.
On the police report for the arrest, however, the police officer neglected to fill out the “Officer’s Certification” portion of the report, wherein he details certain facts of the roadside PAS test.
Officers then asked him to undergo further testing and our client opted for a blood test. Officers then took him to Little Company of Mary Hospital, where he gave a blood sample. The sample allegedly showed a blood alcohol level of 0.19%.
The sample, however, was transported first to the Redondo Beach Police Department and then evaluated more than a month later in Downey by a “forensic alcohol analyst” who was not licensed, which is very unusual and exemplifies that importance of verifying this. The chain of custody required under Title 17 of the California Code was also violated.Summary in 50 Words or Less: The following case should have been resolved as a second-time DUI with penalties above the minimums due to the client’s two prior DUI’s and his high BAC, but we resolved it for a first-time DUI with minimum penalties and just a six-month (AB762) program.
Greg Hill of Greg Hill & Associates (formerly John Hill & Associates) then pointed out these problems with the PAS test, the blood test “analyst” and the chain of custody to the City Attorney handling the case.
While our client certainly was not a first time offender and eligible by statute to first-time DUI terms, the City Attorney agreed to resolve the case for a six month DUI program (AB762), a $390 fine, plus penalties and assessments, thirty-six months of summary probation and payment of a $245 booking fee.
Normally, a first time offender with such a high BAC, or anything over 0.15%, must take the nine month DUI program (AB1352), but the City Attorney recognized the problems with taking this case to trial and offered a great deal to encourage a plea bargain. In addition, normally a second time DUI is resolved for at least a $450 fine, plus penalties and assessments, 96 hours of County Jail, five years of summary probation, an 18 month DUI program (SB38), a mandatory two year license suspension and a booking fee.
Our client was very happy with this result, as his job required him to drive quite a bit and he did not have the time to fulfill all the terms of a second time DUI conviction plea bargain.
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