Redondo Beach, PAS Calibration Found Bad, Wet Reckless

Our client has been out with friends at various bars in Hermosa Beach.  He had certainly drank his fair share.  He and his friends met to drink and they did, although they tried to keep their ability to drive home by pacing themselves slowly to allow plenty of time for the alcohol to digest.
Without All the Details, What Happened?:  Redondo Beach, Client DUI Charge Reduced to Wet Reckless as Result of PAS Device Calibration Test Records Revealed Inaccuracies.
As he was driving home to his apartment in Redondo Beach, police stopped him  at approximately 2:30 a.m. as he made an allegedly unsafe right turn off Pacific Coast Highway directly in front of the Redondo Beach Police Station. 

Police had him perform various field sobriety tests and measured his blood alcohol content (BAC) with a PAS (Preliminary Alcohol Screening) device.  His BAC was 0.10%.  He was then arrested and spent the evening and the following morning in the Redondo Beach jail.

Approximately six weeks later, in the Torrance Superior Court, our client was charged with one count of driving under the influence of alcohol (Vehicle Code § 23152(a)), a misdemeanor, one count of violation of driving while having a 0.08% or higher blood alcohol level (Vehicle Code § 23152(b)), also a misdemeanor, as well as one count of unsafe turn (Vehicle Code § 22100 (a)), an infraction. 

The charges were particularly troubling for our client because his job involved extensive use of his car for his work as a salesman.  He also travelled to Canada quite often, where renting a car is difficult (if not impossible) if one has a DUI conviction.  His employer made it very clear that any employee convicted of DUI would lose their job. 

Greg Hill appeared and reviewed the police report carefully.  He noticed that the PAS device had been calibrated such that it read 0.02% high on tests at the police department in the latest calibration tests before our client’s arrest.  This is exceedingly rare, so much so that many attorneys do not even check the calibration records anymore.  In fact, our office has handled hundreds of DUI”s and this case was only about the third of fourth such case where this happened.

Greg showed this calibration log to the Redondo Beach City Prosecutor handling the case and argued that because the device was calibrated high, so that even a completely sober person’s breath would be measured as having a 0.02% BAC, our client’s BAC was really 0.08%, once the miscalibrated PAS device was taken into consideration. 

The City Prosecutor was quite surprised at this error and commented that the police should have not used the PAS at all.  Greg agreed, saying there may a few folks (not our clients) who accepted pleas to DUI not knowing their BAC was inaccurate.  Greg  then was able to negotiate a plea bargain for the client in which he agreed to plead no contest to a wet reckless (not a DUI) in exchange for all other charges being dismissed.  This meant the DUI was dismissed.  The hard fought plea bargain preserved our client’s job.

For more information about a wet reckless, traveling to Canada after a DUI and PAS test problems, click on the following articles:
  1. Why Is a “Wet Reckless” Better Than a DUI?
  2. Five Years of PAS (Preliminary Alcohol Screening) Device Records Found Inaccurate in San Francisco
  3. I Was Convicted of DUI or I am Facing a Pending DUI- Can I Go to Canada?
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