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What to Expect at the DMV Hearing

A DMV hearing is different from your court trial. The DMV hearing only addresses the suspension of your driver’s license. The hearing does not determine whether or not you drove under the influence but rather whether the officer had probable cause to arrest you for a DUI.

The issues discussed are:

If you took a blood or breath or (if applicable) a urine test:

  • Did the peace officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23140, 23152 , or 23153 ?
  • Were you placed under lawful arrest?
  • Were you driving a motor vehicle when you had 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in your blood?

If you refused or failed to complete a blood, breath test, or (if applicable) a urine test:

  • Did the peace officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23140, 23152 , or, 23153 ?
  • Were you placed under lawful arrest?
  • Were you told that if you refused to submit to or failed to complete a test of your blood, breath, or (when applicable) urine, your driving privilege would be suspended for one year or revoked for two or three years?
  • Did you refuse to submit to or failed to complete a blood or breath test, or (if applicable) a urine test after being requested to do so by a peace officer?

At the hearing, your attorney can call you or the arresting police officer to testify. Some common defenses that your attorney may present are:

  1. The police officer did not personally see you driving.
  2. You were arrested at a California DUI sobriety checkpoint that doesn’t conform to the strict legal requirements of California DUI law, making your arrest illegal.
  3. The officer had no probable cause to pull you over.
  4. The officer didn’t observe you for 15 minutes before administering the Preliminary Alcohol Screening test, aka breath test. Under California’s Title 17 regulations, the officer must observe you for 15 minutes to ensure that you didn’t vomit, eat, drink, smoke, or burp all of which could skew the results of the breath test.
  5. The breath-testing instrument wasn’t calibrated or working properly.
  6. Certain diets or medical conditions, such as high-protein, low carb diets or acid reflux and heartburn, could produce a BAC higher than 0.08% regardless of how much you had to drink.

After your arrest for a DUI, write down as much as you can remember about what happened to better help your attorney analyze your case. Contact me to discuss whether any of these defenses apply to your case. The Tabo Law Firm, a Sacramento DUI attorney, can help you argue your case at a DMV hearing and help you keep your driver’s license. Call (916) 504-2660 for a consultation as soon as possible.

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