By Dale Gribow

I am often asked if areas of law are cyclical. After thinking about it I realized that potential clients do not file for Divorce around the Holidays for the sake of their kids. The need for Trust and Business work can occur all year long but most of this work comes during our “Season”. Our main holidays mean an influx of visitors and parties and thus more traffic and drinking. Thus more clients will be calling, in the next week or two and July 4th, about Auto Accidents and Drunk Driving.
I realize that no matter what I write here most of you will not follow or remember my directions and many of you will get stopped at a DUI checkpoint over the Memorial Day Weekend. Sometimes your lack of memory is from Black and White fever for which you do not have to have been drinking.
On my legal radio show I started off each episode saying People Don’t Plan to Fail, They Fail to Plan. If you understand and remember what I am writing this week you will be Planning Ahead. If you are stopped for a possible DUI remember that the Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) at the scene are OPTIONAL as is the BREATH TEST at the scene. Politely tell the officer that you understand the FST and Breath test are optional and you opt “not to take them”. Then be courteous and request a Blood Test. They will have to take you to the hospital or police station to get a professional to draw your blood. There is a case a few weeks old that requires a licensed person if there is a refusal and a Forced Blood Draw. I predict it will extend to regular blood draws soon.

The following is a step by step of what will happen with a DUI:
A DUI is a criminal offense that has two separate legal proceedings: Court and DMV
Booking and Custody: The officer will snatch your license and give you a pink form which is a temporary license for 30 and take you to the station. You may be asked to submit to another chemical test to determine your Blood Alcohol Content and you will be fingerprinted and a booking photograph will be taken. You will be in custody and released on your own recognizance after 4 hours.
Schedule a DMV Hearing Within 10 days.
Retain an Attorney.
DMV Hearing: Your lawyer presents evidence and can subpoena witnesses, including the arresting officer. Your attorney can advocate for your license and driving privileges on your behalf, and the DMV will then rule on whether or not the officer had reasonable cause to take your license. The DMV hearing is stacked against the driver as the hearing officer is both the prosecutor and judge. However it gives you a glimpse of the case and the evidence against the driver.
Arraignment: You, or your attorney on your behalf, will appear and enter a plea not guilty.
Plea Bargains and Pretrial Motions: After the arraignment your attorney can discuss the case with the DA and possibly negotiate a plea bargain or set the case for Motions to Dismiss and or for a Pre Trial or Trial
Trial: The DA and your lawyer will present evidence, argue, and cross-examine any witnesses. The jury will then decide whether or not you are guilty of driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol of over a .08.
Sentencing: The court sentences you after a plea bargain or conviction. The penalties will differ based on the circumstances of your case, but could include fines, jail time or home arrest with an ankle bracelet, community service, and alcohol education.
If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow at The Dale Gribow Law Group at our NEW number 760 837 7500 and or our NEW email of and NEW address 73 820 El Paseo Suite 1-335, Palm Desert, CA 92261.