Defenses to Fight a Sonoma County DUI
Back in May of this year, The Sonoma Patch reported on four Sonoma County DUI arrests for driving under the influence on the 11th 12th and 13th of the previous week. Several of the DUI arrests involved repeat DUI offenders. With the 2012 holiday season almost upon us we thought we would re-visit these Sonoma County DUIs.
Our Santa Rosa criminal and DUI attorneys understand that police officers are not always correct when making an arrest for driving under the influence. In some instances, police officers pull over a driver for a traffic violation and then proceed to arrest the individual under false suspicions that he or she is driving under the influence. This is one of many reasons why it remains imperative to have an experienced Santa Rosa DUI attorney to help fight the charges if you are facing a DUI.
The California Highway Patrol made its first of these arrests the evening of Friday the 11th at 8:50 p.m. A Toyota 4Runner was pulled over for allegedly traveling at 90 mph in a construction zone. To no avail, the driver, Katherine Russell, told the police officer that she was speeding because she was late to her child’s birthday party. The police officer arrested Russell on suspicion of driving under the influence.
The next three arrests occurred on that Sunday the 13th. At approximately 12:40 a.m., an officer pulled over a Toyota truck after having observed it weaving onto the shoulder of the road. The officer suspected the driver, Rodney Montoya, of driving under the influence and arrested him at the scene. It was discovered that Montoya had prior convictions for DUI and felony hit-and-run.
Just an hour later, another officer pulled over a Mercedes sedan for speeding and weaving. The officer suspected that the driver, George Linsenmeyer, was intoxicated and proceeded to conduct field sobriety tests, which the driver allegedly failed. Like Montoya, a records check revealed that Linsenmeyer had prior DUI convictions and was on probation.
The last of the string of arrests for DUI suspicion occurred at 7:10 p.m. on that Sunday. In response to a two-vehicle collision on Highway 101 at Petaluma Boulevard North, the California Highway Patrol suspected that Ernesto Rojas, one of the drivers involved in the collision, was intoxicated. He was arrested for DUI.
Defenses to DUI
In all of the instances illustrated above, each driver has available defenses to fight a California DUI charge or conviction. Even the drivers that were discovered to have prior DUIs on their record have defenses available to them. In a California DUI investigation, the driver’s physical appearance is a major factor. The arresting officer will testify that the driver was under the influence because he or she had the typical symptoms of intoxication – red-watery eyes, slurred speech, and a flushed face. However, these symptoms may not be due to an intoxicated state. Our experienced Santa Rosa DUI attorney knows that these symptoms may be a result of allergies, fatigue, or frustration.
Another DUI defense is that field sobriety tests are not accurate measures of intoxication, and therefore are not reliable tools in determining whether a driver is driving under the influence. There are several reasons that a driver suspected of driving under the influence may fail a field sobriety test. It is possible that the driver may simply be uncoordinated in his or her physical motor skills, resulting in a failure to demonstrate balance and coordination. It is also possible that the arresting officer administered the field sobriety test incorrectly.
If you have been charged or convicted with DUI, it is important to know that there are several defenses available to you. In our area it is imperative to contact a Sonoma County DUI attorney to have an advocate for you in the courtroom. Please contact our office so that we may provide the help that you need.
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