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Los Angeles DUI and Law Enforcement

Los Angeles DUI and Law Enforcement

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a big issue in Los Angeles, and one that law enforcement takes very seriously. With more cars on the road than ever before, the risks of drunk driving are huge. Let’s take a closer look at how DUIs are enforced in LA, and what your rights are if you get pulled over.

Reasonable Cause for a Traffic Stop

For a police officer to pull you over, they need “reasonable cause” to think you’ve broken the law[1]. Weaving between lanes, running red lights, or speeding can all provide reasonable cause for a stop. Once pulled over, the officer will look for signs of impairment like slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or the smell of alcohol.

Field Sobriety Tests

If the officer suspects you’re under the influence, they’ll ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. These can include:

  • Walking heel-to-toe in a straight line
  • Standing on one leg
  • Following a pen with your eyes

The officer is looking for balance issues, lack of coordination, or inability to follow instructions. Refusing the tests can lead to your arrest.

Breath and Blood Tests

After the field tests, the officer may require you to take a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) breath test. If you fail this, or refuse to take it, you’ll very likely be arrested for DUI. At the police station, you’ll be asked to take additional chemical tests like an evidentiary breath test or blood test.

It’s important to know that you have the right to refuse these chemical tests. But refusing comes with penalties like a longer driver’s license suspension[3]. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you understand the pros and cons of refusing or taking the tests.

LAPD Officers and DUIs

In 2022, seven LAPD officers were arrested for DUIs, some with blood alcohol levels over twice the legal limit of 0.08%[2]. This led the department to issue a warning that officers must drink responsibly and not drive impaired[4].

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
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Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Police officers face the same penalties as civilians if convicted of a DUI. But as law enforcement, they’re held to a higher standard. A DUI conviction can seriously impact an officer’s career and reputation.

Your Rights During a DUI Stop

As a driver pulled over on suspicion of DUI, you have important legal rights including:

  • The right to remain silent – you don’t have to answer questions beyond showing your license, registration and proof of insurance.
  • The right to know why you were stopped – the officer must explain their reasonable cause.
  • The right to consult a lawyer – you can refuse field sobriety tests until you speak to an attorney.
  • The right to video record – you can legally film your interaction with the officer in public.

Knowing your rights is key, because anything you say or do can be used against you. Politely asserting your rights can prevent damaging mistakes.

Fighting a DUI Charge

Even if you’re arrested, a DUI conviction is not inevitable. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can often get charges reduced or dismissed by challenging:

  • The reason for the traffic stop
  • Errors in sobriety testing procedures
  • Mistakes in chemical testing methods
  • Incorrect application of the law by the officer

For example, sobriety checkpoint stops are illegal in California. And breathalyzers have to be properly calibrated and administered to be admissible[5].

Don’t hesitate to get legal help fighting a DUI. An LA DUI attorney can thoroughly examine your case for defenses.

Penalties for a California DUI Conviction

If convicted of driving under the influence in California, penalties get progressively worse for repeat offenses. But even a first DUI comes with stiff fines and consequences like:

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Fines up to $1000 plus penalties
  • A 6-month license suspension
  • DUI classes
  • Ignition interlock device installation
  • Up to 3 years probation

And a DUI conviction stays on your record for 10 years, impacting employment and car insurance rates. That’s why fighting the charges is so important.

Get Legal Help From a Los Angeles DUI Attorney

Being arrested for DUI can be scary and overwhelming. But an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer can help protect your rights, examine your case for errors, and build the strongest defense. Don’t go it alone against the complex California DUI laws. Get legal help fighting the charges. There are often effective options for reducing or dismissing DUI cases when the evidence or procedures are flawed.



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