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Car Died on Freeway

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twoelevenp

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? CA

MY car died on the freeway... I tried to push my car off of the freeway but couldn't because the brakes began to lock... I called a friend to help me out... But before he could show up... Highway Patrol shows up... My keys were not in the car... CHP even tried to push the car but it didnt work... It eventually got towed... They took me to the gas station... Asked if I had been drinking... I told him the truth because I just came from a wedding... Gave me some field tests... I passed that except for the breathalizer... My BAC was over the legal limit and I was taken in and charged with drunk driving... But at the time of the arrest... But at the time of the arrest, I was not driving... I was not stopped or pulled over... And I did not cause an accident... Do I have a case???
 


BigMistakeFl

Senior Member
BigMistakeFl

You lost me..... your car died on the freeway, but who was driving it when it died? You don't have to be under way to be arrested for DUI.
 

Curt581

Senior Member
Very common. It goes something like this:

Cop sees a car pulled over, with someone trying to push it. He pulls over to assist, part of his "Community Caretaker" function. Notices that the person is alone.

Cop: "Hey, having problems? What happened?"

Driver: "I don't know... I was just trying to get home, and the engine quit running".

Cop notices that the driver has a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, glassy eyes, and slurred speech. The driver is unsteady on his feet, swaying forward and backwards.

Cop: "Kind of hard to push on two flat tires, isn't it?"

Driver: "Whaaa?"

Cop takes him to the passenger side, and shows him two flat tires, with bent rims. Also notes the radiator is steaming and there's a large puddle of oil under the car with a trail leading behind it.

Driver: "Gee... how did that happen?"

Cop: "How much have you had to drink tonight?"

Driver: "Two beers"
(Even if they tried to drink the tavern's entire stock of Budweiser, they always say "two beers")

Cop: Let's step over here, and try some Field Sobriety tests...

:D
 

BigMistakeFl

Senior Member
BigMistakeFl

Ok, you were the driver. To answer your question, you don't have to be caught physically driving the vehicle to be charged with DUI, no.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
California has some pretty stiff "in your presence" requirements for driving. However, one of the three exceptions to the presence requirement is that the person arrested be "in or about a vehicle which is obstructing a roadway". Thus, the arrest was lawful.

A good DUI defense attorney might be able to fight the BAC level depending o the time of the breakdown, the time the officers arrived, and the time the tests were taken ... but, that might only fudge it by .01 or .02 (and the BAC could just as easily be argued to have been on the rise - particularly if you had just left the wedding).

If you intend to fight it, get a DUI attorney (an attorney that specializes in DUI defense).

- Carl
 

BigMistakeFl

Senior Member
BigMistakeFl

True, in that, if you drank five shots of liquor and immediately drove three blocks to get home, your BAC would be low. Wait an hour after those shots and take the breath test and the level would be quite high. Still, that defense is getting tougher to use, from what I've read. I'll try to find the article and post the link.
 

twoelevenp

Junior Member
Frustrated...

Thanks for the advice people... But things have gotten worse... Just to clear things up a little bit... In the report the officer said my keys were in the ignition... But, I remember taking out the keys from the ignition because I wanted to rest the car battery... CHP tried to push the car but it didn't work... CHP left scratches and dents on my back bumper... Also, in the report, the officer said I failed all the tests... But I think it was a bunch of crock... I know I didn't fail those sobriety tests... Is there a time gap between writing reports and the time of the arrest???... Seems like he added and exxagerated some things... Almost like he wrote it for someone else... He said things in the report that that didn't even happen... I don't know if I even have a chance because the way he wrote the report... The officer made me look like a drunkard who couldn't even talk or stand straight... I was fully aware of what was going on... But, as you know, it's my word against his...
 

twoelevenp

Junior Member
One more thing...

The breathalizer showed .14 and the blood test showed .13... The blood test was taken approximately 45 mins or so later... My BAC was on its way down...
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
While you may think you passed the tests, you likely don't know what the clues are that we look for in those tests. And, in all honestly, a person who is impaired generally thinks he is doing better than he did ... that's the problem with impairment - skewed perceptions.

And if the BAC was dropping, then an argument can be made that it was even higher when you were actually driving the car.

Since CA state law makes BAC .08 or higher a crime by itself, even if you manage to defeat some of the tests, the breath and the blood will be enough to convict.

Talk to a DUI attorney and see if there is any way to bargain this down or fight it. There probably isn't, but if you intend to have any chance at all you need an experienced DUI attorney ... even if all he can work out is a reduced fine.

- Carl
 

BigMistakeFl

Senior Member
BigMistakeFl

Yeah, the roadside tests..... don't think the cops are actually watching to see if you touch your nose or not. Much has to do with continued gaze of the eyes themselves, for instance. What we think they are testing is not actually what they have been trained to see.

Damage to vehicle..... pretty much tough luck, unless you really get a "not guilty" verdict, then I suppose you could try to sue for damages. Again, it's going to be a tough one.

The BAC and blood work are not favorable for you. If you want to fight with a lawyer, that's your choice. I'd brace myself for a conviction if it were me.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
BigMistakeFl said:
Yeah, the roadside tests..... don't think the cops are actually watching to see if you touch your nose or not. Much has to do with continued gaze of the eyes themselves, for instance. What we think they are testing is not actually what they have been trained to see.
Each test has two or more different things we are watching for. They are "divided attention" tests.

In the finger-to-nose test, for example, we are watching for where you touch your nose, how well they follow directions (which hand to use and then to return it to their side as instructed), whether they sway while standing, how they balance themselves, etc.


Damage to vehicle..... pretty much tough luck, unless you really get a "not guilty" verdict, then I suppose you could try to sue for damages. Again, it's going to be a tough one.
He can make a claim for the damage and they might pay for repairs. But, since the vehicle was in the roadway and they had a duty to try to get it off the road, it may be seen as his responsibility and he can make a claim to his insurance.

In any event it would likely take months for the CHP admninistration to accept or reject the claim.


The BAC and blood work are not favorable for you. If you want to fight with a lawyer, that's your choice. I'd brace myself for a conviction if it were me.
Yep.

- Carl
 

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