San Luis Obispo Drunk Driving

Top San Luis Obispo County DUI Lawyer

Have you been given a citation for drunk driving in Grover Beach California in San Luis Obispo County or one of the surrounding areas such as the beach or state park? The clock is ticking to save your drivers license with the DMV. Call the attorney who wins more DMV hearings than almost any other, toll free 1-877-213-4453. Matthew has over 25 years experience fighting driving under the influence charges in California.

☎️Call or Text Matt Direct at 310-686-1533

Many folks find themselves in the situation of having been arrested for a DUI in the SLO or Pismo Beach area. As harmless and as common as enjoying a couple of cocktails may seem, the effects of such can be devastating if followed by an attempt to drive home afterwards if you had too much to drink. At the very least, the law deems that engaging in such risky behavior could result in a costly traffic ticket coupled with jail time and the loss of your driver's license, but far worse is the possibility of injuring - and possibly killing - an innocent person. This is where a Drunk Driving Lawyer can help. Many DUI arrests involve someone who is actually innocent of the crime. The breath machines and police officers involved in the investigation of the offense can very often falter and be wrong in the assessment of the circumstances. For example, breath testing in CA requires strict compliance with regulations and scientific protocol, these are often overlooked and sometimes ignored completely. It is beyond dispute that the long lasting effects of an arrest for any alcohol related charge can be minimized with the help of competent and experienced legal counsel. Whether the arrest occurred in Pismo Beach, Grover Beach our in any of the outlying areas of SLO, we Defend all DUI charges for both alcohol, drugs and marijuana under the influence cases.

The Highest Success Rate!

Matthew represented a resident of Paso Robles who was involved in a crash on the 101 Freeway near Atascedero. The officer that responded to the accident observed bloodshot/watery eyes, slurred speech and other signs of intoxication. The client was asked to perform field sobriety exercises and the results were not as the officer was expecting. The client was arrested for VC23152 and asked to submit to a chemical test, he chose a breath test. The results of the test were .17/.17 BAC. Matt got the case and looked into the details of the breath test administration. On closer look, it appeared the officer failed to follow the regulations relating to the observation period that preceded the test. Matthew used this as an argument to throw out the test completely. At the DMV hearing Matt defended the case by alleging a violation of the Title 17 Regulations and demanded a dismissal. The hearing officer agreed and found the reults unreliable, the DMV SET ASIDE THE SUSPENION and returned the client's license.

Matthew has a long track record of success in the San Luis Obispo Court. For example, just recently he represented a client arrested in Grover Beach for VC 23152, driving under the influence and driving above the legal limit with a BAC of .12 from a breath test. He had a prior conviction for DWI in Bakersfield a few years earlier so he was facing mandatory jail time and loss of his license. Matt investigated the facts and determined the client was in the "absorptive phase" at the time of the stop, making his blood alcohol level was rising and likely higher at the time of chemical testing. A forensic alcohol expert was brought in at the DMV hearing and testified the breath results were untrustworthy. The DMV agreed and the license suspension was SET ASIDE.

In another case Matthew defended a client who was stopped after leaving Fin's Restaurant in Grover Beach. She allegedly ran through a stop sign and blew .10 on the breath machine. Matt fought the case by challenging the test on the grounds the officers failed to follow the regulatory requirements. Ultimately the District Attorney relented and agreed to DISMISS THE DUI CHARGES in Court.

Frequently Asked Questions About a DUI arrest in Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo County California: 

Q. Why should I see an attorney about my San Luis Obispo DUI?

A. A DUI is a misdemeanor and potentially a felony criminal offense, not just a traffic ticket. If you are convicted of a DUI, there are mandatory legal penalties. Your drivers license is automatically suspended unless you fight. Your auto insurance rates will skyrocket, and the conviction may be added to your credit report. If you hold a professional license, a conviction must usually be reported to your governing agency. In short, you have a lot to lose. So it makes good sense to see if you can defend yourself against these charges. An experienced criminal attorney can review the facts of your case to find legal defenses to the charges in San Luis, the Central Coast, Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, Morro Bay or Grover Beach CA.

Q. What should I look for in a defense attorney? 
A. Most attorneys do not practice DUI law on a regular basis, and you need a specialist to defend your rights. When you’re looking for a criminal attorney, you should evaluate the initial interview carefully. You should feel comfortable with the attorney and confident in his or her ability in this type of case. When you have questions, make sure they’re answered to your satisfaction. Some firms use "case managers", paralegals or secretaries to interview clients. Be sure you talk directly with a competent criminal defense attorney who practices in the area of DUI or drunk driving. Lastly, when searching for a SLO DUI Lawyer it is important that he of she be familiar with local practices and customs of the Court. 

Q. Could I represent myself in court or at the DMV administrative hearing? 
A. Do-it-yourself legal work does not make much sense. DUI is a criminal matter and there are stiff penalties. Take it seriously. A Grover Beach or San Luis alcohol related criminal case can stay on you record for life if not handled properly. The laws pertaining to driving under the influence change constantly, the lawyer must be familiar with the California statutes and procedures, otherwise his or her representation will be hindered. Matthew has over 25 years experience fighting and winning DMV Hearings for DWI arrests. In fact, in one recent case Matt won an APS hearing and saved the license for a client involved in a car accident where his blood test results were .25 BAC. Despite the high results Mr. Ruff was able to show the blood was collected improperly and the DMV agreed and reinstated the driving privilege. In another case Matt won the DMV hearing for a client stopped in Grover Beach. The client had a prior DUI and breath test of .12 BAC. Nevertheless, Matt saved his license by arguing his blood alcohol level was rising at the time of the arrest. 

Q. What if I can’t appear in court? 
A. Your attorney can appear for you in the San Luis Obispo Court in most cases, the Court is part of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. You don’t have to be present if you are represented by private counsel. All DWI charges from San Luis Obispo go to the Criminal Department in the Courthouse on Monterey. All cases are prosecuted by the b SLO District Attorney. All Drunk Driving and alcohol charges in Oceano Dunes, Grover Beach are heard in the Court on South 16th Street in the city of Grover Beach. In most cases, our office can appear for you under 977 of the Penal Code, therefore if you live outside the county we can make sure your rights are protected. 

Q. Can I discuss my case with family members, friends, or coworkers? 
A. You can, but do so at your peril. If you discuss your arrest with others, they can be called as witnesses by the prosecution. Your attorney can’t be a witness against you. Telling people about your arrest can damage your reputation, upset your loved ones, and may jeopardize your job. You should discuss your case only with your lawyer. Only a licensed CA attorney is shielded from the laws that allow a D.A. to subpoena and cross examine a witness in your case. 

Q. Can you guarantee results? 
A. Beware of any attorney who guarantees results. In the law, as in most other areas of life, absolute certainty is not possible. However, the best results in any case always come from a good professional relationship with a competent attorney familiar with Drunk Driving defense in the area in which your case will be heard. 

Q. Can I get my driver’s license back? 
A. Possibly. Each case has its own special facts, and there are valid legal defenses that can be used against your DMV license suspension. One or more defenses may apply in your case. Your Lawyer needs to request and obtain an administrative per se hearing from the office of Driver Safety. In the South Bay, all hearings are held in the El Segundo Driver Safety office on North Sepulveda Blvd. 

Q. What is the DMV APS hearing about? 
A. The Police officer is required by law to immediately forward a copy of the completed notice of suspension or revocation form and any driver license taken into possession, with a sworn report to the DMV. The DMV automatically conducts an administrative review that includes an examination of the officer's report, the suspension or revocation order, and any test results. If the suspension or revocation is upheld during the administrative review, you may request a hearing to contest the suspension or revocation. 

You have the right to request a hearing from the DMV within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order. If the review shows there is no basis for the suspension or revocation, the action will be set aside. You will be notified by the DMV in writing only if the suspension or revocation is set aside following the administrative review.

The DMV has the right to suspend or revoke your drivers license if you don‘t challenge the action. To do this, they decide whether the police officer had a legal right to stop you and a legal right to arrest you in San Luis Obispo. Then, depending on the test you took, they also decide whether your blood alcohol content was legally above the limit. DMV Hearings for test refusal cases are held in much the same way. An experienced DUI attorney can show proper procedures were not followed, or that the blood or breath test was not administered in compliance with state regulations, in doing so the test can be thrown out. Our expert lawyers handle cases in Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles, Morro Bay, Grover Beach and Nipomo.

Q. What is DUI?

A. Drunk driving and DWI are common words in our every day speech, which should tell us something about the extent and familiarity of this growing problem. DUI defenders will tell you that the term drunk driving has many official names including, DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants), OMVI (Operating Motor Vehicle Intoxicated), and OUI (Operation Under the Influence), and other acronyms OWI, DUIL, DWUI. These web pages primarily use the expression, DUI (Driving Under the Influence). All of these terms are used to describe an offense involving being arrested by the police after driving and consuming an alcoholic beverage. California has two primary offenses that constitute the crime, those are Vehicle Code 23152(a) and 23152(b). For those under the age of 21 the main statute that applies is VC 23140, this section makes it an infraction to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood if you are below the drinking age, it is often referred to as the " zero tolerance " law.

Q. Is a DUI always a misdemeanor or minor offense?

A. Certain drivers may face felony DUI / DWI charges after a California drunk driving arrest. Anyone with three prior drunk driving convictions within the past 10 years will be charged with a felony after a fourth arrest. A driver who causes injury to another person also may face felony charges. A DUI / DWI with an injury is considered a "wobbler" offense in California, meaning it may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Also, any motorist who has been charged with felony driving under the influence (DUI / DWI) within the past 10 years will be charged with another felony for any subsequent drunk driving arrests within that time period.

Q. How will a conviction for DUI affect my car insurance?

A. Many insurance companies check your motor vehicle record only once every three years or when you're applying for a new policy. Sometimes, accidents, tickets, and drunk-driving convictions can escape your insurer's attention or don't end up on your motor vehicle record. However, if your insurer does find out about a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, you're likely to feel the pinch of higher rates and possibly policy cancellation or non-renewal. Rates can be doubled or tripled, although this may be a price-gouging tactic. Hiring the right lawyer will help to insure the "pinch" of a conviction will not be in your future. When you hire Matthew Ruff, you also get the benefit of how to deal with your insurer. There are methods that can be used to ensure the DUI does not impact your insurance in ways it otherwise could, call the San Luis Obispo DUI Attorney today to discuss these and other issues.

Q. Can I be charged with DUI in a Golf cart?

Yes, many people flock to the Central Coast to drive on the sand and camp in the many campgrounds in Oceano Dunes, Pismo State Beach and Guadalupe. The Park Rangers are out in force enforcing Vehicle Code offenses even though the driver may be in the sand or even in a Golf Cart or off road vehicle. California law prohibits driving impaired due to alcohol or drugs even if you are in a non traditional motor vehicle. Officers can enforce Criminal laws, including drunk driving on the sand, in camping areas and in the dunes. However, there are defenses that exist to fight arrests that take place off road or when you are operating a golf cart. Matt has been able to win these cases and get DUI charges dropped for clients in all types of vehicles.

The Grover Beach Court has recently been consumed into the Superior Court in downtown San Luis Obispo. All Pismo Beach DUI arrests now go to that tribunal for adjudication. The DMV hearings are conducted in either SLO driver safety office or in Oxnard. However, if the arrestee lives in a city outside of the area then a hearing can be requested in their home court. This procedure is called a change of venue and can be requested as long as the demand is made within 10 days of the incident.

In recent years there has been an increase in arrests for drugged driving or DUID in Pismo Beach, Grover Beach and in the Oceano Dunes areas of San Luis. The legalization of cannabis has created more cases where officers detect the smell of pot during a traffic stop and commence an impaired driving investigation. The good news is Matt is a recognized authority in Cannabis related driving under the influence charges. He has expertise in the science and the laws pertaining to impaired driving and has a near 100% success rate in getting DUI charges dismissed, dropped and reduced in marijuana cases.

Q. What If I Was Arrested in Pismo Beach For DUI, Can An Attorney Go To Court For Me?

A. Yes, For over 25 years Matthew has been handling cases for clients where they live in another county or even a different state. In one recent case Matt defended a client arrested in Grover Beach California. The person had a prior DUI 6 years prior in Bakersfield. Matt presented evidence that the client had a "rising BAC", meaning his blood alcohol level was getting higher at the time he was stopped. Matt showed he was actually below .08 when stopped even though the Breathalyzer reading was .11%. Matt saved his license by getting the suspension "set aside".

Q. I was riding an ATV in Oceano Dunes and arrested for DUI, is this legal?

A. Yes, California law includes off road vehicles such as Razor and motorcycles in the definition of Motor vehicles. The State Park Police will patrol the sands and stop vehicles for speeding and other violations. If alcohol is smelled on the driver's breath they will undertake an investigation for DWI. The officers who patrol the beach are usually equipped with portable breath testing equipment to check blood alcohol levels at the scene of arrest. The California State Park Police will typically have access to portable breath test machines in their vehicle. The standard procedure is for the officer to write you a citation for VC 23152 with a future Court date in downtown SLO Court at 1050 Montery Street, San luis Obispo. Matthew has fought many of these violations involving the Department of Parks and Recreation on the beach. There are many problems associated with these types of cases. First of all since the driving took place on the sand it is difficult to prove "impaired driving" in the same way as when you are on a paved roadway. Second, the officers that patrol these areas are typically not trained very well in DWI detection and the field sobriety tests are suspect because they took place on loose sand, not the ideal environment to administer standardized FST tests.

Q. What is a Wet Reckless?

A. A "wet reckless" is a term of art that describes a reduction of a DUI to a lesser charge called reckless driving (VC23103). The offense is called a "wet" because it involves alcohol and is priorable, meaning if you get charged with another driving under the inflence case again in the next 10 years the Court can use it to constitute a prior conviction. This type of plea bargain is common and is done in many cases where the evidence is lacking. The benefit of a wet reckless is that it involves a shorter duration of probation, a smaller fine and usually no requirement for an IID by the DMV.

If you were arrested in SLO for DWI, DUID, or driving under the influence of alcohol, Matt is your best defense. Matt has 30 years experience fighting drunk driving charges and winning in Court. Call or Text Matt Direct at 310-686-1533 for a no obligation case evaluation that can identify weaknesses in the case and possible violations of your rights under California law.

Contact Matthew J. Ruff Attorney at Law Today!

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