What if the officer had no reason to pull you over and they charged me with a DUI?

Question: What if the officer had no reason to pull you over and they charged me with a DUI in Van Nuys?  I was driving on the 101 freeway near van nuys blvd. and the cop car put on his lights.  I immediately pulled over.  The cop didn’t even tell me why he pulled me over.  He asked if I was drinking and I said I had two beers.

He then had me get out of the car and did a bunch of tests which I think I did pretty good on.  Then I did a breath test and he arrested me.  I went to the police station and did another breath test and then I was put in jail for like…8 hours.  It was a terrible experience and I don’t think I should have even been pulled over!  Also, why did I have to do two breath tests?  Does that mean that my first breath test was low, so they had me do another test at the station to see if I was over the limit?

Answer: If the cop pulled you over for no reason, then it may be possible to get DUI charges dismissed at what is called a suppression hearing.  Two very common reasons for getting pulled over by CHP are for speeding or swerving.  Do you know how fast you were driving prior to getting pulled over?  What time was it when you were pulled over?  Are you over 21 years old?

To answer your question about why the officer had you do a breath test at the station, the first test(s) you did at the scene where you were pulled over is called a Preliminary Alcohol Screening test.  If the officer gave the proper admonishment prior to having you do the test (and there is a good chance he did not), then the officer should have told you that the Preliminary Alcohol Screening test is used to assist the officer in determining whether or not you are under the influence, and that if you are arrested, you would still have to do a chemical test if arrested per the implied consent statute.  (Note those are not the exact words that you should have heard).

Although the preliminary is not supposed to be used for evidential purposes for actual blood alcohol content level, it is possible that it would be brought into court in a trial situation.  The breath or blood test done after arrest is supposed to be more accurate than the Preliminary Alcohol Screening test.

There are a lot of questions that I would need answered to better assess your situation.  Sounds like you have a good start to defending your DUI case.

Call me at (818) 336-1384 and we can set up a free consultation to discuss your DUI case in more detail.


Philip Hache
DUI Attorney, Van Nuys, San Fernando, and Los Angeles County