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The FIVE Things You Must Know about a Long Beach DUI Arrest

Although specific circumstances will vary on a case by case basis, a DUI arrest in Long Beach and throughout Los Angeles County may proceed as follows: 

Although specific circumstances will vary on a case by case basis, a DUI arrest in Long Beach and throughout Los Angeles County may proceed as follows: 

1. A law enforcement officer, Long Beach Police, Signal Hill Police, Los Angeles County Sheriff, or CHP, patrolling the roads will say they observed swerving, driving too slowly, speeding, driving recklessly or otherwise displaying behavior which may indicate intoxication or a person driving under the influence of drugs. May not be true, but they will say it.

2. The officer will initiate a traffic stop; he or she will “light you up” and pull you over to the side of the road.

3. Once stopped, the officer will ask to see license and registration information. At this time, the officer will also look for outward signs that indicate you “may” be DUI, such as bloodshot eyes or slurred speech or Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). The officer may also ask the driver if he or she has been drinking, where he or she is going, etc. 

If you are arrested, the report will most likely say that your eyes were red, bloodshot, and watery; that your speech was slurred; that an odor of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from your breath and person; that you tested positive for HGN. Again, it may not be true, but the report will say it. 

4. Depending on behavior “observed” at the initial police stop, the officer may ask you to step outside of the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests, such as the Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, or the popular Close-Your-Eyes-And-Touch-Your-Nose test.

They will say that these “tests” are used to gauge your mental and physical abilities; that they are using them to confirm that you are NOT actually DUI so they can let you go. It’s NOT true!

In reality, they are nothing more than subjective agility exercises used to compile additional evidence against you – and they won’t tell you that they are optional for drivers who are 21 or over and not already on DUI probation. 

5. They will probably tell you that everything looks good and that if you just blow into their roadside breath machine – the Preliminary Alcohol Screening Device (PAS) – they can confirm that you are ok to drive away. It’s NOT true!

They won’t tell you that the PAS is also optional for drivers 21 or older and not on DUI probation. They won’t tell you that they are actually using the reading to establish a baseline with which to compare the mandatory chemical blood alcohol test results.
Ultimately, with “sufficient evidence,” the officer makes the arrest for DUI.
After an arrest is when Long Beach area law enforcement may ask a driver to submit to a chemical breath test or blood test in order to determine his or her actual blood alcohol concentration at the time of the test; criminal charges will follow.


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