Case History: California Drivers Advocates was engaged to assist a client whose driver license was in jeopardy of being suspended following a DUI arrest in the City of Upland. Our 22 year old client was accused of speeding and having an “obscured” license plate. The arresting Upland PD Officer put driver through an entire series of Field Sobriety Tests and then directed him/her to blow into a PAS device. At the scene our client blew .13% and later in the station he/she blew a .11% on an evidentiary machine.
Our client had absolutely no criminal history. He/she is a sales person and is also attending college to earn a Master’s Degree. A license suspension would have made it impossible to continue his/her education.
DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position was crystal clear. Under the “Official Duty Presumption,” the DMV Hearing Officer presumed the arresting officer had a lawful reason to stop our client. The hearing officer also presumed that the officer conducted a thorough and fair investigation, that he documented everything accurately and honestly, and that the blood/alcohol concentration was accurate.
When we walked in the door, the DMV presumed our client’s guilt and was challenging us to prove them wrong. Essentially our client was “guilty” until proven innocent.
Our Defense: We appeared twice on our client’s behalf before the Driver Safety Office in San Bernardino. At the first appearance, the hearing officer presented the arresting officer’s reports as well as the testimony of the arresting officer. During our cross-examination of the officer, we discovered that there were potential items of evidence that had not been mentioned in the police report. We also discovered the officer had conducted a shoddy investigation and that although the claimed to be trained to the standards established by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, he had no clue what those standards were. Our cross-examination also revealed clear weaknesses in the officer’s probable cause to stop our client in the first place.
Had we based our defense exclusively upon the content of the police reports, we most certainly would have lost. Because of the information gathered during the testimony of the officer and because of evidence we obtained by the issuance of subpoenas, we were able to prove that the probable cause for stop was unlawful and that both the air samples taken at the scene and in the station were not admissible as evidence.
We prepared a comprehensive defense that included the introduction of affirmative evidence and arguments based in case law. In the end, the DMV had no choice but to rule in our client’s behalf.
Outcome: At the conclusion of the APS Hearing, the hearing officer took the matter under submission. Two weeks later, we received official notice that the hearing officer had “Set Aside” the suspension and our client’s driving privilege was fully reinstated. Our client suffered no APS suspension, was not required to attend a DUI school, and was not required to purchase an SR-22 Form. This is similar to being found “Not Guilty” by a jury. As a result our client is safely driving and committed to remaining a sober driver.
Call CDA Today. Let Us Go to Work on Your Case.
The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates have been fighting and winning DMV Administrative Per Se hearings for years. We excel at every type of administrative hearing handled by the DMV and have a history of winning. Call us and let us get you back on the road.