The Fourth of July is known as one of the most dangerous days to be on the road driving. Law enforcement is well aware of the fact that most people spend Independence Day drinking. The likelihood of being pulled over on the Fourth of July increases dramatically. Police often look out for people breaking certain laws, such as driving under the influence, walking on the street with open bottles, and acting drunk in public.
Driving Under the Influence
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152: It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b): It is illegal to drive a vehicle with .08% or more of alcohol in your blood system.
- Persons under the age of 21 cannot have any alcohol in their system while driving.
Certain legal rights are often ignored by law enforcement when they stop someone for driving under the influence of any substance. A police officer must have sufficient facts to give them "probable cause" to stop, detain, and arrest you. Field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests are not required by the law. If arrested, you must be advised of your rights before any further questioning. You must be given the choice of a breath or blood test and if you refuse, you must be made aware of the consequences. If you are given a breath test at the police station, you must also be given the opportunity to obtain a blood sample to be later tested by your DUI Defense Attorney.
Open Container Laws
California Vehicle Code Sections 23221 through 23229 are known as open container laws. Generally, these laws make it illegal to drive in a car with a beverage that has been opened. "Open" means that the beverage has a broken seal, has been partially consumed, or was previously opened.
- California Vehicle Code Section 23224: It is illegal for a person under 21 to be in possession of an open container. This Vehicle Code Section also makes it illegal for a person under the age of 21 to drive a car that has an open container in it.
- California Vehicle Code Section 23225: Open containers must be transported in the trunk of a vehicle.
Drunk in Public
California Penal Code Section 647(f) defines being drunk in public as being unable to act in a safe manner or acting in a way that puts others in danger. Additionally, one could be cited for being drunk in public if you are obstructing the public in any way.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for drug and alcohol related offenses, Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help. With over 50 years of experience, the attorneys of Lessem & Newstat, LLP fully understand how to protect your rights. Call now for a free consultation.