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Top Ten Tips > Fighting a DUI Arrest

4. Drinking After Driving

Napa DUI Drinking After DrivingYour Napa DUI lawyer should explain to you that if you consumed alcohol subsequent to driving and prior to arrest, then the police officer's observations of your behavior later, and the alcohol test results later, cannot be an accurate reflection of your level of alcohol or impairment at the time of driving, which is actually the only legally relevant point in time; if you were drinking roadside, this may be a violation of the open container law, or perhaps even "drunk in public," or "attempted DUI," but if you weren't driving, or if you drank subsequent to driving, then these facts allow a Napa County DUI attorney to point to often fatal proof problems for the Napa County prosecutor and for the DMV.

This defense is strongest for your Napa DUI lawyer when your test results show low blood alcohol levels and/or if you offered a credible drinking history at the time you were interviewed by the Napa police, and if there are disinterested witnesses (who don't know you) who can testify to the after-driving alcohol consumption, or if there is actual physical evidence to support the defense, such as 1/2 empty liquor bottles in the car or recent store receipts (see the Preserve Physical Evidence discussion in the Tips for the First 48 Hours Articles on this site).

Sometimes the facts are present for such a defense, but at the time of arrest people think that they should deny they were drinking in the vehicle. Your Napa DUI attorney will tell you that this is a common error because people naturally don't want to admit to even further illegality when confronted by the police. But denying drinking after driving may very well destroy any chance your Napa County DUI lawyer might have had to present the defense and win your case in court or at the DMV hearing. See the related discussion of the 3-Hour Presumption in Tip #7.

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Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, Wine Country resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of North Bay DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.

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Dave Jake Schwartz