If you have been arrested in California for a DUI, it is likely that you were either stopped for some alleged driving violation, stopped at a DUI sobriety checkpoint, or were involved in an accident. Prior to your arrest, you were given a battery of field sobriety tests.

In California, the arresting officers do not routinely use the standardized field sobriety tests approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Because the standardized field sobriety tests are often not used in California DUI arrests, this raises questions concerning the validity of the test results.

You were also likely given a preliminary alcohol screening test (PAS test) which involves a hand-held breath-testing device. When you were arrested and taken to the local jail facility, you were also likely given a breath test. These breath tests are indirect measurements of your blood-alcohol level.

The breath-testing devices presently in use have a margin of error and they can be attacked for their lack of accuracy. You should have been given your choice of a blood or breath test and, if you chose the blood test, it also has a margin of error, although not as great as the breath test. If you take a test and your blood-alcohol level is .08 or greater, or if you refuse a breath or blood test, you face both administrative sanctions from the California Department of Motor Vehicles as well as criminal penalties in the court case.

If you are a California resident, your driver's license will be confiscated. YOU MUST REQUEST A DMV HEARING WITH TEN (10) DAYS OF YOUR ARREST or you will lose your California driver's license or your privilege to drive in California for 120 days, or, in the case of a test refusal, for one year. If this is your second offense, the periods of suspension are increased. The suspension of your driving privileges by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is separate and for the most part independent of the penalties you face in your court case. See Administrative Penalties for more information. Therefore, it is very important that you request a hearing within the 10-day period or contact the law office of William Cole so that they may request the hearing for you at no charge.

The law office of William Cole has extensive experience representing clients in driving under the influence DUI cases in courts in El Dorado County, including South Lake Tahoe, California; Placer County, California including Tahoe City, California; and Nevada County, California, including Truckee, California, as well as at hearings before the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Call (775) 588-2800 for a free initial consultation and experienced and aggressive representation if you are arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) violation in the Reno-Lake Tahoe area.

Attorney William Cole is a member of or is affiliated with the following legal organizations:

  • The California Bar Association
  • The State Bar of Nevada
  • The Nevada Justice Association
  • The Washoe County Bar Association
  • The National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • California DUI Lawyers Association

Mr. Cole is a designated as a specialist with the California DUI Lawyers Association.

The law offices of William Cole welcomes inquiries and understands your concerns and questions concerning your case. The initial consultation is free and with no obligation. Attorney William Cole and his staff are happy to provide you with straight talk concerning your case.


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National College
for DUI Defense
National Association of
Criminal Defense Lawyers
California DUI
Lawyers Association