Menu 
Law Firm of Aaron Bortel

Does An Officer Have To Show Probable Cause For A DUI In Marin County?


An officer needs to show probable cause, because they need a reason to pull someone over and investigate. They also need probable cause to arrest someone. What happens is say an officer’s on a highway, and they see someone going outside their lane. That’s a vehicle code violation, and is enough to pull someone over. These officers, especially CHP officers, are trained to get their head inside of someone’s window, or very close to it, to try and smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage. If they do, they’re getting that person out of the car to do a DUI investigation. They do need a reason to pull someone over, but it can be a license plate light is out, it can be a taillight is damaged, it can be someone failed at the signal—any vehicle code violation gives them a right to pull someone over. Even when someone calls someone in, if the officer sees that person driving and doesn’t see him or her doing anything wrong, they still will pull someone over to do a DUI investigation.

What Is The Marin County Tolerance Law And Who Is It Applicable To?

Zero tolerance is for two different types of categories, drivers who are under 21, and those who are under 18. Those are infractions if you get a zero tolerance DUI, because that would be an under 0.08 if you’re under 21, or if you’re under 18, that would be 0.01 or higher. If someone is 18 years old, and they’re between 0.05 and 0.08, they can be charged with vehicle code section 23140, which is an infraction. It still can subject them to penalties and losing their license for a year.

Zero tolerance for someone who is under 18 means they cannot have any alcohol at all in their system. They will lose a license for a year if they have any, and are found to have had violated zero tolerance either by the court or by the DMV. The other zero tolerance is for someone who’s on DUI probation. Typically a DUI probation is anywhere from 3 to 5 years, and that’s when someone’s been convicted of a DUI. Most of the probations are for 3 years, and most are unsupervised for first offense DUIs. What the probation says is that you’re being conditionally released to the community, on your promise to a bail loss. You cannot get charged with any more DUIs or alcohol related driving offenses, because then you could be in violation of your probation. You could get a hearing in front of a judge, who would determine how much jail or alternative sentencing you would get. On a DUI, the maximum sentence is 6 months in jail.

With zero tolerance for someone who’s on DUI probation, that means if they have at or over 0.01 alcohol level in their system, they would lose their license for a year, and there are other consequences as well. You might be on a restricted license, you might have gotten your license back after a DUI but with zero tolerance. If you are driving with any alcohol in your system, under vehicle code section 23154, you could be in violation of zero tolerance, and lose your license, have additional charges, and be in violation of probation. It’s not a good thing.

Unfortunately, I do see clients who re-offend after a while, because people let their guard down again. That’s part of being human, but I really strive with my clients to educate them and make them understand the consequences. I have cases going on right now where clients have violated zero tolerance and are facing new charges. I help people out when they get in trouble again, but I would prefer not to, because I would like for all my clients to not get in more trouble. Once is enough. For some people, it takes more than one time, but it’s something that is out there. For a lot of people, this is a very social world we live in, and it’s hard for them to stop drinking or just be as observant as they need to of the probation conditions, especially my younger clients. But it can happen to anybody. I’ve seen zero tolerance violations by clients who are in their 50s and 60s.

Will I Have An Arraignment And A Bond Hearing After A DUI Arrest In Marin County?

In California, and specifically in Marin County, when you’re arrested for a DUI, if it’s a misdemeanor DUI, typically there is no bond hearing. An arraignment is something where the attorney can go on for you and plead not guilty, get the police report, and set a new court date. They can either waive time or not waive time, because you have a right to a jury trial within 45 days. Typically when a client is out of jail, we do not assert the right to a speedy jury trial because we need the time to fight the case. But if it is a case where a higher bail has been set, if you want to challenge a bail because you’re still in custody, then there might be a bail hearing where the attorney is trying to get you released on your own recognizance, or to get bail lowered.

For more information on Probable Cause For DUI In Marin County, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

Aaron Bortel

Get your questions answered - Call Us 24/7 For a FREE Case Evaluation (415) 523-7878.

Related Articles