New California Ruling Make It Easier for Drivers to Lose Licenses for DUI

Under a ruling by the California Supreme Court, the Department Of Motor Vehicles can decide to suspend a person's license for DUI, based purely on his performance on a field sobriety test, or other pieces of circumstantial evidence.

A new ruling passed by the California Supreme Court recently would allow the Department Of Motor Vehicles to consider circumstantial evidence to determine if a person was driving in a legally intoxicated state, and to decide to suspend the person's license. The ruling is extremely important because it makes it much easier for the Department Of Motor Vehicles to decide to suspend a person’s license for DUI. For instance, as a result of this ruling, more motorists could be eligible for license suspension, even when their blood-alcohol limit at the time was inconclusive, or close to the legally permissible .08% limit.

For example, if you have a blood-alcohol test result on the borderline at the time of the arrest, you may find that it is much more difficult for you to prove that you were not legally impaired at the time. The case is related to a young woman who was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in November 2011. The arrest came after an officer reportedly saw the car swerving, and found that the woman showed signs of intoxication including the smell of alcohol from the car. She failed a sobriety test and was arrested.

When blood alcohol tests were taken later, they showed that her blood-alcohol level was between .08 and .095%. She claimed that she did not deserve to have her license suspended at an administrative hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and an expert testified on her behalf that her blood-alcohol level was below .08% at the time of the arrest. The Supreme Court has now ruled that the circumstantial evidence in her case was definitely relevant to a license suspension.