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Involuntary intoxication, involuntary blood test, California DUI. Can this case be thrown out?

Encinitas, CA |

First DUI at 20, pushing an out of gas car with .08. Served my time. I have been sober 2 years, prescribed a new anti-depressant, never told the side effects. I drink on 4th of July and black out instantly. I come to driving, being guided by friends to a private parking lot. I am arrested there. I am refused the option of a breathalyzer and blood is forcefully drawn, even though I beg and plead against it. I have .22 BAC. No accident, absolute unwilling situation. I would never consciously drive drunk. Is there anything I can do?

Attorney Answers 6

  1. I do not practice in California, so I cannot give you specific advice about California law. I can tell you that you are not going to win this case without a lawyer who is trained in DUI defense. The state will not "throw it out" just because you ask them to. The best thing you can do is contact a DUI specialist immediately. You can find one in your area at the National College for DUI Defense website, below.

  2. CA's dui laws cover drugs and/or alcohol. You couldn't have blacked out immediately if you managed to get your BAC to.22 (that's really high). Involuntary intoxication might be a defense if someone put something in your drink that caused you to become impaired. In your case you were voluntary taking the anti-depressant and voluntary drinking. You will need a very good dui lawyer to convince a jury this intoxication was not voluntary.

  3. You need to speak to an attorney in your area. Go to to find an attorney that specializes in DUI Defense in California.

  4. The first thing you should do is get the blood retested. Have a DUI lawyer in your area take the case, subponea the blood sample and have it checked for preservative levels and alcohol. The lawyer should also subponea all the records on the Gas Chromatograph and bench notes. Next, the should look at your prescription to be sure that it is labeled to not to mix with alcohol. And, this is just the start of looking for defenses of your case. It is not a good case as you have presented it, but the vial may be the wrong type or out of date allowing bacteria into it and increasing readings. The blood drawer may not have complied with State law. But, beware that it is not just the BAC .22 level that is at issue here, you are also charged with being impaired and that can be a lower level. While DUI is a general intent crime in California( that means you didn't intend to do it, like running a stop sign), there may be circumstances in your case that a full consultation with a DUI attorney in your area my be able to find. You must be prepared to go to trial. You cannot bluff, and the Prosecution is not always correct. Don't wait contact a DUI lawyer in your area now, and don't just through in the towel.

  5. There may be an issue as to you not knowing you are driving a vehicle. While you don't have to intend on driving drunk you must have knowledge that you are driving. I agree with previous posts suggesting that you should be prepared to go through to a jury trial and I would not expect the District Attorney to make you a plea offer worth accepting. Speak with a DUI professional in your area.

    John Campanella

  6. Yes, their is alot that you can do. Involutary intoxication is a defense, if it is truly involutary. It is along the lines of what is known as a mistake of nfact defense. However, the DA will not just bdrop the charges and you must affirmatively assert and establish the defense. You will need a very competent DUI lawyer for this. A trial is a likely possiblity in this case because od the defense claimed

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