Orange County Criminal Lawyer Offices

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DUI Case Goes to Supreme Court

Orange County DUI Supreme Court

DUI Attorney Chad Maddox has been practicing in California for over 14 years. He was recently awarded the honor of appearing before the California Supreme Court. This is an honor because of the 5,000 yearly petitions for review to the California Supreme Court only approximately 100 are granted.

Brief history of the case:

The client was pulled over for suspicion of DUI.  Approximately one hour later she completed breath tests with results of 0.08% and 0.09%. Twenty to thirty minutes after her breath tests, she completed a blood test with a result of 0.09%.

An expert witness testified at her DMV hearing that her alcohol level was rising between the time of driving and time of testing and was below 0.08% at the time of driving.

Despite the unrefuted expert testimony, the DMV suspended her driver’s license.

The Law Offices of Chad Maddox filed a Writ of Mandate against the DMV to fight its actions; and an ex parte hearing to protect our client’s driving privilege until the Writ was heard.

After the Writ of Mandate was denied by the Superior Court, Chad appealed the decision to Division Three of the Fourth District Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal agreed the expert testimony rebutted the “three-hour presumption” our client was driving with an alcohol level of 0.08% or more, despite no evidence linking any of the circumstantial evidence to a specific alcohol level.

The only way to argue this case further was to petition the California Supreme Court for review.  The question pending before the Supreme Court is whether the DMV can conclude a person is driving with an alcohol level of 0.08% or more based on the combined analysis of:

  1. Circumstantial evidence tending to prove alcohol impairment (reckless driving, FSTs, slurred speech).
  2. Breath and blood tests completed after driving even though the “three-hour presumption” had been rebutted by expert testimony.

This decision by the California Supreme Court will have a major impact on future DMV actions where alcohol levels are borderline and there is evidence of a rising alcohol level.

Accomplished DUI Attorney in Orange County

  • Chad Maddox specializes in DUI defense, with an emphasis on protecting the driver’s licenses of his clients.
  • He has trained hundreds of attorneys, in multiple forums, concerning DUI & DMV law.
  • Mr. Maddox has been a contributor to California Drunk Driving Law since 2007, having had several cases published in the California Appellate Reports.
  • In addition, he recently was a contributor of an “Amici Curiae” brief in the First Appellate District. The decision of the First Appellate District went against the DMV in favor of drivers; and, the decision basically adopted the arguments made by Chad.