In the heart of the San Ramon valley, Danville is one of the safest downs in California. Law enforcement in the area try and keep that reputation going by making traffic stops for even the most minor violations, like an expired registration, cracked windshield, or going a few miles an hour over the limit.
A traffic stop is not only limited to the observed traffic violation. A traffic stop also gives police additional time and interaction to look for other crimes, including possible impaired driving. Many arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs begin as a regular traffic stop.
What Police Look For During a Traffic Stop in Danville
The police may be looking for signs of impairment even before pulling a driver over. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are a number of driving symptoms that could be indicators a driver may be under the influence. Signs of impaired driving may include:
- Wide turning radius,
- Straddling the center line,
- Almost striking another object,
- Swerving, and
- Slow speed limit.
When the officer approaches a vehicle after making a traffic stop, the officer may be looking for other signs of impairment, including:
- Visual indicators like cans or bottles of alcohol on the vehicle floor,
- Smell of alcohol,
- Smell of marijuana,
- Bloodshot or watery eyes;
- Drooping eyelids;
- Slurred speech;
- Speaking loudly then quiet;
- Slow response to questioning;
- Dazed look; or
- Clumsy or uncoordinated movement.
Protect Yourself During a Traffic Stop
If you think the police may suspect you are impaired, there are some things you can do to protect your rights during a traffic stop. Even though it may not seem natural, you do have the right to remain silent. You may want to remain silent during a traffic stop because: (1) anything you say can be used to justify an arrest; and (2) you have the constitutional right to remain silent. Remaining silent is better than lying, especially when the police catch you in a lie or inconsistent story.
Drivers may also want to refuse a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test which is used to test a driver's BAC on the roadside. This is not the same as the chemical test required after an arrest. A PAS is not mandatory (except for under-21 drivers and drivers on probation for a DUI). PAS devices are not as accurate as other chemical testing devices and may give false indications that the driver is over the limit.
Additionally, standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) are not mandatory and they are not always accurate. These tests can make a sober driver appear impaired and be used by police to justify a DUI arrest.
Finally, the most important way to protect yourself after a DUI arrest in Danville is to make sure you have an experienced, local DUI defense attorney on your side. Your lawyer will be able to review your case, identify the strongest defenses, and help you avoid the most serious penalties associated with a DUI.
Police and Law Enforcement in Danville
There are a few police, sheriff, and law enforcement agencies that may be involved if a driver is arrested near Danville. If you have any questions about a loved one who was arrested during a traffic stop in or around Danville, the following agencies may have more information:
Danville Police Department
Danville Police Department
510 La Gonda Way
Danville, CA 94526
Phone: (925) 314-3700
Contra Costa County Sheriff - Valley Station - Alamo
The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is based in Martinez but has a Valley Station in Alamo. The Valley Station sheriff's patrol the area from Canyon through Walnut Creek and unincorporated areas to the border with Alameda County.
Contra Costa County Sheriff - Valley Station
150 Alamo Plaza # C
Alamo, CA 94507
Public: (925) 837-2902
California Highway Patrol - Dublin
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) station in Dublin patrols many highways and unincorporated roadways through Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, including Interstate 680.
California Highway Patrol - Dublin Area
4999 Gleason Drive
Dublin, CA 94568
Phone: (925) 828-0466
Defense Attorney for Danville DUIs
Just because you were arrested for a DUI in Danville does not mean you are guilty of a crime. The penalties for a DUI can include possible jail time, fines, and a suspended license. Do not plead guilty just because you do not think there is any other option. Make sure you understand your rights before you plead guilty to a crime in Contra Costa County.
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 35 years of DUI experience and understands the consequences for drivers after a DUI arrest. Representing drivers and their families in Danville and Contra Costa County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws, and the local officers and prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.