Blackhawk is a small community but there are a number of dining and drinking options in Blackhawk Plaza and nearby San Ramon. People who live in Blackhawk may go out for dinner and drinks only to get pulled over on the way home. Even a traffic stop for speeding or failing to make a full stop may end up in an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or marijuana. Sometimes, the police will arrest a driver for a DUI when the symptoms are actually from a medical condition, stress, or anxiety.
Having a couple of drinks or smoking some marijuana is not against the law. The police may try and make you feel guilty after a drunk driving arrest, even if you are not impaired. However, it is the court that decides whether you are guilty, not the police. This is why it is important to contact a local East Bay DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible after a DUI arrest in Blackhawk.
Alcohol and/or Drug Impairment and Driving
Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.” Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f), “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”
Most DUIs in California are known as DUI per se. This means the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. A per se DUI does not require showing the driver was operating the vehicle in a dangerous manner or the driver was violating any traffic laws. Just having a BAC over the limit is enough for a per se DUI conviction.
A driver with a BAC under the legal limit can still be convicted of a DUI. With a BAC below 0.08%, the prosecutor may have a higher burden of proof to get a conviction for a DUI. A conviction may rely on evidence from the traffic stop, officer testimony, or the police report to show the driver was impaired.
Recreational and Medical Marijuana Use
California's “drugged” driving laws were created at a time when marijuana was illegal, without exceptions for medical use or the current recreational use. California was the first state to decriminalize medical marijuana use in 1996. In the more than 20 years since, the courts have been trying to figure out how to deal with marijuana and impaired driving.
There are a number of problems with showing or proving a driver was impaired under influence of marijuana. The first problem is that there is not a clear consensus of how much marijuana impairs a driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle. Even if marijuana use does impair a driver's abilities, the effects of marijuana are generally short term but evidence remains in the body for much longer.
Many of the tests that show evidence of use of marijuana are ineffective and prone to errors. A driver may test positive for marijuana use in their blood or urine long after the effects of the drug have worn off. There is also no commonly used roadside test like there is for alcohol. The result is that a police officer may smell marijuana on a driver and arrest them for a DUI only to get an inconclusive chemical test.
Blackhawk Police Department
A DUI in Blackhawk may involve the Blackhawk Police Department, Contra Costa Sheriffs, or California Highway Patrol (CHP). If you were arrested by Blackhawk Police, you may contact the following for more information:
Blackhawk Police Department
1092 Eagle Nest Place
Danville, CA 94526
Contra Costa County Sheriff - Valley Station - Alamo
150 Alamo Plaza #C
Alamo, CA 94507
Public: (925) 837-2902
California Highway Patrol - Dublin
4999 Gleason Drive
Dublin, CA 94568
Phone: (925) 828-0466
Court Appearance in Martinez After a Blackhawk DUI
The initial court appearance is generally the arraignment. This is where you will respond to your criminal charges. However, for most misdemeanor DUIs, your lawyer will be able to appear on your behalf or waive the arraignment so you do not have to appear in person.
The initial court appearance will generally be heard at the A.F. Bray Courthouse in Martinez. Additional hearings or trials may be held in the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse. The two courthouses are across the street from each other.
A.F. Bray Courthouse
1020 Ward Street
Martinez, CA 94553
Wakefield Taylor Courthouse
725 Court Street
Martinez, CA 94553
Business Hours: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday (excluding court holidays)
Parking: There is metered street parking in Martinez but some parking meters are limited to two hours, which may not be enough time for your initial arraignment. Private parking is also available for a fee.
Public Transportation: The Martinez Amtrak train station stop is about a 10-minute walk from the courthouse. There are also several bus lines that serve the downtown Martinez area.
DUI Lawyer for Blackhawk Residents
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 35 years of DUI experience and understands the consequences for California drivers after a DUI arrest. Representing drivers in Blackhawk, San Ramon, 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.