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Author Archives: Paul Burglin

Paul Burglin
Paul Burglin practices DUI defense in the San Francisco Bay Area including the Napa/Sonoma wine country. He has been in practice for more than 30 years and was formerly a partner at one of the oldest Marin County law firms (Mitchell, Hedin, Breiner, Ehlenbach & Burglin). After graduating from U.C. Berkeley in 1980, Mr. Burglin received his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in Washington. He is Board Certified in DUI Defense and co-authors the two-volume treatise, "California Drunk Driving Law." He is on the Board of Regents with the National College of DUI Defense ( and is Editor-in-Chief of its case law update and newsletter. He is one of only a select few of DUI defense attorneys in the United States to have attended the University of Indiana’s Borkenstein Course on chemical testing and scientific protocols offered to prosecution experts, and he is a certified graduate of that program.

DUI Checkpoints: The Constitutionally Suspect Secondary Screening Stage

With Super Bowl Sunday upon us, law enforcement agencies throughout California will be participating in DUI Checkpoints this evening. Ever since these warrantless stops were sanctioned by the California Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court under very strict guidelines, officers have pushed the envelope with respect to the questions they ask and the basis upon which they further detain motorists for field sobriety testing.  In many of these DUI Checkpoint operations, officers ask overly intrusive questions such as ... Read More »

Suppressing Evidence In Warrantless Blood Draw Cases

Those who have DUI charges pending in California that involve the taking of a blood sample without a warrant or lawful consent should be considering a motion to suppress evidence at the trial court level.  The United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Missouri v. McNeely overruled several California Court of Appeal decisions that had erroneously interpreted the high Court’s 1966 decision in Schmerber v. California as authorizing warrantless blood draws anytime the police have probable cause to arrest a suspect for ... Read More »

Unconstitutional Blood Draws

There is a good deal of debate in the legal community about whether warrantless blood samples taken from DUI suspects are constitutional following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Missouri v. McNeely.  The core of this debate is whether “implied consent” laws constitute an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, or whether such consent is “involuntary consent” because it is based on the threat and imposition of a license suspension. The McNeely decision did not invalidate “implied consent” statutes ... Read More »

Did You Say Too Much To The Officer, Or Not Enough?

For years, criminal defense attorneys have cautioned people about the perils of talking to the police when they are suspected of violating the law.  It was sound advice, but now that admonition must be refined in light of a recent decision from the United States Supreme Court. The case is called Salinas v. Texas and it was issued earlier this year.  Berkemer v. McCarty is a much older case, and it essentially held that a motorist’s roadside statements are admissible at trial. Salinas goes further, ... Read More »

Blood-Draw Search Warrant

Getting a blood-draw search warrant in California in a misdemeanor offense of driving under the influence case is statutorily prohibited, based on the statutory construction principle of expressio unius est exclusio.  California Penal Code Sec. 1524 does not authorize it.   If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in California and you withdrew your “implied consent” to chemical testing, then any blood-alcohol evidence obtained by threat or use of force may be subject to exclusion for ... Read More »

Warrantless Blood Draws Are Presumptively Unconstitutional Absent Consent

SUPREME COURT HOLDS WARRANTLESS BLOOD DRAWS IN DUI CASES MAY VIOLATE FOURTH AMENDMENT The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has issued a major decision in Missouri v. McNeely (Docket No. 11-1425) concerning the collection of blood evidence in drunk driving cases. The following issue was presented to the high Court:  “Whether a law enforcement officer may obtain a nonconsensual and warrantless blood sample from a drunk driver under the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth  Amendment warrant requirement ... Read More »

Revenue Shortages Cause Policy Changes In DUI Prosecutions

Revenue shortages continue to plague California’s judicial system—a phenomena bringing both good news and bad news to those facing DUI charges for allegedly driving under the influence. The good news for individuals accused of violating California Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) (driving under the influence) and 23152(b) (driving with a .08 percent or higher alcohol content), is that many District Attorney offices have been forced to cut back on salaried prosecutors, relying instead on inexperienced volunteers from civil firms looking for ... Read More »

Dealing With the Impossible California DMV

Today I want to give you an example of just how frustrating and difficult it can be to deal with the California State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and why you really want to have a Board Certified DUI defense attorney representing you on drunk driving case. Motorists who are cited and prosecuted for driving under the influence of alcohol in California face consequences with both the California DMV and the Court system. The DMV takes an administrative action to ... Read More »

Court Declares Multiple DUI Offenders Eligible For Early IID-Restricted Licenses

California residents convicted of a second or third drunk driving offense, or alcohol-related reckless driving (commonly referred to as a “wet reckless”), may now obtain early reinstatement of their driving privilege with installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) regardless of the date of their violation or conviction. In a published decision issued by the First District Court of Appeal in Matteo v. California State Department of Motor Vehicles (First District Court of Appeal in California, Division 3 – Case ... Read More »

Anyone Can Be Arrested On Suspicion Of Driving Under The Influence

As Steve Oberman from Tennessee recently noted (see his blog entry of August 10, 2012), anyone can be arrested for suspected DUI.  Recently in California, a priest was stopped without probable cause while driving his mother home from a family dinner. Stopped in a DUI Checkpoint, the Reverend Salvatore Cordileone (archbishop-elect of San Francisco) was arrested in San Diego after blowing into a breath-alcohol detection device that reportedly showed a result over the .08 percent or higher statutory limit. Rev. ... Read More »