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February 15, 2021  |  Posted by Balboa Bail Bonds Team  |  DUI

Seeing those sirens light up behind you is enough to make anyone break into a sweat. What are you being pulled over for? Will the officer ask you to get out of your car? Will you be arrested? While we at Balboa Bail Bonds can’t predict the future, we can walk you through the typical DUI pull-over process.

Field Tests

Once you have stopped and pulled over your vehicle, the officer will likely approach you. If the officer suspects that you have gotten behind the wheel while drunk, then he or she will ask you to step out of the car and perform “field tests.” These are sobriety tests that do not require chemical testing. Some of the common ones include walking in a straight line and then turning around, standing on one leg, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus, which involves testing your vision to see if you can track an object easily with your eyes. If you pass these tests, then the officer will likely let you go. If you do not, then the officer will resort to chemical tests.

PAS Tests

The preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test is more commonly known as the breathalyzer. It is handheld device that can test your blood alcohol content (BAC) and inform the reader whether or not you are drunk. The legal BAC limit in California is .08%. How much alcohol results in a BAC of over .08% will depend heavily on the person. For some, that is just a beer or two, for others, it is several drinks. If the PAS test indicates that you have a BAC over the legal limit, then you will be considered too drunk to drive.

It is important to note that California is an “implied consent” state. This means that if you carry a driver’s license, you have given your consent to submit to a chemical test, which includes the breathalyzer. Refusing the test could result in fines and a suspension of your license, even if it turns out you were not driving over the legal BAC limit.


If you fail the PAS test, then you will likely be arrested for a DUI. The officer will put you in handcuffs and place you in the back of his or her police vehicle before transporting you to the local police department. Your car will likely be towed from the arrest point and impounded at a facility at or near the police department.


Following your arrest, you will go through the booking process. This process is what officers use in order to keep criminal records up to date. During it, you will be searched for weapons or contraband, your photo will be taken (this is commonly referred to as a mug shot), and your fingerprints will be recorded. All of this information will go into a police database which can be accessed by other police departments across the country.

Once the booking process is complete, you will be placed in a holding cell at the police department. These cells are rarely comfortable, as they are meant to hold alleged criminals for a short period of time, and are not designed to be long-term holding facilities.

Setting Bail

Within 24-48 hours of your arrest, you will be granted a bail hearing. These hearings typically take place over a live video feed, meaning you probably won’t leave the police department. During this hearing, a judge will look at the facts of your case and determine whether you should be granted bail. If this is your first DUI arrest, then chances are high you will be granted bail. The same goes for a second or third offense. After that point, it may be decided that you are a danger on the roadways, and that bail should not be granted.

If you are granted bail, you will then be given a chance to pay it. If you choose not to or are unable to, then you will be transported to the local jail for holding until your trial concludes. While in jail, you will have the right to pay bail at any time. Paying bail will allow you to go to your family and prepare for your trial in the comfort of your own home.

Neglecting to pay bail can be disastrous, especially since trials often takes months to come to an end. If you do not want to post bail because you believe you cannot afford it, then you need to speak with one of our agents. At Balboa Bail Bonds, we offer fast and affordable bail, with flexible payment plans and a low 10% premium. To speak with an agent, call (619) 760-2222. It is in your best interest to pay bail as quickly as possible.