While the vast majority of California DUI cases resolve prior to trial, those that do not typically proceed to a jury trial (as opposed to a court, judge or “bench” trial). And because DUI trials are among the most common types of California misdemeanor trials, there are definitely some routine practices that you can expect to see.
Examples of some of these “routines” that occur with great frequency in drunk driving California jury trials include officer testimony about how the defendant “failed” all of his/her field sobriety tests; officer testimony about how the defendant displayed the “objective signs and symptoms of impairment”; expert witness testimony that no one can safely drive above California's legal limit; and expert witness testimony that the defendant's blood alcohol concentration was probably much higher than what was reflected in the blood or breath test.
But don't despair. Skilled California DUI defense attorneys not only expect this type of evidence in a California jury trial, but know the most effective strategies to refute it. Whether to take your DUI to the jury is a consideration that you and your lawyer should discuss based on the facts and circumstances of your individual case. (Refer to our article, The important of "no contest" pleas in California DUI cases.)