Vehicle Code 23152 VC California's DUI law and Penal Code 148 PC California's “resisting arrest” law are frequently charged in the same criminal complaint. Often times a person who is intoxicated may be less inhibited than a sober person and may therefore feel more comfortable resisting or otherwise obstructing the officer who is trying to arrest him.
But what if the person is so drunk that he doesn't even realize what he is doing? Surely there is a legitimate case for a DUI under those circumstances, but is there for a resisting charge as well?
Penal Code 148 PC California's “resisting arrest” law prohibits willfully delaying, obstructing, or otherwise resisting an officer who is engaged in the performance of his/her duties. If a drunk driver is legitimately drunk, is he necessarily willfully delaying an officer if he gives false information or could he simply be too drunk to recall the correct information? Does he necessarily willfully resist an officer who is trying to arrest him or could it be that he is so under the influence of drugs that he doesn't realize what's actually happening?
Certainly there is an argument to be made here when the charges coincide. Refer to our article, "Can a plea bargain help my California DUI case?"