On Saturday night, August 4, 2012, at approximately 10 pm, the police pulled over Joe Simpson in Sherman Oaks. The traffic stop soon turned into a DUI investigation and the father for Jessica and Ashlee Simpson was arrested for a DUI that night. This is Joe Simpson’s first DUI. It is unclear, at this time, whether Joe Simpson submitted to a chemical test after his arrest.
Law — There are two separate laws regarding drinking and driving in California, and most people are arrested and prosecuted for both laws. Vehicle Code section 23152(a) states a person cannot drive “under the influence” of alcohol and/or drugs. Vehicle Code section 23152(b) states that a person cannot drive with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more. For an overview of DUI law in California, see our website. Everyone arrested for a DUI is always arrested for Vehicle Code section 23152(a), but if the driver refuses to take a PAS test or chemical test, then there’s no way to determine their blood alcohol level and they cannot be charged with Vehicle Code section 23152(b). In Joe Simpson’s case, if he refused to take a chemical test after his arrest, then he’ll be charged with Vehicle Code section 23152(a) only, but the prosecution will most likely add a “refusal enhancement” to his charges which may lead to increased penalties.
Furthermore, a refusal to take a chemical test is a violation of the Implied Consent Law, which leads to drastic DMV consequences. Whenever a person gets a driver’s license in California, they are agreeing to follow the Implied Consent Law which requires them to submit to a chemical test, after a DUI arrest. Failure to submit to a chemical test can lead to a 12-month suspension of their driver’s license, with no exceptions for work or school. This driver’s license suspension can occur even if the driver gets their criminal charges reduced or dismissed, because the suspension is governed by the DMV and not the courts. Go to our website for more information on DUI refusals.