As the holiday season has come to a close, some, unfortunately, are struggling with the annoyance of a drunk driving arrest. Because it can take such small amounts of alcohol to result in burdensome penalties and fees, driving while under the influence can often become the beginning of a long and drawn out legal process. However, knowing the most updated Pennsylvania laws on driving while under the influence can save time, money and headaches in the long run.
There can be multiple sides to any incident involving driving while under the influence. Findlaw lists the various options drivers in the state can take when making a defense to drunk driving, noting that the most successful defenses usually involve the criticism of the officer’s observations of the incident. If one suspects a breathalyzer test was inaccurate, they could choose to attack the validity of the arrest. One known approach to defending a drunk driving charge is that of claiming necessity — this defense holds that a driver had no other option than to get behind the wheel after drinking, and that the risks they wished to avoid would have been more dangerous than the risks of a DUI. Another affirmative defense is entrapment; this defense is used when an officer is somehow involved in pressuring a driver to operate the vehicle while intoxicated. Other common defense approaches include improper stops and administration and accuracy of field sobriety tests.
Another important factor affecting current drunk driving arrests is the adjusting of Pennsylvania’s DUI laws. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, those who refuse to submit a blood-alcohol test could face fines, even without a police warrant. If a driver refuses to take the test, are convicted and lose their license, regaining the license could require anywhere from a $500 to $2,000 fee. There are differing views surrounding these new adjustments, and the repercussions to DUI charges can be severe, but also preventable.