In many cases, when someone is arrested for driving under the influence, it is more of an accident than a conscious choice with criminal intent. Someone consumes too much alcohol at a house party or happy hour but feels fine to drive home. Or someone knows they probably shouldn’t be driving but observes that the roads are somewhat empty and the chances of getting in an accident or getting pulled over are slim. They think: “maybe just this once.”
Unfortunately, as understandable as these decisions may be, they are unwise, both legally and physically. Statistics from the last few years show that law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania are aggressive in their efforts to catch and arrest suspected drunk drivers. And during the end-of-year holiday season, enforcement efforts become even more aggressive.
Arrests on the rise
Data published in mid-2020 show that DUI enforcement is a major priority of the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP). In 2018, the PSP made 20,143 DUI arrests statewide. In 2019, the DUI arrest rate climbed by about 10 percent, to 22,139. That same year, the PSP also investigated 4,692 car crashes that were thought to be alcohol related.
The numbers cited above reflect only the efforts of Pennsylvania State Police. They are surprisingly high when you consider that they don’t include arrests made by local law enforcement agencies around the state.
You have legal options after an arrest
If you are among the unlucky multitudes arrested and charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, you no doubt realize that the charges are serious and could result in significant consequences if convicted. However, you should also know that you have options for resolving your charges other than simply pleading guilty and hoping for leniency. An experienced criminal defense attorney can give you a straightforward, honest assessment of the strength of your case and help you purse the best resolution available to you, including taking a plea deal, going to trial to fight the charges, pursuing an accelerated rehabilitative disposition and more.
Before you make a choice that you might later regret, please speak to an attorney today.