Sometimes, driving home after a drink or two seems the wisest option. Because each outing can take its own unexpected turns, it can often be difficult to prepare for a safe ride home after a drink. When a Pennsylvania driver feels that a drunk driving charge has been unfairly given, they may decide to turn to legal assistance. First, however, it could prove beneficial to better understand why so many drivers feel compelled to drive drunk or buzzed in the first place.
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.
When a younger person is accused of operating a vehicle while drunk, their future may be thrown off course right away. These charges could have a far-reaching impact on future opportunities and may also affect them in the present, such as having a negative influence on their performance in class. Moreover, other penalties may create challenges, from the loss of driving privileges to financial penalties. Our law office knows the hardships that teens and whole families in Pennsylvania face when these charges arise.
In May 2016, Pennsylvania altered the effect a first time DUI conviction has on a person's driver's license by amending section 3805 of the Motor Vehicle Code and enacting section 1556. These changes went into effect in August 2017. Prior to August 2017, a person convicted of a first offense DUI with a blood alcohol content ("BAC") of .10% or higher received a 12-month license suspension. The current law now allows for an individual to avoid the hard license suspension and to operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock.
If you are ever stopped while driving by an officer in Pennyslvania and that officer suspects that you may have been drinking, you might be asked to perform a few tests. These are called field sobriety tests. Contrary to what many people may believe, these tests cannot prove that you are drunk. According to FieldSobrietyTests.org, the intended purpose of these tests is to give a law enforcement officer enough evidence that suggests you might be drunk. Armed with this evidence, the officer may then arrest you and charge you with suspected drunk driving.
Drunk driving charges are serious in every state, but in Pennsylvania, recent changes in the law give no second chances. Some in the state are even calling the widespread drunk driving issue the "DUI war," remarking on the growing concern of unsafe roads. Are the recent changes in Pennsylvania's drunk driving laws enough to make real change?
There rightfully exist a number of penalties attached to drunk driving offenses, but sometimes, a mild offense simply occurs out of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Pennsylvania, like most states, contains a set of laws and penalties regarding driving under the influence. Often these penalties can be lasting, and can negatively impact a person's career and life in general.
If you have been accused of getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol, all sorts of questions may be on your mind and you could wonder how the charges will affect your life. From a lengthy prison sentence to the suspension of your driver's license and trouble with family members, these charges can have serious repercussions. If you were charged with DUI in Greensburg or another Pennsylvania city, you should also be aware of the other ways these charges could affect you, such as preventing you from traveling to Canada.
Most in Greensburg are likely familair with the number "0.08" in reference to the state's drunk driving laws. That is the blood alcohol content measurement that indicates one is legally determined to be too impaired to operate a motor vehicle. Many may wonder, however, how such a concentration can be determined the moment one of pulled over on the road. The field sobriety tests officers issue to see if one appears visually impaired can be an indicator of drunkeness, yet only chemical testing can identify one's BAC.
Being arrested for driving while intoxicated in Greensburg can bring with it some serious consequences. Yet we here at Schimizzi Law LLC want you to know that all is not lost. You may have already resigned yourself to losing your license and having a criminal record. The circumstances of your case, however, may allow you to secure a much more favorable outcome.