1. There are over 50,000 DUI related arrests every year in Pennsylvania and many DUI related accidents, injuries, and deaths.
2. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is a B.A.C. of .08. There are three (3) B.A.C. levels related to DUI charges:
.08 – .10 – general impairment
.10 – .16 – high
.16 – greater – highest
The higher someone’s B.A.C., the more significant the penalty if they are convicted. Almost all DUI convictions result in some period of license suspension.
3. Your B.A.C. is affected by not only how much alcohol you drink, but also by what you had to eat, how much you weigh and other physiological factors. For many people, just two or three drinks can put them above the legal limit.
4. If you are stopped while driving and suspected of being impaired, you may be asked by an Officer to submit to a breath test (intoxilyzer) administered at the police station or a blood test (taken at a hospital). In Pennsylvania, if you refuse to submit to such tests, in almost all circumstances, your license will be suspended for at least one year. This is a PennDOT regulation and your license can be suspended even if you are not subsequently convicted of a DUI.
5. If during a traffic stop, you are suspected of being impaired and questioned, anything you say can be used against you if charges are filed.
6. The police must have a reasonable basis to stop you such as a motor vehicle violation. If they do not, all evidence obtained as a result of the stop such as Field Sobriety Tests and B.A.C. testing can be suppressed and the charges dismissed
7. If charges are filed your first court appearance is a Preliminary Hearing at which time the Commonwealth must establish a Prima Facie case (evidence that the crime has been committed). This is an important hearing where you can learn key information about the case against you. You may want to have a court reporter present to transcribe the testimony of the officers but you should not testify. It is very important that you have an attorney there to represent you.
8. For further information or questions contact David Zimmaro, any day or time for a free consultation at (412) 260-6540 for your DUI arrest in Washington, Allegheny, Fayette, Westmoreland, Buter, Armstrong, Beaver or Greene county.