Local Official Charged with DUI: What Not to do When Pulled Over for Drunk Driving

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Pennsylvania DUI LawyerPhiladelphia’s NBC 10 News recently broke a story about the newly elected Policy Director for Delaware’s Lieutenant Governor: The 26-year-old man was charged with DUI and other traffic violations when he was involved in a collision with another car. Delaware State Police said the incident occurred at a four-way intersection, where the man drove his vehicle through a stop sign and was struck by a 55-year-old man driving a 2003 Honda. The accused alleges that he has grounds to fight the drunk driving charges, but the strength of his defense will depend in part on what he did – and didn’t do – after being pulled over for DUI.

Safely Pull Over Your Vehicle

As soon as you see lights flashing, pull over to the side of the road in a secure area. Avoid erratic maneuvers or disrupting traffic around you, especially any movements that may result in an additional traffic offense.

Remain Calm

Many times, an officer will presume that you’ve been drinking simply by your level of anxiety. You’re required to present your driver’s license, and to provide your vehicle registration, and insurance information. Keep control over your nerves and hand over these documents calmly.

Avoid Incriminating Statements

Other than the basic information mentioned above, you don’t have to volunteer any other details in response to questioning from an officer. When asked about where you’ve been, what you were doing, or where you’re going, the best response is to state: “Officer, I’ve been advised to not answer any questions.” Your responses to these inquiries may incriminate you, so it’s best to avoid replying.

Be Polite and Courteous

Even if you’re angry or frustrated, now isn’t the time to vent. Be civil to the officers who pull you over for DUI, and show them the respect they deserve. You risk making things worse if you become belligerent or argumentative.

Don’t Do Breathalyzer Tests at the Scene

Many motorists assume that they’re required to submit a breathalyzer test when they’re pulled over for DUI. However, this preliminary, informal test is not mandatory. It should not be confused with the comprehensive blood, breath, or urine test administered at the police station. Only those tests given under controlled circumstances would be conclusive proof of your BAC.

Consult with a Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer About Your Options

Even if you fail to follow some of these tips on what to do if you’re pulled over for drunk driving, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty of DUI. A prosecutor must prove the essentials of the case, and you do have options for presenting evidence in your defense. When you consider the harsh penalties of a conviction for DUI, you can see the importance of hiring an attorney with in-depth knowledge and experience in these types of cases. For more information on how to defend against drunk driving charges, please contact the West Chester, PA offices of the Skinner Law Firm. Our skilled DUI lawyers are happy to answer your questions and help develop a strategy to fight for your rights.

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Getting Your License Back After a DUI in Chester County, PA

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Pennsylvania DUI LawyerIt’s only human to make mistakes, but when poor judgment leads to a drunk driving charge, the consequences of a DUI conviction in Chester County can be severe. Not only do you face fines, points on your driving record, and criminal charges, but you’re also looking at a potential suspension of your driving privileges. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is the agency charged with handling driver’s license suspensions, but the actual procedure for getting your license back after a DUI depends on the nature of the charges. It’s wise to retain a DUI license suspension hearing attorney to assist with your case, but some general information is helpful.

DUI-Related Offenses Leading to Driver’s License Suspension

Your driving privileges may be suspended depending on how much alcohol is in your system based upon the results of a chemical test for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC); if you don’t take the test, you can also be penalized with a driver’s license suspension.

  • General Impairment at 08. to .099 Percent: You’re not subject to a suspension until your second or subsequent offense, when your driver’s license may be suspended for up to a year.
  • High BAC of .10 to .159 Percent: Both a first and second offense for High BAC may lead to a one year suspension; at your third DUI violation, it increases to an automatic 18 months.
  • Highest BAC at .160 Percent or Above: The most severe of DUI charges, a Highest BAC carries a one year suspension for the first offense. After that, an 18 month suspension is automatic.
  • Refusing Chemical Testing: If you don’t consent to a test to assess your BAC, your driver’s license is suspended for one year.

Reinstating Your Pennsylvania Driver’s License

In general, you’ll need to satisfy the suspension requirements before you can request that it be reinstated by PennDOT. The best way to figure out exactly what you need to do is to obtain a restoration requirement letter, which will likely instruct you to:

  • Finish an alcohol highway safety course at an approved school;
  • Undergo alcohol and/or drug treatment;
  • Install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car;
  • Finish out a jail sentence, for High and Highest BAC; and,
  • Pay all fines as ordered by the court according to the DUI offense.

A Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer Can Assist with License Reinstatement

You may be tempted to take on your own representation when facing drunk driving charges in Pennsylvania, but there are risks to handling this type of case yourself if you don’t have a legal background. The laws and rules are quite strict, and even a slight mistake can lead to problems with reinstating your driver’s license. An experienced DUI lawyer knows the intricate details of the law and can help you navigate the complicated process. If you have questions about your options, please contact the West Chester, PA offices of the Skinner Law Firm. Our license suspension attorneys will represent your interests and fight for your rights to ensure the best possible outcome.

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