Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kickoff to the summer vacation season. Erie and the surrounding areas have plenty of holiday events and activities to keep you busy. However, if you are traveling for the holiday weekend, you need to beware that with the increase in traffic, you increase of being involved in a car crash also increases. Even if you are just traveling across town, you need to be very careful on the roads over the holiday weekend.
Below are several tips from our Erie DUI defense attorney to help keep you legal and safe over Memorial Day Weekend.
A News Release by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) last week stated that a comprehensive update of the 2015 report Drug-Impaired Driving: A Guide for States was being released. The report provides data, research, and other information to help states and policymakers deal with drug-impaired driving. The report has updated data on drug use by drivers, new state laws, programs, drug-related crashes, and research from more than 30 other sources.
According to the News Release, drug-impaired driving has surpassed drunk driving in fatal accidents. In 2015, 43 percent of drivers killed had drugs in their system; this number exceeds the number of drunk drivers killed in accidents during that year.
If you enjoy consuming alcohol on occasion or even on a regular basis, you may have heard a lot of stories about how to avoid getting drunk. Many of these stories are myths. While it is certainly okay to enjoy alcohol, it is not okay to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. The penalties you face from a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania are steep and go far beyond a simple fine. Below are four of the myths about alcohol consumption. Do you know which ones are myths and which ones are true?
While nothing is currently pending before Pennsylvania lawmakers, they may be watching Utah’s lawmakers very closely. In fact, many states may be watching Utah very closely right now. Utah is set to become one of the toughest states on DUIs with a new law that lawmakers passed last week.
According to the Associated Press, Utah lawmakers passed a new law that lowers the legal limit for blood alcohol content from .08 percent to .05 percent. The bill is headed to the governor’s desk and is expected to be signed into law. If Gov. Gary Herbert signs the bill, the law will become effective on December 30, 2018, just in time for New Year’s Eve.
Underage drinking is a serious problem in the United States. From high schools to college campuses, young people are drinking alcohol and getting into trouble. One program is working to educate teenagers about the dangers of drunk driving by showing them what it feels like to drive while drunk.
The Drunk Suit
No, teens aren’t being allowed to drink and drive, but they are being given a chance to feel what it is like to drive while drunk thanks to the drunk suit and beer goggles. Ford Driving Skills for Life holds events in several states (hopefully they will expand to all states) that give teens the opportunity to put on the suit and goggles to see what it feels like to try to drive when they are drunk. It is a very eye-opening experience for many young people — it certainly was for Jeff Rossen of The Today Show.
In a recent story for the show, Rossen tried the drunk suit and beer goggles. He failed the field sobriety test even though he says he was trying as hard as he could to walk a straight line. The same was true when he had to try to kick over an orange cone. Even more revealing was when he got behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Before Rossen put on the suit and goggles, he made it through the driving course without touching one cone. However, after putting on the drunk suit and beer goggles, Rossen was unable to maneuver through the course without running over the cones.
Erie Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
Not all students experience the drunk driving course. Their first experience with drunk driving is when they have had too much at a party, and they decide they can make it home. Unfortunately, it is easy to make a bad decision when you are intoxicated. A night out with your friends can quickly turn into a nightmare that ruins your college education, family, or career.
However, you don’t have to let a drunk driving charge ruin your life. There are options! Our Erie drunk driving attorney has successfully defended individuals against DUI charges. You must remember that being charged with driving under the influence is NOT the same as being found guilty of drunk driving. The police and the prosecution must present evidence sufficient to prove you were legally drunk or alcohol impaired your ability to drive.
In some cases, the police officer may not have had probable cause for pulling you over. If so, all evidence can be thrown out. In other cases, the police officer may not have been properly trained in administering a breathalyzer test, or he may not have provided adequate or correct instructions for the field sobriety tests. Until you consult with an Erie drunk driving defense attorney, you won’t know if you have a valid legal defense to the criminal charges.
Call NOW to Speak with An Erie Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a crime, exercise your right to remain silent except for requesting an attorney. You have the legal right to have an attorney present BEFORE you answer any questions. Don’t give up your legal rights!
Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Erie criminal defense lawyers. We have extensive experience representing clients who have been charged with a Pennsylvania DUI offense.
Being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol is a pretty serious offense. A DUI conviction has major consequences that impact you for months or years after the fact. When you are out with friends, it can be easy to make a poor decision resulting in a DUI charge. Unfortunately, the penalties for a first-time DUI conviction in Pennsylvania are severe.
A first-time offender can lose his driver’s license, in addition to fines and jail time, which makes it difficult to get to school or work. Thanks to a new law, an ignition interlock device may give first-time DUI offenders a second chance by allowing them to keep their driver’s license. However, there are costs that the driver must bear for an ignition interlock device.
A driver may be asked to take a breathalyzer test if he or she is stopped for speeding or other traffic violation if the police officer suspects the driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. If the test is positive, the driver will be arrested for DUI. However, certain medications or medical conditions can influence breathalyzer results.
Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent
When a person is issued a driver’s license in Pennsylvania, it is implied the driver consents to a breathalyzer test when asked to take one by a police officer. An officer can request a breathalyzer test if the officer suspects you have consumed enough alcohol to impair your driving. The results of a breathalyzer test can be used against you in a court of law. If the results are wrong, you may have a difficult time proving the error. Therefore, it is good to understand how medications and medical conditions can cause inaccurate results so that you can inform the police officer of your condition before the test is given.
The campaign began on August 19 and continues through Labor Day Monday, September 5. During this time, law enforcement agencies will increase their efforts to identify and pull over drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Driver will likely see an increased presence through the Labor Day weekend.
The Three Most Important Things To Do After A DUI Stop
If you are stopped for driving under the influence during the Labor Day DUI crackdown, remain calm. Being charged with DUI does not mean you are guilty. You have the right to retain legal counsel to fight your DUI charge.
Being arrested for a DUI is an unnerving experience regardless of how it happens to you. But falling for one of these myths can be extremely overwhelming and can cause you to make mistakes related to handling your legal defense. Consulting with an experienced Erie DUI defense attorney is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your freedom. What follows are three common myths that can land you in hot water.
Myth #1: Since There Are Mandatory Jail Sentences for DUIs in Pennsylvania, I Am Going to Jail if Arrested
It does not necessarily mean that you will be going to jail even if you are arrested for DUI. Alternative programs including the intermediate punishment program or the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program may allow you to receive or reduced sentence if you are indeed convicted. An experienced DUI lawyer can help negotiate a plea bargain, which may keep you out of jail.
Myth #2: No One Can Prove I Am Guilty of DUI Since I Did Not Submit to the Breath or Blood Test
You give up some of your rights when you refuse to submit to a chemical test when stopped for suspected DUI. The two types of chemical tests in Pennsylvania are a breath test with a breathalyzer machine and a blood draw at a hospital. By skipping the test, you runt the risk of being convicted for DUI anyways and you’ll also lose your license for an additional one-year period. Although you do have the right to refuse, it’s a right you’ll definitely pay for. There are more stipulations surrounding this option, so talking to a PA DUI Lawyer at The Travis Law Firm about your legal rights is highly recommended.
Myth #3: My First DUI is Not a Big Deal, so I Can Handle the Defense Myself
Being arrested for a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania is a serious matter and can lead to severe consequences. It is imperative that you reach out to an experienced Erie criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged. Only a knowledgeable DUI attorney can investigate all possible avenues for resolution and advise you about next steps. An attorney is also better equipped to determine whether or not the police have violated any of your constitutional rights. Get your free confidential consultation with an experienced Erie DUI defense attorney today – your freedom may depend upon it.
Don’t Count On A Witness To Remember Everything
There are many different reasons that you should hire a Pennsylvania attorney in the event that you have been accused of driving under the influence, but one of the leading reasons is that you should never count on a witness to be your sole method of arguing against a DUI. Individuals who could testify in your favor may be helpful in your case but you should never count on them to remember all the details of what happened.
Memories Fade With Time
In many cases of a driving under the influence charge in which you wish to call a witness, such an individual is unlikely to remember the details of the stop if it has been several days or weeks afterward. This is why you need to retain an experienced Erie, Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that he or she can visit with the witnesses and take down any facts. Hiring an attorney as soon as possible after you have been arrested gives your attorneys the best possible chance to speak to the witnesses of the incident as quickly as possible.
The earlier your attorneys are able to speak to witnesses, the higher the chances of your lawyers being able to record details that can have a big impact on your case.
Hire A PA DUI Lawyer To Focus On The Facts If You Are Arrested Or Charged With DUI
What seems like a minute detail now could turn out to be extremely important down the road. Do not count on witnesses to remember all of the details and instead, consult with your Erie, Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged with DUI.
An attorney who understands this process will realize the value in reaching out to witnesses as soon as possible so that you have the best possible chance of combatting these charges. Since DUI charges can have significant repercussions for the rest of your life, it is vital to hire a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest.
If you were arrested or charged with a DUI, schedule a free, confidential consultation with a PA DUI Lawyer at The Travis Law Firm today to discuss your legal rights. Your future, your driver’s license, and your freedom may depend on it.