When you hear of a driver charged with DUI or driving under the influence, you assume that the driver was drunk. However, while driving under the influence of alcohol is common, driving under the influence of marijuana is also become a growing problem in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.
DUI laws in Pennsylvania prohibit drivers from operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol OR controlled substances, including marijuana. This is the case whether you are driving “while impaired” or “under the influence” of marijuana. In either case, you are breaking the law because marijuana use is still illegal in Pennsylvania.
I do not know anyone who does not feel a little apprehension when they see blue lights flashing behind them while driving. Being pulled over by an officer does not need to be a stressful event; however, it is often a bit intimidating. Knowing what to do when you are pulled over can make the situation less stressful for you and the officer.
If you feel you have not done anything wrong, a traffic stop is not the time to argue. Just because the officer issues a traffic ticket does not mean that you are guilty of the charge. Being polite and respectful at the traffic stop and then calling our office to fight the charge is your best option. However, what happens if the police officer requests that you exit the vehicle?
We can all agree that the 4th of July holiday is a time when some of the best parties are thrown in the largest cities in America. Huge parties to celebrate our Independence Day are held throughout our country from Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles to Washington, Atlanta, and Charlotte. However, it is not only the large cities that know how to celebrate July Fourth . . . in Erie, Edinboro, Warren, Penn State, Bradford, Meadville, Crawford, Conneaut Lake, and throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania, Pennsylvanians will be celebrating Independence Day the only way we know how to celebrate — with style!
During our July Fourth celebrations, many people will participate in parades, festivals, carnivals, backyard cookouts, block parties, and other festive events that include lots of great music, delicious food, and thirst-quenching beverages. In many of these festivities and celebrations, drinking alcohol is customary. However, if you choose to consume alcohol, you should give your keys up, stay to enjoy the party, and leave the driving to someone else. Drinking is a great responsibility and driving is an even greater responsibility.
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.