The holidays are a wonderful time of year for parties and get-togethers. However, the number of DUI accidents and DUI charges increase over the holidays. According to Scram Systems, fifty-one (51) percent of drunk drivers admit to drinking more during the holidays. In addition, sixteen (16) percent of adults say they drink too much during the holiday season, and fifty (50) percent admit that alcohol plays a significant role in family holiday gatherings.
If you are hosting a holiday party this year, it is important that you take steps to try to prevent your guests from drinking and driving. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming too much alcohol places everyone in danger and puts your guests at risk for a costly DUI conviction.
Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its Traffic Safety Facts for alcohol-impaired driving in 2016. According to the information provided by the NHTSA:
Has your child been accused of a crime in Pennsylvania? If so, you must take the matter very seriously, regardless of how ‘minor’ the charge. It is a mistake to consider any criminal charge ‘minor’ because all criminal convictions carry some consequence for your child. It is also a mistake to assume a judge or jury will go lightly on your child because he or she is under 18 years of age. While most courts want to see children rehabilitated rather than imprisoned, your child could still face jail time and other severe penalties depending on the crime.
We urge you to contact our office for a free legal consultation as soon as possible. Our Erie criminal defense attorney wants to hear your child’s side of the story. We care about what happened, and we want to help you and your child achieve the most positive outcome possible given the facts of the case.
With the national news coverage of the tragic death of Timothy Piazza at a Penn State University fraternity party earlier this year, the subject of underage drinking on college campuses in Pennsylvania and throughout the company has been the topic of many discussions. For many college students, parties and drinking are part of college life. However, when the consumption of alcohol is taken to excess, the consequences can be overwhelmingly tragic.
However, even with the increased news coverage of drinking on college campuses, many college students at Pennsylvania colleges do not know three basic facts about underage drinking.
In a tragic story reported by the Associated Press in the New York Post, we learned about the deaths of three young people in a traffic accident in Bethel Park near Pittsburgh this month. According to the story, three young women were in an SUV when it collided with a utility pole on Library Road.
Tragically, the driver, a 21-year old single mother, and two passengers (ages 23 and 17) were killed in the crash. A fourth passenger, a 21-year-old female, was thrown from the SUV and was transported to a Pittsburgh hospital where she remained in critical condition.
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?
Underage drinking is a serious problem throughout the United States. Even with the increase of educational programs and PSAs, there are still a large number of teenagers who drink alcohol. According to information provided by SADD, 26.4 percent of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 years reported using alcohol within the past 30 days.
Almost 18 percent of those report binge drinking. Almost three-quarters of high school students have used alcohol before graduation and a third of middle school student report consuming alcohol by eighth grade. Now, it appears that parents have another thing to worry about — alcohol delivered right to their door.
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?
“But I was not driving! I was only a passenger in a car when I was drinking, and I was charged with a crime. How can I be charged with a crime if I was not drinking and driving?”
Does this sound familiar? You may assume that charges related to alcohol are only applicable to the driver of the vehicle, but that is an incorrect and potentially harmful assumption.
It may not seem like a big deal to enjoy a beer or two at a frat party, especially if you have no intention of driving afterward. However, drinking under the age of 21 is considered illegal in Pennsylvania, and you could face serious consequences if you are caught. All it takes is one phone call from a neighbor to have the police knocking on the door of a frat house. If you are caught drinking while underage, you face serious penalties that could effectively ruin your college education and career. The penalties escalate if this is not your first criminal offense.
Penalties for Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania
A charge of underage drinking is considered a non-traffic summary charge. While it’s not a misdemeanor or felony, it could result in jail time if the person is convicted. A first offense carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail, along with fines up to $500 and license suspension for 90 days. If you receive a second charge, the fine goes up to $1,000 with a one-year license suspension. Subsequent offenses increase the suspension period to two years. Most of the time, the person receives probation instead of jail time, but the license suspension still stands.
Violating Probation By Underage Drinking
If you have been convicted of a prior DUI or other criminal offense and you are on probation, you must be very careful. A beer or two at a frat party can be considered a violation of your probation. Therefore, you will be charged with underage drinking AND violating probation if you are caught drinking while underage. Suddenly, those beers just cost you much more than a hangover the next day.
In addition to fines and possible jail time, a second charge or subsequent charges automatically increase your license suspension for underage drinking. An experienced attorney can help you get the jail time reduced or removed. However, you must consider the impact of the license suspension. A longer suspension term makes getting to class or work more difficult. You may not be able to go home to see your parents or get where you want or need to go. Two years is a long time to go without your driver’s license.
Call Our Edinboro DUI Defense Attorney Now for A Free Consultation
If you have been charged with a first or second offense of underage drinking or any subsequent charges, you need to hire an attorney. Your Edinboro DUI attorney works to see that you are treated fairly. Your attorney monitors your case to prevent your rights from being violated and provides sound legal advice about the best way to proceed regarding the criminal charge.
Even though the charge isn’t a felony or misdemeanor, a conviction can go on your public record, which may be seen by potential employers and landlords, among others. It’s important to hire an Edinboro DUI defense attorney who will work to protect your future from a conviction of underage drinking.
Contact The Travis Law Firm toll-free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Edinboro DUI defense attorneys.