Drinking generally increases during the holidays. From the day before Thanksgiving (Blackout Wednesday) through New Year’s Day, alcohol sales increase. Many areas see an increase in the number of drunk driving accidents and DUIs during the holidays. Throughout Pennsylvania, law enforcement agencies, including police officers in Erie, increase their efforts to stop drunk drivers. One tool they use is DUI checkpoints in Erie, PA. However, DUI checkpoints are not only used during the holidays. You could encounter a DUI checkpoint in Erie, PA, at any time throughout the year.
What Do You Need to Know About a DUI Checkpoint in Erie, PA?
Police officers usually set up a DUI checkpoint in Erie by blocking off a portion of the road. Officers stop each vehicle as it approaches the checkpoint. Police officers look for signs of intoxication during the stop, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, trouble producing a driver’s license or proof of insurance, lack of coordination, or strong odors of alcohol.
If the officer believes that the driver has been drinking, the officer instructs the driver to pull to the side of the road and exit the vehicle. The police officer may instruct the driver to perform the Standard Field Sobriety Tests or submit to a breathalyzer. A driver has the right to refuse to take these tests, but your refusal could result in a suspension of your driver’s license under Pennsylvania’s implied consent laws.
Can I Challenge a DUI Arrest Because of an Erie DUI Checkpoint?
DUI checkpoints are legal in Pennsylvania. However, law enforcement agencies and officers must follow strict rules when using DUI checkpoints. If police officers do not follow the rules or violate your civil rights, you could have a valid defense against a DUI arrest.
Some of the rules for DUI checkpoints in Pennsylvania are:
- Notice of the DUI checkpoints must be given to the public, including the date, time, and location of the checkpoint
- Checkpoints must be pre-approved by administrators
- The location of the checkpoint cannot be re-located after it is approved
- Police officers must use consistent methods for stopping vehicles, such as stopping every vehicle or every other vehicle
Your DUI charges could be dismissed if the DUI checkpoint in Erie, PA was conducted illegally. However, you must raise the defense and present evidence to prove that the DUI checkpoint was illegal. The best step you can take after a DUI arrest is to contact an Erie DUI defense lawyer to discuss your legal rights and your options for fighting DUI charges in Erie, PA.
Get Help From an Experienced Erie DUI Attorney
Contact The Travis Law Firm by calling (800) 401-2066 to schedule your free legal consultation with an Erie DUI defense lawyer.
Attorney Grant Travis has extensive experience defending individuals against drunk driving charges. Do not assume you have no other choice but to plead guilty until you get the facts about DUI charges from an experienced DUI lawyer.