Driving under the influence is never a good idea; it puts the driver and everyone else at risk. If you find yourself getting stopped by a cop for a DUI in PA, you should take specific steps to keep yourself and others safe.
1. Be Polite and Respectful
If you see a police car’s flashing lights behind you, gently pull over and come to a stop. The police officer who pulls you over on suspicion of DUI is on alert for danger, so you mustn’t appear to pose any threat.
Keep your hands on the steering wheel and don’t make sudden movements. When the officer approaches your window, be polite and when asked to show license and registration, do so calmly.
Cooperation and civility will lessen the chances of your being arrested. And remember, this officer will see the DUI case through to the courts, so if you make an enemy now, he or she will be more motivated to earn you a conviction in court. A driver’s behavior in a traffic stop has long-lasting effects.
2. Don’t Incriminate Yourself
Being stopped by a cop for DUI in PA is stressful and police officers can use this stress to encourage people to say incriminating things.
Drivers must share their name, license, and registration, but if an officer requests information about whether you have been drinking, politely state, “I apologize, officer, but I have been advised not to answer any questions.” Refusal is not an admission of guilt. Do not volunteer information. Chatting with the officer or answering unrelated questions might provide evidence that they can use against you in court.
Before saying more, consult with an experienced DUI lawyer.
3. Write Down the Details
Memories quickly fade, so it is crucial to write down the details as soon as possible following the DUI incident. The more you can remember, the more likely there will be something that a Pennsylvania DUI attorney can use to help you in your case.
Here are some things to start with:
- Where you were
- Who you were with
- What you were drinking
- What, if any, medications you were taking
- Where you were stopped
- Driving conditions
- What and when you ate
4. Sobriety Tests
Driving a vehicle in Pennsylvania implies consent to drug or alcohol testing should a police officer have reasonable grounds of suspicion the driver isn’t fit to be behind the wheel. Drivers cannot request a lawyer for a chemical test and refusal to submit one brings automatic penalties, including license suspension for at least one year.
Furthermore, an eventual DUI conviction will presume the highest level of blood alcohol content, which means the stiffest penalties.
The different sobriety tests are as follows:
- Field sobriety tests. These include standing on one leg, walking in a straight line, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which involves the driver following an object with his or her eyes.
- Preliminary breath test. This is conducted at the incident site.
- Formal breath, urine, and blood tests.
5. Hire a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney
If you are charged with a DUI in PA, hiring an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible is a wise course of action. A skilled criminal defense attorney can sometimes help get DUI charges dropped before or during the preliminary hearing. If the case gets to trial, he or she will be able to help build your defense and advise you on ways to navigate the legal process.
Contact Us if You’re Facing a DUI in PA
The DUI attorneys at the Wyland Law Group have many years of experience defending clients against DUI charges. Our knowledge of Pennsylvania driving laws helps us help our clients, advising them on ways to achieve suitable outcomes in their cases. Visit our DUI page for an ultimate guide to a Pennsylvania DUI charge.
Call today at 412-710-0013 to learn more about our services.