Here are some of the frequently asked questions related to DUI that our Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys have answered:
What do the Police Watch for When Looking for Drunk Drivers?
In Pittsburgh, as elsewhere in the country, police try and look for erratic or inconsistent driving. This is often the first indicant of DUI, and if he sees it, an officer is likely to pull your vehicle over. If you weave, swerve on the road, drive below the speed limit, or drive on the center of the lane marker, you may be asked to pull your vehicle off the road.
What Will the Police do After They Stop You?
The police will first look for physical indications of excessive intoxication. These include fumbling while searching for your license, a smell of alcohol on your breath and in the vehicle, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and general disorientation. They may also talk to you to judge if you can comprehend their questions and reply accordingly. They may ask you to step out of the vehicle to see if you sway or seem uneasy on your feet.
What do I Say if the Police ask Whether I Have Been Drinking?
Never admit that you have been drinking, as whatever you say can be taken out of context and used against you during a trial. Don’t give out any statements until you have your Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer by your side. Decline to answer their questions politely if they keep persisting and ask to call your attorney. Do not fight the officer if he tries to arrest you, and do your best not to make him angry.
Does a Field Sobriety Test Affect the Charges, Should I Take the Test?
Strictly speaking from the law book, it does, but the ground realities are somewhat different. In most cases, the officers make up their mind even before you take the field sobriety test and merely use it to collect more evidence. If you take the test in an inebriated state, you help them gather more evidence. If you refuse to do so, you are supporting their suspicion that your blood alcohol level is beyond legal limits. In such a situation you should politely refuse to take the test and request permission to talk to your Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer.
Should I Take Blood or Breath Test?
Chemical tests such as blood, breath or urine tests are used to measure your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) levels. As per the law, a BAC of 0.08% or above can invite DUI charges. If you refuse to take the test your license can be suspended for one year.
Refusal to cooperate in such tests has both pros and cons. If you feel that your BAC level is moderate or technically speaking between 0.08% and 0.099%, which is categorized as General Impairment, and you don’t have prior charges of DUI, it is in your interest to take the test, as it will result in lesser penalties. However, if you have consumed too much alcohol (more than three large glasses) and have a prior DUI conviction, you can escape strict punishment by refusing the test.
Isn’t it Mandatory for the Police Officer to Read Me My Miranda Rights?
Miranda rights need to be mandatorily read out during custodial interrogation and not when your vehicle is pulled for DUI suspicion. Therefore, the police officer may not read you your rights.
If I See a DUI checkpoint, can I Turn Around and Go Back the Other Way?
You are legally allowed to avoid DUI checkpoints in Pennsylvania. Just be careful that you do not draw more attention to yourself or break other traffic laws, like making a U-turn.
For a free consultation with a DUI defense attorney in Pittsburgh, Ohio, or West Virginia, contact us online today, or by calling 412-389-0805 or (412) 612-2210. Logue Law Group is available 24/7.