It is always a good idea to designate a driver when you go out drinking, but sometimes you have more alcohol than you intended to, and driving may seem like the only way to get home. If you have been charged with a second DUI, you will want to hire an experienced York DUI attorney. Traffic laws have been getting stricter in the state and it takes a trained professional to keep up with those changes.
What to do when you get Pulled Over for a DUI
When you get pulled over for a DUI, the arresting officer will ask for your driver’s license, proof of insurance. and registration. If they think you are inebriated, they may ask you to step out of the car and take a field sobriety test. You should know that you have the option of refusing such a test — they’re voluntary. In most cases, taking a field sobriety test is inadvisable because the video footage may be used against you.
There are three main exercises that are given for sobriety, and they involve balance, attention, and vision. In Pennsylvania, the exercises include Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, the Walk-and-Turn, and the One-Leg Stand. If you fail your field sobriety test due to a medical problem or disability, your attorney may be able to have the results of those exercises suppressed in a motion hearing.
Penalties for DUI
Pennsylvania is unique, in that the penalties for drunk driving have as much to do with a person’s blood alcohol content as they do with how many prior DUI offenses a person might have. If you are convicted of a second DUI and you have a .08% BAC, you will face an upgraded misdemeanor charge, a 12-month license suspension, and up to 6 months in jail. You may also receive fines of up to $2500.
If your BAC is .10% or higher, you may face up to $5000 in fines. If you have a BAC of .16% or higher you may go to jail for as long as five years for a second DUI. You may also receive up to $10,000 in fines.
What the Arresting Officer Must Do
When you are charged with a DUI, your arresting officer must read you the implied consent warning from a prepared test. It essentially states that if you refuse to take a BAC test, your license will be suspended. Additionally, if they want to ask you questions, they must read you the Miranda Warning. If the officer failed to do their job correctly, your attorney may be able to have the charges reduced or dropped.
What to do Before Meeting With a Harrisburg DUI Attorney
Bring a copy of your ticket and any paperwork associated with your arrest. Tell your attorney everything that happened before and after your arrest.
Letting a public defender handle your case may seem like an economic option, but the public defenders who handle cases in Harrisburg and York are part of an overworked system and often don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to their clients. You’ll need an experienced attorney with the time to devote to your case. Roy Galloway has years of experience dealing with DUI law in Pennsylvania and he will fight to get you a favorable deal or to beat your charges altogether.