In Philadelphia, as throughout the rest of the United States, there has been a great effort toward stopping drunk driving. Despite these efforts, people still do drink and drive. Many people are stopped by police each year on suspicion of driving under the influence; they are then asked to take field sobriety tests and submit to Breathalyzer tests. If their BAC is above the legal limit, then these drivers are charged with DUIs. After being charged, the criminal justice proceedings begin.
A Philadelphia man recently became one of the many people charged with driving under the influence. The man was allegedly driving on the shoulder of the road and was stopped by the police. When the police spoke with the man, he allegedly smelled like alcohol. He also completed field sobriety tests, whose results allegedly indicated he was not able to operate a vehicle. The man reportedly also had a gun in the vehicle. He was arrested and his official BAC level was found to be well in excess of legal limits.
This man’s story is not much different than that of many others who have been stopped by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence. If he is ultimately convicted of a DUI, he does face serious consequences. Depending on certain factors such as the person’s BAC level, how many DUI convictions a person has had in the last ten years, whether there was an accident resulting from the accident and others, a person may be facing a mandatory jail sentence. Even if a driver is not sentenced to jail time, the person may be on probation for a period of time, have his or her license revoked and have to pay fines.
However, there are defenses to DUIs. The defenses vary on the specific circumstances in each case, but in every case, the police must have a valid reason to pull the person over. If the police do not have a valid reason to pull the person over, for instance, then the police would not have a valid reason to charge the person with a DUI.
Many people are charged with DUIs in Philadelphia every year. Each one is innocent until proven guilty and may have defenses to the charge. Attorneys understand the defenses and can help protect a person’s rights.
Source: The Mercury, “Lower Pottsgrove police arrest Philly man for DUI, carrying unlicensed firearm” Frank Otto, Jan. 20, 2014