Most people in Philadelphia understand that drinking and driving is dangerous and against the law. However, that does not stop everyone from doing it. There are many instances when a person may not think they are over the legal limit or do not feel drunk. Other times the person may only need to drive a short distance to get home and does not think it is a big deal. Whatever the reason for driving, if the police stops the driver, they may be charged with a DUI.
Pennsylvania drivers who are arrested after a drunk driving accident may face multiple charges, all with their own penalties. Indeed, if another person is hurt or killed in the accident, a DUI charge may be one of the lesser charges filed against the suspect.
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.
Many people in Pennsylvania face DUI charges each year. In an attempt to cut down on drunken driving, the Pennsylvania legislature has enacted strict DUI laws. The penalties for a DUI conviction have increased and those with multiple DUI offenses potentially face even more serious penalties. Despite the strict laws and increased penalties, however, those charged with a DUI still have certain rights following an arrest. The prosecution also still must prove that they were driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt before convicting the person.
Someone who operates a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania with a blood alcohol content level above .08 is considered per se intoxicated, meaning they are legally deemed to be intoxicated even without additional evidence supporting that allegation. A driver may be arrested and convicted of driving under the influence even if they have a BAC level lower than .08 if there is other evidence that the driver is intoxicated. For drivers under the legal drinking age, a BAC level of only .02 while operating motor vehicle is illegal.
Drunk driving charges can happen to nearly anyone and have a serious impact in the life of the person accused.
As some people in Pennsylvania have learned, being arrested and charged with drunk driving is a very unpleasant experience. The social consequences of charges for driving under the influence can bring humiliation to entire families long before a person is even found guilty. If a person is convicted, the legal consequences can involve hundreds of dollars in fines and a license suspension, as well as jail time. For people in certain careers, a DUI can have additional ramifications.