Most Common DUI Myths
Getting pulled over for suspicion of DUI can be a startling experience. You may realize that you are facing serious legal troubles. You may know that you are not legally intoxicated and all the more determined to defend yourself against any pending charges. Regardless of your particular situation, there are certain DUI myths you should understand the truth about in order to avoid making the wrong decisions going forward.
Having an experienced DUI attorney on your side is essential if you are being charged with DUI in Pennsylvania. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we are able to defend you with strong advocacy in order to achieve an optimum result on your behalf.
Contact us today at (412) 281-2146 to set up a free case evaluation.
Answers to the Myths
Some of the most common DUI myths and their answers are:
1. The prosecution needs your blood or breathalyzer results to prosecute you for DUI.
Not so. The prosecution is free to move its case forward under the general impairment section of the Pennsylvania DUI statute. Per PA Code Sections 3802(a)(1), 3802(d)(2), and 3802(d)(3), the Commonwealth is not required to include blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in a case. Prosecution only needs to prove your impairment (due to alcohol or drugs) such that you were unable to safely operate the vehicle. Proof may be obtained outside of chemical test results from observations made by civilian witnesses or a police officer. A police officer’s testimony has much stronger weight in such cases due to their training and experience.
2. An officer may not lawfully arrest you for DUI unless you are obviously drunk.
This is untrue. Each person – due to their metabolism, body weight, and physical makeup – is affected by alcohol and drugs differently. Each person can have a different response to the same amount of an alcoholic substance in their bloodstream. Therefore, someone with a 0.05 BAC may exhibit bad driving characteristics that are unsafe, including swerving and weaving. If you find yourself in this situation, and are tested for a BAC less than 0.08, you may still be prosecuted in Pennsylvania under PA Code § 3802.
3. The prosecution cannot charge you for DUI since all the drugs in your system are legal.
False! The only requirement under Pennsylvania DUI law per Sections 3802(d)(2) and 3802(d)(3) is that the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt your inability to safely operate a motor vehicle due to impairment by alcohol, drugs, or some combination of the two. The type of drug does not matter.
4. You have a constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment to refuse a breathalyzer or blood test.
No, you do not! In Pennsylvania, no constitutional right exists to refuse a breathalyzer or blood test related to a suspected DUI. Although the Fifth Amendment protects an individual from providing testimonial evidence to the police, the results of a breathalyzer or blood test are not testimonial and do not fall under Fifth Amendment rights. Refusing to submit to a blood test adds an element to your case that your DUI lawyer will have to deal with during a trial, and can help ensure your legal difficulties.
Get Help from a Skilled Pittsburgh DUI Attorney
If you are currently charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, it’s important to contact an experienced Pittsburgh DUI lawyer. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we can clear up any additional DUI myths you have heard and develop a strategic defense on your behalf to fight your charges.