Things That Make a DUI in Pittsburgh Worse | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC

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Things That Make a DUI in Pittsburgh Worse

You cannot undo a DUI arrest, but you can do things that make your situation worse. Pittsburgh police officers don’t fool around when it comes to drunk drivers. Here are things that make a DUI worse – and what you should do instead.

Your Driver’s License is Your Consent to DUI Tests

Like most states, Pennsylvania has an implied consent law for suspected drunk drivers. You may refuse to take a field sobriety test – Walk & Turn, Finger-to-Nose, Watch-the-Pen, etc. – without legal consequences. If you refuse a breathalyzer test, you’ll probably be arrested and get your license suspended for at least one year.

A refusal to take a DUI test is similar to resisting arrest. Tell the officer calmly that you refuse the test. Do not actively resist arrest. After you arrive at the police station, state that you will not answer any questions without speaking to a lawyer first.

What To Do if Police Search Your Car

Police typically need a warrant to search your car during a DUI stop, but not if drugs, drug paraphernalia, or weapons are in plain sight.

DUI penalties increase by as much as one year in jail or three years in prison if you possess a controlled substance. You’ll also pay fines ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 depending on the type and amount of drugs.

Don’t argue with the police about the constitutionality of the search. Try to remain calm and do not say anything about the drugs, drug paraphernalia, or weapon. Tell the officer that you will answer their questions only when you have a lawyer by your side.

What to Do if You’re Carrying a Concealed Weapon

During the stop, keep your hands on the wheel and tell the officer that you have a concealed weapon in the car. The police officers will likely ask you to step out of the car so that they can retrieve the weapon. Your carry permit usually comes up when officers run your driver’s license.

It is unlawful to carry a gun if you have been drinking. If you don’t have a concealed carry permit, the penalties are severe.

A DUI that involves a weapon could cost you the right to possess a gun in the future. However, now is not the time to argue about your right to own a firearm. Politely decline to answer questions until you talk to an attorney.

What You Can Do to Help Your DUI in Pittsburgh

The most important things you can do to help your DUI – or prevent it from getting worse – are:

  • Stay calm
  • Don’t resist arrest
  • Don’t argue with law enforcement officers
  • Invoke your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer

You Can Ask for an Independent Blood Test

Breathalyzer tests are not always accurate. You have the right to pay for an independent Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test conducted by the licensed professional or drug testing facility of your choice.

An attorney can use the results of your independent blood test to refute the police chemical test.

Ask if You Are Eligible for ARD

Pennsylvania has a program called Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD). A person who completes this program successfully can have the original charges dismissed and are eligible for expungement – a clean slate.

ARD has specific eligibility requirements. You must complete the program and meet all obligations before your charges are dismissed and your record cleared. However, ARD is an excellent option for first-time offenders seeking to avoid jail or fines.

Call an Experienced DUI Lawyer in Pittsburgh

These are a few things that you can do to avoid making your DUI in Pittsburgh worse. Let our criminal lawyers do our part to help you after a DUI arrest. Our DUI defense attorneys at Worgul, Sarna & Ness help you through the court and legal process.

We may be able to get you into the ARD or another diversionary program and avoid the harshest penalties. Call the attorneys at (412) 281-2146 or use our contact form to schedule your free consultation.