Live music, fireworks, good food and … DUI?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2017 | DUI |

Anyone in Central Pennsylvania who’s familiar with the Arts Fest is likely eagerly awaiting July. This time is when the downtown area near Penn State University turns into a stage for student entertainers, as well as venues for carnival games, food vendors and a grand parade. Many will stand in line to get an autograph from their favorite student-athletes at Beaver Stadium just before the kick-off of the annual scrimmage game. You might already have a tentative itinerary planned for the occasion.

Such festivals can be fun; however, things don’t always go so well for some people after they depart and head back to their homes. Wherever large crowds gather, celebrations happen, and heavy traffic occurs, there also always seems to be at least several traffic stops, some more serious than others. If you get pulled over and are questioned regarding driving under the influence of alcohol, knowing where to turn for support may be a key factor in avoiding major legal trouble.

Understand the different types of DUI charges

Many people don’t realize there’s typically more than one type of DUI charge. In some situations, officials may accuse you of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. An officer might claim that he or she saw your vehicle swerving in and out of its lane and therefore pulled you over because of it. Here are a few more facts regarding such issues:

  • The type of DUI charge may have more to do with possible driving violations such as speeding or weaving in and out of lanes than it does to blood alcohol content levels (determined through chemical testing).
  • Driving while your blood alcohol level is above a certain limit is illegal; in fact, it’s possible for the court to hand down a conviction based on chemical test results, even if the officer who pulled you over did not say you were exhibiting poor driving ability.
  • In states where there are implied consent laws, it’s generally not a good idea to refuse to submit to BAC tests or field sobriety tests because you may undergo automatic license suspension for your refusal.
  • State laws vary; so, it’s crucial that you understand Pennsylvania laws on the topic, especially if you wind up facing DUI charges in court.

No one wants a fun day at Arts Fest to turn into a long, arduous night at a local police station. To prevent DUI charges, it’s typically best to avoid drinking alcohol any time you plan to get behind the wheel to drive. If you do get pulled over on your way home, you can begin protecting your rights from the start. The easiest way to do that is to request immediate assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney.