Being arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving is an unnerving experience for anyone to go through. However, if you aren’t familiar with Pennsylvania law, it can make the situation even more overwhelming to handle. While a DUI attorney will be your best source of information should you find yourself facing drunk driving charges, here are some of the most common DUI myths to be aware of.
DUI Misconceptions in Pennsylvania
1. You Will Definitely Go to Jail if Arrested for a DUI
Despite Pennsylvania imposing mandatory sentences for DUIs, an arrest does not automatically mean you will go to jail. Even if you are convicted, there are alternative programs available, such as the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition and Intermediate Punishment Program, which allow you to reduce your sentence. Additionally, the prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and a skilled DUI attorney can negotiate a plea bargain that keeps you out of jail.
2. You Cannot Refuse a Field Sobriety Test
It’s not uncommon for the police to ask drivers to do roadside field sobriety tests when pulled over for drunk driving. In Pennsylvania, these tests are voluntary, and there are no criminal or administrative consequences for refusing the test. If you have a physical condition that makes these tests challenging to complete, you should explain that to the officer.
3. You Won’t Get Arrested if You Don’t Consent to a Breath or Blood Test
Many people believe that the Fifth Amendment provides the right to refuse a breath or blood test. In reality, Pennsylvania has an implied consent law, which means you have already given consent to be tested simply by operating a vehicle. Therefore, if you don’t agree to take these tests, you are almost guaranteed to be arrested and will likely be presumed guilty before you even enter the courtroom. You will also lose your license for at least a year.
Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Pennsylvania and can result in long-lasting consequences. If DUI charges have been brought against you, consulting with an experienced DUI attorney from Levy, Stieh, Gaughan & Baron PC will help you to protect your rights and freedom. Having served the residents of Pike County for more than a decade, they know how to investigate all possible avenues to reach a favorable resolution. Call (570) 296-8844 to speak with a reputable DUI attorney about your case, or visit them online for more information about the legal services they offer.