As a reminder to the public about the high rate of drivers who are charged with DUI in the city of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Police Department regularly posts the number of DUI arrests made by Philadelphia officers. For instance, during the weekend that ran from Friday, January 10 through Sunday, January 12, Philadelphia police officers arrested 42 individual drivers on DUI charges. This high rate of DUI arrests indicates that many people in the Philadelphia area either are facing DUI charges or have faced such charges in the past. Unfortunately, the repercussions of a DUI charge, if it results in a conviction, can be quite severe for even a first-time offender.
Factors That May Lead to a Pennsylvania DUI Arrest
Police officers, including those of the Philadelphia Police Department, are trained to observe motorists who may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some common reasons that police officers suspect a driver of being drunk include the following:
- Crossing the center line or swerving across a road or street
- Following another vehicle too closely
- Ignoring traffic lights, signals, and stop signs
- Speeding or driving too slowly
- Almost or actually striking another vehicle or object
All of these examples may be traffic violations that give a police officer good cause to pull a driver over. If the police officer further observes the driver to be under the influence at the time of the traffic stop, then he or she may conduct additional testing, such as a breathalyzer machine or field sobriety tests, in order to determine whether a driver is intoxicated. Characteristics such as slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, an inability to stand or walk steadily, and bloodshot eyes all can be indicative of a driver who is under the influence of alcohol.
Steps to Take When Pulled Over for DUI
When you are pulled over for DUI by a police officer, you should speak as little as possible. You are not required to answer all of the police officer’s questions. However, you should be as polite as possible. You can respectfully decline to take field sobriety tests if asked to do so. However, refusing a breathalyzer or other type of chemical test is another matter altogether. If you refuse to take such a test upon request of a police officer, you are subject to having your driver’s license suspended automatically, even if you have not been convicted of DUI. This is called an implied consent law. Therefore, your Philadelphia DUI attorney suggests that you comply with any requests to undergo this type of testing, which is designed to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). Otherwise, you may lose your license, regardless of whether you are ever convicted of DUI in the future.
Contact a Philadelphia DUI Lawyer for Help
At The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, you will find an experienced, knowledgeable legal team ready to answer your questions, calm your fears, explain the law, and help you develop the best strategy for facing DUI charges. Do not hesitate to enlist the services of a highly qualified Pennsylvania DUI attorney by contacting us for a free consultation.