Under state and federal constitutional law, a police officer has the right to stop your vehicle if you have committed a traffic violation, if he or she reasonably suspects that you are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if he or she has legitimate and reasonable belief that you have otherwise violated the law in some manner. While police must respect your constitutional rights during any type of traffic stop, they also have the right to take steps to investigate whether you are driving under the influence in violation of Pennsylvania DUI laws. By making you aware of both your rights and the rights of police officer to investigate the situation, attorney Steven E. Kellis hopes to help you avoid a DUI conviction if you are later accused of DUI.
Permissible Officer Actions
Subject to certain limitations, police officers are allowed to stop you based on a reasonable suspicion that you may be driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. As part of their investigation into their suspicion, police officers can, as a general rule, take the following actions in determining whether you should face criminal charges:
- Ask you questions about your alcohol or drug intake and driving behaviors
- Search your vehicle under some circumstances
- Administer roadside tests on suspicion of DUI
- Request blood testing to confirm your blood alcohol content levels
- Place you under arrest for any violations of the law that you have committed
Despite these rights to investigate you and obtain evidence in support of their suspicions, police officers also must follow certain protocols and laws in carrying out these actions. Ensuring that police have abided by the mandated rules and procedures is one way that an experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you with any charges that you may be facing.
Field Sobriety and Chemical BAC Testing
While police officers who suspect you of impaired driving can administer certain roadside tests in order to ascertain whether you are illegally under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a certain amount of care and procedures must be observed in doing so. Police officers are specially trained to adhere to standards developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;nonetheless, mistakes are often made, protocols are not followed, and inappropriate actions may occur. When a failure in procedural standards occurs, it is very possible that any evidence obtained through these tests may be excluded from future court proceedings in the event that you face criminal charges. As a result, it is essential to determine whether any police officers involved properly administered field sobriety tests and other BAC testing devices, such as portable breathalyzers.
Get Legal Assistance Now
Obtaining the help of skilled and knowledgeable DUI attorneys can mean the difference between a DUI conviction and the negative consequences that it will bring and a dismissal or reduction of the charges against you. Allow the Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis to investigate your case, evaluate the evidence against you, and help you resolve your criminal charges in as quick and positive a manner as possible. Contact us 24/7 to request a free consultation.