Drunk Driving/D.U.I. Defense: Little Known Facts about DUI
I. Actual Control of Vehicle
a. A vehicle does not need to be moving in order for you to be charged with a DUI. If an officer alleges you were in control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, you can still be charged even if the car is motionless. In determining when a person has actual physical control over the vehicle, Pennsylvania courts look at where the person is seated in the vehicle, and whether the automobile engine is running.
II. Any Motor Vehicle
a. DUI arrests are not limited for those individuals driving automobiles. You can be charged with a DUI for operating any type of motor vehicle. In Pennsylvania, cars, trucks, motorcycles, dirt bikes on the road, trikes, mopeds, and scooters are all considered vehicles. Even a bicycle may be considered a vehicle when it is on the road for DUI purposes.
III. Any street, highway, or private avenue
a. To be charged with a DUI, operation of a vehicle need not occur on a PUBLIC highway or street. You can be guilty of a DUI operating the vehicle anywhere in the state, including your own driveway or private grounds.
IV. Be Respectful, but Silent
a. During a traffic stop, if an officer of the law asks you whether or not you have been drinking, you should respectfully inform him that you will not answer that question. If you've been drinking on the night in question, a positive answer to the officer's question can be used by a prosecutor in court to prove that you were driving under the influence of alcohol.
V. Do not refuse chemical testing
a. If requested to give a breath or blood sample, it is almost always your best bet to comply. A refusal to submit to chemical testing empowers the state to automatically suspend your license for one full year, even if you were not drunk and you win your case at trial.
VI. You are not legally required to perform a field sobriety test.
a. Unlike chemical testing, there is no automatic penalty for refusing to perform a field test. Therefore, this is another example of when you may want to respectfully refuse to acquiesce to an officer's request.
Remember, if you are charged with a Drunk Driving/DUI, please contact us online or call us at (215)287-9292 for a free initial consultation.