Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense. The potential penalties and costs are staggering. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will be required to pay state surcharges and penalties, your insurance is likely to increase significantly, you will lose your license making your day to day life more difficult, and you may even face jail time. A DUI in Pennsylvania is treated as a criminal offense and needs to be taken seriously. You will need an experienced DUI Attorney to help you resolve this serious matter.
Understanding a DUI Arrest
The process by which a DUI arrest is made is universal among states. Police use three phases by which to determine if a driver is intoxicated and assign a DUI. These phases include:
(1) Vehicle in Motion: Initial observations of the vehicle and observation of its stop. The officer is looking for
- Driving in two lanes
- Driving too fast or too slow
- Stopped at a green light
(2) Personal Contact: The face to face contact and interview of the driver and observation of driver’s vehicle exit. The officer is looking for
- Slurred speech
- Odor of alcohol
- Glossy or bloodshot eyes
- Erratic behavior
(3) Pre-Arrest Screening: The psychophysical (field) sobriety testing (FSTs) and preliminary breath testing. The officer is looking for
- An inability to follow instructions on a first attempt and other behaviors and visual cues of intoxication.
Field Sobriety Testing (Fsts)There are three Fsts that are taught to every officer throughout the country. There is ample evidence that these tests are often ineffective yet they remain the standard. These are The One-Legged Stand (OLS), The Walk and Turn (WAT), and The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). Many officers also ask you either recite the alphabet backwards. These tests are designed to allow the officer to observe an individual’s movements, balance, coordination, and listening