A charge of driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania can have serious consequences. Even a conviction for a first offense comes with probation, fines, traffic school, increased insurance costs and more trouble.
No case, however, is as open-and-shut as the police or prosecutors would have you believe. There may be numerous possible defenses available to you. Here are some possible examples:
You weren’t actually under the influence of anything
You can end up facing DUI charges even if you blow a clean Breathalyzer test. An officer can pull you over based on the reasonable suspicion that you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol based solely on your driving behavior.
However, there may be plenty of reasons that you weren’t driving normally. Failing to keep a consistent speed and weaving, for example, could have more to do with the fact that you’re lost and looking for a street sign than anything else.
The field sobriety tests weren’t properly performed
Thinking it would clear up any suspicion that you were impaired, you may have agreed to take a field sobriety test — and the shock when you were told you failed was probably immense.
Field sobriety tests aren’t actually that reliable. Your nerves, your shoes, your level of fatigue and the officer’s subjective approach to the test can all affect whether or not you pass or fail one of those tests.
There was no probable cause for an arrest
Officers need more than a reasonable suspicion for a DUI arrest. They need to have probable cause — or some kind of evidence — to believe that you’ve broken the law.
It’s entirely possible that the officer jumped to conclusions about your condition without taking into account the fact that you were just tired, not feeling well or a dozen other possibilities that could have made you seem impaired.
If you’ve been charged with driving while impaired, take immediate action to protect your rights and your future.