We are all more than aware of the fact that it is illegal to operate our vehicles after having consumed too much alcohol or an illegal substance, but how much is too much? And under what circumstances can I be arrested for DUI in Pittsburgh, PA? Based on the laws highlighted in Chapter 38 of the state legislature, anybody with a BAC, blood alcohol content level, of 0.08% or higher is considered “drunk” and would be subjected to the ramifications that come along with drunk driving. Whether you were physically drinking in the car or left a bar and attempted to make your way home can also affect how you are charged in the court of law.
When Can an Officer Arrest Me?
The first thing officers look for is probable cause. Because you do have rights as a citizen of Pennsylvania, police are not permitted to pull you over because they want to. This could be a form of harassment and with the right Pittsburgh DUI attorney, you could ultimately get your charges thrown out. But, police are very knowledgeable on their state laws and have their ways of ensuring they protect themselves when they decide they do in fact have probable cause to pull you over.
Once police have a reason to pull you over, whether it be for a broken taillight, your driving manner, or your expired license plate tag, they can use this opportunity to identify whether or not you are intoxicated. In many cases, police will use their initial reason they pulled you over to question you on whether you have had anything to drink. They could say they smell alcohol on your breath which would then prompt them to want to have you submit to a field sobriety test.
If you fail to submit to a field sobriety test, you could be at risk of being arrested and there are many other ways officers manage to get drivers charged with DUI as well. Did you know that if you’re in your vehicle and it is parked, with the ignition off and the keys in hand that you could still be charged with DUI? Although you may be wondering why seeing that you aren’t physically operating your vehicle, the laws prohibit any type of engagement with a vehicle when under the influence.
State Statute §3802
State statute §3802 states that “an individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.”
So, what does this mean? Well, if an officer approaches your parked vehicle that is turned off, and you have a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you can still be arrested for DUI seeing that you are still in control of driving your vehicle.
Therefore, if you are facing a DUI charge in the state of Pennsylvania, contact USAttorneys.com today and get connected with a reliable Pittsburgh DUI lawyer who is going to represent your side of the case and fight for the rights you still have.