St. Patrick’s Day DUI Defense

March 16, 2020

This St. Patrick’s Day, wear your green, toast your friends, and get home safe. St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are often associated with excessive alcohol consumption. If you intend to drink, you should also plan to avoid driving. You can stay off the roads entirely by staying local and walking home, or by using a designated driver, public transportation, or a rideshare service.

Consequences of a DUI Arrest

If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, you can face serious consequences. Depending on the level of blood alcohol content and factors regarding previous DUI offenses, you can face fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, DUI prevention courses, a minimum $1,000 insurance surcharge, and/or the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock system on your car.

A DUI conviction will likely affect other areas of your life as well. Losing your license can affect your employment. If your DUI results in an accident, additional criminal charges could be involved, particularly if your accident caused an injury or fatality.

DUI Stops and Tests

A DUI case often starts with an officer pulling you over after observing driving behavior consistent with intoxication, such as erratic driving, weaving, or speeding. A DUI charge involves a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is 0.08 percent or higher. An officer may suspect that you are under the influence if your breath smells like alcohol or if you display other indications, but the traffic stop usually involves further tests, including:

Field sobriety tests: Walking a straight line, touching your nose, and the like, these tests could be the basis for conviction, even though they are subjective. It is within your right to decline these tests.

Breathalyzer tests: Often performed on site, the breathalyzer is a chemical test that detects alcohol. You have the right to refuse the test unless you are arrested. If you are placed under arrest, you may be legally required to undergo a chemical test to determine your BAC. Breathalyzers are not a sufficient method for testing BAC.

Blood tests: A blood sample must be taken and analyzed to determine BAC. This sample must be preserved and made available to your lawyer, who may have it independently tested.

West Chester DUI Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes Defend DUI Charges

If you were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you would benefit from having experienced legal representation by your side. The West Chester DUI defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Heather J. Mattes can represent you against such charges by identifying procedural missteps, conflicting evidence, or illegal rights violations. Contact us online or call us at 610-431-7900 for a free consultation. Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Chester County, Bucks County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.

Heather Mattes Map