What To Do If You Are Stopped for a DUI in PA
- DON’T TALK– This is so important! You cannot help yourself at this point no matter what you say. Do not try to explain. Do not say you have only had “a couple”. USE YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. Politely tell the officer that you choose to remain silent and hand them your registration, license and proof of insurance when instructed to do so.
- REFUSE ALL ROADSIDE DUI TESTS– You cannot be forced to do roadside Field Sobriety Tests or a roadside “Portable Breath Test” or PBT. POLITELY REFUSE TO DO BOTH ROADSIDE TESTS. The field sobriety tests, even if given properly by a competently trained officer, are not scientifically valid. You may be asked to submit to a PBT. Even if you have only had one or two drinks, refuse the test. They are not precise and often result in false positives. BY DOING ROADSIDE TESTS, YOU ARE HELPING THE POLICE GATHER MORE EVIDENCE AGAINST YOU. By politely refusing the tests, you are giving the officer less information to justify your arrest for a DUI.
- REQUEST AN IDEPENDENT BLOOD TEST– If arrested and taken to the police station for a full breath test or you are taken for a blood test, you have the right to an independent blood test. In Section 1547 of the Vehicle Code is the following language: (h) Test by personal physician.–The person tested shall be permitted to have a physician of his own choosing administer an additional breath, blood or urine chemical test and the results of the test shall also be admissible in evidence. The chemical testing given at the direction of the police officer shall not be delayed by a person’s attempt to obtain an additional test. If there is a delay in your release, you may be unable to get this independent blood test, which may result in the original police test being suppressed.
- TAKE NOTES– Write down the names and contact information of anyone who may be a witness. Write down exactly what you ate all day and when, and also what medications you took that day and the time you took them. Make note of what you were drinking, how many you had and when you had them. Do this right away so we can determine what your blood alcohol should have been and compare that with the results.
- CALL A QUALIFIED DUI ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY– DO NOT DELAY. There are time sensitive steps that must be taken very early on in the process. For example, if your license is suspended because of a refusal, you only have 30 days to appeal or the suspension will stand. You also need to make sure a qualified DUI attorney represents you at your Preliminary Hearing.