Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other drugs is a criminal offense that can significantly affect your life. You may pay fines, go to jail, lose driving privileges or miss out on employment opportunities.
When caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher in Pennsylvania, you will undoubtedly face a DUI charge. If this is your situation, here are three mistakes to avoid:
1. Believing you have no defense
Despite the readings of the Breathalyzer test or results of the field sobriety tests (FSTs), you can defend yourself when charged with a DUI. Deciding you have no defense and pleading guilty may be a mistake.
FSTs aren’t admissible in court and are entirely subjective. Plus, like any other machine, a Breathalyzer can have flaws, including poor calibration and mechanical defects. Further, some foods, medications and medical conditions can give a false positive on a breathalyzer.
Plus, the police may have lacked reasonable suspicion to stop you, constituting an illegal stop. This shows that you can defend a DUI from different angles.
2. Talking to the police
Cooperating with the police is vital — to a point. You should be polite and follow the required procedures. However, this does not mean talking to them without legal help. Anything you say can be used against you. Be careful with your words throughout your case. Avoid answering questions that may incriminate you.
3. Driving without a license
If your license is suspended after you are charged, you should avoid driving until you get it back. You can ask a loved one to help you get around or can use a taxi or public transport. This can help you avoid additional charges and more complications in the future.
It will help to learn more about your DUI charge to avoid costly mistakes and, in turn, protect your record.