Berks County DUI FAQ's

Do I need a lawyer for DUI ARD?

It is highly recommended that you have a lawyer for any criminal or DUI case. Our Berks County DUI lawyers will discuss with you whether or not you are eligible for the DUI ARD program. If our lawyers believe that you are eligible we will help you apply for the program. We can even help you if your initial DUI ARD application is denied.

What constitutes a DUI?

  • Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) over .08
  • BAC over .02 if the driver is under the age of 21
  • BAC over .02 if driving a school vehicle
  • BAC over .04 if driving a commercial vehicle
  • Any amount of a Schedule I drug found in blood
  • Any amount of a Schedule II or III drug in blood if the driver does not have a valid prescription
  • An amount of a prescribed drug in blood which renders a person incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle
  • Any amount of alcohol in the blood which renders a person incapable of safely operating a vehicle

Why does my BAC matter?

DUI sentences are based, in part, on a person's BAC range. The BAC ranges are:

  • .08 - .10 OR any amount of alcohol which renders a person incapable of safely driving (general impairment)
  • .10 - .16 (high rate of alcohol)
  • .16 and above (highest rate of alcohol).

Do I have to submit to a blood test?

No. However, if a police officer requests that you submit to a blood test, your refusal will usually result in an enhanced license suspension. This is because of "Implied Consent." You can dispute this suspension at a Penn DOT hearing. Contact our Reading, PA DUI lawyers at 620-372-5128 for more information on whether you will be facing an enhanced license suspension for refusal to submit to a blood test. Time is of the essence in these situations.

Am I entitled to an lawyer when deciding whether or not to submit to a blood test?

No.

What are field sobriety tests (FST's)

These are tests that police officers will often ask drivers to perform if the officer suspects that the driver might be intoxicated or impaired. FST's include:

  • Walk and Turn
  • One Legged Stand
  • Finger to Nose
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus - ( the results of this test are not admissible in court, but are sometimes still administered).
FST's are subjectively scored and the scoring can be attacked by your lawyer in court.

Where can FST's be administered

FST's can be done at the scene of the stop or at the DUI Processing Center.

Are breathlyzers ever used instead of blood tests?

Yes, but usually only by the Pennsylvania State Police.

What is a PBT?

PBT stands for a preliminary breath test. Police officers often administer these tests prior to requesting that a driver submit to a blood draw for DUI. The numerical result of a PBT is not admissible in court to prove a DUI.

Can I get an occupational or "bread and butter" license if my license is suspended for a DUI?

You may be eligible for an Occupational Limited License (OLL) after serving a portion of your license suspension. You are not eligible for an OLL if you are in the DUI ARD program. Contact our DUI lawyers for more information on whether or not you are eligible for an OLL.

What are the rules for DUI checkpoints?

  • Checkpoint locations must be published
  • Checkpoints must be in a location where accidents have occurred
  • Police cannot arbitrarily stop vehicles - they must stop vehicles following a pre-determined pattern

Can I get ARD for a DUI?

You may be eligible for ARD if you have been charged with a DUI. See our blog post on DUI ARD. Contact our Reading, PA DUI lawyers at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com to determine whether or not you are eligible for the DUI ARD program.

What do I have to do for ARD? See our blog post on DUI ARD

Requirements for DUI ARD usually include:

  • Community service
  • Payment of fines and costs
  • License suspension
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment if recommended
  • Alcohol Safe Driving class - regardless of whether or not you are charged with an alcohol- related DUI

Will I go to jail for a first offense DUI?

Depending on your BAC, you may be facing a mandatory minimum jail sentence.

What are the mandatory minimum sentences for first offense DUI's?

  • General Impairment (.08 -.10 BAC or any amount of alcohol which renders a person incapable of safely driving) - mandatory minimum sentence of 6 months probation
  • High rate of alcohol (.10 - .16 BAC) OR driving a commercial vehicle OR driving a school vehicle OR involved in an accident OR a minor - mandatory minimum sentence of 48 consecutive hours in jail
  • Highest rate of alcohol (.16 BAC and above) OR any type of drug in blood OR refusal to submit to blood draw - mandatory minimum sentence of 72 consecutive hours in jail

Am I entitled to a jury trial if I'm charged with a DUI?

Yes, unless you have been charged with a first offense DUI. If you are charged with a first offense DUI then you can only have a bench trial. A bench trial is a trial where the judge determines guilt. Contact our Reading, PA DUI lawyers if you plan to take your case to trial. Contact us today at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com.