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July 2015 Archives

Spotlight Issue: What happens if I refuse the breath/blood test?

All drivers in Pennsylvania are said to have given "implied consent" to a blood, alcohol or urine screening to test for the presence of alcohol or a controlled substance. Therefore, there are penalties for refusing to submit to chemical testing when lawfully requested by a police officer.

Spotlight Issue: DUI and prescribed medication

Can you be charged with a controlled substance DUI even if you are only taking medication as prescribed by a doctor? The answer is "yes." Pennsylvania DUI statute §3802(d)(2) makes it a crime for anyone to drive under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs to a degree that impairs that person's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Noticeably, that section does not make an exception for prescription drugs that are taken as ordered by doctor. Further, §3802(d)(3) makes it a crime for anyone to drive under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs to a degree that impairs the driver's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. This section does not require a certain level of alcohol in the blood. Instead, any combined amount of alcohol and drugs that impairs the driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle is prohibited. This includes prescription drugs that are taken as prescribed. While a prescribed amount of a drug taken alone may not impair the driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle, even a small amount of alcohol mixed with that drug may cause impairment.

Spotlight Issue: Should I plead guilty to my DUI charge?

If you've been charged with a DUI you might be feeling like it is pointless to try to fight your case. You may feel this way because you believe that you were driving badly or failed your Field Sobriety Tests (FST's) or had a blood draw that shows your blood alcohol content was over the legal limit. Does that mean that a conviction for DUI is automatic? NO.

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