According to the Pennsylvania State Police, they arrested 396 people for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol over the Easter and Passover holiday weekend, spanning from April 19 to April 21, 2019.
This amounts to a 10 percent increase from last year, when 359 DUI arrests occurred during the same time. Pennsylvania State Troopers helped to handle 540 crashes over the weekend, and of those, 121 had injuries occur as a result. Two people were killed as the result of a head-on collision.
Over the weekend, State police gave out over:
- 5,857 speeding tickets;
- 511 seat belt violation tickets; and
- 76 child safety seat citations.
This information does not include the arrests, tickets, and other encounters reported by other law enforcement departments.
How Law Enforcement Looks for DUI Violators in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law enforcement use a variety of creative techniques to look for and arrest suspected intoxicated drivers. While these techniques are legal, they have certain requirements that must be met, or any evidence collected as a result may be subject to suppression, meaning it cannot be used against you at trial
Roadside Sobriety Checkpoints
Field sobriety checkpoints are places on Virginia roadways where police stop every car that comes through, looking for evidence of intoxication behind the wheel. These controversial tools are legal, so long as the requirements that govern them are met.
This allows officers to stop a vehicle without suspicion, and perform a cursory observation of the driver to determine whether there is suspicion of intoxication. A person stopped will likely be asked if he or she has been drinking. Officers will take the next steps depending on your answer, and their observations.
Roadside Breathalyzer Test
When an officer is suspicious of possible intoxication, he or she may perform a breathalyzer test on the side of the road. These tests consist of a person blowing into a device which measures the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC). If the test determines that a person's BAC is 0.08% or higher, the per se limit for Pennsylvania and most other states, you can be arrested and charged with DUI.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are certain procedures that are designed to look for intoxication without the use of a breath or blood test. These tests include, most commonly:
- the horizontal gaze nystagmus test;
- the walk and turn test; and
- the one leg stand test.
These tests are not known for their accuracy, and often lead to false positive indicators of intoxication. When they are not administered properly, the results of the test can be challenged at trial, to prove you were not intoxicated at the time of your arrest.
Consult a Pennsylvania DUI Defense Attorney
A conviction for DUI as the result of these tests can be challenged in court with the help of the right attorney.