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What to Expect During a DUI Arrest

The last several years have seen a national crackdown on drunk driving.  And Pennsylvania is no exception.  State police and local police departments have stepped up efforts to catch drunk drivers, including strategic use of DUI checkpoints.  Officers at DUI checkpoints briefly interview drivers passing through and detain those who appear intoxicated.

Whether police detain you at a DUI checkpoint or pull you over individually for suspicious driving, you can expect to receive one or more initial tests to determine if you are intoxicated.  These include the use of a breathalyzer or a field sobriety test.  Field sobriety tests evaluate skills and functions that diminish in intoxicated persons.  These include balance, speech, and cognitive abilities.  The breathalyzer analyzes exhaled air to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content (BAC).  If after administering one or both of these tests an officer still believes a driver to be intoxicated, he or she may take the driver into custody for blood testing.  This testing must occur within a certain time of the arrest in order to be valid.

A lot occurs during a DUI arrest.  And when officers fail to follow proper procedures, some or all of the evidence they obtain may become invalid.  That is why it is important to have an experienced attorney evaluate your situation following a DUI arrest.  Even if it seems hopeless, a DUI attorney may uncover flaws in the case against you that can lead to an acquittal or favorable plea bargain.

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