Being in actual physical control of a vehicle or driving it after drinking alcohol, using drugs, or other controlled substances is against the law in Pennsylvania. The consequences are wide-ranging and very serious.
Drivers stopped by police often wonder how DUI differs from DWI and which charges apply to their circumstances. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Lemoyne can explain the charges brought against you and help you explore the possibilities. If you can avoid a conviction, the better for you and your driving record.
Is There a Difference Between DWI and DUI in Pennsylvania?
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are quite similar. However, DWI could mean that someone operated a motor vehicle while drunk with alcohol. On the other hand, DUI might mean that the vehicle operation was done under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol.
If your vehicle is swerving or you are over speeding, and the police stop you and find you unfit to drive, a ticket will be issued. And since Pennsylvania uses DUI to describe such offenses, your charge sheet might not use DWI if you are charged in this state.
What Determines the Seriousness of DUI and DWI Offenses?
Different states use different acronyms in referring to the offense of operating a vehicle while unfit; DWI, OUI, OWI, or DUI. Similarly, the penalties vary from state to state. But the bottom line is that driving at blood alcohol levels of 0.08% or higher is outlawed. In Pennsylvania, the penalties might vary depending on the alcohol levels, for instance;
- Highest DUI – 0.16% and above
- High DUI – 0.10% to 0.159%
- General impairment DUI – 0.08% to 0.099%
Another aspect that determines the seriousness of your DUI offense and the consequent penalties include being;
- A CDL driver with a minimum BAC of 0.04%
- School bus drivers with a minimum BAC of 0.02%
- Under 21 years with any level of BAC in your system
A seasoned DUI lawyer in Pennsylvania can analyze your DUI situation and explain the possible consequences.
How Different is Drug Influence in a DUI or DWI?
While DUI in Pennsylvania covers both drugs and alcohol, the influence of drugs isn’t always easy to determine. A breathalyzer can tell police officers whether you have exceeded the minimum blood alcohol limit but cannot tell whether you are high on drugs. So, if the police suspect drug impairment, they might call an officer trained in identifying the signs.
If the signs show a high probability of drug influence, you could be asked to take a blood test to confirm or dispute the suspicion. And the presence of any drugs, including legal ones, might get you in trouble. If the painkiller compromised your driving judgment, DUI charges could be brought against you in Pennsylvania.
How is Drug Influence Punished in Pennsylvania?
You might be convicted of DUI if it is proven that your prescription drugs affected your ability to drive safely in Pennsylvania. The same might happen to you if the tests detect any schedule I drug in your system.
All DUI involving drugs are usually charged as the highest-BAC DUI. So, even if you believe that your drug intake was not sufficient to impair your driving, you stand to deal with the most serious form of DUI punishment. There is never a general impairment DUI or high DUI when it comes to drugs. Thus, it is imperative to seek the legal guidance of a seasoned DUI lawyer in Lemoyne, PA .
What Happens When You Test Positive for DUI or DWI?
Positive results from a roadside chemical test might seem like a definite conviction, but it is not always the case. Roadside drug and alcohol test results can be unreliable because they might have been improperly administered. Many people have been arrested for positive results even when they were innocent of DUI.
You could have been arrested, but you might not be convicted if you immediately call a skilled DUI lawyer in Pennsylvania. They can help you challenge the test results and ensure that the charges are dropped, or you get acquitted in trial.
How Long Will I Remain in Custody if Arrested for DUI or DWI?
The time you spend in custody varies from case to case. Bail is usually allowed for DUI offenders who might not threaten the society’s safety. It is easier to qualify for bail if you are a first-time DUI offender in Lemoyne, PA.
The BAC levels could also be considered when the court seeks to decide whether you qualify to be out on bail or not. But if your BAC levels are higher than o.1, you are likely to remain in custody until you sober up. A skilled DUI attorney in Pennsylvania can ensure that you regain your freedom in the shortest time possible.
What Kind of Attorney Do I Need for a DWI or DUI Charge?
Defending against a DUI charge in Pennsylvania is not always straightforward. It requires extensive experience and skills built over time. So, when picking a defense lawyer, make sure that they have handled numerous DUI cases in this state.
This experience allows them to anticipate what is likely to happen and can help them prepare for what is to come. They will come up with counterarguments to anything the prosecution might raise because they know what works and what doesn’t.
Legal Guidance from a Skilled Professional in Lemoyne
A conviction for DUI or DWI can cost you huge sums of money, raise your insurance premiums, and restrict your employment opportunities in Pennsylvania. It is critical to fight and keep off a conviction and avoid consequences that can change your life for the worst.
The attorneys at our firm have defended and represented accused persons in Lemoyne, PA, for years. An in-depth analysis of your case can reveal endless possibilities and determine the best possible defense strategy. Speak to us today, and we will answer your questions and fight for your freedom.