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How much you know about DUI may influence your defense

Whether you're a currently enrolled student in State College or simply decided to hang out in Pennsylvania for a while after graduation to see if you might want to live here permanently, you likely already know that this town is well known for several things. For one, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't heard about the Penn State football team.

It's also known as quite the party town; in fact, if you live on campus or recently earned your diploma, you might have been part of that scene yourself from time to time. Now that you're 21 or older, it's legal for you to purchase alcohol or imbibe; however, you must adhere to all traffic regulations and laws pertaining to drinking and driving. It's also crucial to remember that not all DUI incidents pertain to alcohol. A police officer might suspect you of being under the influence of drugs as well.

Things to keep in mind about DUI situations

Let's say a police officer thinks the car you're driving is drifting left or right (or both directions) in your lane. The officer doesn't know you and has never spoken to you but may suspect you've been drinking alcohol. That doesn't necessarily mean you won't face DUI charges if an officer pulls you over for some other reason. Remembering the following facts may not only help you understand factors of a DUI stop, but can also point you in the right direction to get help when you need it:

  • Pulling you over after supposedly witnessing your vehicle swerving is known as reasonable cause. The officer says he or she saw something that implied you might be committing a crime (because intoxicated drivers' vehicles often veer side to side in traffic).
  • If a police officer pulls you over because your tail light isn't working, it doesn't mean you're in the clear concerning possible DUI. If the officer notices an empty beer can on the floor of your car or thinks he or she detects the aroma of alcohol on your breath, you might spend the rest of your evening behind bars.
  • Have you ever consumed cough or cold medicine and then got behind the wheel? Many such medications contain alcohol as a main ingredient. Over-the-counter medications can lead to DUI charges. If you submit to a Breathalyzer test, the device might detect the alcohol in your cold and cough medication on your breath. The problem is, results will simply register as positive for alcohol. There's no way to specify that the alcohol was merely a product ingredient.

Many people say State College is a great place to go to school, work or raise a family. Being a college town, young adults who live here will no doubt encounter various types of challenges now and again. If one of your challenges happens to be facing DUI charges in court, you'll want to review how others in similar situations have rectified such problems. It's logical to assume that many people avoid conviction and mitigate their circumstances by relying on experienced defense representation in court.

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