It's no secret that drunk driving takes the lives of thousands of innocent people in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation every year. You might be surprised to learn, however, how many people face DUI charges (and perhaps, convictions) who never touched a dropped of alcohol before getting behind their wheels. If a police officer plans to pull you over in a traffic stop, he or she has to have reasonable cause to do so.
To arrest you for possible DUI, an officer needs probable cause, meaning evidence of impairment by drugs or alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. Because police officers are human beings, they can make mistakes. Perhaps you were not feeling well at the time an officer stopped you. You may have been coming down with the flu or some other ailment that caused you to feel dizzy or otherwise in poor health. If such circumstances lead to criminal charges, you'll do well to secure experienced support before heading to court.
Legal drugs and other issues can lead to DUI charges
Many times, police officers stop motorists if they notice their cars veering toward the yellow line or coming too close to a curb or parked cars on the side of the road. The following information shows that various conditions, medications and other issues can land you in a heap of legal trouble:
- A police officer may claim that your car was veering left or right in its lane. Perhaps it's true because you had a headache and were feeling a bit dizzy, just trying to get home safely so you could go to bed and get some rest. That situation could result in a trip to your local jail, followed by DUI charges against you.
- Blurred vision, drowsiness, nausea and delayed movements are other target issues that may lead to driving maneuvers that prompt a police officer to make a DUI arrest.
- Various types of over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs can impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Although you might not expect it, even your over-the-counter allergy medicine places you in a DUI predicament.
- Perhaps even more surprising, certain health drinks, such as Kombucha tea, may not only have sedative effects in large doses but may lead a police officer to believe he or she has probable cause to arrest you for DUI if the effects of the tea are making you drowsy at the wheel.
Facing drunk driving charges in Pennsylvania or any other state can have immediate, long-lasting impact on your personal and professional reputation. You may be able to successfully avoid conviction, yet still experience negative consequences down the line. This is why it's always best to begin building a strong defense as soon as possible.
Who can help?
DUI laws vary by state and you may not be fully aware of all defense options available. There are experienced support networks in place that you can tap into to help you plan the best course of action to try to avoid conviction.