Drunk driving has been a point of focus for legislatures, prosecutors and law enforcement on and off for 30 or more years now. Since the 1980s, the legal penalties for Driving Under the Influence or "DUI" have become stiffer and stiffer, even for a first offense. And, while protecting the public against dangerous drivers may be a laudable goal, overzealousness can sometimes creep in to such prosecutions and create a situation where a person's life can be ruined.
It seems like just yesterday that we were shoveling out from snow and welcoming in the spring season. Now we have the birthday of our country, the Fourth of July, next week. While the holiday means different things to different people, most Americans know how to celebrate in style. Throughout the country, Americans will be attending parades, watching fireworks and hosting barbeques among family and friends to celebrate the holiday.
As we have stated in previous posts, drunk driving remains a problem throughout the United States, including those living in and near the Lehighton, Pennsylvania area. While it is far easier for police to recognize speeders or those driving recklessly, one cannot necessarily tell if a driver is driving under the influence without an up close inspection. Often, a field sobriety test is conducted if an officer suspects someone of driving while drunk.
Although dominant on the golf course for nearly two decades, it appears that Tiger Woods has had a less than stellar history while on the roads. Early last Sunday night, the elite golfer was arrested on a driving while under the influence charge near West Palm Beach, Florida. Following a public apology, it is believed that he was driving under the influence of a mixture of prescription drugs.
It seems that nearly every month throughout the year there is a holiday for Americans to go out and celebrate. Our country has our own holidays to celebrate like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Plus we go out and embrace other holidays such as Saint Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. And, with these holidays, many throughout the United States, including those from the Lehighton, Pennsylvania area, go out with friends to have a few drinks.
Drunk driving charges carry serious penalties in Pennsylvania, including license revocation, fines and potential jail time. These penalties can be enhanced under a number of circumstances. One situation that will result in a significantly stiffer sentence is having a minor under the age of 18 as a passenger when the violation occurs.
When there are drunk driving charges alleged against a person in Pennsylvania, it will not necessarily be a simple matter of being stopped by law enforcement and facing an arrest for driving under the influence. Often with a drunk driving arrest, there will be other infractions as part of the process that can lead to multiple offenses and the increased harshness of the penalties if there is a conviction. Whether it is a single charge or multiple charges going beyond those confined to a DUI, one of the most important factors in any case is to have legal assistance for negotiation of a possible plea and to formulate a defense if the case goes to trial.
New Year's Eve parties throughout the country meant good times for many Americans, including here in Pennsylvania. Whether you went out to a friend's house, attended a concert or spent the night at a bar or nightclub, it isn't uncommon for people to bring in the new year celebrating with alcoholic beverages. And, when it comes to a night of drinking, it is also not uncommon for people to lose track of their sobriety and get behind the wheel of a vehicle.