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September 13, 2018Underage DUI
By Brian Manchester
Two Crimes For The Price Of One
If you are under the age of 21 and consumed alcohol before driving, you knew you were in trouble the moment you got pulled over and may face underage DUI charges. Driving under the influence is illegal in Pennsylvania, but so is underage drinking. What happens when you are accused of both?
The first thing you need to know is that any driver under the age of 21 who is arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania is automatically charged under Pennsylvania’s high BC tier. Even if this is your very first offense and even if you only had a minimal amount of alcohol in your system, your punishment is going to be severe.
The minimum penalties at the High Impairment tier include at least two days (and up to 6 months) in jail, a fine of anywhere between $500 and $5,000, and a 12 month license suspension. This means you won’t be driving again for at least a year.
The Consequences Don’t End There
Drivers under the age of 25 – even those with clean records – pay a lot more for car insurance than older drivers do. If you factor in an underage drinking DUI, your insurance rates will skyrocket; that is, if you can even find someone willing to insure you.
Even worse, your DUI conviction will be noted on your permanent, public criminal record, which can be accessed by all future employers, landlords, lenders, neighbors and anyone else with an interest in your past. Having a DUI conviction on your record can even affect your future interactions with college admission departments and could potentially impede your ability to obtain a job in your chosen profession. If you are in college, you can also face disciplinary action from your school.
Hire An Experienced Attorney
If you are facing DUI charges and are underage, you should hire experienced attorney that knows the ins-and-outs of DUI cases, including:
- How police test for DUI (sobriety tests), and knowledge of how to point out inaccurate police testimonies.
- Scientific knowledge of blood tests and how faulty they are, with experience using the equipment used in the lab.
- For university students, you must hire an attorney experienced in student disciplinary proceedings.
If you are looking for an experienced attorney who is experienced in debunking police tests, blood tests, and is familiar with student disciplinary proceedings, call Brian Manchester at any time for a Free Strategy Session so we can get to know you and help you through the charges set against you.
December 4, 2017Consequences For Refusing A Breathalyzer Test
By Brian Manchester
In Pennsylvania, there are two ways that the Commonwealth can gather evidence that will result in a Blood Alcohol Concentration Level:
- Blood test.
- Breath test.
Now it is important to differentiate that there are two different types of breath test.
There is the portable breath test that officers give to you on the side of the road, this test can be refused if you so choose. Then there is the breath test at the police station. This test can also be refused, but if you refuse it, the Court and Legislature will rule that you are to be charged under the DUI statute in Pennsylvania. Then, you will face an additional license suspension for the refusal through PennDOT.
According to Pennsylvania’s implied consent statute, “Any person who drives, operates or is in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle in this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have given consent to one or more chemical tests…” in order to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC).
If you refuse to submit to the breathalyzer test, you will have your driver’s license suspended for at least 12 months or 18 months if you have a previous refusal or DUI. This is a civil license suspension through PennDOT and has nothing to do with the criminal penalties involved.
Challenges To a Breath Test
Certain guidelines must be followed for the administration of a Breathalyzer test. If these guidelines were not followed, then the test results can be invalidated and thrown out in Court. Challenges that may be made include:
- You were not observed by a law enforcement officer for 20 minutes prior to the administration of the test.
- The administrator of the test was not properly certified.
- The machine was not properly calibrated.
- There were not two consecutive tests conducted.
- The test was not properly administered.
What Should You Do If Charged With a DUI?
It is extremely important to contact an experienced law firm right away in you or someone you know is charged with Driving Under the Influence in Pennsylvania. If you, your son, daughter, or loved one in Pennsylvania has been arrested for a crime in state or federal court in Pennsylvania you need legal representation Here at Manchester and Associates we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For a free consultation we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.