Pittsburgh DUI Defense

Have you been arrested for DUI?

Are you facing a DUI? Need legal advice or assistance to navigate through the legal mess of criminal charges? Operating a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania with a blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher can be charged with driving under the influence.

The DUI Charge

Law enforcement officials must have reasonable suspicion to arrest a motorist of driving under the influence, which is why they conduct field sobriety tests. By failing or refusing a field sobriety test, you may be legally placed under arrest and must submit to a chemical test to measure your BAC. In addition, the arresting officer will take note of your speech, statements, mannerisms, and behavior throughout the incident, all of which can and will be used against you in criminal process.

There are two common tests used to verify BAC. The breath test, or “breathalyzer”, is most widely used by law enforcement officers; it uses fuel cell technology to detect the presence of alcohol in a breath sample. Drivers that produce breath tests of 0.08% or higher can be charged with DUI. Even blowing a lower number, such as 0.06%, can result in a DUI charge if the law enforcement officer believes that alcohol impaired driving abilities. Refusing a breath test can lead to an additional one year license suspension.**

It is important to keep in mind that when you are arrested and charged with drunk driving, you can face serious consequences:

  • First Offense (For BAC .08 – .09%)
    • Fines – $300
    • Jail Time – Not minimum jail time
  • Second Offense
    • Fines – $300 – $2,500
    • License Suspension – 12 months
    • Jail Time – 5 days to 6 months
  • Third Offense
  • Fines – $500 – $5,000
  • License Suspension – 12 months
  • Jail Time – 10 days to 2 years

**NOTE- Pennsylvania has a series of penalty tiers, depending on the driver’s BAC. The tiers are .08-.10, .10-.159, and .160 and higher. Fines, suspensions and jail time increase along with the BAC.

Defense attorneys will look for ways to challenge every step of the DUI arrest. There may have been errors with breath tests or blood tests. For example, the breath test device may not have been calibrated correctly or the blood test may have been mishandled. Any error in the sample test can result in **inadmissible evidence. Or, the arresting officer improperly conducted a field sobriety test.

Experience on your side

Knowing your rights and responsibilities makes a DUI charge less frightening. An experienced DUI lawyer will look for any reason to throw out the evidence and reduce or acquit the defendant of penalties.

Hire a lawyer with experience in successfully navigating DUI charges from dismissing charges to working with convicted drivers to restore driving privileges. Attorney Joseph Horowitz serves the Pittsburgh region to help drivers understand their rights and receive proper defense in the court of law. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, call Mr. Horowitz at (412) 276-5896 to request a consultation and develop your defense strategy.