As always, the Fourth of July is a great holiday for fireworks, cookouts, and family time. Unfortunately, it is also one of the days when the most DUI arrests are made. In Allegheny County, police are already making plans for stricter DUI enforcement. Allegheny county drivers can expect to see many DUI checkpoints on the road this weekend.
In Pennsylvania, the legal limit for drivers over age 21 is under a .08 BAC. Depending on the type of drink and how strong it is, it might only take one or two drink to push a person over this limit. OF course, body weight and food consumption must also be taken into account to estimate a person's actual BAC. I have seen people invest in key-chain type Breathalyzers so they can test their BAC level before getting in a car. While this is not necessarily a bad idea, just be warned that not all of these devices are as accurate as the device an officer might use.
There are two full-proof ways to avoid a DUI this Fourth of July. One is to not drink ANY amount of alcohol. The other, of course, is to not drive. Luckily, in Pittsburgh, there are many new services that a person can use to get home from a party. Ride sharing companies Lyft and Uber are now available in the Pittsburgh area (notwithstanding government challenges). These are excellent options for those who need to get home from a party, but do not want to risk a DUI. It is worth paying a $15 cab fee over a $1,000 fine and possible loss of license any day.
If, however, you find yourself spotting red and blue lights in your rearview mirror this weekend, don't panic. Remember, PA DUIs are not automatic convictions; you are still entitled to a hearing. Contact our office to speak to an experienced Allegheny County DUI defense attorney. Most importantly, stay safe this Fourth of July weekend!