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Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Superintendent faces the loss of job over DUI charge

Getting a DUI can threaten your job, which is never good. It's important that you can go to work and bring home a paycheck. You want to make sure you can live comfortably.

Unfortunately, many employers will not retain employees who have DUI convictions on their records. For example, look at this case involving a superintendent from West Mifflin. He has been charged with a second DUI, but he claims, in his defense, that it is only his first based on the first being expunged.

Crimes related to drug paraphernalia

It's not only illegal to possess illicit drugs, but it's also illegal to possess the accouterments of drugs -- namely, drug paraphernalia. If law enforcement officials find that you're in possession of items used to take, manufacture, sell, measure, package, conceal or weigh illegal drugs, for example, you could be charged with a crime.

A charge of drug paraphernalia possession could be a serious offense that leaves you in trouble with the law, even if you aren't found in possession of any actual drugs. Furthermore, virtually anything could become "drug paraphernalia" in the eyes of the law if a court deems that the items were used in connection with drugs. For example, a small zip-lock baggie, a pipe that could also be used for tobacco smoking, a coat hanger, a piece of tinfoil and other seemingly innocuous items could all become "drug paraphernalia" depending on the circumstances under which they were found.

It’s the holiday season for DUI arrests

The last two months feature some of the most important holidays for large families. Many workers are planning their days off to drive hours on the road just to spend time with their loved ones while celebrating the most festive times of the year. Unfortunately, some will not get the chance to do so.

Thanksgiving and Christmas have some of the highest DUI arrest rates in Pennsylvania. If residents are not careful, they could be spending their holidays in a prison cell instead of their mother’s kitchen. Motorists should be aware of how many cops are on the road and what they are looking for as the end of the year approaches.

Councilman arrested for dangerous DUI

Drunk driving is a dangerous act, yet people do it every day. There are ways to get home without risking your life, but if you make the decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, it could mean penalties that otherwise would have been avoided.

While it's a good idea to get a taxi or to call for a ride, it's not always something people think about. That could lead to crashes, but a DUI is more likely.

Defend your rights if you're charged with a DUI

In Pittsburgh, driving under the influence of alcohol can result in a DUI. One way to end up with a DUI charge is by registering a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. This results in an automatic DUI charge without further proof.

The second way to face a DUI charge is if you appear impaired despite the fact that your BAC isn't over the limit. For instance, your BAC might be .05 percent, but if you cannot stand or speak clearly, the officer may believe you are too intoxicated to drive.

In PA, radar guns are still a no no. But is that changing?

Officers nationwide use radar guns to enforce speed limits and catch drivers who may be breaking the law. Nationwide—except in Pennsylvania, where local police officers are banned from using the technology, making it the only municipality nationwide that has such limits. The technology in Pennsylvania is strictly reserved for state troopers.

But that may be changing according to a new article from The Inquirer. Now, a bill that would allow local police the right to use radar technology has advanced through the state legislature—whether or not it will pass is still up for debate.

Pennsylvania seeks to stiffen repeat DUI offender penalties

While the Keystone State does have some harsh punishments for DUI convictions such as hefty fines and jail time, it is one of the more lenient states on the controversial matter. Last year, the personal finance website WalletHub found Pennsylvania to be the 43rd strictest state on DUI laws, ultimately ranking near the bottom of the list. This is due to the state having low minimum sentences on DUI offenses and not charging an automatic felony no matter how many times the suspect did it.

With the still present threat of drunk drivers on the road, Pennsylvania lawmakers have recently proposed a bill that adds further punishment for certain types of DUI convictions. Both the House and Senate passed the bill unanimously, and now it will go to Governor Tom Wolf for signing. It primarily targets those with repeat DUI offenses, so anyone that could be facing those charges soon should learn how this new law will impact their penalties.

Know what to do if you're pulled over by the police

It is important for someone who is pulled over for reckless driving to make sure they don't go on to face a DUI. Sometimes, people drive dangerously not because they are intoxicated but instead because they were distracted.

If you have any alcohol in your bloodstream, then it's possible that you could face charges in the case of being pulled over. An officer can ask to take your breath sample if you drive recklessly. Then, the officer might decide to arrest you even if you don't have a BAC over the legal limit.

DUI defense: Know your right to an attorney

Drunk drivers know that they're not as in control of their vehicles as they would be while sober, but people still make the mistake of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. It's a tragic offense to make since that simple error could result in a crash, injuries and fatalities.

The good news is that drunk-driving crashes have reduced over time thanks to efforts from groups such as MADD and government agencies. Even better are the ride-sharing services and local bus lines that make it simpler to get where you need to go without taking your own vehicle.

What penalties will you face after DUI arrest?

Seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror after a night out with friends may be your worst nightmare. Even worse is when they arrest you for driving under the influence. Now that you have been arrested, what penalties will you face? This post will look at the different penalties for a first, second and third DUI.


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