Super Bowl Sunday: Touchdowns Not Trouble - Avoiding the Penalty Flag of a DUI in Pennsylvania
Feb. 11, 2024
The Super Bowl is upon us, promising a day of touchdowns, epic commercials, and friendly competition. But for some, the excitement can take a dangerous turn, leading to impaired driving and potentially life-altering consequences. As a criminal defense firm, we want to ensure your celebration stays on the winning side with this guide to responsible partying and avoiding a DUI charge in Pennsylvania:
The Dangers of the Field:
Driving under the influence (DUI) is never acceptable, and Super Bowl Sunday statistics paint a grim picture. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports a 38% increase in alcohol-related fatalities during Super Bowl weekends. Here's why you should ditch the keys:
Impaired Judgment: Alcohol significantly slows reaction times, impairs decision-making, and reduces coordination, making you a danger to yourself and others on the road.
Zero Tolerance: Pennsylvania has a strict zero-tolerance policy for DUI. Any detectable amount of alcohol in your system above the legal limit of 0.08% BAC can lead to arrest, regardless of how "fine" you feel.
Amplified Consequences: Super Bowl-related DUIs typically carry harsher penalties, including harsher fines, longer license suspensions, and even jail time.
Game Plan for Safety:
Now for the winning plays:
Designate a Driver: Choose a responsible friend or family member who will remain sober throughout the celebration to drive everyone home safely.
Ride-Sharing Apps: Utilize readily available ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Let them handle the traffic and navigation while you enjoy the game.
Public Transportation: Many cities offer expanded public transportation options on major holidays. Plan your route and avoid the hassle of finding parking.
Host or Stay Put: Offer your place as the gathering spot or choose a location within walking distance. Remember, responsible hosting includes providing non-alcoholic options and encouraging designated drivers.
Intercepted: What to Do If Pulled Over:
Even with precautions, unexpected situations arise. If pulled over, here's what to remember:
Stay Calm and Cooperative: Be respectful and avoid arguing with the officer. Remember, they are doing their job.
Do Not Consent to Field Sobriety Tests: These tests are voluntary and often inaccurate. Politely decline and request a breathalyzer test, which provides a more precise measurement.
Know Your Rights: Remain silent and do not answer any questions beyond identifying yourself and providing your license and registration. Request to speak to an attorney immediately.
Seek Legal Counsel: A DUI charge can have serious consequences. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible is crucial to protect your rights and explore your options.
Super Bowl Sunday should be a day of celebration, not regret. By prioritizing safety and making informed choices, you can ensure a winning night for everyone. However, if you find yourself facing a DUI charge, our firm is here to help. Contact us for a free consultation and let us navigate the legal process with you.
Kick-off your celebration responsibly and enjoy the Super Bowl the right way!