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West Chester Family Law Blog

Common medications may impact your BAC

You may currently have a prescription for medication that you need to take for any number of conditions. You never leave home without the pill bottle because you know if you get pulled over, the police may arrest you for not having them secure.

Did you know that many common drugs interact with blood alcohol concentration? If you find yourself on the receiving end of a traffic stop on suspicion of driving under the influence, you may quickly learn that one beer mixed with your medication lands you in one of Pennsylvania's three DUI categories.

How much does a Pennsylvania DUI affect auto insurance rates?

As someone who has had the unfortunate experience of having authorities pull you over and question whether you had been drinking, you may have valid concerns about how the penalties you potentially face, if convicted, may impact your life. The criminal penalties associated with a driving under the influence conviction in Pennsylvania are substantial, and you may wind up spending time behind bars and shelling out considerable money on fines, among other possible repercussions.

While these penalties can make it decidedly more difficult for you to get a job, hold down that job and otherwise manage your day-to-day life, a Pennsylvania DUI can also have a significant impact on your auto insurance rates moving forward. So, what type of auto insurance increase might you face in the wake of a DUI conviction?

Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

As the parent of a Pennsylvania college student, you probably gave your child some words of wisdom before he or she left the nest, but how confident are you that your child will heed that advice? For many students, college is a time of experimentation, but in some cases, experimenting can lead to unanticipated – and highly serious – repercussions.

For example, if authorities arrest and convict your child on a drug-related criminal charge, your child may face fines, possible jail time and other sanctions, but he or she may, too, have to deal with collateral consequences. Collateral consequences are repercussions for his or her actions that do not come straight from the court system, and one such consequence of a drug conviction can be a loss of financial aid eligibility.

Did you know that breathalyzer tests may not be accurate?

If law enforcement pulls you over on suspicion of drunk driving and you submit to a breath test, you assume that whatever the breathalyzer test shows will make or break your case.

However, an incident that occurred in Philadelphia shows that breathalyzers can have accuracy issues.

How a conviction can affect your child's college career

College can be an exciting time filled with new responsibilities as well as new freedoms. Unfortunately, sometimes those freedoms can lead to circumstances in which your college student faces criminal charges. Underage drinking is one quite common way that college students come into contact with the criminal justice system, as is driving under the influence.

If law enforcement arrested your college student and charged him or her with a crime, whether it is alcohol- or drug-related or a different offense such as assault or theft, it is very important that you proceed in a strategic way to ensure a solid defense. A criminal record during your child's college years can scar his or her future in serious ways and can prevent access to opportunities for education and work.

Calculating the cost of DUI

The rate of alcohol-related crashes has gone down in the state of Pennsylvania in recent years. Although there were over 11,000 crashes that occurred as a result of a driver being under the influence of alcohol in 2011, that number dropped to 10,558 by 2015. 

There are a number of reasons to avoid driving a vehicle while intoxicated. When the police arrest someone for DUI, that person may face jail time and other consequences that last for years. However, there are also the financial costs associated with a DUI that can genuinely bankrupt a person. 

Will a DUI affect your child’s college admission hopes?

Let us say your son Scott is at the point of considering colleges. His grades are good, and a scholarship might be available. Like many parents, however, you have concerns that one move may interfere with the best-conceived college plans. In Scott’s case, the concern is that a mark on his driving record may make enrollment difficult, if not impossible.

Some college applications ask for information about arrests and convictions. How should Scott answer such questions so that he still has a chance at enrollment?

DUI and license suspension in PA

A DUI conviction in Pennsylvania often brings a variety of unwanted consequences. In addition to legal penalties, which could include fines and jail time, license suspension is a frequent result of a DUI.

After your conviction, the court will send a notice to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The Department will then send you a notification stating the effective date and the term of your suspension. You must turn in your license by the time your suspension begins.

The consequences of having traffic violations on your record

The effects of a traffic violation on your record can cost you money and time and be extremely inconvenient. When you are pulled over for a traffic violation, the last thing you want is for it to end up on your permanent record, as it may affect you for several years. The consequences of traffic violations are far-reaching, and you should always be cognizant of them when you are driving.

Increased costs for car insurance

What health conditions can affect a field sobriety test?

When a police officer stops a driver suspected of driving drunk, he or she will probably administer a field sobriety test. As its name implies, this is an on-the-spot test targeting the physical and mental capacities typically impaired by excess alcohol consumption. Failing this test can be one of the grounds for DUI charges.

However, a widely documented problem with the field sobriety test is that it fails to account for numerous factors, other than alcohol, that can inhibit performance, including a wide range of health conditions. While some drivers are able to let officers know up front about any conditions, others may feel too intimidated to speak up. Although police officers are supposed to get training on the proper administration of the field sobriety test, some may neglect to make sure there are no relevant medical conditions present.


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