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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Montgomery County DUI Traffic Stops

In a regular routine traffic stop for DUI in Montgomery County, a person should expect an officer to put their lights and sirens on, ask the driver to pull over after following them for a few blocks, and approach the vehicle’s driver’s side. The officer will then ask some questions while making observations of the driver to determine whether a breath and/or blood test is necessary.

If you have been stopped for a DUI in Montgomery County, contact a Montgomery County DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

Standard Operating Procedures in Montgomery County

During such a stop, an officer may ask an individual to step out of the car and perform three field sobriety tests. If it is a case involving a state trooper in Montgomery County, 90 percent of all tests are videotaped for evidence of exactly what the trooper and the individual denying the alcohol or drug use said. A video will play, the person will participate in the field sobriety tests, and, depending on the results of those tests, the officer will make a determination as to whether a blood and/or alcohol test will be necessary to test their BAC.

Should a person pass the test, the officer will let them go on their way with any traffic violations they may have caused or they will be taken to the police station for a Breathalyzer test or the nearest hospital for a blood draw.

In Montgomery County, once that occurs, an officer will often take the person’s information and their fingerprints, and allow the person to call a family member to come pick them up.

If the process is handled properly and that individual is able to obtain the right lawyer at the earliest possible time, all of these steps can be avoided if the breath and/or blood results could be challenged at the very beginning.

If a challenge is made, the officer has to think twice and, in many cases, an arrest is never made. Therefore, selecting an experienced Montgomery County DUI criminal defense attorney is at the heart of any defense in any DUI attempted prosecution in Montgomery County.

When You See Sirens in Your Rearview Mirror

In Montgomery County, like the rest of Pennsylvania, every detail of any DUI stop is specific to that particular DUI stop. Therefore, should an officer put their lights and sirens on behind the vehicle and motion for that vehicle to pull over, the traffic code in Pennsylvania, as well as in Montgomery County, requires the operator of the vehicle being followed pull over at the first available safe location.

In most cases, an officer will guide an individual to the safe location to pull over. Upon seeing the lights and sirens, the driver should slow their vehicle to below speed limit, acknowledge with a blinker that they are attempting to pull over, and only pull over in a safe, well-lit area with enough room so not to cause any injuries to individuals or travelers who might also be operating on the road.

A Pennsylvania state trooper or police officer cannot use the fact that an individual sought out a safe location to pull over their car against them. Therefore, it is essential, and often indicative that a person is able to operate a motor vehicle safely, that a person cooperates fully with police and pulls over in a safe location, using judgment that a person driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol would not be able to do.

Typical Montgomery County Day Time Traffic Stops

A daytime stop for DUI, or any other traffic infraction in Montgomery County, should be handled in a similar fashion to a nighttime stop. Once an officer puts their lights and sirens on and requests the vehicle to pull over, the vehicle should pull over at the next available safe location.

Once that is done, the person should not do anything until the officer approaches the vehicle. In most cases, the officer will remain in the patrol car, call backup just to let them know they are making a traffic stop, and run the plates of the vehicle to determine whether there are any problems with registration and insurance.

The officer will often approach the driver’s side with a partner, if available, on the passenger’s side and request the window be rolled down to observe the driver, the occupants, and any items which might be in the car, as well as ask for general information, such as a license, registration and insurance.

The officer will often take that information back to their patrol car and run it to determine its viability. If they feel that they smell alcohol in the person or if they feel that the person has bloodshot eyes, which is indicative of DUI, the person will be taken out of the vehicle, night time or day time, and subjected to on-site examinations and/or field sobriety tests before the person will be requested to take a blood and/or a Breathalyzer test.

Standard Night Time Traffic Stops in Montgomery County

During a nighttime stop, you have to take into account that an officer is often at a higher level of scrutiny and security, and often will do things, while similar to a day time stop, but in a more controlled fashion.

It is harder to see into a vehicle at night time, so the person should expect an officer to approach the vehicle with a flashlight after running its credentials and ordering the individual to do specifically what the officer wants. Keep your hands in plain view, get your paperwork, and dothings of that nature.

These are only safety precautions. At the same time, the officer is making observations to determine whether this person should undergo field sobriety test for DUI as well as a blood and/or Breathalyzer test.

Night time stops and day time stops are consistent with one another. Comply with all commands by the police. Be respectful and never act unless told. A driver should never get out of the car before the officer approaches. A driver should never open the door of the vehicle unless ordered to by police. A person should sit until told what to do, and that is for the safety of both the individual and police officer.