The majority of DUI cases begin when police initiate a traffic stop and pull you over. You could be stopped on suspicion of DUI based on a radio call or because you were driving in a reckless or careless manner, such as weaving between lanes, drifting, speeding, or running a red light. However, more often than not, the stop is for some innocent reason, such as a failure to put on your turn signal or expired inspection stickers. Police approach the car and claim to smell a strong odor of alcohol or marijuana emanating from you or the vehicle. Sometimes, they say they even see an open container of alcohol or a half-smoked joint inside the car. At that point, police will ask the driver to leave the car.
If stopped on the highways around the Philadelphia metropolitan area, a state trooper may perform field sobriety tests to make a determination regarding whether to arrest on suspicion of DUI-DWI. Philadelphia police officers are not trained to conduct such tests. Instead, if they suspect you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will immediately transport you to the PDU, also known as “The Roundhouse,” where you will meet with an AID (Accident Investigation Division) Officer. One of the best defenses to a DUI is to challenge the officer’s reason for stopping you in the first place. If the initial stop is invalid, all observations and chemical testing completed after that must be suppressed or excluded from your trial, thereby crippling the prosecution’s ability to prove its case against you.