In order to enforce Pennsylvania DUI laws in Centre County more aggressively, members of the Ferguson, Patton, and Spring Township police departments recently conducted roving patrols that focused on enforcement of traffic violations. The increased effort led to the issuance of 32 traffic citations, 2 Underage Drinking non-traffic summary citations, and 5 driving under the influence arrests. When the police believe a person has committed a summary violation, such as Underage Drinking, Public Drunkenness, or Possession of a False Identification Card, the officer generally issues a ticket immediately. A person has 10 days in which to either plead guilty or not guilty to a summary violation. If a not-guilty plea is entered, then the State College judge will schedule a summary trial.
When the offenses are more severe, such as DUIs or Possession of Marijuana, the charges are not filed immediately. Instead, days, weeks, or even months after the incident, the police will file the charges with the court, and the court then mails the charges to the person. In State College driving under the influence cases, the officers normally transport the DUI suspect to the Mount Nittany Medical Center for a blood draw, and the blood is then sent to a lab for alcohol concentration testing. After the officer receives the results of the tests, the officer then files charges with the court.
Confusion from Centre County DUI Arrests
Many people involved in DUI investigations are confused by the process. They are surprised that they were arrested, subjected to blood testing, taken for fingerprinting and mugshots, but then released without receiving any paperwork regarding charges or court appearances. The suspect also questions why Miranda warnings were not issued. I try to answer many of the common Pennsylvania DUI questions on my website at www.mystatecollegelawyer.com.