Driving: Operation of the Vehicle

Driving as an Element of a Pennsylvania DUI Charge

The district attorney in your Pennsylvania DUI case has the burden of proving your guilt in every element of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of a Pennsylvania DUI charge are that you were driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or violated Pennsylvania's "per se" laws, meaning that you're accused of having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or greater.

Because the district attorney must prove every element of a Pennsylvania DUI charge in order to convict you, he or she must establish that you were in fact driving a "vehicle." This isn't always as clear cut as it seems. The Pennsylvania DUI attorneys at Zachary B. Cooper, Attorney at Law, P.C. will examine every aspect of your driving under the influence case to determine whether this element can be challenged.

Our justice system is built upon the premise that you are innocent until proven guilty, and that every juror must be convinced of your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you. Therefore, if just one juror has doubts about even one element of your guilt in a Pennsylvania DUI charge, you cannot be convicted.

Every state has its own definition of a vehicle. In Pennsylvania, cars, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters are all considered vehicles. Planes and boats are covered by separate statutes that govern the consumption of alcohol.

If your Pennsylvania DUI charge cannot be challenged on the basis of the 'vehicle' element of the offense, it's entirely possible that it can be fought on the basis of one or more separate issues. The Pennsylvania DUI defense attorneys at Zachary B. Cooper, Attorney at Law, P.C. can analyze your case to determine the most promising challenges.