Skip to main content

Can I get a dui if I wasn't arrested?

Pittsburgh, PA |

I wrecked my car, onstar notified the police, they came and released me to my mothers custody since I was already home, they knew I had been drinking but did not arrest me. I wrecked the car into my mothers house and it had to be towed, I went to to hospital just to get checked out, but no police officer followed.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 7


I'm not a Pennsylvania lawyer, so keep that in mind when reading this answer.
If the police did not perform any roadside sobriety tests, or a breathalyzer test, then you will not be charged with a DUI simply because they have no way to prove the case. Sounds like you dodged a bullet here.


Just to follow up, the only possible way they could prove their case is if you had blood drawn at the hospital and it was tested for blood alcohol levels, but if they were going to do that, they would have arrested you first and then had you transported to the hospital.


I agree with Mr. Tomas. It sounds like you dodged a bullet. Please use it as a warning that you need help if you are drinking and driving. The next time somebody - possibly you, could get killed.

The police would have to get a court order or issue a subpoena for the results of the blood test the hospital conducted. If they did, the hospital would probably notify you before turning it over to them. If you get such a notice contact a lawyer immediately. Good luck.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.


I am a Pennsylvania lawyer, so keep that in mind when I ask you some more questions before I say you "dodged a bullet."

At the hospital, did they draw blood? Did they ask you to perform any field sobriety tests? Did they issue you a citation for anything? These are important questions that must be answered before any attorney can render advice.


I assume that you did not take a breathalyzer, have not received a summons and thus are simply worried about charges. However, if they took your blood at the hospital, there might be a record that could lead to your prosecution. However, absent such evidence, they would be unable to prove their case.



I practice in PA and I disagree with Mr. Tomas. In PA you can be charged with a DUI whether you have been arrested or not. You can be charged by criminal complaint and summons which does not require an arrest. The police also do not need a blood test or a field sobriety test to charge you. You can be charged if a Police officer feels in his experience you are intoxicated to a degree which renders you incapable of safe driving. Is that harder to prove? Sure it is? However it does happen.

I would agree however that it looks like you dodged a bullet here.


Even if you were not placed under arrest, you can still be charged with DUI in Pennsylvania. If the police suspected drinking, they can subpoena blood that was drawn while you were at the hospital. You can simply receive a summons with a date for your preliminary hearing on the matter Also, if the police can establish that you refused a blood or breath test, then they can charge you with the highes level of BAC in Pennsylvania which carries the highest penalties as well as suspension on your license for refusing hte test.

Avvo DUI email series

Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer