Golf club and golf ball close up in grass field with sunset

What We Learn from Tiger Woods’ DUI

Tiger Woods typically makes the news because of his play on the green. This time, he’s made headlines due to choices he made before getting behind the wheel of his vehicle. Last month, Woods was arrested and charged with being under the influence of prescription drugs while sleeping behind the wheel.

According to reports, officers located Woods stopped in the right lane of a street, car running, flat tires and other damage, and Woods was sleeping. When officers woke him up, Woods did not know where he was. He was asked to perform field sobriety tests and he refused. Officers administered a breathalyzer and results showed that the pro golfer had no alcohol in his system.

While Woods’ arrest is disheartening to his fans and others, there are three lessons that we can all learn.

1. Driving Under the Influence Doesn’t Always Mean “Drunk”

There are laws in the books in every state against drugged driving.Read More

man holding hashish in the car

Drug DUIs on the Rise in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania saw 53,000 DUI arrests in 2016. Half of those, according to AAA, involved drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Many of the cases of drugged driving involve prescription medications and not illegal narcotics. Drugged driving is on the rise in Pennsylvania, and law enforcement officials are being put through training to detect it.

Officers are being taught how to look for and notice signs of impairment. Alcohol impairment is one thing and, for most officers, easily recognizable. In addition, testing someone for alcohol use is fairly straightforward and quick. The same cannot be said for recognizing and testing for prescription medications or other drugs.

Drug Recognition Expert Coordinator for the Pennsylvania State Police, Cpl. Scott Davis, worries that drugged driving will continue to get worse as marijuana becomes a legal substance in more states. The Pennsylvania DUI Association agrees. They support the training that the law enforcement officers are taking on.Read More

american flag waving in the wind

Stay Safe This Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer season, even though summer doesn’t officially start for a few more weeks. According to the National Safety Council, the weekend can be a deadly one for those on the road. Using statistics, members of the Council estimate that there will be 40,000 injuries and over 380 deaths over the weekend. You can do your part by making sure that you, your friends and family are practicing safety.

Drinking

For some, alcohol is a part of barbecues and other cookouts. If you are of legal age, there is nothing wrong with consuming a beverage or two. The problem stems from overconsumption. It is also risky to combine alcohol and other activities such as grilling, swimming and driving.

Do not consume alcohol in excess. This is especially true if you are going to be outdoors in the sun. The sun and heat will exacerbate the effects of alcohol and you will dehydrate more quickly.Read More

closeup inside vehicle of hand holding onto green beer bottle and stick shift

Pennsylvania’s Open Container Law

You’re planning on going out with friends for a few “adult beverages.” You get picked to be the driver, which means your drinks will be soft. On the way to the bar, one of your passengers cracks open a cold one moments before you are pulled over by the police. Your  get charged with open container. But how?

Open Container Laws in Pennsylvania

The open container laws as they stand throughout the state pertain to both drivers and passengers. No person in your vehicle, despite being legally of age to drink alcohol, can have an open container in a motor vehicle. It also does not matter if the person with the open container has consumed the alcohol. Any alcoholic beverages in a motor vehicle must be sealed.

21 Is No Defense

Again, it does not matter if a person is 21 or older if they are found to have an open container in a motor vehicle.Read More

Car key on the bar with spilled alcohol and empty bottles

When Police Get Charged with DUI

People tend to think that police abide by the law at all times. We picture them as upstanding citizens, and that’s a natural assumption — most are. What happens when the police run afoul of the law and find themselves arrested? A story recently hit the news in Pennsylvania that answers just this question.

An Overview

An officer with the Erie Bureau of Police was driving her off-duty vehicle on February 18 when she crossed the center line. She ran headlong into another car, causing the driver of that car to be fatally injured. She was charged with several felonies, including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by DUI and homicide by vehicle. Her bond was set at $75,000.

The Accident

According to reports, the officer was driving under the influence of alcohol when she crossed the centerline. She hit one car head on and then another ended up involved in the collision.… Read More

Evening light on the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

New Bill Would Increase Penalties for Repeat DUIs

A new bill has been introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate that would increase penalties for those who are repeat offenders for driving under the influence. Under the proposed Senate Bill 635, introduced by Senator Scott Martin (R-Lancaster), drivers who are convicted of more than two DUIs within 10 years would be punished by no less than two years in prison.

In addition, there would be a maximum fine of $15,000. In addition, a repeat offender who causes the death of someone else while driving under the influence could be charged with third degree murder instead of vehicular homicide.

This bill was introduced, according to Sen. Scott Martin, because the state’s current laws regarding repeat DUI offenders are too lax and ineffective.

“We have seen far too many tragedies in which innocent citizens have been victimized by the recklessness of others,” Martin said. “We need to make sure repeat offenders face a punishment that matches the dangerous nature of the crime.”

More About the Bill

Senate Bill 635 was proposed after a series of car wrecks caused by repeat DUI offenders.Read More

Hand Holding Small Marijuana Leaf with Indoor Cannabis Plants in Background

National Cannabis Awareness Month: DUIs and Weed

April is National Cannabis Awareness Month. Like with other awareness months, this one aims to bring facts about the plant to light. While those who support the use of marijuana for recreational and medicinal use want people to know that the drug is a safe and useful one, those opposed to its recreational use want people to be aware of its potential dangers.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of drivers who admit to driving while stoned has grown by 50 percent since a survey taken in 2007. At that time, the number of drivers who admitted to driving after smoking marijuana was 8.6 percent. That number rose to 12.6 percent in 2014 and is expected to be higher today.

Drivers who tested positive for some type of substance that would impair driving was 22 percent in 2014. Those substances include both legal and illegal drugs and medications.Read More

Closeup on bottle and glass of lager beer on black background

Judge Charged with DUI in Reading

A judge in the Berks County magisterial district was recently arrested for driving under the influence and careless driving. Reading police say they received a call complaining about a car swerving into oncoming traffic while it was driving down Kutztown Road and North Ninth Street, both within city limits. When the police pulled her over, they noticed she was likely intoxicated.

The responding officers said they could smell alcohol on her breath. When they conducted field sobriety tests, they determined she may have been driving under the influence. As such, they arrested the judge and took her to the Penn State St. Joseph Medical Center. There, a blood test revealed her blood alcohol content was .188 percent. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is 0.08 percent.

Before the DUI

Before the judge got behind the wheel, she was allegedly drinking at a bar in Muhlenberg Township. At one point in the night, she placed her head on the bar to rest.Read More

young female driver being subject to test for alcohol content with use of breathalyzer

What Causes False Positives for Breathalyzers?

Many people have heard of the strange things people try to do to defeat breathalyzer tests. From putting a penny in your mouth to chewing gum, very few things, if any, will show that you are sober when you aren’t. There are things, however, that can cause a false positive, and people need to be aware of them.

1. Mouthwash

Mouthwash has been said to throw off the reading of a breathalyzer test. Unfortunately, swigging mouthwash can skew the results in favor of the arresting officer. Mouthwash has a high alcohol content and can cause you to blow in such a way that you appear intoxicated, or more intoxicated than you are.

2. Vaping

Thousands of people have turned to vaping as an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes. If you are hooked on an electronic cigarette, you may want to keep it tucked in your pocket if you have been out drinking.Read More