Month: January 2014

Pa. Lawmakers Seek Expansion of Ignition Interlock Usage in DUI Cases

car keys-gavel-liquorAccording to a recent report by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, potentially ground-breaking legislation regarding ignition interlock usage in DUI cases is pending before the state Senate Transportation Committee. Sen. John Rafferty, R-Montgomery, has proposed Senate Bill 1036, which expands the ignition interlock program to include first-time DUI offenders. As Pennsylvania DUI attorney Steven E. Kellis can tell you, current Pennsylvania law provides that only repeat DUI offenders are required to install interlock devices on their vehicles as a condition of their ability to drive.

Ignition interlock devices are installed on vehicles to prevent motorists from driving drunk. A driver must blow into the device before the vehicle will start. If the device measures the driver’s blood-alcohol level to be 0.025 percent or greater, then the vehicle will not start, even though the legal blood-alcohol content level for drivers is 0.08 percent in the state of Pennsylvania.

Under the proposed bill, first-time DUI offenders may choose to have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicles for a certain period of time instead of losing their driver’s licenses.… Read More

Police Officer Sentenced, but Dodges DUI Homicide

Benjamin NussbaumA Pittsburgh police officer has been sentenced one to two years on work release from a halfway house, followed by six months’ house arrest, after an off-duty motorcycle crash that killed his fiancee’s friend.

Adam Lewis, 31, apologized to the family of Jessica Lojak, 28, who was killed in an accident that happened on Sept. 26, 2010 at 2:30 a.m.

Lewis was convicted on involuntary manslaughter but was acquitted of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol. An Allegheny County judge pronounced sentence on Lewis on Monday.

Lewis’ conviction holds him responsible for Lojak’s death; however, it does not infer that Lewis’ intoxication was the direct cause of her death.

Lojak was attending a bachelorette party before she was killed. Lewis was giving her a ride home. At the time of the accident, Lewis’ blood alcohol content (BAC) was measured at 0.11 percent. The legal limit within the state of Pennsylvania is .08 percent for drivers.… Read More

Vehicular Homicide Charges Filed in Underage DUI Case

RojerA 19-year-old driver has been charged with vehicular homicide while driving under the influence in an accident in June. That accident claimed the life of a college volleyball player.

Charges were filed Thursday against Ethan Kenney, of Dunbar. Kenney was 18 at the time of the crash that killed Catherine “Cat” Healy, 19, at about 4:00 a.m. on June 9th of last year.

According to State police, Healy had been the passenger in a pickup truck when the driver of the vehicle went out of control, striking guard rail then a tree. Underage drinking is just the smallest part of this case. Since his actions resulted in the death of another, he faces a far more serious charge of vehicular homicide.

The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis specialize in DUI defense lawsuits. Mr. Kellis has over 20 years of experience and has been on both sides of DUI cases. Steven Kellis has prosecuted and defended those who have been involved in DUI accidents that resulted in fatalities.… Read More

Father and Son Lead Police on Chase

Nevele Otseog

A father and son have been arrested after having led police officers on a lengthy chase Saturday night.

According to official reports, Pennsauken Police officers were pursuing a Dodge Caravan in Philadelphia. The driver of the vehicle, Jacob Allen, 20, and his father, 45-year-old Scott Allen, both have warrants for their arrest in connection with several area burglaries.

Police say that the Dodge Caravan struck several police vehicles as well as a Hess terminal during the chase.

During the pursuit, Philadelphia Police officers took over as the suspects drove through the streets of Manayunk. The chase finally ended near the intersection of Ridge Avenue and Conarroe Street in Roxborough shortly after 9:00 p.m. when an officer in pursuit managed to pin the Caravan against a parking meter.

Once stopped, police say that both father and son were then taken into custody. Authorities state that Scott Allen also has an active warrant for his arrest out of Woodbury, New Jersey.… Read More

Drunk Mayor Caught Dancing on Police Dashcam

The mayor of Waxhaw, Daune Gardner, was recently for suspicion of drinking and driving this past June. While officers attempted to administer field sobriety tests, the mayor was captured on law enforcement dash cam disco dancing. Video just released shows the mayor who had a blood alcohol content of .18 percent.

Mayor Gardner pleaded guilty to DUI charges this week and is currently on probation. City commissioners also punished the mayor for allegedly using taxpayer money to buy alcohol and other unauthorized purchases. City officials state that the mayor is prohibited from going on out of town trips until all monies are repaid.

Even people in positions of power can be arrested for DUI. No matter where you go, drunken driving is considered a crime. Most people believe that once they have been arrested for drunken driving, there is no way to fight it. Many don’t realize that this is not always the case.… Read More

Snow Plow Stops Drunk Driver

An alleged drunk driver who was going the wrong way on the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago was stopped by a snow plow early Saturday morning.

According to the Illinois State Police, reports came in of a van driving outbound in the inbound Kennedy express lanes near Ohio Street came in just before 3:00 a.m.

NBC PhiladelphiaThe driver of the snow plow was with the Illinois Department of Transportation and was in the reversible express lanes when he was notified of the wrong-way driver. The snow plow driver was able to get in front of the van and stop it.

Police said the driver took out six gates before entering the express lanes and was charged with driving under the influence Saturday morning.

No one was injured in the accident.

A DUI charge is no laughing matter. When you are facing a potential conviction of a DUI offense, serious consequences can result if you are found guilty.… Read More

Bud Light to Publish PSA Featuring Former DUI Offender

Chris WaitsA public service announcement for Bud Light during the game on Super Bowl Sunday will feature one of the most dominant players in all of pro-football history. He is also a convicted drunk driver.

All-time National Football League sack leader, Bruce Smith, who played a combined 19 seasons with the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins before retiring in 2003,: “I disappointed myself and those close to me.”

Smith urges viewers: “Please, learn from my story and make sure a safe ride home is also part of your game plan.”

This is Anheuser-Busch’s first PSA message which features a celebrity that has been convicted of drunken driving.

Smith was arrested in 2009 near his Virginia Beach home after being out with business associates and consuming “several” glasses of wine. Today, whenever Smith goes out with friends, he has a designated driver who is a former Virginia state trooper.

Smith people get his message.… Read More

Former Convicted DUI Violator Caught Allegedly Running Drugs

ISAFAltoona Police say that two men that just returned from Baltimore to Altoona with raw heroin have been arrested on felony drug charges.

According to police reports, at approximately 3:22 p.m., officers from Altoona police and members of the Blair County Drug Task Force placed Devon Nakia Rochester, 38, under arrest. Rochester was reported to having had more than a dozen capsules containing heroin that he had hidden in his underwear.

Rochester had been riding as a passenger in a gold 1994 Honda driven by David Robenholt, 23, of Tyrone. The men had just returned from a road trip to Baltimore, where they allegedly they bought the drugs for approximately $1000.

After the purchase, the purchased amount of heroin, which was approximately 10 grams in weight, it would then have made up into an estimated 250 bags that carries an estimated value on the street of $5,000.

The men were detained without incident and a warrant was obtained to search Robenholt’s vehicle.… Read More

Justin Bieber Arrested for DUI

Justin Bieber arrested on drag-racing, DUI charges

Teen pop star Justin Bieber has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and drag racing Thursday morning.

According to authorities, Bieber was driving a rented yellow Lamborghini and was drag racing early Thursday morning. Officers stopped the star and administered field sobriety tests. Bieber showed “signs of impairment” and failed the field sobriety test. He was taken into custody along with an associate who was also charged with DUI.

This is Beiber’s first arrest and comes less than a week after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies used a felony search warrant to raid Bieber’s mansion. They investigated his alleged involvement in a January 9th egg attack on a neighbor’s home causing an estimated $20,000 in damages.

Deputies have also investigated reports by Bieber’s neighbors that he raced his expensive sports car down the streets of the exclusive Oaks community of Calabasas, California and has spit on neighbors in the area as well.… Read More

Not All Accidents Involve Alcohol

scottc320A couple was injured after an accident in Penn’s Landing early on Sunday.

Police indicate that a man and woman were inside an SUV that was travelling North on Delaware Avenue at around 12:00 a.m. They were struck by another vehicle which caused their vehicle to overturn.  Emergency crews were called to the scene and were able to free the couple from their vehicle.

They were then transported to Hahnemann University Hospital to be treated for their injuries. No other injuries were reported and no word of the couple’s condition has been released.

We talk a lot about DUI cases in this blog, but there are many other accidents that happen that don’t have alcohol as a factor. That’s one of the reasons why we work so hard for our clients who have been accused of DUI. Just because they were involved, or even caused, a nasty wreck does not mean that they were drunk at the time.… Read More