Year: 2016

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Underage DUI Laws in Pennsylvania

The legal drinking age in Pennsylvania, like in all states in the nation, is 21. Any person under the age of 21 who chooses to consume alcohol recreationally is breaking the law. There are no exceptions. Drivers on the road who are under 21 account for less than 10 percent of all drivers, but they account for 12 percent of all fatalities linked to driving under the influence in Pennsylvania. This is only according to a single survey, but the numbers are startling nonetheless. Penalties for underage drinkers are harsher than those who consume alcohol legally.

The legal limit of alcohol in the blood for an adult driver is .08. The legal BAC for a person under the age of 21 is .02. If a driver under the age of 21 registers a .02 or higher when given a BAC test, they can be arrested for driving under the influence.Read More

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What Happens to My Commercial License After a DUI?

If you have a commercial drivers license (CDL) in Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction can jeopardize not only your career, but your livelihood. While the penalties for a driving under the influence conviction are harsh for any driver, they are enhanced for anyone holding a CDL, specifically when the DUI occurs while driving a commercial vehicle.

It is a common misconception that nothing can happen to a CDL if a DUI occurs in a personal vehicle on personal time. This is quite simply untrue. Understanding what can happen to your CDL license if you are convicted of a DUI can help you make the best choices. Here is what can happen to you and your license.

Lower BAC

In the state of Pennsylvania, the legal limit for BAC is .08. If you have a CDL and are driving a commercial vehicle when you are pulled over, the legal limit drops to .04.Read More

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Uber Testing Self-Driving Cars in Pennsylvania

Since its inception, Uber has become an easy way for people to get home who may otherwise drive drunk. However, those rides can be pretty pricey, depending on when they are needed. Now, Uber is looking to cut down those costs and make rides safer by introducing self-driving cars into their fleet. The first test of automated cars started on September 14 in Pittsburgh.

While this shift away from human drivers has been met with some resistance — namely, Uber drivers who rely on providing this service to make a living — it has overall been hailed as a push toward the future. However, Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, has said the transition could take decades to complete. By that time, we could all have self-driving cars in our garages. Plus, Uber will still need operators to take over, should something go wrong with the car’s computer systems (however unlikely). One thing is for sure: With self-driving cars becoming more prominent, DUI accidents could drop dramatically.Read More

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PA One of Most Lenient States for DUI

Every year, personal finance site WalletHub releases a detailed study regarding each state’s strictness on driving under the influence. Factors include jail time, fines, license suspensions and other consequences. What they found this year is that more and more states are cracking down on drunk drivers, forcing potential offenders to rethink their actions. As such, drunk driving fatalities fell by nearly 60 percent from 1982 to 2014.

WalletHub found that the strictest states are Arizona and Georgia. They both have minimum sentencing and stringent fines for driving under the influence. Pennsylvania, however, seems more lax on the matter. Our state ranked 48th overall. While this may seem like a good sign for drivers who do decide to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, there are more serious consequences to consider. Namely, other drivers and pedestrians are more at risk from repeat offenders.

An Overview of Pennsylvania’s Laws

If you are charged with drinking and driving, and it is your first offense, there is no minimum jail sentence.Read More

Man Charged with DUI After Crashing into House

A Philadelphia man has found himself under arrest and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after he drove his car into a home in the Oxford Circle area.

According to authorities, the accident occurred just after 7:00 p.m., when a man driving a 2012 black Nissan was traveling at a high rate of speed.

The 33-year-old driver lost control of his vehicle and landed on the lawn of a property in the 6400 block of Algon Avenue before it struck the house.

Law enforcement officials indicate that the driver, whose identity has not been released, suffered bruises to his arms and legs. The home suffered structural damage from the accident. A woman who was home at the time of the crash suffered no injury.

Police arrested the man on the charge of DUI.

There are serious penalties if you are convicted of DUI or DWI in the state of Pennsylvania.Read More

Drunk Driver Hits and Kills Woman in Wheelchair

The driver who was responsible for the death of a wheelchair-bound woman and the injury of a teen pedestrian has been found by police.

Authorities have identified Andrew Acito, 29, of Glenolden Acito to be in connection with the accident. Investigators say that while Elaine was sitting in her wheelchair in the median of Lehigh Avenue at Mascher Street located in the Fairhill area when she was struck by Acito in a white 2004 Ford F-250 pickup truck. Acito then immediately struck the 18-year-old girl before fleeing the scene.

Both Elaine and the teen were transported to the hospital. Elaine later died of injuries that she sustained in the crash. The 18-year-old pedestrian was released from the hospital. She was able to identify Acito’s vehicle to investigators.

Police arrested Acito and have charged him with DUI, Homicide by Vehicle while DUI, Involuntary Manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and other related offenses.Read More

Pennsylvania Changes Alcohol Purchasing Laws

When it comes to when and where you can buy alcohol, Pennsylvania has been one of the strictest states in the country. However, that is finally changing. With new legislation that came into effect last week — Act 39 — many more establishments are able to sell wine, liquor and beer. Though getting the proper license to do so may be expensive, hotels, casinos and other businesses may see it as a worthy investment.

Perhaps the most expensive license is for casinos. For a cool $1 million, they can apply to sell alcohol during overnight hours. For the first four years after initial licensing, the renewal fee is also $1 million. For the fifth year and beyond, the price drops to $250,000. Due to this staggering price, no casino thus far has said they are applying for the license. Here’s a breakdown of the other changes this new law is enacting:

Breweries
As we have mentioned before, Pennsylvania is home to some of the best craft brewers in the nation.… Read More

Philadelphia Drivers Not The Worst, New Study Says

It seems no matter where you live, there’s always the idea that drivers in other states aren’t quite up to our own standards.  When we see someone driving erratically or too slow, we take a glance at their license plate and chalk it up to “those drivers” being from somewhere else.

Drivers in New Jersey and Delaware can breathe easy now that SmartAsset, a personal finance and tech company, has determined they aren’t the worst – although they did rank within the top five worst.

SmartAsset’s report, which used a number of factors in order to determine the rankings, said that New Jersey received the #4 spot because of the number of deaths per year per number of drivers on the road. New Jersey drivers are almost all insured – 90% in fact.

Delaware drivers made it to the #5 spot because they had the most number of deaths per driver out of all of the entire country.Read More

Supreme Court Changes Blood Test Laws

In Pennsylvania, drivers pulled over on suspicion of DUI are given a tough decision: submit to a blood test, or go to jail for refusal. It doesn’t matter if drivers had any drinks before they were pulled over. If a cop wants to test their blood, it’s a done deal. That level of invasion of privacy seemed unconstitutional since it was first implemented, but there was not much Pennsylvania citizens could do about it. Now, the Supreme Court has taken a stand against the state.

A new ruling dictates that police officers must obtain a warrant in order to take a blood test from anyone they pull over for driving under the influence. With that decision, hundreds of current blood samples are in question and could be thrown out. The ruling follows similar rulings in Minnesota and North Dakota, where using the threat of punishment to gain cooperation on a blood test was found unconstitutional.Read More

Pedestrian Hit and Killed in North Philadelphia

It’s a dangerous combination to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking alcohol. Reflexes slow from the impairment and you can find yourself in deep trouble if you get into an accident.

That may have been exactly what happened in North Philadelphia recently in an accident that took place in the early morning hours on Thursday.

According to police, a white BMW hit a center median, shattered its windshield, and severely damaged the engine. Upon closer investigation, officers discovered that there was blood on the hood of the car. When questioned, the driver indicated that he thought he had struck an animal just prior to the accident that left his vehicle a smoking hulk in the middle of the road.

Police officers surveyed the area looking for an animal. Walking northbound on Roberts Avenue, the officers instead discovered an unidentified black male on the sidewalk, laying on his back and bleeding from his head.Read More