Year: 2016

How Accurate are Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety testPolice officers are encouraged to procure a spectrum of evidence when evaluating potential driving under the influence (DUI) cases. As such, they may request that the driver exits the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests. These field sobriety tests may be administered in addition to or in lieu of a field breathalyzer sample.

Since field sobriety tests can be nerve wracking even to some perfectly sober drivers, many people want to know the validity of the tests. After all, if the tests are not really that accurate, how can the officer convincingly argue that the driver was DUI? Those wanting to learn more about field sobriety tests and their corresponding accuracy should read on.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN)

Nystagmus is a natural shaking or jerking reaction of our eyes when looking too far into our periphery. Some individuals are diagnosed with higher levels of nystagmus that affects their vision permanently.Read More

Are You Sober Enough to Drive?

shutterstock_132918122Getting a DUI in Pennsylvania can be devastating to your criminal record, not to mention the safety risks to you and others on the road. People who choose to drink should always make smart decisions, and that includes knowing when you have had too much to get behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, one of the effects of alcohol is clouded judgement, so those who have been drinking may not have the right perspective to assess whether they are sober enough to drive. In these instances, calling a cab or getting a ride is usually the right call. However, some people may wish to get more information about whether or not they are enough of a Sober Sally to safely get behind the wheel. They can turn to several possible options to gain more information: 

Smartphone Apps

Your smartphone can provide valuable information resources to gauge how sober you are. These guides are far from scientific or legal advice, and they certainly don’t open up excuses when you still happen to make the wrong call, but they can nevertheless provide one more bit of needed information to help people who have been drinking decide what they should do next.Read More

Tips for Driving Safely in the Winter

shutterstock_97697837If there is anything we Pennsylvanians have learned over the past century or so, it is that Punxsutawney Phil can be a big, fat liar. Winter may be on its way out according to the calendar and certain impetuous marmot family members, but freezing temperatures and perhaps a bit of late snow still lie ahead in the weeks to come.

 

Anyone taking to the road in the winter months must therefore prepare themselves for the unique hazards winter presents. Here are five winter driving tips they can use to avoid catastrophe and stay healthy long enough to see our favorite flippant groundhog lie again to our chapped faces:

1. Double Down on Regular Safe Practices

Anything that could jeopardize your safety all year becomes even more concerning during the inclement winter months. Remember your vehicle safety basics:

  • Check lights turn signals, mirrors, etc. before entering the car
  • Complete remove any obstructions like snow
  • Use your seat belt every time
  • Keep up with any regular maintenance and handle problems early.
Read More
Car Keys Bottle of Beer Drunk Driving

Wild Wrong-Way DUI Crash Caught on Video

Car Keys Bottle of Beer Drunk DrivingA man in Penn Township was recently arrested on a driving under the influence when he caused a wreck going the wrong way on the highway. The man, Jonathan Lukart, is from Trafford and was driving on Route 130 early morning last week when he caused the crash.

The entirety of the crash, including about a minute of erratic driving, was caught on video by a passenger in the car behind Lukart. For that minute, the two men in the car behind can be heard on the video talking about how the car in front of them was going to crash. The driver also laid on his horn for several seconds to warn Lukart that he was on the wrong side of the road.

For those familiar with Penn Township, the man started recording the video when Lukart was near S and T Bank across from Pleasant Valley Road. They continued recording until the accident happened right before Lucci’s Restaurant.… Read More

Pot Breathalyzer Coming Soon?

Smoking Weed in the CarFifteen years ago, if you would have said nearly half of all states will legalize medical marijuana, you likely would have been laughed at. Even five years ago, using marijuana recreationally was illegal nationwide. Now, you can smoke weed legally in 5 different states. Philadelphia is also taking a pro-marijuana stance, decriminalizing possession of a small amount and reducing the fine to just $25.

Yet, whether you are in a state like Pennsylvania that bans marijuana use altogether or in a state like Colorado with full legalized use, one thing remains the same: driving high is still considered driving under the influence. Yet, the active ingredient in pot, THC, can remain in your system for months after use. As such, field tests are anything but accurate. Researchers are working on fixing this problem.

A Case of Bad Breath

Hound Labs, based in Oakland, California, say they have found a way to determine whether a driver has smoked weed recently.Read More

A Look at Auto-Brewery Syndrome

Glass of BeerThere have been stories all over the news recently about a woman who, a year after being arrested for DUI, had her charges dropped because she suffered from “auto-brewery syndrome.” While she originally had a blood alcohol content over four times the legal limit, the judge ruled she was not at fault for it. Her condition makes her body itself create alcohol; she doesn’t have to have a drop to drink in order to become drunk.

On the day of her arrest, she met her husband for drinks and food. She consumed four drinks over the course of six hours. In combination with food, the average person would not feel intoxicated after that. However, the way she was driving, it would seem she had consumed a gallon of alcohol before getting behind the wheel. She blew a tire on her way home, and an observer called the police to assist her when they noticed she was struggling to change it.Read More