Author: Steven E. Kellis

Do Ignition Interlock Devices Really Work?

In 2016, Pennsylvania passed a new law regarding punishments for driving under the influence. Under the new law, certain first-time offenders may be able to avoid having their license suspended. Instead, they can apply to have an ignition interlock device installed into their car. Doing so allows those who may have may a one-time mistake to still go to school or work, as long as they are sober.

While Senate Bill 290 was a widely-praised move at the time, problems with the devices have since been brought to light. Critics have been quick to point out that these issues can make choosing an ignition interlock device almost not worth it. And for those who are impacted by these problems, their daily lives can be severely hampered.

How Ignition Interlock Devices Workshutterstock_196210403

Before we can fully explain the problems ignition interlock devices, or IIDs, present, it’s important to understand how they work.… Read More

Female hand rejecting glass with alcoholic beverage on blurred background

Understanding Pennsylvania’s Dram Law

Under a Pennsylvania law called the Dram Shop law, any person or business who provides alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated is held legally responsible for any injury or damage that visibly intoxicated person may later cause. The law applies to bars and other drinking establishments, and it also applies to private individuals who are hosting an event.

The dram law comes into effect in court most typically when an intoxicated person causes a vehicle collision or another kind of injury. The person or business who provided the person with alcohol is normally part of a larger lawsuit filed by the victim or victims against the at-fault driver.

To sue someone successfully using the dram law, a person must be able to prove:

  1. The person who was being served was “visibly intoxicated.”
  2. The decision to continue to serve alcohol directly contributed to the injuries of another, which were caused by the intoxicated person they over-served.
Read More

How Much Alcohol is in Your Favorite Drink?

There are any number of resources regarding blood alcohol content (BAC) after you’ve been drinking. In fact, you can find our own with our BAC calculator. However, many of these require you to know how much alcohol you’ve had, and what the alcohol percentage is. For many drinkers, that kind of alcohol simply seems unavailable, especially after you’ve knocked a few back.

However, this is vital information. Driving with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 percent in Pennsylvania can lead to big trouble. Not only are you a danger to yourself and other drivers on the road, you could be looking at hefty fines and even jail time. Here are some of the most popular drinks in Pennsylvania, and their alcohol by volume content (ABV). Please note that these are not exact numbers; you should never drive if you’ve been drinking.

Alcohol Content in Popular Pennsylvania Beers 

Our state is full of quality craft breweries that make some of the best beer in the nation.Read More

Can I Argue Against Breathalyzer Results?

Breathalyzer testMany people regard a breathalyzer as some sort of infallible device. This includes police, those accused of DUI in Pennsylvania, and the general public. They assume that these devices can do no wrong and can never be inaccurate. Even judges, prosecutors and juries will make this assumption—despite the fact that there is a history of rulings, motions and legal actions that have thrown out past breathalyzer results.

In 2016, the Inquirer reported on one such incident. Inaccurate readings from a breathalyzer machine used by the Philadelphia police affected up to 1,000 former Philly DUI cases.

Unfortunately, the breathalyzer’s reputation as a mystical, never-fail device causes some Pennsylvania DUI suspects to neglect their right to defend their case. Rather than pursuing potential actions that could rightfully exclude invalid breathalyzer evidence—or generally help reduce the charges they face—DUI suspects simply give up. They accept a plea bargain or fail to argue against the results of the test itself.… Read More

Kellis Is Driving While High More Dangerous than Driving Drunk

Is Driving While High More Dangerous than Driving Drunk?

In October 2018, the YouTube channel Try Guys published two videos: one of them driving while high, and one of them driving while drunk. They tested their inebriated driving abilities on a closed course. The purpose of these videos was to specifically check how both driving drunk and driving while high affected the driver’s senses, reaction time and confidence.

The tests were set up as such: First, the drivers maneuvered through the course completely sober. The course is full of normal obstacles you may find on the road every day, such as stop signs, lane closures and hairpin turns.

They looked at two initial variables: how long it took to complete the course, and how many cones were knocked over. These tests were the control for the experiment.

Then, the drivers became legally inebriated (drinking to at least a 0.08 blood alcohol content for one video, and smoking enough marijuana to feel “stoned” in the other), and drove the course again.Read More

kellis Top 9 Things to Do in Philadelphia This Winter

Top 9 Things to Do in Philadelphia This Winter [MAP]

FAST FACTS

  • 43 million people visited Philadelphia last year, many for year-end celebrations
  • Philly’s Holiday markets, seasonal displays and skating rinks can be enjoyed all winter
  • The 110 year-old Met Opera House reopens this December after a $45 million renovation

Philadelphia comes alive for the winter season, from its spirited Holiday celebrations to the spectacularly unique tradition that is the New Year’s Day Mummers Parade.

Many of us literally count down the days to some of these events. Time-honored traditions like visiting the Holiday Garden Railway at the Morris Arboretum with kids or watching the ball drop in Franklin Square at midnight on New Year’s have become a huge part of local Philly culture.

Just remember to make responsible decisions during your festivities. Also, remember that if you are facing charges as a result of a DUI arrest on any of these days, then you have the right to contest your charges to have them potentially reduced or dropped outright with the help of a Pennsylvania DUI attorney.Read More

Am I Allowed to Avoid a DUI Checkpoint

Am I Allowed to Avoid a DUI Checkpoint in Pennsylvania?

FAST FACTS

  • 1.8% of the people in Pennsylvania report driving after believing they’ve had too much to drink.
  • Between 2003 and 2012, 4,663 people were killed in drunk driving accidents across the state.
  • The rate of death for people between the ages of 21 and 34 is higher than the national average.

You have gone out on the town, whether it was to a friend’s house or the local bar, and you are on your way home. You see signs and flashing lights and wonder what in the world could be going on. As you get closer, your stomach drops and you begin looking for any opportunity to turn around. You’ve run smack into a DUI checkpoint. What are your options?

Many people believe that they are required to move through the checkpoint simply because it is in place. The truth is that you are not legally required to travel through the checkpoint.Read More

Top Halloween Parties in Philadelphia This Year

Top Halloween Parties in Philadelphia This Year

  • There were 168 traffic fatalities on Halloween between 2012 and 2016.
  • 23% of pedestrian versus vehicle accidents involve drunk driving.
  • 44% of fatal crashes on and before Halloween involve an impaired driver.

 

Philadelphia knows how to celebrate Halloween, which means if you’re looking for a party, you’re not going to have to look very far. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly event or something catered to adults, you’re not going to have a problem coming up with choices.

As Pennsylvania DUI lawyers, we understand that you want to have a good time but please, don’t drink and drive. You want your night to be frightening, but you don’t want to end it behind bars.

Family Events

1) The Glow Jack O’Lantern Experience

You’ll find this event in West Fairmount Park through October 28. You and the little ones will delight in the trail lines with glowing pumpkins that are intricately carved.Read More

Your Guide to Oktoberfest in Pennsylvania

Your Guide to Oktoberfest in Pennsylvania

FAST FACTS

Oktoberfest, held mid-September through early October, is one of the most highly anticipated events in each city that participates in the festivities. Cities and towns around Pennsylvania are no exception.

If you are looking for something exciting to do in the coming days, you won’t have to look far or hard. As Pennsylvania DUI lawyers, we strongly urge revelers to pay attention to how much brew they consume. No one wants to end their night out in the back of a squad car.

Here are some of the events that will be held across the state this year.

1. Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh Oktoberfest – September 14 through September 22

The Southside Works in Pittsburgh is hosting two full weekends of fun. Entertainment, imported beer, and prizes make the event worth attending.Read More

What You Need to Know About the Cannabis Beverage Trend

What You Need to Know About the Cannabis Beverage Trend

FAST FACTS

When the fight to legalize marijuana began, some pictured people getting high on street corners and running rampant through neighborhoods. Others pictured sitting in on their decks, finally being able to do what they had already been doing without the worry of arrest.

There were attitudes and feelings everywhere in between. Many didn’t think beyond smoking the drug and the problems it may or may not cause. Few considered the trend that is taking hold now: Cannabis beverages.

Sales of soda/pop/Coke (depending on the region you live in) are down to the lowest point they’ve seen in three decades. People are forgetting the soda and grabbing what they perceive to be healthier drinks instead.

Coconut water and Kambucha tea are hot right now and in some states, cannabis beverages are hitting the shelves.Read More