Author: Steven E. Kellis

Off-Duty Philly Traffic Officer Arrested for DUI in Three-Car Crash

Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer Weighs In

An off-duty traffic officer was recently arrested for DUI and a host of other charges stemming from a three-car accident that sent two children to the hospital, according to NBC 10 Philadelphia. The 23-year veteran traffic officer reportedly rear-ended another vehicle that was stopped at a traffic light at 49th Street and Woodland Avenue in southwest Philadelphia during the late evening hours. The force of the collision caused the stopped vehicle to rear-end the vehicle in front of it, as well. Following the crash, the officer reportedly flashed his badge to the accident victims, identified himself as a police officer, and ordered the victims to pull over.

The driver of the vehicle that was hit by the officer told the media that the officer smelled of alcohol at the time of the accident. His two grandchildren were in the vehicle with him at the time of the crash, and were sent to a local children’s hospital to be checked out.… Read More

Bucks County DUI Lawyer Argues for Dismissal of Charges

A recent Bristol Township news report detailed the preliminary hearing of a 46-year-old Bensalem woman who was charged with criminal homicide, homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, and DUI. The charges stem from a 2011 incident in which the woman drove her 2010 Chevy Camaro into the back of a 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle, leaving its 30-year-old female rider dead and the male driver of the motorcycle with serious injuries. After reportedly drinking four beers at a VFW post, the woman allegedly was driving her Camaro at 92 mph in a 40 mph speed zone when the collision occurred. Blood and urine testing later revealed that the driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.86 percent at the time of the incident, which is just above the Pennsylvania legal limit for driving of 0.8. Other witnesses testified that the woman had been speeding and driving erratically just minutes before the collision.… Read More

State Police Crack Down on York County Drunk Drivers

According to the York Daily Record, state police in York County made 747 DUI arrests in 2012, which is the most made in York County, and perhaps in the state, in any given year. State police troopers are focused on stopping impaired drivers in York County, whether they are driving drunk at night or driving under the influence of drugs during daytime hours. In recent years, law enforcement officials have seen an increase in the number of drivers under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs, with marijuana being one of the most common types of drugs found during DUI traffic stops.

This phenomenon is occurring not just in York County, but statewide, with statistics showing that 31% of the total DUI arrests made in Pennsylvania in 2012 involved drug use, for a total of 14,000 DUI-drug arrests. This percentage increased from 28% of the total Pennsylvania DUI arrests made in 2011.… Read More

Pennsylvania State Police Suspend DUI Breath Tests in Favor of Blood Tests

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that the Pennsylvania state police have temporarily suspended their use of breathalyzer machines in drunk-driving cases, amidst a Dauphin County judge’s concerns about their accuracy. The judge dismissed several pending DUI cases in Dauphin County after learning that the manufacturer of the breath-testing machine, the Intoxilyzer 5000EN, had not complied with a key mandate under state law. More specifically, the manufacturer of the breath-testing machine did not comply with the state’s mandate that a liquid solution be tested by independent labs, which called into question the accuracy of the test results.

The machine in question is not the roadside breath-testing machine that police use to initially take a DUI suspect into custody. The traditional blow-in-the-tube test is typically used only to establish probable cause for a DUI arrest by police on the street. On the other hand, the Intoxilyzer 5000EN is used at the police station in order to provide more definitive information as to a driver’s blood alcohol content level after his or her arrest.… Read More

Pennsylvania State Rep Appeals DUI Conviction

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun recently reported that current Democratic State Representative Cherelle L. Parker was found guilty of DUI after a short trial before former Montgomery County Court president judge S. Gerald Corso that involved no testimony by witnesses. However, Parker’s sentence, which consists of three days in jail, suspension of her driver’s license for one year, and a $1,000 fine, was stayed pending an appeal to the Superior Court. As your Pennsylvania DUI lawyer well knows, Parker’s sentence includes penalties that are typical in PA DUI cases.

Parker’s criminal charges stemmed from a 2011 incident in which police reportedly stopped Parker after she drove the wrong way down a one-way street. Police allegedly observed that Parker’s eyes appeared bloodshot and glassy, her breath smelled like alcohol, she had difficulty getting out of her vehicle, and she could not produce her license, registration, or insurance card. Parker later submitted to a Breathalyzer test at police headquarters, which measured her blood alcohol content (BAC) to be 0.16… Read More

U.S. Supreme Court Considers DUI Blood Testing Case

An Update from Your Pennsylvania DUI Attorney

According to a recent Wilkes-Barre Times Leader article, the U.S. Supreme Court has begun considering whether a blood test obtained from a DUI suspect by Missouri law enforcement officials without a warrant is constitutional. In this case, the DUI suspect was stopped by police for swerving. Police failed to get a warrant before submitting the handcuffed man for blood testing to measure his blood alcohol content. The police claimed that exigent circumstances justified the warrantless blood test due to the fact that the level of alcohol in a person’s blood dissipates rapidly. As a result, delaying the blood testing by a few hours in order to first get a warrant actually could result in test results showing a substantially lower blood alcohol content than the person actually had at the time he or she was driving. Therefore, the police might not have the strongest evidence in support of a DUI charge.… Read More