Category: In The News

Are the Penalties the Same for DUIs Involving Prescription Medication?

Many drivers are surprised to find out that the medicine they are legally prescribed can get them in the same amount of trouble as an illegal drug. In fact, it can be worse than having a few drinks before getting behind the wheel.

Working with an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney can help you fight your charges and avoid harsh penalties. Many DUI stops are conducted with critical mistakes, and other procedural errors can force prosecutors to drop or reduce charges. Your DUI lawyer can also help you seek a plea deal if no strong defense strategy is available.

Learn more about your options during a free, no-obligation case review with Steven E. Kellis. Call (215) 940-1200 or contact us online now to schedule your free case evaluation.

Driving on Prescription Meds Can Lead to Harsh DUI Penalties

The specific language of Pennsylvania’s DUI statute (P.S. § 3802(d)(2)) includes a provision for when a driver is, “under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs to a degree which impairs the individual’s ability to safely drive.”… Read More

Steven E. Kellis Receives Pennsylvania Super Lawyers 2020 Distinction

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We are proud to announce that Steven Kellis has been selected to the 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list, an honor received for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in their area of practice. Only 5% of attorneys in Pennsylvania receive this distinction.

Each year, Super Lawyers evaluates attorneys from all 50 states based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement, including:

  • Verdicts and settlements
  • Transactions
  • Representative clients
  • Experience
  • Honors and awards
  • Special licenses and certifications
  • Position within the law firm
  • Bar and/or professional activity
  • Pro bono and community service
  • Scholarly lectures and writings
  • Education and employment background
  • Other outstanding achievements

Using this process, the organization maintains a credible, comprehensive and diverse list of excellent attorneys that is used as a resource by other attorneys and consumers.

As a former prosecutor, and with more than 20 years of experience in Pennsylvania DUI law, Mr. Kellis has successfully resolved hundreds of DUI cases.… 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

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What Happens on My First Offense?

Being arrested for driving under the influence for the first time is stressful. Not only do you have to deal with an arrest, but you are experiencing something with which you have no prior knowledge. What will happen? Will you go to jail? Pay fines? Your mind is naturally overwhelmed with questions. To help you determine your next steps, here is what you can reasonably expect after being charged with DUI in Pennsylvania for the first time.

Administrative Penalties

In Pennsylvania, those charged with a first-offense DUI do not face a mandatory license suspension if their blood alcohol content falls at or below 0.099. For those who have a BAC range between 0.10 and 0.159, there is a mandatory license suspension of up to one year. A BAC range above 0.16 carries a mandatory suspension of one year with the possibility of any hardship license not being granted during the first two months of the suspension.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

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

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

8 Year-Old Killed in Crash, Mother at Fault

There is possibly no situation that is worse for a parent than losing a child in an accident.  It can be even more disheartening, however, to have been the one driving.

That is the unfortunate situation that a Chester County woman finds herself in after she was arrested on Friday following the crash that took the life of her eight-year-old daughter.

According to authorities, Jennifer Trego, 32, of Coatesville, turned herself in to the police on Friday afternoon in connection to the crash August 13, 2015, where she was allegedly driving on a suspended license and under the influence of illicit drugs.

Trego failed to stop her minivan at an intersection that merged onto Route 82 when her vehicle was broadsided by another vehicle.  Trego’s daughter, Krista, was killed in the accident.

Tests indicated that she had marijuana along with unprescribed prescription drugs in her system at the time of the fatal crash.Read More

Bars to Be Open Late During DNC

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Republicans and Democrats alike are barreling forward toward the November election. This year’s Democratic National Convention is set to take place in Philadelphia during the last week of July. During this time, Hillary Clinton is expected to officially accept the party’s nomination to be president. Her running mate will also be accepting his (or her) nomination.

Whether you want to celebrate the nomination or drink in sorrow, some Philadelphia bars will be open late during the week of the DNC. While attendees will likely enjoy this adjusted schedule, others in Philly who aren’t drinking may end up picking up the tab. After all, the later the last call, the more likely people will end up driving drunk.

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Jordan Schwartz, the host committee’s director of external affairs, said they were prepared to receive the
potentially hundreds of requests to stay open later. However, not every application resulted in a permit to do so.
Read More

Allegheny Judge Arrested for DUI Suspicions

It doesn’t matter who you are, if you drink and drive, you could be facing serious consequences as a result.

That is the case for an Allegheny County judge who allegedly drove under the influence and was arrested by state police over the 4th of July holiday weekend.

According to authorities, Christine Ward, 58, of Shadyside, was arrested during a traffic stop after an off-duty deputy observed her driving erratically on Route 28 on Sunday.

The deputy pulled Ward over at a gas station on Fox Chapel Road and then called the incident in.

Ward had been driving a black Mercedes and identified herself to the trooper.  The trooper indicated that Ward had bloodshot and watery eyes and he detected an “extremely strong odor of an alcoholic beverage…emitting specifically from Ward’s breath.”

The judge also made “very slow, sluggish and methodical movements and she staggered as she walked,” according to the affidavit.Read More