Category: In The News

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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.
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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

Man Struck by Drunk Driver, Critically Injured

One man has been critically injured when he was struck by a driver allegedly under the influence of alcohol early Monday morning.

Authorities say that the accident happened just before 2:00 a.m. in the city’s Olney section while the victim was attempting to cross 5th street at the intersection of Ruscomb.   

Police arrived at the scene and arrested the 62-year-old driver for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

The victim, whose identity has not been released, was transported to Albert Einstein Medical Center where he is currently listed in critical condition.

Even in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation, there can be any number of factors that can cast doubt on a DUI case. A good defense attorney knows that if there were any mistakes that have been made regarding DUI evidence, it can cast a shadow of doubt on the charges.  In some cases, if the mistakes were egregious enough, motions can be filed that may substantially reduce the charges or get them dismissed altogether.Read More

Philadelphia Drunk Driver Hits Parked Cars

Getting drunk and then sliding behind the wheel of a car is never recommended.  When drinking and driving happen, the possibility of property damage, personal injury, and death come into play.  None of these are something that one wants to wake up to on a Sunday morning.

Port Richmond was quiet for most of that Saturday.  It was nearing midnight at Venango and Edgemont Streets.  That’s when the drunk driver took to the streets.  Apparently, according to authorities, the driver lost control of their vehicle.  That loss of control left several wrecked parked cars in its wake.

Was it intentional?  The police have not yet commented on the potential charges which might be filed.  Since there were so many hit, the allegedly drunk driver might have thought it was a game.  “They smacked into every car coming down the block onto the next and almost hit one or two more,” said the neighbor.Read More

Outdoor Festivals in Pennsylvania This Summer

At the crossroads of New England, the Great Lakes States and the Atlantic Coast, Pennsylvania is a hotbed of activity during summer concert tours. It also has more than a few festivals of its own to help residents stay cool in the hot summer weather.

Make sure you make the most of the culture, excitement and especially the music of what Pennsylvania has to offer by attending one of these incredible summer festivals:

Wawa Welcome America’s Philly 4th of July Jam — July 4, Philadelphia

Downtown Philly gets jam packed on the Fourth, albeit in the best way possible. Wawa hosts free outdoor concerts in multiple venues throughout the city. Vendors, beer tents and food trucks also offer enough refreshment to make the hot summer night enjoyable by any measure.

The night of the fourth, the Philly POPs and the most incredible fireworks display you’ve likely ever seen light up the night sky above the Museum of Art in a way that makes America’s birthday unforgettable.Read More