When Police Get Charged with DUI

Car key on the bar with spilled alcohol and empty bottles

People tend to think that police abide by the law at all times. We picture them as upstanding citizens, and that’s a natural assumption — most are. What happens when the police run afoul of the law and find themselves arrested? A story recently hit the news in Pennsylvania that answers just this question.

An Overview

An officer with the Erie Bureau of Police was driving her off-duty vehicle on February 18 when she crossed the center line. She ran headlong into another car, causing the driver of that car to be fatally injured. She was charged with several felonies, including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault by DUI and homicide by vehicle. Her bond was set at $75,000.

The Accident

According to reports, the officer was driving under the influence of alcohol when she crossed the centerline. She hit one car head on and then another ended up involved in the collision. The woman was traveling just over the speed limit and was trapped in her car after the accident. As she was being freed from her vehicle, multiple parties claimed to smell the odor of alcohol about her person. She later admitted to have consumed alcohol before the crash. Police were able to obtain the results of a blood alcohol content test from the hospital. The woman registered .231.

The driver of the third vehicle involved in the crash was also found to be under the influence. The man attempted to flee the scene of the accident but was apprehended by police. He was charged with driving under the influence. The man was also charged with duty to give information and render aid, accidents involving damage to attended vehicle or property, and immediate notice of accident to police.

Court Appearance

The officer was arraigned in April. She appeared before a judge on crutches due to severe injuries she sustained in the accident. Her attorney rallied for her release on a lower bond or with no bond at all, stating that his client had no previous run-ins with the law. She was released from custody with the conditions that she not consume alcohol and that she participate in a drug and alcohol assessment.

Work-Related Sanctions

Immediately following the accident, Frey was placed on medical leave. After her arraignment, she was placed on paid administrative leave. She remained on leave pending the outcome of her preliminary hearing.

If this story shows us anything, it is that police officers are not above the law. When a police officer commits a crime, they should be and typically are arrested just as an ordinary citizen would be.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Philadelphia or the surrounding area, reach out to our team of experienced attorneys today. Call to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries, property damage and more.