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Recent DUI stops in Pennsylvania

In our prior posts we noted the importance of having an attorney if you are charged with drunk driving in Pennsylvania. We wanted to note three recent DUI arrests that we believe illustrate our point.

In one instance, Pennsylvania State Patrol troopers saw a Mazda SUV swerving and weaving on I-95 and initiated a stop. After interviewing the driver and conducting field sobriety tests, they arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

In a separate instance, troopers stopped another vehicle for a number of violations, (ostensibly for speeding and unsafe lane changes). According to police reports, the driver was arrested after he was observed to be under the influence of a controlled substance. Troopers took him to a local hospital for blood tests before releasing him.

Later that morning, another Mazda SUV was stopped for various (yet unspecified) traffic violations, but the police report indicates that the driver was found to be under the influence of alcohol. He was taken to a local hospital before being released.

We find these episodes important because they are common instances where the officers' accounts can be challenged. It is important to review the reports to review any qualifying information suggesting that the stops were properly conducted or that the roadside tests led to the "reasonable, articulable suspicion" that each driver was under the influence of alcohol. If there is no such information available, an argument can be made that the stop (and therefore the subsequent arrest) would be illegal; thus affecting all the evidence collected afterwards, and the criminal case itself.

If you have questions about your rights and options after a DUI arrest in Pennsylvania, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Source: Patch.com, State Troopers Cite 3 with DUI, January 15, 2013

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Gregory R. Gifford
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