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DUI Defense Archives

Celebrity doesn't always have its privileges

The notion that movie stars get preferential treatment from law enforcement may have been debunked last night. Actress Reese Witherspoon was arrested for disorderly conduct in conjunction with a traffic stop that left her husband (Jim Toth) arrested for drunk driving.

Police obtain DUI search warrants quicker with new app

While the Memorial Day holiday is weeks away, law enforcement agencies across Pennsylvania are gearing up for increased drunk driving patrols. The goal is the same as in years past: keep as many drunk drivers off the road as possible. This means making arrests and obtaining information to support criminal charges (usually through blood, urine or breath tests). However, some drivers may refuse these tests in an attempt to avoid criminal charges.

Philly police officer charged with DUI

It is ironic when police officers are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. After all, they are charged with enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so the expectation is that they would follow the laws that are put in force. For a police officer from the City of Philadelphia, this promise was allegedly broken.

The trouble with texting while driving

Texting while driving in Pennsylvania is against the law. Drivers caught sending (or reading) messages while behind the wheel are subject to a $50 fine. Subsequent violations will result in higher fines. The impetus behind the law was to make roads safer, as distracted driving accidents (crashes where one or both drivers were focused on a mobile device) have become so severe that they spawned a national campaign against texting while driving.

The Elusive Bread and Butter License

I wish I had a nickel for every time I was asked about the existence of a "bread and butter" license. For uninitiated, a "bread and butter" license is a limited driver's license. It allows the holder to drive to and from work or school but only to those places. As a criminal defense attorney in Montgomery and Bucks Counties, many of my clients come to me seeking representation for charges which carry driver's license suspensions. Every one of my DUI clients, and every client facing the suspension of their driving privileges, always wants to know whether they can get the elusive "bread and butter" license.

Diet drinks...easy on the waist, hard on the head

The proliferation of diet drinks into the alcoholic beverage industry has inspired a new market. Drinks suited for young women who want to maintain their figures. Perhaps the most popular is the Skinnygirl product line released by Bethenny Frankel. Outside of officially licensed drinks, more people are including diet sodas to create mixed drinks, ostensibly to reduce their caloric intake.

Breathalyzer tests temporary suspended by PA state police

This week we wanted to follow up on a prior post where a Dauphin County judge dismissed several DUI cases due to concerns over the breathalyzer machine used to measure a driver's blood alcohol levels. Essentially, the Intoxilyzer 5000EN, the machine used in the cases, had not been independently tested to ensure accuracy.

Breath Testing Devices Taken Off-Line

As a result of a DUI ruling in a court in Dauphin County, the Pennsylvania State Police have taken the use of all breath testing machines offline until a further determination is made. The Court has ruled that breath testing in Pennsylvania on blood alcohol readings below .05 BAC and above .15 BAC fail to meet the scientifically acceptable level of reliability used by prosecutors to meet their burden of proving a defendant guilty of drunk driving beyond a reasonable doubt.  The case has now been appealed to the Superior Court by the Dauphin County District Attorney.  Until then, the case has little precedential value, which means if you are charged with drunk driving after failing a breath test, your case may still go to trial depending on where you were arrested.  Most of the local counties rely on blood testing for DUI results, and not breath testing.  Those cases will not be affected by this case.  The fallout from this will include more people being charged because blood testing is more reliable, but also picks up drugs that are in the blood legally or illegally.  Someone who ingests marijuana a week before being arrested, for instance, will likely have the marijuana show up in the blood and cause charges to be brought despite having no effect on the drivers ability to safely operate the vehicle.

Gregory R. Gifford
  • RGS&G Firm News

    "Matthew Taylor Wilkov, Esquire, Graduates from U.S. Army War College"
    LANSDALE – Gregory Gifford, managing partner of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. says the firm is honored to have a U.S. Army War College graduate among its ranks.Read more...

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Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford has been a member of the local Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce (previously known as North Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce) for more than 25 years.

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