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Couple charged with drunk driving in the same car

When you think about drunk driving arrests in Pennsylvania, it usually involves one person who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, a recent drunk driving arrest in Beaver County is quite the opposite, in that two people were arrested for DUI in the same stop.

According to a Beaver County Times report, two people from New Sewickley Township were taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving. The stop occurred in Freedom, after police saw a car swerving in traffic before pulling into a parking lot. Police reportedly saw the two people (a man and a woman) in the car switching seats before contact was made. The woman was reportedly behind the wheel when police approached the vehicle.

The couple reportedly smelled of alcohol and officers suspected that they were both incapable of safely driving a car. As such, both were charged with DUI.

Subsequent breathalyzer tests revealed that the woman's blood alcohol level was slightly below the legal limit, while the man's was above it. 

Nevertheless, the case brings about important questions about drunk driving charges, specifically regarding what it means to be in actual physical control of a vehicle, and whether a person is incapable of safe driving.

Prosecutors would argue that an impaired person who switches seats with another driver immediately before the stop satisfies both elements, since he or she has been in physical control of the vehicle and was inherently incapable of safe driving. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney can rebut these notions

Source: DenverPost.com, Police charge W.Pa. couple with DUI in the same car, August 7, 2013

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