The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Use Your Smartphone, Avoid a DUI

Smartphones are truly the do-it-all product -- they may even help you avoid a DUI.

While your phone won't be able to physically drive you home, it can allow you to find a ride or even act as a Breathalyzer.

Here are some ways your smartphone can help you avoid a DUI:

Penn. Dad Faces DUI After Daughter Killed

A Pennsylvania father has been charged with a DUI after his SUV drifted backward and ran over his daughter as he was getting out the car to take photos of her on her first date.

While Richard Benton, 53, wasn't driving at the time of the accident, police report that he was visibly intoxicated when they arrived at the scene, reports CBS News.

In addition to the emotional gravity, his daughter's death may affect the severity of Benton's DUI charge.

Pa. DUI Bill May Require Ignition Interlock for 1st Offenders

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are currently only required for repeat offenders in Pennsylvania, but a new law may mandate first-time DUI offenders use these devices as well.

Political pressure from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has led to a bill that would require ignition interlocks in almost all DUI cases, with the strange result of getting more DUI offenders back on the road, Philadelphia's WHYY reports.

How might this law affect first-time DUI offenders?

Do You Have a Right to Police Dashcam Videos?

Dash-cam videos can serve as an incredibly powerful piece of evidence in proving a defendant's innocence. Just recently, a Pennsylvania man successfully fought a traffic ticket via personal dash-cam footage.

But what about police dash-cam videos, do you have a right to access them?

In general, the public and defendants are entitled to access police dash-cam videos. But the process of obtaining such videos is much trickier.

3 Smartphone Breathalyzers Have an App for DUI

Need an on-the-go breathalyzer for DUIs? There's an app for that.

This new class of pocket-sized Breathalyzers which connect with a smartphone which may help mobile users track their drinking. These Breathalyzer devices require connecting a smartphone via the headphone jack or through wireless Bluetooth connection and promise an accurate reading of your BAC on the go. While you should never drink and drive, these devices could help you avoid a DUI by monitoring your drinking throughout the evening.

With smartphone Breathalyzers growing in popularity in the smartphone market, here are three devices to consider:

Beware Drunken Designated Drivers

A Northwestern Pennsylvania couple was charged with drunken driving after the man's wife showed up drunk at the police station to pick up her husband following his DUI-related arrest on New Year's Day. As amusing as the story is, the sobering lesson is clear: drunken designated drivers exist.

Here are three ways to avoid legal roadblocks with designated drivers:

Do You Need an Attorney for 1st DUI?

Do you need an attorney for your first DUI? Not only is the answer to that question a resounding yes, but it also applies to everyone -- civilians and officers alike. For narcotics officer Levaun Rudisill, after failing a field sobriety test and being charged with DUI, this means that he may have to look into lawyering-up soon, Philadelphia's KYW-TV reports.

Rudisill, 42, was leaving an Eagles game when he allegedly collided head-on with another vehicle. The 18-year-old driver had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Rudisill is currently waiting to face his charges at a preliminary hearing in late October.

In the meantime, however, should he look into getting an attorney?

3 Dangerous DUI Charges

DUIs are not just a little bit of swerving on the road that never hurt anyone. In fact, they are not only extremely dangerous, but come with just as dangerous charges. Take Robert Landis of Chester County, for one, who is now facing trial for nearly 32 different counts, for allegedly striking and killing a motorist while driving under the influence. Landis, 50, had already been found guilty of five DUIs prior to this alleged incident, Philadelphia's WCAU reports.

It should go without saying that drivers should never follow Landis' lead, but here are 3 dangerous DUI charges that you may not know about:

3 Ways to Challenge a DUI Checkpoint Stop in Pennsylvania

Chances are, as a Pennsylvanian, you know what a DUI checkpoint looks like. You may have even gone through one. If you haven't, it's likely that you will. DUI checkpoints are generally not welcome by drivers, regardless of their sobriety. Police officers often make even the most innocent of drivers nervous, the checkpoints are unexpected, and they stall traffic.

Unfortunately, they are completely legal. Despite many states actually implementing laws that forbid DUI checkpoints, Pennsylvania is not one of them. This means that, as a driver in Pennsylvania, you'll likely encounter one.

If you do, and for some reason you are arrested, is that the end? Not quite. Here's a breakdown of DUI checkpoints, and three ways you can challenge one in Pennsylvania.

3 Questions About Installing Ignition Interlock Devices

Consequences for being convicted of a DUI not only include license suspension and possible jail time. It could also require getting an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.

These devices can keep you off the road. But ignorance of how they work can land you back in court.

That's why you may want to pay attention to these answers to three common questions about ignition interlock devices in Pennsylvania: