The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Was DUI a Factor in Teen's Hit and Run?

Plymouth Whitemarsh High School students aren't celebrating their boys' basketball victory today. On Sunday, Denise Cotteta, a senior at the high school, was killed while crossing the street in an alleged hit-and-run.

The seventeen year old planned to attend Pennsylvania State University and was a talented lacross athlete. But her life was tragically cut short on Sunday, as she stepped onto the roadway across the street from her high school. 

Although the case is still under investigation, the driver has been located and is cooperating with police. The car was identified by a friend of the victim's, shortly after the 11:30 p.m. hit-and-run. Unknown at this time is whether the driver has retained a PA DUI attorney to represent her. When asked by the Philadelphia Inquirer, authorities would not say whether alcohol was a factor in the case because the results of the blood-alcohol tests are still pending. 

The driver was apparently stopped a few blocks away from the incident. As a result, blood-alcohol tests would be fairly accurate given the short span of time between the crash and the apprehension of the suspect. 

Alcohol is eliminated from the system through the liver; for the most part. A twelve ounce can of beer would take one hour to evacuate the system. A five ounce glass of wine would take the same amount of time. Usually, a BAC test or breathalyzer test will be more accurate, if it is taken closer to the time the alcohol was consumed. Blood alcohol concentration is a crucial element to a conviction of driving under the influence and PA DUI attorneys' cases hinge on the credibility of this evidence. Essentially, PA drunk driving laws rest largely upon the concentration of alcohol in the system; as the laws are tiered depending on how much alcohol is in the system. 

At this time, no charges have been filed against the driver in Sunday's fatal accident. If the blood alcohol test results show that alcohol was a factor in the deadly hit and run, then the driver could face charges of vehicular homicide. 

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