The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

July 2010 Archives

You don't have to be driving an automobile to get charged with a DUI. People have been arrested for drunkenly operating riding lawnmowersmotorized easy chairs, even horse-and-buggies.

So in the spirit of DUI arrests on alternative forms of transportation, a 46-year-old Massachusetts man named Victor Rita, who was riding a motorized scooter to the liquor store, was arrested for his fifth drunken-driving charge, as reported by the Boston Herald.  

And the reason why he decided to take the unlicensed scooter to get more booze? His license was revoked after his fourth DUI conviction.

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently overturned a DUI conviction of a man who failed to take a breathalyzer test because he did not understand English, Lancaster Intelligencer Journal reported. So what does that have to do with Pennsylvania?

Like New Jersey, Pennsylvania DUI lawyer Jeff Conrad says the Keystone State also automatically suspends the license of any motorist who refuses a blood-alcohol test. It's called implied consent law, which refers to the implicit consent to a BAC test for the privilege of driving:

"Pennsylvania has the same kind of implied consent, so this could have ramifications for [state] law."

Who, me? Few Pennsylvania residents who drive while intoxicated or send text messages while their eyes should be on the road would admit to such violations. But the state's Dept. of Transportation is asking drivers to voluntarily submit to an anonymous survey asking these and 15 other traffic-related questions, PennLive reported.

And since it's anonymous, Philadelphia DUI lawyers shouldn't be too concerned that their clients will blurt out anything incriminating.

Police charged 39-year-old Manuel Albondoz with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident in relation to an incident that claimed the life of 24-year-old bicyclist Celina Langan, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Police say the incident took place on 12:25 a.m. last Sunday in East Frankford. He was driving a black Ford Taurus that didn't belong to him and lacked a driver's license.

The specific charge against Manuel Albondoz (in addition to a DUI and related counts) is involuntary manslaughter, according to NBC Philadelphia, which may prompt his Philadelphia DUI lawyer to advise a guilty plea.

Jacobus resident Brian Keener claims he was followed by Pennsylvania State Troopers Brian Torkar and Sean Taylor after leaving a known gay club in York, stopped, arrested for a DUI and then beaten, the York Dispatch reported. The traffic stop occurred on Aug. 31, 2008, but he just recently filed a lawsuit against the troopers.

Brian Keener reportedly refused to take a blood-alcohol at York Hospital, according to his complaint. He claims he successfully passed a field sobriety test, and that he only had one beer at the club, but claims the officers said he failed anyway and handcuffed him.  

It's unclear whether his Pennsylvania DUI lawyer was able to postpone the DUI trial in light of the lawsuit's claims.  

Although millions of federal grant dollars flow into Pennsylvania police departments each year for DUI enforcement, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that it's still not enough to cover expenses. The DUI grants are used for DUI checkpoints and other highway safety programs.

That leaves municipalities, already tightening their belts in the recession, to pick up the costs associated with sending officers to court hearings. Their presence ensures, among other things, the ability of prosecutors to better square off against Philadelphia DUI lawyers

A breathalyzer test is the last thing any motorist wants to take after having a few drinks away from home. But a new consumer-targeted breathalyzer device small enough to fit in your pocket, as described in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, just might prevent accidents, embarrassing calls home or even a few deaths.

If the AlcoHawk Slim Ultra becomes as popular as the iPhone, it could cut into the business of Philadelphia DUI lawyers (but don't hold your breath). At $69.99, they're considerably more affordable than paying the fines and other expenditures that come with a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania. 

Sipping on a cold beer while boating down the Susquehanna River on a hot summer's day seems totally normal. But just like driving on terra firma, Pennsylvania police take boating under the influence (or BUI) very seriously.

An article about the state's planned crackdown on BUI violators in The York Dispatch quotes Waterways Conservation Officer Dave Hurst, who describes how many people believe drinking and boating "go hand-in-hand" but that it can be a deadly combination:

"If things go bad, you're in the middle of the river. You have to have your wits about you."

Old Lycoming Township Police Chief Bill Solomon, who coordinates the county's DUI task force, told a Williamsport Sun-Gazette reporter that at least one individual in Pennsylvania will die at the hands of a drunk driver during the July 4 holiday weekend. As a result, PA residents should expect PA DUI checkpoints this upcoming weekend. That statement given by Bill Solomon may be an understatement, as holiday weekends typically see spikes in alcohol-related fatalities:

"Traditional issues over the Fourth of July weekend are heavy traffic, aggressive drivers who are not paying attention, speeding, and people drinking and driving."

If you're aging rocker Vince Neil, then what happens in Las Vegas certainly won't stay there. The 49-year-old lead singer of rock-and-roll band Motley Crue, was charged with a DUI after an arrest in Las Vegas, CBS News reported. 

He was released from the Clark County Jail on $2,000 bail; his next court date is scheduled for Sept. 27, according to documents obtained by CBS.

The singer, a veteran of drunk driving charges, was arrested in Las Vegas in 2007 on suspicion of a DUI after he was stopped for driving his Ferrari recklessly, according to TMZ. The DUI charge eventually was dropped after he pleaded guilty to the reckless driving charge.