The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

May 2011 Archives

Liliana Acevedo Hit and Run: Sylvia Lugo Charged 1 Year Later

Just over a year after 29-year Liliana Acevedo was killed by a hit-and-run driver, police say they have found and arrested the person responsible for her death. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sylvia Lugo, 38, has been charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, DUI and related offences.

Acevedo was retrieving something from the back seat of her car the night of May 1, 2010, when Lugo allegedly crashed into her at the intersection of West Erie Avenue and Third Street. Although Lugo fled the scene, police received a tip that finally lead them to arrest her.

Donnie Sayers Sentenced for Fatal DUI Crash

As reported in an earlier post, Bryn Mawr resident Donnie Sayers had rejected the plea agreement offered to him in his fatal DUI case and late last week began jury selection in his trial. However, when jury selection got underway, Sayers had a change of heart, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer, and decided to plead to homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, aggravated assault, theft, and related charges.

In September of 2010, Sayers was high on PCP and had been drinking beer when he ran from police in a stolen Range Rover, hitting speeds of up to 100 mph. Sayer's speeding vehicle slammed into the Jetta carrying Daniel Giletta, 21, a senior at Villanova, and Frank "Patrick" DiChiara, 22, Giletta's roommate. Giletta was killed and DiChiara suffered a brain injury which required months of hospitalization.

Before authorities in Philadelphia arrested Yassir Hassan for drunk driving, Middletown Township Lieutenant John Michniewicz said police had received a phone call regarding a Jack & Jill Ice Cream truck that was driving erratically on the road.

"We received information from a passing motorist of an ice cream truck that was all over the roadway on southbound Route 1 from Oxford Valley Road," recalled Michniewicz.

Minutes after the phone call, authorities had Hassan, 46, pulled over and noticed he was clearly intoxicated. 6 ABC News reported police officers later found a couple of wine boxes inside the vehicle upon inspection and were even more surprised to discover at least three water bottles filled with urine.

Inaccurate Breathalyzer Tests Now Affect 2,126 DUI Cases

The Philadelphia District Attorney recently announced that the investigation over the police department's inaccurate Breathalyzer devices found that 2,126 DUI cases were affected. The Philadelphia Daily News reported that among the cases affected, as many as 1,459 defendants will be able to request a new trial.

"This was an unfortunate case of human error," said Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams, whose office performed an investigation that lasted for about 6 weeks. "But we identified it and have started the process of correcting any mistakes that were made. And the hardworking members of my office ... have put in countless hours to make sure this doesn't happen again."

State Rep. Cherelle Parker Arrested For Alleged DUI

Pennsylvania State Rep. Cherelle Parker, of Philadelphia, was arrested at the end of last month and charged with DUI after police saw her driving the wrong way on a one-way street, reported Patch.

Officer Christine O'Brien, who works with the Philadelphia Police Department Office of Public Affairs, reported that authorities had pulled Parker over in Germantown on North Baynton Street. At that point, O'Brien said police suspected Parker was intoxicated and took her to the Philadelphia police headquarters, where she was required to take two chemical breath tests.

The results of the breathalyzer tests were not publicly released, but officials said Parker was formerly charged with driving under the influence based on the test results and was also eventually arraigned.

Robert Thomas Charged With DUI After Hitting Baby Carriage

Police reported Robert Paylor Thomas of New Britain was accused of driving drunk after hitting a baby carriage while driving through the Port Richmond area in Philadelphia. Thomas, 34, was operating a 2010 Honda CRV when he drove past a red traffic light on Aramingo Avenue and struck the baby carriage.

While no one else suffered injuries from the collision, law enforcement officials said the impact of the car accident threw the 7-week-old infant out of the carriage, leaving the baby with severe head injuries. The infant was immediately brought to St. Christopher's Hospital and is now in stable condition, reported PhillyBurbs.

Andrew Meyers Sentenced To Prison For DUI And Teen's Death

Ambler local Andrew R. Meyers, 26, was recently sentenced to serve at least 31 ½ years in jail after he apparently told police he was under the influence of drugs when he ran into a teenager from Lower Gywnedd last March.

Meyers, then a heroin addict, was high on cocaine and marijuana while he drove his pickup truck and sped through a Penllyn neighborhood at 60 miles per hour, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer. He eventually slammed into Penllyn resident Natan Leuhrmann-Cowen, 13, while the young teen rode his skateboard down the street.

Hair Cuttery Gives Reduced Haircuts For Drunk Driving Program

Need a haircut? If you do, an interesting campaign against drunk driving this May could provide Philadelphia residents with a discounted price on a new haircut at any local Hair Cuttery salon.

According to the Cape May County Herald, 116 Hair Cuttery salons all over Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey will be spearheading a statewide fund raising event for the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers to help discourage people from driving drunk.

Hair Cuttery will ask customers to participate in the campaign through a wristband and pin-up promotion, which is held throughout the whole month of May, and its main event, a Cut-a-thon that will be held in every store on Sunday, May 15.