The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

August 2011 Archives

Samuel Brandt Arrested for Underage DUI

Samuel Brandt, an 18-year-old from Willow Grove, was arrested in the early morning hours for an underage DUI. An officer observed Brandt driving erratically on Route 611 and pulled him over. After smelling alcohol on Brandt, Brandt produced a fake ID and then proceeded to fail the field sobriety test.

The teen was charged with a DUI, being a minor driving with alcohol in his system, false identification, underage drinking, and failure to stay in his lane, reports phillyBurbs.com. The three passengers in Brandt's car -- all underage -- were also cited for underage drinking.

Philadelphia DUI: Man Crashes Into House

Sometimes it takes a DUI checkpoint to stop someone from driving under the influence. Sometimes it takes a house. In the latest Philadelphia DUI, an unidentified man slammed his car into a home in the Juniata Park section of Philadelphia.

Police say that the driver lost control of the car when he was coming around a curve leading to an intersection early Friday morning, reports ABC. The car then flew off the road, through a lawn, and into the front of a house.

Drunk Driving Defenses in PA

Last week, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced that it was conducting a nationwide crackdown on drunk driving. As part of its campaign, state and local police will be increasing their presence on city streets in Philadelphia and elesewhere, and may even be conducting DUI checkpoints.

However, just because you're pulled over for a DUI, this does not mean you're automatically guilty. While the police work hard to avoid mistakes, mistakes do happen and the following are some common drunk driving defenses in Pennsylvania:

National Stop Drunk Driving Campaign Begins

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is kicking off the Labor Day weekend early by instituting a national stop drunk driving campaign that began last weekend and ends September 5.

As part of the campaign, the NHTSA will be featuring the new slogan “Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over” along with its previously used “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest” slogan, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. In addition, local and state police have been asked to conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints.

Connor McNicholas was arrested and charged with underage drinking DUI and vehicular homicide after killing two of his buddies in a high-speed drunken car accident in Horsham.

McNicholas, 19, is accused of driving at speeds of 100 mph while transporting four of his friends when he lost control of his car and struck a tree, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. Two teen passengers were killed and when police arrived at the scene they found open containers of apple brandy and rum in the car.

Andrew Vargas Pleads Not Guilty in Phillies Fan Hit and Run

Twenty-one year old Andrew Vargas pleaded not guilty to DUI and hit and run charges after he was accused of hitting a Philadelphia Phillies fan near San Francisco's AT&T Park.

According to KTVU, Vargas reportedly struck nine-year old Ryan White after the visiting Philadelphia boy had watched his Phillies take on the Giants.

White had just attended the game at AT&T Park with family members and was walking in downtown San Francisco when Vargas allegedly ran a red light and struck the boy, another woman, and two parked vehicles. Vargas then took off, allegedly fleeing the scene of the accident.

Woman Accused of Philadelphia DUI Hit and Run One Year Later

Sylvia Lugo has been charged in the fatal Philadelphia DUI hit and run that killed Liliana Acevedo more than a year after the accident occurred.

Lugo’s DUI charge is unusual as she was not identified as a suspect until months after the accident occurred, reports the Philadelphia Daily News, long after any breath or chemical tests could have shown that she was drunk at the time of the accident.

Non-Moving Violation Results in DUI Stop

Aman Gogna was stopped by a police officer in the early morning hours for the non-moving violation of having an expired registration sticker and having tinted windows. At the time of the stop, Gogna was allegedly drunk, and the arresting officer turned the routine traffic stop into a DUI stop.

According to Patch, after police stopped Gogna for the non-moving violations, the arresting officer suspected that Gogna was drunk when he smelled alcohol on his breath and noticed his slow and deliberate movements. Gogna admitted to drinking five beers at a bar prior to driving and he tested for a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.093% — the legal limit in Pennsylvania is 0.08.

Aspiring Chef Avoids Homicide by Vehicle in Philadelphia DUI

Joseph Hammer pled guilty to aggravated assault by vehicle in the fatal Philadelphia DUI that killed David Hall. Hammer avoided the more serious charge of homicide by vehicle and faces four-and-a-half years in jail.

According to The Morning Call, Hammer, David Hall, and Ronald Hall were returning from a Philadelphia Phillies game in late June when they stopped at a bar in Emmaus. After a few drinks at the bar, the three friends drove off with Hammer behind the wheel.

The 5 Senses: Signs of Drunk Driving in Doylestown Township

Three people were arrested over the weekend for DUIs in Doylestown Township. The arrest of all three share a very similar set of circumstances and show how the police use their five senses when looking for the signs of drunk driving.

According to The Intelligencer, the three people were all arrested in the early morning hours and observed either driving erratically or after they had gotten into an accident. In addition, all three reportedly smelled of alcohol and failed field sobriety tests.