The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

September 2011 Archives

Joe Brennan DUI, Yet Another PA State Representative DUI

They say things happen in threes. That proved to be the case with Pennsylvania lawmaker DUIs. Representative Joe Brennan formally heard the charges against him this week for a drunk driving incident in June. The Representative Joe Brennan DUI, follows the Representative John Galloway DUI, which follows the Representative Cherelle Parker DUI.

The 47-year-old lawmaker from Fountain Hill was arrested on June 22 after police found him in his car in a parking lot by his Bethlehem district office, reports The Express-Times. Earlier that night, Brennan reportedly fell and struck his head at a Wawa's parking lot. Concerned bystanders watched Brennan get into his car and drive off prompting a 911 call.

Finding the Right Philadelphia DUI Attorney

If you've been arrested for drunk driving, you'll want to get a Philadelphia DUI attorney. With the right attorney, you could properly defend the DUI or even have the DUI expunged from your records. However, without good representation, you could find yourself in jail.

Pennsylvania is notoriously tough on drunk drivers. A first-time offender could potentially face a 12-month driver's license suspension, 72 hours of imprisonment, and $1,000 fine. And far more serious penalties await those with multiple DUI offenses or those who injure or cause damage due to drunk driving.

Downingtown Mayor DUI, Wants in Chester County ARD Program

The Downingtown mayor DUI may result in rehabilitation and not jail. Joshua Maxwell, the 28-year-old mayor of the small Chester County town, may have been showing his age and immaturity when he was arrested for a DUI in late August. But if he is accepted into the Chester County ARD program, he could have his record wiped clean.

On August 20, the young mayor was stopped at a routine sobriety checkpoint on Route 322, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. Maxwell admitted that he had a “few drinks” before failing field sobriety tests. He later tested for a blood alcohol level of 0.10 and was arrested.

Pennsylvania DUI Expungement

Having a DUI conviction on your record is not a good thing. Your employers may see this information, potential creditors may look unfavorably upon it, and it may just be embarrassing in general. Fortunately, not all DUIs remain on your record forever. Instead, in limited situations, you can have the conviction erased through a Pennsylvania DUI expungement.

Generally, an expungement means that the DUI is erased from your records. While an expunged conviction may be used as proof of a prior conviction, an expunged DUI remains invisible to prospective employers, educational institutions, credit issuers, and anyone else performing a background check.

Cherelle Parker DUI and Her Many Defenses

We earlier wrote about drunk driving defenses in Pennsylvania. Now reading about the Cherelle Parker DUI, one would guess that the state representative also saw the post as she is currently offering just about every DUI defense available to rebut her charge.

In April, Parker was pulled over for allegedly driving the wrong way down a one-way street, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. Police say they stopped the representative and noticed signs of alcohol use such as glassy eyes, slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol. They say Parker was unsteady on her feet and failed a Breathalyzer test. The officers testified that Parker admitted to drinking two beers and two martinis.

New Jail for Montgomery County DUI

Pennsylvania DUI laws can be tough, requiring prison time even for first time DUI offenders. Perhaps lessening the impact of these harsh laws, and the shock of throwing a drunk driver in the same prison as hardened criminals, the Montgomery County Correctional Facility has developed a new wing for non-violent offenders like Montgomery County DUI arrestees.

The $23.5 million expansion has been called "progressive" and is aimed at relieving overcrowding at the prison as well recidivism that can be caused when non-violent criminals are stuck living with hardened criminals, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Refuse Breathalyzer in Pennsylvania?

Contrary to popular opinion, a police officer cannot force you to take a Breathalyzer test. However, you also cannot refuse a Breathalyzer test without negative consequences. So what happens if you refuse Breathalyzer in Pennsylvania?

Any person who drives in this state is deemed to have given an implied consent to give a breath, blood, or urine test for the purpose of determining if they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. So if a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe you’re driving drunk — such as trouble staying in your lane, or speeding — the officer can order you to take a Breathalyzer test.

Vehicular Homicide Pennsylvania: Charles James Charged

Charles James faces vehicular homicide Pennsylvania charges for the death of Keith Buxton. James, a 41-year-old man from Willingboro, veered his vehicle onto the shoulder of I-295 in Mansfield and struck and killed 56-year-old Buxton who was fixing the car on the shoulder.

Buxton, his daughter Kristen Buxton, and a friend Michael Cericola were attending to their disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the highway, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. That’s when James failed to stay in his lane and veered off the road striking the group. Buxton was killed, while his daughter and Cericola sustained minor injuries.

Jennifer Lyons Charged w/ DUI After Hitting Homeless Woman

Jennifer Lyons, a 21-year-old woman from Havertown, was formally charged with a DUI following a June accident where she struck a homeless woman in the roadway.

The Jennifer Lyons DUI happened at about 10 p.m. on a June night when Lyons hit the unidentified victim who was wandering in and out of traffic, reports the The Delaware County Daily Times. The homeless victim had just been warned the night previous to stay out of the road. Nevertheless, the woman ignored the warning and was in the middle of the road when Lyons struck her.

Avondale Man Charged with DUI After Towing a Flipped Boat

Sometimes police can spot a drunk driver by erratic lane changes. Other times, police look for someone driving way over, or way under, the speed limit. And in the case of Eric Willis, police suspected a DUI after noticing the man towing a flipped boat.

Willis was visiting Bethany Beach in Delaware and apparently had a bit too much to drink, reports The Republic. After removing his pontoon from the water and towing it at Holts Landing, Willis reportedly hit a parked car and his trailer and boat flipped over.

What Happens After a DUI Arrest?

Labor Day weekend has come and gone, as has the Labor Day drunk driving crackdown campaign. Let's say you've been arrested at one of the numerous DUI checkpoints over the weekend. Do you know what happens after a DUI arrest?

The first step after you've been taken to a police station is the booking phase. At booking, your personal information is taken; such as:

DUI Watch: Labor Day Traffic Dangers, DUI Checkpoints

As Labor Day weekend approaches, thousands of Philadelphia residents will be taking the road to go to the beach, visit relatives, and attend barbecues. With more people on the road, Labor Day traffic could be a nightmare -- especially to drunk drivers.

The AAA is projecting about 424,000 area residents to travel 50 miles or more during the three-day weekend. Accordingly, Pennsylvania also plans to step up patrols to look for drunk drivers over the weekend, reports phillyBurbs.com.