The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

October 2011 Archives

What are Field Sobriety Tests?

You may have read about a DUI arrest where someone was taken in after a failed field sobriety test. So, you may be wondering just what is a field sobriety test?

A field sobriety test is usually given to a driver after a traffic stop when the police officer suspects that the driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The field sobriety test allows the officer to observe the suspect’s balance, physical ability, and other factors before moving ahead with a Breathalyzer test and possible arrest.

$3 Million Awarded for Fatal DUI

A jury awarded $3,375,000 to the estate of Ernesto Sta Maria who was killed four years ago when an off-duty state trooper crashed into his car.

The off-duty cop, Christopher Brozyna, was driving along Route 35 in Middletown, New Jersey when he rear-ended Sta Maria. The 55-year-old victim was ejected from his sport utility vehicle and killed, reports The Associated Press. Brozyna suffered minor injuries.

Alfredo DeJesus Flores DUI Trial to Begin

Alfredo DeJesus Flores was allegedly found bloodied and with an open can of beer next to him following a car accident in Norristown that seriously injured Niche Knight, a mother of seven.

Right before the accident, Knight was outside the gates of the Norristown State Hospital where she worked fixing a flat tire on the side of the road, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. The mother was standing by the trunk of her car with the hazard lights blinking when DeJesus Flores crashed right into her. Knight survived the accident, but she seriously injured her legs.

Georgina Zogby Waives the DUI Preliminary Hearing

Georgina Zogby waives her DUI preliminary hearing, setting up DUI trial.

Zogby, the wife of Pennsylvania budget secretary Charles Zogby, was charged with a DUI after she allegedly fled from cops who tried to stop her. Officers approached her car on a July morning, and Zogby allegedly tried to run away, forcing police to use stop sticks and a box-in maneuver to capture her, reports The Associated Press.

Michael Cassella Kills NJ Cop Joseph Wargo in Alleged DUI

Michael Cassella faces big trouble. The 29-year-old man was allegedly driving under the influence of drugs when he crashed into a police cruiser on a New Jersey highway. Mount Arlington police officer Joseph Wargo was killed in the collision.

Cassella was driving westbound on Route 80 in Roxbury when he apparently lost control of his car, sliding across a median, and slamming into Wargo’s cruiser, reports The Associated Press. The accident occurred shortly after midnight, and Cassella was reportedly speeding at the time.

Are We Too Poor to Drive Drunk? PA Drunk Driving Numbers Down

As the economy goes down, so do the Pennsylvania drunk driving numbers. Last year, Northampton and Newtown Township arrested about half the number of drunk drivers than they did the year before, and Bensalem police indicated that more people are going out drinking with designated drivers.

Arrests for drunk driving have fallen since 2007, paralleling the decline in the national economy, reports phillyBurbs.com. According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study, the number of people who say they have driven drunk has dropped 30 percent over the last five years nationwide. The number of DUI arrests in 2010 was the lowest mark in nearly two decades.

Senate Bill 1184 would require first-time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock system into their vehicles. The proposed Pennsylvania DUI bill is before the state Senate's transportation committee and is gaining the support of area law enforcement officials.

The ignition interlock system is a piece of equipment that DUI offenders have to place in their vehicle, reports The Mercury. Users must breathe into the device before driving to ensure that the person is not under the influence of alcohol. If the user has a blood alcohol content above 0.025 percent (well below the legal limit of 0.08), the car cannot be started.

Flying Pig Saloon DUI Bad News for Police Officer

The owner of a bar complained that a police officer was making too many DUI arrests outside his establishment. And what did the police department do? They reassigned the police officer.

Steve Iacobucci is the owner of the Flying Pig Saloon in Malvern. He complained to city council that his business was suffering as police officers ruined his nighttime business, reports the Daily Local News. The bar owner says that his customers were followed out of the bar and stopped for relatively minor infractions. The patrons were then given Breathalyzer tests and arrested for DUIs accordingly.

Liquor Control Officer DUI

A liquor control officer DUI is an ironic arrest. Tyrribea Flood, an employee with the state Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after she crashed her liquor enforcement vehicle into a stopped car.

Last Thursday, the 39-year-old Flood was driving in Pittsburgh when she rear-ended a stopped car shortly before midnight, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Two police officers were directing traffic nearby and walked over to Flood's car where they found her sobbing.