The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

February 2012 Archives

Avoid a DUI, Get a FreeRideHome

Recently, we wrote a lot about parents behaving badly, driving drunk with a toddler in the car, or in some cases, straddled on a motorcycle. A DUI in these cases is no laughing matter, as you not only face drunk driving charges, but can also lose possession of your child.

What makes these crimes that much more stupid, is that drunk driving is completely avoidable. Most of the time, you can have a designated driver take you home or you can call a cab if you’ve realized you had too much to drink. To make matters even simpler, there are even free services available like FreeRideHome, where you can find a sober driver nearby to take you home.

PA Woman Drugged Driving Leads to Child Endangerment Charge

A Warfordsburg woman allegedly took her kid out in her Pontiac Grand Prix in search of drugs. After purchasing the drugs with the child in the car, and injecting herself with the unidentified drugs, 34-year-old Jennifer Shaw allegedly got back behind the wheel and crashed into a tree.

When police arrived at the scene, they found that the pre-teen child was sitting in the passenger seat and that there was drug paraphernalia in the car, reports the Herald-Mail. Shaw was charged with driving under the influence, drug possession, and endangering the welfare of a child. It wasn't reported if Shaw or the child was injured, nor was it reported if Shaw was the mother of the child.

Pittsburgh Pirates DUI, President Frank Coonelly Faces Charges

A Pittsburgh Pirates DUI. Surprisingly, the DUI did not involve a player who was drinking because his team was so bad or a fan drinking too much because he couldn’t remember the last time the team had a winning season. Instead, this DUI involved team president Frank Coonelly.

Perhaps bad judgment from the very top explains why the Pirates are so awful on the field.

In December, ESPN reports that team president Frank Coonelly was arrested for drunk driving in Ross Township. Along with the DUI, he was charged with driving the wrong way down the street, careless driving, and driving with a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit.

Monongalia County Officer Killed in Interstate DUI

Monongalia County Sergeant Michael May was killed in the line of duty over the weekend on a suspected drunk driving incident that began in West Virginia and ended in Perry Township, Pennsylvania.

In the early morning hours, the West Virginia State Police received a call where there was a hit and run accident in Morgantown, reports The Journal. The suspect, 35-year-old Jerod Alan Green, allegedly struck another car and took off, sparking a police chase.

Too Drunk to Drive, 74-Year-Old Man Charged w/ Public Drunkenness

You expect this behavior from college kids, not 74-year-old men in sleepy Philadelphia suburbs. Police say that John Reid, from Newton Square, got so drunk at Sang Kee Noodle Bowl in Edgmont that he fell from a bar stool and injured his head. But that's when the troubles began for the senior citizen.

Reid was apparently banged up from his fall, requiring a call to medics. When the medics and EMT arrived, they tried to render assistance to the elderly man, but Reid became combative, reports the Philadelphia Daily News. Reid is said to have been "extremely intoxicated" and tried attacking those who tried to help him.

Former Cop William Bell Convicted of Fatal DUI

William Bell, a former Philadelphia police officer and Secret Service member, was convicted of a fatal DUI that killed 50-year-old Barbara Brown.

A Bucks County jury found Bell guilty of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol and other counts, reports the Associated Press. The 56-year-old Bell faces a mandatory minimum of three years in jail.

PA State Trooper Admits to Drinking Before Fatal Accident

Off-duty state trooper Jeffrey Dalessandro admitted to drinking four beers before the fatal accident that killed 21-year-old Daryl Nunemaker.

Last week, Dalessandro was driving his pickup truck in Erie County when he lost control and crossed over into oncoming traffic. He crashed head-on into an SUV driven by Nunemaker, killing the newlywed, reports KDKA. For the Pennsylvania State trooper DUI, Dalessandro faces homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, as well as involuntary manslaughter charges.

Pennsylvania DUI: Man Drives High with Flat Tire and Baby in Car

Drunk drivers don’t just put themselves in danger. After all, they aren’t the only ones on the road, and any accident can lead to fatal consequences for a driver or anyone who may happen to be nearby.

But in a disturbing trend for Pennsylvania DUI, more and more drivers are deliberately putting babies and young children in harm’s way. Last week, we wrote about Jeremy Irons, who was caught driving his motorcycle with a blood alcohol level well over twice the legal limit and a toddler straddling the gas tank.

Jessica Trump Acquitted of DUI, then Convicted

Jessica Trump was arrested last month for allegedly driving under the influence. Well, she wasn’t actually driving, she was merely accused of having possession of a vehicle while intoxicated.

In Pennsylvania, you don’t have to be driving to get a DUI. If you’re parked and are sitting in the passenger seat passed out, you can still be arrested as it’s deemed you have possession of the car.

Brett Truskin Set for Court for Fatal DUI, Second DUI of the Day

In November, Brett Truskin got into a car accident on I-95 involving three cars, and he was charged with driving under the influence. He was turned over to Philadelphia police, submitted a blood test, and his car was impounded.

That morning he was released from jail without having to post bail. A few hours later he was behind the wheel of his mother’s car, and allegedly crashed into a bicyclist on the 1900 block of E Lehigh Avenue, killing the cyclist, Gregory Loper. Truskin tried to flee the scene, but bystanders held him. He was reportedly drunk again, the second time that day, reports NBC.

Dad Drunk Drives to Pick Up Drunk Son at Police Station

Dumb and dumber.

A Bellwood dad got a call from the police to pick up his son who had been arrested for drunk driving. So the dad drunk drove to the police station. The drunk father and son were both charged with a DUI.

Twenty-four-year-old David Peterson Jr. had been arrested after he was found passed out inside his car with a blood alcohol content over twice the legal limit of 0.08. The cops called his father, 44-year-old David Peterson Sr., to come pick him up. With a blood alcohol content one-and-a-half times the legal limit, the senior arrived at the police station, reports the Associated Press.

DUI Charge for Riding Motorcycle w/ Child Straddled Aboard

Jeremy Irons, a 39-year-old man from Windber, will stand trial for a drunken motorcycle accident. The most shocking part of the accident was not that Irons was drunk and riding a motorcycle with a blood alcohol level over twice the legal limit, but that he had his four-year-old nephew straddled onto the bike's gas tank when he crashed.

In October, Irons lost control of his bike in western Pennsylvania and struck a guard rail, reports The Associated Press. Both he and his four-year-old nephew suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident. Irons had a blood alcohol level of 0.19 percent, well over twice the legal limit of 0.08. Irons now faces aggravated assault while driving drunk charges and child endangerment charges for the Pennsylvania DUI.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed in Fatal Bethlehem DUI

Anthony Bruno pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and killing three people in January. For the crime, Bruno was sentenced to up to 18 years in jail. The families of the victims are now suing the venues and bars that served Bruno alcohol leading up to fatal Bethlehem DUI.

One year ago, Bruno attended a Reading Royals hockey game. He admitted to drinking before, during, and after the hockey game, reports the Reading Eagle.