The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

May 2012 Archives

DUI Leaves One Underwater and One Up a Creek

In Montgomery County another tragedy has been caused by a DUI. According to WPVI-TV, Howard Christy II was arrested recently for allegedly flipping his car into the Perkiomen Creek while drunk, killing the passenger who was trapped underwater.

At the time of the accident, Christy’s license had been suspended. Afterwards, Christy was treated at the hospital for hypothermia and other injuries, where his blood alcohol content was measured at .12 percent 12 hours after the crash, reports CBS Philly. A open bottle of vodka was found floating near the car.

Drunk Driver Gets Stuck on Train Tracks, Now Stuck with DUI

There are many ways to get caught while driving under the influence. In fact, the police often only need the most minor of excuses to stop a driver. If they believe a crime is in progress, if a tail light is out, if a car is stuck on the railroad tracks in the path of an oncoming train ... any of these "small" issues can get a driver pulled over.

We've covered some pretty interesting stops. There was the kid who rear ended a trailer full of tigers. There was the guy who was too hammered to get out of his own driveway. There was even the amazing woman who tried to seduce an officer to get out of her DUI.

4 Days Later, Sotomayor Arrested Again, Gets 5th DUI in 5 Weeks

This man is the gift that keeps giving to legal bloggers. Seriously though, his consistency is remarkable. We just covered the extensive track record of Anderson Sotomayor yesterday. Today, just four days after his last arrest for DUI,Sotomayor, 45, of Vineland, NJ, got popped AGAIN.

For those keeping score, that's five DUIs in five weeks and six total traffic arrests since the beginning of April, including an alleged hit and run of a school bus that was unloading children.

Who is going to be the lucky attorney who gets to represent this guy? 'Ummm, Your Honor, the officers didn't have probable cause for the third arrest and the sixth confession was coerced but the second one was okay, but the first hit and run wasn't him ..."

Man Gets 4th DUI in 34 Days, Plus Bonus Hit and Run

It may be fair to state that Anderson Sotomayor, 45, of Vineland, NJ, is a terrible driver. He also may have another problem. Based on his recent newsworthy driving offenses, he certainly has a problem with getting on the wrong side of the law. Sotomayor's rap sheet since the beginning of April, courtesy of The Daily Journal, is impressive.

  • April 2, 2012: Sotomayor allegedly swerved his 1998 around a school bus that was unloading kids. He is reported to have blown through a stop sign and collided with another vehicle. He then took off. The woman in the other car ended up in the hospital. The police found part of his handicapped license plate and combined that with witness testimony to track him and his broken vehicle down.
  • April 9, 2012: Sotomayor is arrested for DUI.
  • April 11, 2012: Sotomayor is arrested for DUI.
  • April 25, 2012: Sotomayor is arrested for DUI.
  • May 12, 2012: Sotomayor is arrested for DUI.

This is a DUI blog, not a math blog, but that seems to make five arrests or summonses and four DUIs in a little more than a month, which is astounding.

Former FAA Chief's DUI Case Tossed; Unconstitutional Stop

The word out of Fairfax, Virginia today was positive for former FAA Chief Randy Babbitt, reports The Associated Press. The judge in Babbit's case, Judge Ian O'Flaherty, tossed the case before the prosecution even had the chance to present evidence of intoxication.

Why was Randy Babbitt so lucky? The judge ruled that the stop was unconstitutional and based on an officer's hunch. A video showed Babbitt making a proper left turn prior to being pulled over.

Drugged Driving Arrests On the Rise in Pennsylvania

If you are a regular reader on this blog (and who isn't) you'll notice that we've talked a lot recently about drugged driving, also known as DUID. We've warned about the severe consequences and questionable laws. Now, it seems, the police have caught on. Drugged driving arrests are at an all time high, and now make up as many arrests as drunk driving in many Pennsylvania counties, reports WGAL News.

Drugged driving is exactly what it sounds like; driving while impaired by the use of some drug. This includes prescription and illegal drugs. We've covered the draconian marijuana laws, where you can be convicted of DUID for driving with days-old metabolites of the drug in your system. However, it seems statistically that DUIDs are becoming more and more about legal prescription drugs.

Wait, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of something that was prescribed to you? Glad you asked, because the answer is: Yes, yes you can.

'Two Hour Rule' Could Make or Break DUI Case Against Cop

State Trooper Jeffrey Dalessandro may have caught a break in the case against him for homicide by vehicle by driving under the influence, reports the Erie Times-News.

Dalessandro was driving back from fishing for steelhead trout. He had a meal and a few Miller Lites before getting back on the road. He told investigators and those on the scene that the other car swerved into his lane. Skid marks indicate that it was the other way around, reports the Times-News. The driver of the other car, 21-year-old Daryl Leroy Nunenmaker, of Edinboro, did not survive the impact.

Rhoades Case: Penn Supreme Court Rejects Senavitis' DUI Appeal

Just when we thought we were out, they pulled us back in.

Thomas Senavitis, also known as the "redneck who killed a senator," escaped a homicide conviction for the DUI crash that claimed the life of State Senator James Rhoades. The trial and sentencing all took place back in 2010, so why are we bringing it back up now?

Cinco De Mayo: Drunk in Public in Philly

If there is any problem with Cinco De Mayo festivities, it is that the drink choices tend to get a little monotonous. There's Coronas, Dos Equis, and margaritas. If you've got the urge to shake things up a little, here is a recipe for a classic drink that even comes with a classic rock song.

Name that tune?

While mixing the drink, you might also enjoy listening to the classic tune, "Tequila." And then, you might be tempted to share your joy by singing the song in the streets. That might result in a small conflict with the police.

McKeesport Solicitor J. Jason Elash Faces DUI Trial

A local municipal official faces a criminal trial resulting from a January DUI, after waiving his preliminary hearing on Monday morning, reports the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. J. Jason Elash is the Solicitor for McKeesport and has held similar positions with a number of towns over the course of his long legal career. A Solicitor is essentially a jack of all trades attorney for the city that researches and advises them on legal issues and regulations.

According to the Post-Gazette, Elash was leaving the inauguration party for Mayor Michael Cherepko when he crashed his SUV into a building in the 700 block of Route 48. After being taken to the hospital for a head injury, his blood alcohol content was allegedly measured at 0.196, which is more than twice the legal limit. He was also cited for speeding.