The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

August 2012 Archives

Labor Day Weekend: Expect More DUI Patrols Around Philadelphia

It's the ceremonial end-of-summer weekend. Labor Day lets us know that the days will be getting shorter, the air cooler, and that football season is upon us. Oh, and for some reason, we're not supposed to wear white anymore, so pull out your whites for one last hurrah!

There's one other thing that happens during Labor Day: drinking. As if lots of people out enjoying the weather and the Made in America Festival weren't enough to keep you off the roads, Allstate has released a report that Philadelphia drivers are the worst city drivers in its coverage areas, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Also keep in mind that this weekend, there will be increased DUI enforcement by state and local police in Philly and New Jersey, according to the Associated Press. There will be checkpoints and increased patrols, so be aware of the different types of sobriety tests cops will be using.

It certainly must be true that the instinct of a parent is to save their child at any cost. Such was the fate of a father on Roosevelt Boulevard Wednesday night.

This father, Michael Romano, lost his life saving his son from a driver, Roderick Williams, who was allegedly driving drunk down Roosevelt, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. Romano was able to push his son out of the way, but was not able to move fast enough to get out of the way himself. Officials say that Romano and his son were trying to cross without a crosswalk when the incident happened.

Williams has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and DUI after leaving the scene of the accident and being stopped by an off-duty officer who witnessed the incident.

DUI Suspect Pees on Police Cruiser in Maine

Some DUI stories are just too funny. Yes, it is a serious crime, but as TV programs and movies show us, drunk and high people can be quite funny. At least, until they get to that obnoxious 2-year-old phase of drunkenness.

Remus Opi, 54, of Portland, Maine, apparently wanted to be that funny drunk guy the other night when he ran into a fire hydrant. After police responded to the scene and ordered Opi out of his car, he decided he needed to relieve himself. So he walked over to one of the cruisers and allegedly took a whizz on it, according to The Associated Press.

Opi also refused a chemical test, which comes with its own consequences.

Catholic Archbishop-Elect Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

Well, the Catholic Church is in the news again. (There apparently wasn't enough news to go around with Monsignor William Lynn and the Rev. James Brennan, not to mention the countless others charged with all kinds of offenses.)

At least now a clergyman has been arrested for something most people can relate to: a DUI. The Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, the archbishop-elect of San Francisco, was arrested on suspicion of DUI last weekend, according to the Associated Press. Cordileone has already issued a statement apologizing for his actions, even though it would take an action practically by the Pope himself to stop Cordileone's ascension to archbishop.

Cordileone is now set to go to court in October, shortly after he is installed as archbishop, according to the AP. So how could he potentially challenge his arrest?

Former Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker Charged with DUI

It's likely true that being an ambassador to two war-torn countries might leave you with a need to drink heavily. But former ambassador Ryan Crocker's DUI is not how a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner wants to go out.

Crocker, who ran embassies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout the Middle East, was charged with DUI in Spokane Valley, Wash., after he allegedly struck a semi-truck and then drove off, according to the Daily Mail. The state trooper who arrested him said Crocker registered blood-alcohol levels of 0.16% and 0.152% when he was arrested.

The trooper said Crocker had been in the left lane of a two-lane road and took a right-hand turn in front of the semi-truck. Crocker's car hit the truck and spun out, according to Spokane's KXLY-TV. Crocker pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Will he challenge the breath-tests administered to him?

Guilty Plea in Fatal South Jersey DUI Crash

For some people, getting behind the wheel after going to the bar always seems like a fine idea. Convincing yourself that you didn't drink that much or that you won't be driving very far helps you get into the car. But sometimes it doesn't work out so well and even though a driver may feel fine, she gets into a car wreck. In the most unfortunate situations, someone is badly injured in these wrecks.

Last year, Mary Pappas was involved in a crash that killed Vineland resident Joann Guzzi, according to Philly.com. Prosecutors alleged that Pappas had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15%, almost twice the legal limit when she ran a stop sign and hit Guzzi's vehicle.

Pappas pleaded guilty to a charge of vehicular homicide that will likely lead to a five-year prison sentence for the South Jersey DUI crash, according to Philly.com. Is this less of a punishment than she could have received?

Philly Naked Bike Ride: BUI Will Get More Attention Than Wanted

It's that time of year again. No, not back to school and not the beginning of football season, although both are true. It's Philly Naked Bike Ride time!

The naked bike ride has been going on for three years, with this being the fourth. The event is set for Saturday (Aug. 25) and will probably be as popular as it was in the last three years. While some don't quite see the point of riding naked through the streets, it gets tons of media coverage every year, according to Philly.com.

This being a huge event with nudity, some may need liquid courage to get up the nerve to go in the nude (or close to it). A warning that a biking under the influence charge is as likely as an indecent exposure charge.

Watch Out Shore-Goers, New Jersey Cracking Down on DUI

Let's face it, most partiers and bar patrons play a game of numbers. There is a bet as to how many police are on the roads and how drunk the person feels. This game is about to be heavily weighted towards law enforcement starting Friday, August 17.

On the 17th, towns all over New Jersey will have roving DUI patrols and be setting up DUI checkpoints, according to The Jersey Journal. Last year, officers made 1,437 DUI arrests statewide, gave nearly 6,000 speeding tickets, and apprehended close to 1,500 fugitives during the program, according to the Associated Press.

What can happen at a DUI checkpoint?

East Greenwich NJ Mayor Could Lose Job After DUI

It's true that we all make mistakes and get ourselves into trouble every now and then. It's not a big deal, right? But what about for politicians, who are supposed to be representing a town or a district or a state? Shouldn't they possibly be better role models for the community?

That is the question that is being asked in East Greenwich, New Jersey after its mayor, Fred Grant, was charged with DUI after driving 91 miles-per-hour in a 45 mile-per-hour zone, according to WTXF-TV. At a town council meeting some residents asked for his resignation, while others defended the mayor. Grant apologized for his actions, saying that he had embarrassed himself and his family.

DUI Likely in Head-On SEPTA Bus Crash

There are some car crashes that you hear about and just know that alcohol or some other impairment had to be involved. Wrecks caused by people driving the wrong way on a highway or making a U-turn into traffic are definite examples of this phenomenon.

Now we can chalk up another type of accident to “probably drunk;” the driving head-on into a SEPTA bus crash. Monday evening during rush hour, a woman driving a black Acura swerved for no apparent reason into opposing traffic, running directly into a SEPTA bus, according to CBS3.

Randy Travis Arrested for DWI in Texas, 2nd Arrest This Year

There’s not much more that says country music like hard drinkin’ and fighting. If you listen to any of the Hanks (Sr., Jr., or III) or Waylon Jennings, that is. It’s obvious that having a nice drink to end your day is a tradition among any Americans.

There’s only a problem if it’s more than one drink and driving is involved. Unfortunately for Randy Travis, he was arrested on suspicion of doing just that. In Sanger, Texas, Travis’s car was found crashed in a single-car accident and he was arrested with minor cuts and brusies on DUI and retaliation and obstruction charges, according to TMZ.

Thinking of Refusing a Chemical Test? Think Again

There are many rumors that float around out there about what's best to do if you're pulled over by the police. Some not so smart folks recommend running from the cops. Some recommend denying everything. And some say to refuse everything.

While running from the cops is sure to get you more punishment and denying everything might help, what happens when you refuse a chemical test, like the blood test, or a Breathalyzer? Will it make you harder to convict because they don't have enough evidence, or are you setting yourself up to have no defense at all?

New Jersey Legislator Paul Moriarty Denies DUI Charge

There’s nothing worse than being accused of something that you didn’t do. This was true for Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who was arrested in 1966 for a murder he didn’t commit and finally released in 1985, 10 years after Bob Dylan wrote a song about the case.

Now another New Jersey resident is facing charges that he claims are fabricated. Legislator Paul Moriarty, who represents parts of Gloucester and Camden Counties, was pulled over in Washington Township after he allegedly cut off a police officer, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

After being pulled over, Moriarty disputed having cut off the officer and the officer administered a field sobriety test, issuing him a summons for DUI, reports the Inquirer. Moriarty claims that he did not have any alcohol, could he still get a DUI?

Stephen Callahan 5th DUI: Going for the Record

Looks like everyone’s got Olympic fever. People are watching the games, rooting for the USA to win gold and break Olympic and World records. Some folks just want to break records of their own.

It looks like Stephen Callahan of New Castle, Delaware has been arrested for what could be his fifth DUI offense, according to CBS 3. Callahan was picked up by officers after he allegedly hit a parked vehicle and drove off, with the owner of the vehicle taking chase. It almost seems like he had heard of Anderson Sotomayor and wanted to beat his record of 6 DUIs in as many weeks.

What do all of these DUIs mean in terms of punishment?