The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Father Killed Pushing Son Out of the Way of DUI Driver in NE Philadelphia

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.

A DUI charge is easiest to get when you get into an accident. This is because an officer doesn't have to stop you after you've already stopped yourself. Further, being in the accident in the first place is usually enough to give an officer reasonable suspicion that you might be intoxicated.

If you're not in an accident, an officer needs reasonable suspicion to pull you over. This suspicion can be raised by an officer observing your driving. If you do things like straddle the center line, brake frequently, or make an illegal turn, you have raised reasonable suspicion.

Here, it would be clear to any officer that knew the situation that there was likely some intoxication involved. Driving away from the scene after hitting a person is not something a reasonable person would do. Williams mighte even have been drunk enough to not even notice what had happened.

Even though Romano was crossing without a crosswalk, the law does not take that into account for a DUI charge, nor does it come into play for vehicular homicide. The only way this fact would come into play is if there was a civil lawsuit against the driver.

We'll just have to wait and see what other facts come out of this case. It's likely that Williams will take a plea given that no one would want to argue these facts to a jury.

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