The Philadelphia DUI Law Blog

Former DA Michael Donahue Faces DUI Aggravated Assault Trial

A former Delaware County Assistant District Attorney is under the microscope this week as his DUI trial unfolds, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Michael Donahue has more to worry about than DUI charges. He is facing charges of aggravated assault as well.

His Jeep Cherokee allegedly hit a young boy, Jake Vantrieste, last November at 10:23 p.m. The crash came after Donahue was allegedly out with co-workers, drinking. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, he was impaired at the time of the crash.

To make matters worse, he was also on his cell phone when he struck the young teen. As a result of the accident, Vantrieste suffered a broken leg and pelvis and had bleeding of the brain. He missed three months of school and spent much of the time in the hospital.

Witnesses recall hearing a loud "crack" when the boy was hit, the Inquirer reports. Donahue allegedly left the scene of the crime, after the impact.

Donahue's attorney claimed that his client was not drunk at the time of the crash. While he conceded that his client's car hit the boy, it was not due to impairment.

However, in an earlier report by The Philadelphia Inquirer, a former pub waitress testified that Donahue ran up a $120 pub bill on the night of the accident. And it wasn't $120 worth of chicken wings. The waitress testified that the tab included nine 20-ounce Guinness Stouts, five Miller Lites, two Bud Lites, two mixed drinks and three Stella Artois lagers.

Even assuming that the DUI charges fail, Donahue is facing charges of distracted driving. The fact is that behavior that shows a reckless disregard for human life can lead to criminal charges. And these days, there is much debate on the liability associated with distracted driving.

The case continues for the remainder of the week and in Monday, we'll have more details for you on the case.

Related Resources: