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Drunk driving may sometimes be resolved by ARD disposition

People from all levels of society are vulnerable to prosecution for the offense of DUI in Pennsylvania. Many officials and professional persons have been arrested and prosecuted for drunk driving. It may even be an occupational hazard for some politicians, who must attend a steady flow of receptions, dinners and picnics where alcohol is prevalent.

It happened in March in Delaware County when police arrested a candidate for the Nether Providence Township Board of Commissioners for drunk driving after she got into an accident with another vehicle. Her case was recently resolved by her acceptance into the Advanced Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program that is available under certain circumstances in Pennsylvania. The woman is running for 2nd Ward Commissioner, and there was no immediate word whether her plans in that respect have changed.

The Common Pleas Court sentenced her to surrender her license for two months, take safe driving courses and perform 64 hours of community service, among other aspects of her program. ARD is not considered to be a conviction of crime if the defendant successfully completes the program. After completion of the program, the defendant may move the court for expungement of the record.

The 12-month probationary program is designated essentially for first offenders with no aggravating factors in their offense. With respect to office holders and others in the public eye, negotiating a guilty plea or getting into ARD is a far better option than fighting the case in a jury trial. The trial may have the effect of making the public servant look self-serving and trying to evade responsibility for his or her behavior. The public officials who have survived prosecution for drunk driving in Pennsylvania have admitted guilt, shown contrition and asked the public for forgiveness and another chance.

Source: delcotimes, "Nether Prov commissioners candidate gets ARD for DUI", Alex Rose, Sept. 23, 2017

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