The concept of the designated driver has been immensely popular and has saved the lives of many potential drunk drivers over the years. The Pennsylvania State Police, however, had a negative run-in with a designated driver recently. The 23-year-old man was allegedly drunk himself and speeding erratically on various highways in the Lehigh Valley area when the police stopped his vehicle and arrested him for drunk driving.
The state police officers say that the man smelled of alcohol and was put through a field sobriety test, which he failed. They say that he also failed a preliminary breath test. The man allegedly told police that he had been drinking but that he was now the designated driver for the unidentified passenger(s) in the vehicle.
When he realized that he was being arrested for drunk driving, he became belligerent, per the police. He threatened to go to the officers' homes and have sexual relations with their wives, say the police. Police allege that he also said that "another DUI" would leave him broke and suicidal; he promised to put their names in his suicide note.
The man allegedly became more obstreperous as time went on, and he created a ruckus at the booking center, where he screamed profanities and struck a cell door with his head. He was then taken to a local hospital for a mental evaluation. The Pennsylvania State Police arrested him for drunk driving, terroristic threats, resisting arrest, harassment and other charges. There is no report on whether the people who the so-called designated driver was driving got home safely. If the police version holds up in court, and if the police followed all required protocols in arresting the accused, then defense counsel may have to assert the mental impairment aspect of the case to at least try and mitigate the significant punishment that this man faces.
Source: wfmz.com, "Police arrest 'designated driver' on DUI charges", Edward Sieger, Nov. 1,2017