When a law enforcement officer is charged with DUI in Pennsylvania or elsewhere, it is usually the best policy to cooperate, show complete transparency and enter into rehabilitative treatment where appropriate. That approach provides the best path back to normalcy for an officer of the law. There is one obvious proviso: if the accused is not guilty of the drunk driving and other allegations, a vigorous defense would be the more appropriate response.
One 31-year-old male, an officer with the Bern Township Police in Berks County for several years, allegedly shunned the foregoing path and instead used deceit to try and escape the consequences of his actions. It appears that he may now have a daunting task to climb out of the hole that he apparently dug for himself. Authorities say that he recently admitted his involvement in a hit-and-run accident with two other vehicles on Dec. 11 in Sinking Spring.
The man is accused of fleeing the scene of the accident on foot and having his wife pick him up to take him home. He then allegedly called the insurance company and stated that his car had been stolen. Some days later, he allegedly called the insurance company again and stated that his mother had been driving the car.
The Berks County district attorney says that the accused officer surrendered on charges of insurance fraud, false reports, leaving the scene and criminal conspiracy. The prosecutor explained that the man was not charged with drunk driving because there was insufficient evidence. The other crimes, however, contain substantial penalties and a possible prison sentence.
Pennsylvania authorities are indicating full transparency by the defendant at this time. The problem is that, if the reports are true, his actions were so duplicitous that he will likely not be wearing a badge in the future. With experienced counsel negotiating on his behalf, however, the accused may be able to salvage a reasonable pathway to future rehabilitation. In some appropriate cases, the admission of drunk driving is the best approach to a challenging life situation, and one that will bring a decidedly better outcome than denying reality.
Source: wfmz.com, "Police officer surrenders on charges in hit-and-run crash", Jan. 18, 2018