In Pennsylvania, a DUI is not a felony. It's a misdemeanor not just for a first offense, but for anything after that. This means that a person with a dozen previous convictions could get arrested and only face misdemeanor charges.
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.
When a law enforcement officer is charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, the officer may be able to hold on to his or her job but the outcome in that respect is far from certain. This will be an issue with the police chief in Camp Hill, who was arrested for drunk driving in Perry County on Nov. 6 by the state police. Troopers allege that the chief crashed his vehicle into a tree and that he had a blood alcohol reading of .178, which is more than twice the legal limit.
Pennsylvania imposes potentially severe punishment on those who are convicted of causing serious bodily injury to another person as the result of driving under the influence. The offense is a second-degree felony with punishment of up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $25,000, or both. Recently, the state police arrested a 42-year-old woman for that crime and a slew of other violations, including drunk driving.
Is there a festival or wedding reception in your near future? What about your car? Have you recently checked it over to make sure all your turn signals, brake lights and other external instruments are functioning properly? Although these issues may not seem related on the surface, they all have one thing in common: any one of them places you at risk for a traffic stop by police. Add alcoholic beverages and after-hours driving to the mix, and the chance of a police officer stopping you increases even more.
There was an unusually brisk turnout of voters on Nov. 7 in Pennsylvania. Many people were excited to cast their vote in the midst of so many controversial issues facing the public this year. Historically, election day is also a day when some citizens still go out and have some cheer to celebrate the day. There is usually a slight rise of drunk driving charges on election day.
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.
Being involved in a traffic stop can be a stressful and intimidating experience. Should allegations of intoxication arise during this period, despite your sobriety, you could begin to feel somewhat overwhelmed by the process and uncertain where to turn for guidance.
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.
Pennsylvania has recently toughened its DUI laws in several respects. This is in keeping with the increasing threat of drunk driving to the citizens of the Commonwealth. Those who are accused of drunk driving face tougher laws and more stringent punishments.