Category Archives: Alcohol
Generally, there are three ways that a police officer can test you for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) during a traffic stop. They can sample your breath, blood, or urine, however breath and blood are by far the most common methods used. In addition, all states have an implied consent law, which means that by driving on the road, you have agreed to submit to BAC testing. The implied consent laws also lay out punishments for refusing to submit to BAC testing. …Read more
The Law Offices of James W. Flood, P.C. recently won a great victory for those seeking to expunge their records in Montgomery County. Our client had been previously arrested and charged with very serious felony offenses. After a full investigation and a vigorous defense, the serious charges were nolle prossed (dropped) and the client pled guilty to a minor offense. We petitioned to expunge the serious charges that had been dropped. However, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office opposed our request.
After a hearing, the Honorable Senior Judge William T. Nicholas granted the petition and ordered the expungement of the charges that had been nolle prossed at the time of the plea. …Read more
Redlich’s strategy is to limit his interaction with the police, and to avoid giving police the opportunity to claim that they can smell an odor of drugs or alcohol from the vehicle or to allege that he is slurring his words. In doing so, …Read more
Since the United States Supreme Court and Pennsylvania Supreme Court largely abolished mandatory minimum sentencing statutes in a string of decisions over the past two years, prosecutors in Pennsylvania have turned to other techniques to maximize sentences. One of these techniques is to apply enhanced sentencing guidelines when they are applicable.
In Pennsylvania, the Legislature has implemented guidelines to be followed in criminal sentencing. These guidelines are based on …Read more
A person can be convicted of public drunkenness if he appears “in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance…to the degree that he may endanger himself or other persons or property, or annoy persons in his vicinity.”
Unlike the charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), there is no defined blood-alcohol limit for intoxicants before someone can be cited for public drunkenness. That is because there is no requirement in the law that police perform chemical analysis or other tests to determine whether a person is objectively under the influence of drugs or alcohol. …Read more
- The first change amended the language that controls the maximum punishment for a second-offense DUI where the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing. Until the recent amendment, the statute provided a maximum period of incarceration of six (6) months, although the crime was graded as a Misdemeanor of the First Degree, which typically carries a maximum period of incarceration of five (5) years. The law was changed to bring this Misdemeanor of the First Degree into line with others, and now provides a five (5) year exposure.
In an effort to keep you up to date with the latest developments in the law, we wish to advise you that on December 1, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided the case of Commonwealth v. Weaver, which upheld a police officer’s use of the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” (HGN) test in establishing probable cause to make a DUI arrest.
The HGN test is a common component of “field sobriety tests,” which are the roadside checks that police do before bringing someone in for a blood draw or breathalyzer. In an HGN test, …Read more
The phrase “doctor/patient confidentiality” is often used to refer to the various legal protections that guard the privacy of communications between people and their physicians. HIPAA strictly regulates what a doctor can disclose and to whom. Additionally, patient-physician privilege laws prevent a doctor from disclosing information learned about a patient in the course of medical treatment, unless certain circumstances apply.
One such exception to the general rule of privacy involves mandatory reporting …Read more
More and more people are buying portable devices to test blood alcohol level. They’re small enough to fit in your pocket, and affordable, costing as little as $50. And they’re easy to use: plug them into your smartphone and blow to see your blood alcohol content on the spot. The companies say these apps will help you make smart decisions. But police say they can be unreliable, and, in some cases, could lead to drunk driving.
NBC national investigative correspondent, Jeff Rossen looked at three such apps (Breathometer, Alcohoot, BACtrack Mobile) and compares them to official police Breathalyzers. …Read more