A state representative in Pennsylvania was allegedly caught driving while intoxicated with alcohol at more than twice the legal limit. The incident took place in Mercer County along Interstate 79 around 9 p.m. in the evening. The police were originally notified when the representative was spotted driving erratically, and the police performed a traffic stop when they saw him change lanes without signaling.
According to the police report, when the trooper approached the representative’s vehicle, they noticed a strong odor suspected to be alcohol. They then claimed to have seen an open alcohol container on the back seat upon closer inspection. It’s not clear whether the defendant is also being charged with violating open container laws. The representative took a breath test at the scene that reportedly showed a BAC of 0.175. The legal limit in the state is .08 BAC.
In addition to driving under the influence of alcohol, the defendant was charged with disregarding traffic lanes and turning without a signal. The representative said that he does not dispute the accusations made by the police regarding this incident. In a statement to the public, he asked for people to forgive him for his actions. He has yet to comment about whether he will keep his position in the state legislature.
Individuals convicted for DUI can face anything from a modest fine to jail time. In all cases, defendants have the right to representation from an attorney. Evidence from breathalyzers, blood and urine tests are crucial in cases like these. Attorneys have a responsibility to check that this evidence was collected properly by authorities. Depending on the circumstances of a case, a lawyer may be able reduce a sentence or get charges dismissed altogether.
Source: Penn Live, “Pa. state representative on DUI arrest: ‘I made a mistake and I would just ask people to forgive me for it,’” Jan Murphy, 01/31/2019