Pennsylvania Breaks the Bottle on driving under the influence

Getting prosecuted for a DUI can have a significant burden on your future. The ramifications of driving under the influence can have a devastating effect on the lives of the individuals involved. Not only can it affect your life dramatically but it can impact the lives of friends and family.

Role of breathalyzers as evidence for driving under the influence (DUI)

The subject of DUI has recently been highly criticized and debated by Pennsylvania lawmakers. There has been much debate over the use of breathalyzers as evidence for DUI and their role in the prosecution of cases.

“The Pennsylvania Superior Court’s September ruling that the accuracy of an alcohol breath test must be addressed at trial and not before is being appealed to the state Supreme Court.”source.

Council members asked for approval of the appeal by stating that the accuracy of the breath tests should be used as evidence before trial to promote a uniformity of the law.

Previously, “A three-judge panel of the Superior Court unanimously overturned Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Lawrence F. Clark Jr.’s controversial ruling in Commonwealth v. Schildt barring alcohol breath test evidence in a driving under the influence case on the grounds that Clark’s determination was premature.”source Clark had ruled that breathalyzers commonly used by law enforcement couldn’t reliably detect blood alcohol content within the range of 0.05 to 0.15.

This ruling had the potential to impact thousands of pending DUI cases in Pennsylvania. “Judge Cheryl Lynn Allen, writing for the court, said Clark “manifestly abused” his discretion by requiring the state to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the accuracy of the breath test administered to Schildt at such an early stage in the case.” source This appeal and proceedings come in the wake of nationwide recommendation by the NTSB to lower the blood alcohol content limit from 0.08 to 0.05.

In Pennsylvania particularly, the effects and delegation of DUI cases have been controversial and life altering. DUI can affect anyone, at any time. Recently, a Philadelphia Police officer was charged with DUI and vehicular homicide after his involvement in a fatal crash.

“Sgt. Thomas Winkis faces charges of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle, DUI, involuntary manslaughter and recklessly endangering another person.” source

Investigators allege that Winkis was at the wheel of a silver Dodge when it collided with a van. The driver of the van, David Farries later died of his injuries. Because of the charges, Winkis has been indefinitely suspended from his duties at the department.

“Sources say that the black box recovered from Winkis’ Challenger shows that he was traveling at 101 m.p.h. at the time of the accident. Sources also say the officer’s blood alcohol level was .17, just above twice the legal limit.” source

Another Philadelphia officer who worked in the narcotics department also has recently been involved in a DUI investigation. Levaun Ludisill has been charged with driving under the influence after being involved in a head-on collision.

“Police say Rudisill was returning from a Sept. 15 football game when he crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a car driven by an 18-year-old boy head on. The other driver was treated and released for his injuries at Delaware County Memorial hospital”source.

Rudisill has been stripped of active service and limited to desk duty while the charges are pending in court.

Driving under the influence can carry a heavy burden on you and loved ones and your wallet. A DUI charge can cost thousands of dollars and cause you to incur financial struggles.

Contact Ginsburg and Associates for Personal injury Cases stemmed from DUI or Dram Shop

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident it is crucial to seek legal counsel. Attorneys at Ginsburg and Associates are experienced in handling all types of personal injury cases that can result from DUI or dram shop negligence. Dram shop is the legal term for any establishment that sells alcohol to the public. Ginsburg and Associates have experience in getting significant settlements in dram shop liability cases.

An attorney can guide you through the legal red tape and help clarify any questions surrounding your particular situation. No matter what side of the wheel or street you are on, Ginsburg and Associates have represented various accident/personal injury cases since 1980 and have obtained major settlements for clients.

If you have sustained any injury resulting from a pedestrian, auto, bus or motorcycle accident, you need to understand the parameters of the case as well as your entitled rights. Our goal is to represent you and uphold your rights while helping you get back on your feet. A personal injury can not only cause you physical harm but can also create substantial mental and financial strain. Call Ginsburg and Associates today for a free legal consultation and get the representation you deserve.